Monday, February 11, 2008

Frame Making Tutorial

This is a tutorial on how to make the frame that you can use to mount a quilt on.


First off, get good quality 1 x 2's of pine. There are inferior or rough grade and you don't want them because they are usually warped. You also don't want the kind that are rounded at the edges. The finished work isn't as clean a line with those boards. Measure the size you want for the finished piece. The quilt top needs to be a good 1 1/2" larger on all sides in order to staple it on the back. As I get farther into my current project I will show you how I mount the top on the frame. This tutorial is just for the making of the frame.


I use a chop saw to cut my wood. I used to just cut it with a miter saw but I make so many that investing in an $80 saw paid for itself the first day. I cut one and then use it as the size for the other one. This saw is very safe to handle so don't let that be an issue. You can always have someone you know that has a saw to cut it for you. I used to do that too. A power saw makes the cut very clean and that will make the finished frame flush. The finished piece size has to take into account that you will be adding the 3" of wood on two sides. This diagram should explain itbetter than I could. Does it? The piece of lumber is called a 1 x 2 but it actually measures 3/4"x1 1/2".


My guess is that a guy named it. So after your pieces are cut (here we have the pieces I just cut
to make four frames). I use 2 1/2" flat corner braces to hold the frame together. You can use smaller if the piece is real small or larger if the piece is big. 2 1/2" is a good middle of the line size.
When I first started making frames long ago I had a heck of a time making sure they were square and precise. Sometimes I drilled my hole on an angle and it made everything out of wack. I was complaining to my brother Dan, who is a master carpenter and he told me to get
this drill bit. I purchased it online because it isn't carried in the big box home stores or any regular hardware store I went to. I would tell you that this bit is a stress reliever. Can you see the drill bit in the center? When you put this into the hole of the corner brace the cage around the bit fits perfectly. When you press down on your drill the 'cage' moves up and the drill hole is made perfectly straight.
This is the package the drill bit came in. You can just google it and find one. It's a number 3 and costs about five bucks. And don't even try to put the screws in the braces without drilling a hole in first. You will split the wood 9 out of ten times. Start with one side of the brace and drill the two holes and then put in the screws. That way, the brace is secure to make the other two holes for the other piece of wood.
Here is one side screwed down and the other side with the drill holes ready for screws.
Do all four corners and you have your frame!!!
You can see from this finished corner that I put the corner brace close to the inside of the frame so that I will have room for my staples.
Here's an example of a quilt that is mounted on a frame. I use these frames for other things too.
For example, I have these small (12" square) frames that I mounted just hand dyed fabrics over batting for a decorative wall grouping in a bathroom. The possibilities are endless. Questions?

6 comments:

Rian said...

Tres cool! That looks so much better and finished than binding. And more fun, because we hate to do binding. No worries about wavy edges, either. Me likey.

Great tutorial, thanks. No questions.

Anonymous said...

Neat tutorial Madam. You are quite a handy dandy lady. You certainly go the whole yard with whatever you do.
Thanks for putting this up.

QuiltingFitzy said...

Thanks Tommy. This application will work wonderfully for the wool rug frame I need. I'm also thinking using it with a BOM that I want to do as individual art pieces.

No questions!

Bev Snow said...

Tommy, I love your frame. Good work. About the sizing on lumber...1x2 is from the dimension of the lumber before it is cured. Curing always shrinks wood, but it is still called by its original dimension. There's your carpentry note for today. It's cloudy but warm over here on the "right" coast...in West Palm. Hope you have more sun. Bev

marilyn said...

Have you framed larger quilts/wallhangings? 18" x 24" or bigger? Any problems? It hurts to think of putting staples through my quilts, but I love the look.

Frieda said...

Very nice tutorial, thank you for your precision.