10 of the best quilting frames 2023
Make your quilting process easier by using a quilting frame! Discover the best frames for both hand and machine quilters with our guide.
A quilter is only as good as their tools! We have a complete guide to quilting tools here on Gathered, but we thought it’s about time we delve more into the world of quilting frames.
Quilting frames are endlessly useful tools. They’ll help you create neater, more professional-looking quilts and they’re multifunctional! Most of the quilting frames we’ve featured below can also be used for embroidery, cross stitch or other sewing projects.
We’re here to help you determine what kind of quilting frame you need and show you the best ones on the market. We’ve collected quilting frames for both hand quilters and machine quilters so no matter your preference, you can find one which works for you.
Grab your current quilting project, it’s time to find you a frame!
What are quilting frames?
Quilting frames are large structures that are designed to help quilters sew all three parts of their quilt together.
The purpose of quilting frames is to hold all three pieces of your quilt, the backing, binding and top quilt, together while you sew. The frame (either through slots, clamps or scrolls) keeps these three pieces taut, making them easier to sew.
What is a quilting frame called?
Quilting frames are sometimes also known as stretcher frames.
There are lots of different types of quilting frames for different types of quilting. The most common types are hand quilting frames and sewing machine quilting frames.
What is a hand quilting frame?
Hand quilting frames are designed for quilters who stitch by hand. Most hand quilters will use either a lap frame or a hoop frame. Both are designed to hold the fabric taut but have the benefit of being smaller, so they can be used sitting down.
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What is a sewing machine quilt frame?
Sewing machine quilting frames are designed to keep one section of the quilt tight while you sew the area with your machine.
It’s important to find the right quilting frame for your sewing machine. They all differ and some frames won’t work with standard sewing machines. For example, long arm quilting machines (you can learn more about these machines in our guide to long arm quilting machines) need specific, long arm quilting machine frames. These machines are much bigger so they need a larger, stronger frame to hold them.
When looking for frames to work with your sewing machine pay attention to the product specification. We’ve included a range of sewing machine quilting frames below, both for standard, free motion and long arm quilting machines.
10 of the best quilting frames
5 of the best quilting frames for hand quilting
1. Edmunds Wood Hoop and Floor Stand
Best for hand quilters working on wall hangings
Pros: Easy to assemble, detachable hoop, sturdy
Cons: Extra large/heavy quilts might make it tip over
This wood hoop and floor stand from Edmunds is a great two-in one product and can be used for multiple crafts. It’s ideal for hand quilting as you can pop your quilt through the stand, focusing on different areas.
We love that the wooden hoop can be detached, allowing you to work on smaller, more intricate details closer to your face. The stand fits snugly over your legs, giving you the option of two ways of working. It’s the perfect size for hand quilting in front of the TV!
2. Grace Frame No-Baste Hand Quilting Frame
Best for quilters working on heavy quilts in a range of sizes
Pros: Stable, professional and can be folded down
Cons: Takes up a lot of space, can take time to get the hang of
The EZ3 quilting frame is a three-rail quilting system that comes with a range of rail extensions. The width of the quilting frame can be adjusted from 35 inches up to 99 inches, making it suitable for a range of quilt sizes. The frame can also be tilted in four different angles (ideal for adding details to the edges or corners).
Many quilters enjoy using Grace quilting frames as they remove the need to baste every layer of your quilt. Instead of basting, leader cloth is used and slipped into the metal bars. It’s worth noting that the clamps and leader cloth do not come with the quilting frame.
These quilting frames can be tricky to use if you’ve never been taught how. Luckily Grace Frames have created a brilliant step by step video to help you use your quilting frame.
3. Q-Snap hand quilting frame
Best for easy assembling
Pros: Lightweight, easy to assemble, allows for both sitting and standing
Cons: Unable to rotate or tilt
This rather unassuming quilting frame for hand quilters is more impressive than it looks! Despite being made from lightweight PVC, it holds a surprising amount of weight, allowing quilters to work on small wall hangings all the way up to king-size quilts.
The PVC pipes make it easy to slot your quilt into and will hold your quilt taut while you work on certain sections.
This 8-inch by 39-inch floor frame is ideal for hand quilters who want to stand or sit in a chair while quilting. It’s also brilliantly compact as you can take the pieces apart easily and slot them back in the box.
4. Frank A. Edmunds American Legacy Quilt Frame
Best for professional quilting
Pros: Professional, scroll style allowing for adjustable tautness
Cons: Heavy and takes up a lot of space
Edmunds quilting frames are known across the industry. They’re sturdy, massive, and perfect for quilters working in groups or solo.
This quilting frame is fully adjustable too. It can be shrunk down to 24 x 45 inches which are perfect for making baby quilts or up to 24 x 90 inches (its biggest size) which can hold a full-size quilt.
It’s made from durable wood and looks brilliant when in use. You can detach some of the rods making the frame slightly smaller but it’s worth remembering you’ll need a big space to hold this quilting frame at its full width.
