build your own/inexpensive quilting frames

lola99September 13, 2012

Does anyone have any experience with inexpensive quilting frames? Today I went to my LQS (to buy fabric for the October Lotto) and I saw a Flynn quilting frame. It is plastic bars that you roll your quilt on and then quilt it on your home machine, but it looks more like a long arm set up. I'm not describing it well. Here is the link to the Flynn system. My LQS has it for $150. This is different from long arm quilting, because you are moving the quilt, not the machine. So as I was researching this on the internet, I stumbled across this other site Machine Quilting solutions I watched all of this guy's videos and he has a pretty neat system. He sells you all of the parts for about $175 and you essentially build your own long-arm tracks. This system allows you to move the machine, but you are moving it from a bar below the machine.

Then I came across this site built your own machine quilting frame. In this system you are moving the machine using handles above, rather than a bar below, which I thought looked less awkward.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone had tried one of these systems, or knew anyone who had and if they worked at all. The price is so inexpensive, I'm wondering if this is a case of "you get what you pay for" or if building a quilting system is a great way to go.

Thanks for your thoughts,


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Oh, from what I see, I like the second one much better. I agree, control from the top seems much less awkward. It would be nice to actually see and use them. Is there a LQS or sewing center you can try others and see what you like in them before you decide?


    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 2:28AM
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My first frame was a HandiQuilter and the carriage had the handles on the bottom of the carriage (so they were below the quilt). I am short and found it very easy to use. Now I have a Hinterberg frame and the handles are at the top of the machine. It's still easy to use but I have to keep my arms up much higher.

I think if you have the know-how to build your own either one of the kits with the hardware and stuff would be great.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 9:42AM
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I've thought about doing this but haven't done it and haven't tried one. I'll be interested to see what you think of it if you do it!!!


    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 10:34AM
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Thanks for your comments/thoughts. I thought if I was serious about the Flynn system, I might ask my LQS if I could borrow the one they have on display and take it home one night, try it out and bring it back the next day. They know me there and they can always say no. But the more that I think of it, I'm more inclined towards one of the build it yourself frames.

I have not ever quilted on a frame, so trying to decide if I would like to control it from the top or bottom is such a theoretical question. The top seems easier, but Donna, your comments about not having to keep your arms up all the time make a lot of sense. And several blogs that I read about long arm quilters seem like they are talking about their aching backs - I wonder if that is due to working for hours with their arms up...

Anyway, thanks for chatting with me about this. I'll be sure to let you know if I do it!


    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 4:52PM
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Lola, quilting on a frame is a learning experience and requires patience! Though I would say whichever style you go with you will learn that way and it will seem fine.

I would guess a lot of the backache problems are from the frame not being the right height. Like I said, I'm short but my frame is low enough and narrow enough (I only have a 9" machine) that I don't have much trouble leaning over it.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 4:59PM
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A friend got the flynn forn Christmas and it is great! I highly recommend it

    Bookmark   January 2, 2015 at 4:53PM
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