Blog 6

Hand Quilting Frame

This morning I met with a gentleman who I’m hiring to build a “hand” quilting frame for me.  For as long as I’ve been quilting, it has always “bothered” me to take my completed quilt top to a skilled artist to be “longarmed” on an "industrial style” quilting machine.  In addition, I’ve never been truly thrilled with the texture of the quilts after this process; they always seem too “flat” and “stiff.”  As it is, the piecing is done my machine . . . the “quilting” should AT LEAST be done by hand to exude a genuine, hand crafted work of art!  My maternal grandmother always wanted to teach me how to hand-quilt, the way she did in Oklahoma during the Great Depression.  As told to me by my mother, as a little girl when dinner was over and the dishes washed and put away, she remembered how grandma would let down the quilting frame, which hung from the ceiling on ropes, enabling it to be lowered and raised when needed in the living room of their house, and work on her latest quilting project into the late hours of the night.  Following in the traditions of my amazing grandmother, I am bound and determined to learn hand quilting on a traditional style frame which comfortably allows for 3-4 people to work on the same project; a scenario that would have been common in my mother’s home.  After my meeting this morning, I am most confident and extremely impressed with Mike’s knowledge of wood and in designing beautiful pieces of furniture.  We are still deciding on the best choice of wood species according to my needs, but I am leaning toward maple.  I can’t wait to see the finished product!   When I get to Missouri, the frame will be placed in the basement where my sewing and craft room will be and, like my grandmother, I will quilt sitting next to the window, while snow falls and rain drizzles!   

Quilt Frame

Above, is a photo of what the new frame will look like.  However, mine will be stained to give it more of a “warm,” furniture-like feeling.  

.© Mary Darby 2016