5. BeeCreek’s swivel lap quilting frame
Best for lap quilting
Pros: Handmade, affordable, great for sitting down
Cons: Small so may take a long time to finish full-sized quilts
BeeCreek is the go-to Etsy shop for beautiful, handmade quilting frames. They sell a huge range of frames including some unusual lap quilt frames. They have a hexagonal one as well as this standard rectangle.
This quilting frame measures 11 x 14 inches allowing you to work on specific areas closely. One of the coolest things about this frame is it has a 360 degree ball swivel, meaning you can bend the frame to an angle that is most comfortable for you.
This lap quilt is perfect for quilting sitting down on the sofa, in bed or in your favourite chair.
Looking for more useful quilting tools?
Quilting stencils are the perfect tool to use with your quilting frames. Find the best quilting stencils and how to use them with our guide.
5 of the best quilting frames for machine quilting
Before you browse our machine quilting frames make sure you check out our guide to the best quilting machines. It will help you find the best machine to work alongside these frames!
1. Walfront square rectangle plastic clip quilting frame
Best for adjusting the size
Pros: Adjustable, tight grip
Cons: Small square size, sturdy not easy to move while you sew
These adjustable PVC pipes are perfect to use while machine quilting. At its biggest, these PVC pipes can measure 43.1cm x 43.1cm and at its smallest, they can be 15cm x 15cm.
Each of these pipes contains a ribbed inner surface which makes them perfect for gripping onto your quilt and keeping it taut. They’re also very easy to assemble and disassemble, so you can pop them in your craft storage when you’re finished.
2. Brother embroidery and quilting frame
Best for quilters working with blocks
Pros: Perfect quilt block size, sturdy, easy to use
Cons: Expensive, not adjustable
Brother are best known for their sewing machines but they also sell an extensive range of quilting tools.
This 8x8 inch quilting frame is ideal for machine quilting, as it’s both secure and easy to move around. The size is designed to fit a traditional quilting square meaning it’s ideal for quilts made up of blocks.
It can be used with quilting, sewing and embroidery machines, making it brilliant for a wide range of craft projects.
3. MachineQuilter long arm quilting frame
Best for professional long arm quilting
Pros: Handmade, no basting, pinning, or tacking required!
Cons: Expensive, large
If you’re looking to support a small business, the Machine Quilter is the brand for you! Created by a family, Machine Quilter specialises in creating quilting frames that work with your long arm quilting machine.
The Art Quilter is the company's original frame and gives a spacious 55 inches of quilting space. It comes pre-assembled, all you need to do is add the clamps onto the sides and pop in the drop bars.
It’s an impressive quilting frame but you will need to make sure you have a table to put the frame on. The company has tables for sale or you can use any 6” wooden table.
4. Cotton Orchard's Freestyle Quilting Frame
Best for quick at-home quilting
Pros: 360 movement, handmade, five sizes available
Cons: Long delivery wait, UK only
Cotton Orchard sells a wonderful range of quilting frames for machine quilting. The Freestyle Pro Quilting Frame has been designed to make free motion quilting easy, fun and quick.
This quilting frame is all about efficiency. It eliminates the need to baste and pin as the rollers hold the fabrics tightly together. It comes with detailed instructions inside to help you get to grips with the process. The company claims you’ll be free motion quilting in just 30 minutes after reading their instructions!
We especially like this quilting frame, because it comes with a 360 degree platform for your sewing machine. This means your sewing machine is free to move around and makes quilting quicker and easier.
5. Grace Q-zone Hoop Quilting Frame
Best non-wooden quilting frame
Pros: Compacts down, adjustable, works with domestic and long arm sewing machines
Cons: Expensive and needs added extras
Grace also makes frames for machine quilting! This quilting frame is made from PVC, making it one of the lightest machine quilting frames we’ve found. It’s a great option for quilters who want to disassemble their frames after use.
This frame can fit king-size quilts and larger, but still gives you the option to quilt sitting or standing. It’s a brilliant frame for all types of quilting including free motion.
The carriage section on the frame fits most quilting machines and is easy to manoeuvre your quilt up and down. The frame itself is also adjustable so you can set it to a height and depth which suits you.
Improve your quilting game with a frame!
It doesn’t matter if you prefer stitching by hand or with a machine, quilting frames will become your new best friend.
Useful, multifunctional and reusable, quilting frames are like having an extra pair of helping hands. They’ll keep your fabric taut and allow you to quilt beautiful, professional-looking pieces!
Find your perfect quilting frame from our round-up and add it to your stash of quilting tools.
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Phoebe has worked for Gathered, and our sister magazine Mollie Makes, for 3 years. She manages our Arts & Crafts section and specialises in social media and content strategy. She has a background in all things marketing, a flair for Pinterest and a knack for finding the next big craft trend. Previously she worked as Digital Campaign Executive for Fat Media. You may recognise her name from Mollie Makes Social Media magazine, where she shared her expertise and top tips on becoming social media savvy.
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