Questions To Ask When
Looking For a
Quilting Hoop and Stand:
Does the hoop rotate and tilt?
A hoop must rotate at least 360 degrees to facilitate always
quilting in your favorite direction and needs to tilt for
easy visibility and a comfortable reach. Swivel ball joints
allow multiple adjustments with infinite control. Some ball
joints, however, will allow rotation in only a single
direction. Other hoop stands without a ball joint have
multiple screw adjustments to accomplish each directional
movement. The rotation device must be on top of the tilt or
it may tilt in the wrong direction once it is rotated!
Rotates & tilts on a
swivel ball joint in any direction without having to make
any hardware adjustment
Does the post have angle
adjustments and adjust for height?
With an angle adjustment, the hoop will move forward to your
sitting position so that you can work from your favorite
easy chair or the couch instead of you sitting up to it. The
base must be stable enough to support the angle. On one
model the height and angle are controlled by a single
movement without hardware adjustments; on others they are
controlled by separate movements with hardware adjustments.
Single movement controls
both height and angle
Has heavy oval base
How easy are the above
positional adjustments made?
The rotation and tilt need to be adjusted constantly for
greater comfort as you quilt while the angle and height
needs to be adjusted less often. The objective is to quilt,
not adjust bolts constantly.
No hardware adjustments
Does it have a light attached?
Anything attached to the perimeter of the hoop will restrict
the movement of the quilt as you rotate the hoop. It is best
to just use a separate lamp at your side.
Which size hoop is best?
First, you will need to answer, "Do you quilt both toward
your body and away from it? If you do then you will only
need to reach to the center of the hoop. Most quilters quilt
in only one direction, usually toward their body. As you
will be reaching both under and over the hoop at the same
time, measure the distance from the inside of your elbow to
the end joint of your fingertip. This is the maximum reach
before you begin to round your shoulders. You may reach
farther than this but with less comfort. Many are concerned
about having to move their quilt often and still prefer a
larger size for this reason.
Round sizes available:
Square sizes available:
17" x 24"
Which shape of hoop is best?
There are three shapes available — round, oval and square. A
round hoop allows you to maintain an equidistant reach while
rotating, meaning more comfort if it is sized appropriately.
On an oval or square shape, the distance changes as you
rotate the hoop making you stretch and sometimes requires
that you change from your favorite stitch direction. It is
often desired, however, when you want to quilt the entire
square without moving the hoop. The square is better than an
oval if your intent is to quilt the entire block without
moving it because you can reach the corners. Because the
inner and outer sections on a square hoop must have
different set distances between the corners, the outer
square must open in at least two places in order to
accommodate an unlimited range of batting thicknesses.
Will the hoop hold the fabric
If the depth of the hoop ring is adequate all wooden hoops
will hold the fabric securely. Some plastic ones may require
a ridge to grip the fabric as they generally have a slick
finish. Remember, you will want your quilt surface to be
flexible enough to needle well for small stitches and not be
tight as a drum.
Are hoop sizes and styles
interchangeable and usable on multiple types of stands?
There are times you may prefer a different size hoop; other
times a different stand. For instance, a smaller hoop will
give a more comfortable reach if you are constantly quilting
in a circular direction. Or you may work while traveling in
your auto and need a smaller stand. Everyone has different
preferences and needs from time to time and it is nice to
just add to an existing hoop or stand rather than purchasing
Both hoops and stands
Can you work on the edges and
corners of your quilt in the hoop?
On a round hoop you cannot quilt to the edge because the
seam allowance is not large enough to be gripped by the
hoop. However, most manufacturers make various adapters to
compensate for working on the edges and corners while using
the hoop. On the square hoops an adapter is not necessary,
as you do not have the problem of going from thick to thin
material as the thin fabric is all on one side of the
square. Simply pin an extra piece of fabric to the quilt to
be gripped by the hoop.
Adapter available for
How portable is it?
One of the advantages of hoops over floor frames is their
portability. You may want to work in a different location or
work in your vehicle while traveling. Some are designed to
be portable and some even more portable because of their
Floor stand folds for
Lap and SitUpon small
Is the wood finished?
Unfinished wood contains acid that will damage your fabrics.
Do you enjoy wood finishing or would you rather spend all of
your time quilting?
Should I consider a Floor
Frame instead of a Hoop?
Each has its advantages. With a hoop, it simply takes less
space in your room which may be the number one factor. You
can always quilt in your favorite stitch direction and your
project is certainly more portable. You may even be able to
work in your favorite easy chair — but, you must baste and
have the bulk of the quilt to deal with. On the other hand,
with a floor frame, you may choose a no baste frame system
for better tension control and not have to deal with the
bulk — but, it takes up considerably more space.