Saturday, February 20, 2016

Baby Heart Quilt and Super Cheap DIY Quilt Frames

I love these simple heart blocks and they were just perfect for a baby girl due around Valentines day
Here is the finished quilt top:
I was in a hurry to get the quilt done so while I would have rather done something other than tie it, tying was the fastest option so that's what I did.
Here are my DIY quilt frames that I put together from things around my house. I actually got the idea from the friend I made this blanket for.
I have one of those old kitchen tables that pulls apart for putting leaves into so I just pulled it apart until my quilt fit inside. Then all you need is:
-Scrap wood (1x2's or 1/3's)
-squeeze clamps (97 cents at Walmart and I will use them for woodworking)
I laid the wood out on my floor first and clamped it to about the size of the quilt. Then I stretched the quilt onto it, securing it with push pins. I didn't think to take pictures, but here it is from the back after I finished tying the quilt:
Then I lifted the whole thing onto my table and adjusted the opening in the table to the right size and secured the clamps one at a time to my wooden frame and the table:
Make sense? Not bad for pretty much free! I usually borrow frames from someone, but couldn't get ahold of anyone and like I said I was in a hurry!
So here is the finished quilt:
Do you ever feel slightly ill, or develop a strange looking rash so you immediately turn to google and discover that you are on the brink of death with a rare form of cancer that no one has ever heard of? No? I mean, do you ever psych yourself out with internet searches, or is that just me? Apparently the psych yourself out technique works for crafting too. I wanted to do a quick method to bind the quilt that didn't involve cutting on the bias or running to the store for some binding. I had done a self-binding quilt before using the back, but that was just a scrap quilt for my daughter, not something special for my friend. So I took to google and there were all kinds of warnings about self binding and how you needed a walking foot to do it it's not really the best option for anything big. So I agonized about it and almost ran to the store to just buy some binding but then I talked to my mom who told me to just go for it. That's how grandma always bound quilts. Lucky grandma with no internet and know-it-all bloggers! I actually still have a quilt from grandma that is bound that way, still going strong after over 15 years. Anyway, back to the point. I just went for it (binding the quilt using the fabric from the back) and it was simple and turned out fine. No walking foot or anything. It didn't come out perfectly but it will hold up well and I don't think the baby will mind.


  1. Nice! The quilt turned out beautiful, and I love your creativity in making your own quilting frames. That's essentially what our quilting frames were made of when I was a child, was long 1X3's (or something) clamped together at the corners, and thumbtacks to hold the quilt on. What a creative idea to put that grand into your table top! What we used to do was put each quilt corner on top of a kitchen chair and use a strip of fabric to tie the corner around the top rail of the chair to hold it up in place. Anyway, I'm proud of you for your creativity and perseverance. I think your friend and her baby will treasure that handmade quilt for years to come.

    1. Thanks for reading mom! I thought about putting it up on chairs. But the table seemed like the best height for comfort. I think I'm going to build my own frames with 1x3 boards.

  2. Thanks for posting this, I am going to be tying quilts soon and thought I would borrow quilt frames, but I like the idea of using scrap wood and household items to get it together!

    I've done self-binding using the backing for one other quilt (the only other one I've made) and it turned out fine. My feeling is that a lot of those expert quilting bloggers are trying to make heirloom/prize winning quilts for display, not for using, just make it good enough, and use it instead of having a super special heirloom that you have to store properly and re-fold every 6 months, etc etc. (Yeah, I went down the google rabbit hole also...)

    - Coralee

    1. Haha, thanks Coralee. I would love to see your quilts and frames you come up with!

  3. I love the improvising. Great quilt to. I just use my pvc pipe frames that grandma have me. They work pretty well.