Hand Quilting on a Frame

I am starting to warm up to quilting on the frame.   It is so different from using a hoop. On a hoop I can twist and turn the hoop to orient it the way I want, I quilt in only one direction (away from me). On the frame I have to adapt to not being able to turn.  I find that I am getting a bit better at it as I go.

For this  quilt (the first one I have done in a frame) I start at the left and quilt an arc to the right, I then go back and add more rows of arcs below that….the pattern is often called “Baptist Fan”, or Elbow Quilting.   Many people carefully measure and mark these arcs but I am just doing it by eye and making them less than perfect or uniform.  The quilt top itself is very irregular and scrappy and I think that it calls for the same treatment in the quilting.

Here is an example of some of the quilting, you can see that there are a few arcs quilted in and I will now go back and add the additional arcs below.

baptist-fans-elbow-quilting 012 baptist-fans-elbow-quilting 011

I have been trying to use up some Roxanne needles size # 10, and it is just not worth it to me….yesterday I bent 3 of them beyond usability in less than an hour.

baptist-fans-elbow-quilting 004 baptist-fans-elbow-quilting 005

Every time I try to use these I bend them!

I am going to switch to Bohin #9 and see how that goes. ( I have had good luck with these)

baptist-fans-elbow-quilting 006

# 9 needles are rather large…I use a #11 John James for whole cloth quilting, but this quilt top has so many seams to quilt through that I feel a larger needle will help.

I am using Coats Cotton thread ( I always have this kind on hand and it is available locally….but I hate the blend, on the green spool, always go for the cotton on the pink spool)

baptist-fans-elbow-quilting 007

I had a piece of wool batting that was leftover but large enough for this top so that is what I am using.

baptist-fans-elbow-quilting 009

It is a learning experience for me and I don’t think I will use the frame for every quilt, but for simple quilting like this I think I am going to like it.

Teddy is warming up to it as well and is interested in seeing the progress

baptist-fans-elbow-quilting 019

Here are some progress pictures (click to enlarge)

Happy quilting


22 thoughts on “Hand Quilting on a Frame

  1. Sue says:

    The Baptist fan looks great. I love that quilt design.
    I learned to hand quilt on the floor frame so when it came time to use a hoop, that took some adjustment for me. Either way serves a good purpose though.
    I have used the Coats quilting thread and do like it. Otherwise I use YLI. It works pretty well for me too 🙂

    Happy stitching!

  2. karen says:

    Roxanne used to have better needles – the company sold out I believe to another and the needles went down hill from there – I have been told that enough complaints were made that they are now making them like they used to do. I have several packages though that I think are old and I am about ready to toss them and try others. I have never tried the Bohn brand.

  3. Sara says:

    So, it is true, you can teach old dogs new tricks! LOL!

  4. Laura Gottlieb says:

    Love the pic of Teddy inspecting your progress on the quilting frame!

  5. Nancy says:

    I am just finishing marking quilt tops and will set up my quilt frame as I finally have a house with room for it again. We’ll see how I readjust to it after hoop quilting for several years!

  6. I do my babtist fans in the opposite direction. I start with the smallest arc and work out, but I do mark mine. I haven’t tried the bohn needles, let us know how the compare. I agree about the Roxanne’s that they bend. I agree about a frame it is totally different, I started on a frame and have since moved to a lap frame. Hoping to get a hoop on a stand for my birthday this year.

    • timquilts says:

      funny thing is it never occurred to me to start with the small one and work out…I might have to try that and see how I like it. but it does show that every quilter is different!! I love my hoop on the stand…I hope you get one for your birthday!

  7. Meredithe says:

    I’m a big fan of Bohin needles and use their appliqué, piecing and betweens needles, but I’m lucky that I can buy them locally. Thanks for showing us your Baptist Fan quilting, I’ll have to give it a go.

  8. Trina Schellhammer says:

    I am curious what you use to mark your Baptist Fan pattern? Also, do you pretty much just “wing it” with spacing?

    • timquilts says:

      I am just quilting, no marking at all…I hate to mark and this one being “free form” makes it easy to do that….If I wanted to be accurate I would find something round like a plate that is the size I like and mark one arc with that and then eyeball the smaller arcs below it….I can usually get pretty accurate by eye if I have one set line to echo

  9. audrey says:

    I have had a lot of trouble with bending when I use Roxanne needles too. It’s very frustrating. I am really enjoying the quilting you’re doing on this quilt. The wonky arcs look fun!

    • timquilts says:

      glad I am not the only one with roxanne issues…..and the Wonky arc are fun! there is a lot of freedom in doing these when I have been working on trying to be super precise in the whole cloth quilt…..its such a change of pace!


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