Hand Stitching Helpers

I am very frugal in buying only things I know I will use.  So, since I already had various size round embroidery hoops I kept putting off buying the square one I really wanted.  As a designer, I like to see how each stitch I add contributes to the piece.  This was hard for me to visualize in the round.  I knew it would be easier to get a sense of the larger piece in a square as I am used to using the concept of a view finder for art compositions.  I finally decided to buy the square and have never second guessed my decision.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  OK, so I am a weird person who gets excited over art supplies.  I was also the kid that loved getting new school supplies each year so no big surprise.  My first square was the Dritz Quilting Quilt N'Go Lap Frame 11"x11" .  It was the perfect solution to managing the fabric for the pieces I was hand stitching.  

I use three layers of fabric joined with either 505 Spray or Wonder Under so I don't need a frame for free motion stitching on my machine.  The Quilt 'N Go won't fit under my machine foot so I would have to resort to a thinner round hoop if I needed a frame.  

My next piece was larger so I decided to invest in a second larger frame.   I made the mistake of running with my Michael's coupon and buying a similar product: Loops & Thread Plastic Snap Frame.  Bad choice.  The frame was flimsy and the snap covers were so tight it actually damaged the weave of my fabric.  I quickly returned that piece of junk.  I then purchased the Dritz Quilting Quilt N' Go Lap Frame in the 14" x 14" size.  There was little different in price between the two brands and the Dritz was far superior in quality.            

It would be nice if Dritz sold connectors so you could add pieces together for different size or shape.  I have not taken it with me to a hardware store yet to see if a standard pvc connector would work.  

For any extra fabric on the edges that still got in my way I would roll the fabric and use Clover Wonder Clips.  I have not seen the Clover Jumbo Wonder Clips in person to judge if they would be better or too big for most of my pieces.

In the future, I will use the Lap Frame for any projects that need the assistance of a frame for manageability.