Which of Grace Company's affordable quilting frames is right for your space and budget? In this article we will compare all our quilting frame features, quilting styles, and compatible machines so you understand which frame is right for you.
Quilting Frame Comparison Chart
Use this chart to compare the sizes and features of Grace Company's popular quilting frames:
Comparing Quilting Frame Size
When it comes to comparing frames, size is the ultimate limitation for most quilters. Have you measured your quilting space? Do you know how much room you can devote to your quilting frame and machine?
Measuring takes the guess-work out of frame buying, but it may also return you to reality with a bump. It's fun to fantasize about a huge quilting system, only to realize that it can't possibly fit.
At least right now. I encourage quilters to think outside the box and consider all possibilities when it comes to setting up your quilting frame. Here's a few questions to stimulate your creativity:
- Is there unused or unloved furniture that, when removed, would leave plenty of space for a bigger frame?
- Could I purge fabric, books, or other machines to make space?
- Are all of these walls actually necessary?
That last question may seem silly - but I actually removed a wall in my home to make way for a bigger frame! Unless a wall is load-bearing, it can be shifted or removed entirely to make a longer space.
* Please consult a licensed contractor before removing walls in your home! *
Quilting Tip - Maximize Your Quilting Space Now Rather Than Later
Why is it important to think creatively and consider rearranging your quilting space now? Because most likely you'll end up doing it later.
When I got my first quilting frame, I didn't think I'd ever need a frame longer than 8 feet. Within a few months, I realized I wanted more space!
But it took some creative juice to figure out how to rearrange my quilting space to expand my frame. I relocated two machines, sold lots of fabrics and supplies, and moved a table to expand my frame to 10 feet.
Then in 2020, the basement flooded and since we were already rebuilding half the house, we decided to move a wall and relocate the door to my longarm room, creating the extra space needed to expand my frame one more time to 12 feet.
Comparing Quilting Frame Expandability
As you can see, getting the maximum amount of quilting space on your frame is addictive! Some frames are expandable and some are not.
If a frame is listed as "Yes" under Expandable this means you can add additional extension kits to extend the rails and back table. This means the frame can grow with you as your quilting space changes.
Comparing Compatible Machines
All Grace Company frames are compatible with home sewing machines. If you want to give frame quilting a try, but you're not ready to purchase a longarm, using your home machine is a great first step.
But make sure to pick your frame AS IF you were using a longarm. Which frame will give you the most flexibility? Which will grow with you as a quilter?
All Grace Company frames are compatible with the Qnique 16X Series and Qnique 19X Series.
Comparing Frame Quilting Style
This is the last point of comparison with our quilting frames, but quite possibly the most important.
The style of frame quilting determines how the frame is loaded, how the quilt is advanced, and ultimately how much time you will spend fiddling with the quilt to move to a new quilting space.
We have two quilting frame styles: Hoop Frames and Rolling Rail Frames.
Hoop Frame Pros and Cons
Hoop Frames have an advantage of having a much smaller footprint, but still able to quilt huge quilts.
The Cutie Frame is special in that you can collapse it to fit under your bed or in a closet, then pull it out and be able to quilt a king sized quilt when needed. If you have absolutely no space and no possibility of that changing, obviously the Cutie Frame is a great choice for you!
The disadvantage is Hoop Style Frames take more time to load. The clamping system will slow you down and you may end up feeling like you spend more time shifting and clamping the quilt than actually quilting.
Just consider your time and space - which is more important?
Rolling Rail Frame Pros and Cons
Rolling Rail style frames are a very different frame style where the layers of the quilt are secured to leader cloth on the rails and rolled up to form the quilt sandwich. The advantage is you can quilt across the entire width of the quilt in one pass.
Loading and advancing the quilt is as easy as unlocking the rails and rolling the quilt up. Unlock, roll, smooth out the quilt, back to quilting.
The disadvantage of Rolling Rail Frames is they take up a LOT of space. Because these frames are designed for the full width of the quilt to be secured to the rail, the frame must be set up bigger than the quilt you wish to create.
Again the question is of time and space - which is more important?
New Hybrid Frame - Best of Both Worlds
The new Evolution Hoop Hybrid Frame has changed the game because it can switch between Hoop Style and Rolling Rail Style. The style of quilting you will use depends on the size of the quilt you're working on.
For bigger quilts, set up Hoop Style and advance the quilt both side-to-side and forward to quilt the entire project.
For quilts smaller than 42 inches, set up the frame rolling rail style to speed up the load and advances.
Leah's Favorite Frame
My new favorite frame is the Evolution Hoop Frame because it's so versatile and easy to use. The new taller back clamps have been designed to speed up the process when my frame is in Hoop Style. I love being able to switch to Rolling Rail Style for baby quilts too.
Knowing this frame can grow with you infinitely from 66 inches up to 144 inches is awesome! The Evolution Hoop Frame is the best choice for quilters wanting to start with a smaller footprint, but not be limited on any features, machines, or abilities!