Saturday, January 4, 2014

To Hoop/Q-Snap/Scroll Frame, or Not to Hoop/Q-Snap/Scroll Frame

That is the question.  I  have been having a bit of a dilemma regarding my stitching as of late & have faced this dilemma from time to time in the past.  My dilemma doesn't actually concern the stitching itself as much as it does the hoop, Q-Snap, or scroll frame I am using.  I don't use hoops.  Never liked them.  I have various sizes of Q-Snaps which I have been using for all my projects but they can present many a problem.  I always cut a larger piece of fabric than I need for a design in order to make it fit securely into the Q-Snap.  This often results in quite a bit of fabric waste.  Also, the Q-Snap clips do not always hold the fabric tightly enough so I am continually twisting them in order to keep the fabric taut.  The clips can also squash & distort the stitches if you need to move your fabric around.  This can be remedied by putting a piece of quilt batting between the fabric & the clips, but then you have the problem of little bits of batting fluff coming loose & being caught in the stitches. The clips themselves can also damage your fabric if you aren't careful, & attempting to press out the corner wrinkles left by them can be impossible.  (I do not leave my fabric in my Q-Snaps when I'm not stitching so this does not contribute to the wrinkling problem.)  I had a scroll frame in Stitching Life #1 but sold it after my insane no more cross stitching decision in Stitching Life #2.  I do remember the scroll frame being a bit awkward to use though.  I've never used a frame of any kind with a lap or floor stand.  
I know there are stitchers who don't use any sort of hoop or frame at all ... they just hold the fabric in their hand & joyfully stitch away.  I really like that idea, but how in the world can you keep your stitches even & untwisted & not distort the fabric in any way?  


36 comments:

Farmhouse prims said...

Hi Shirlee, I would like to know about the hoops also. I made my first pinkeep and I did use a small hoop. I really didn't like it either. I am sure you do just as well or better without one. Hugs, Lecia

Dirty Martini Queen said...

Shirlee,
I have always just stitched in hand with no hoop, frame or snaps. I have tried it all but didn't feel "right" to me for the reasons that you mentioned. I always smooth my fabric out nightly and honestly wrinkles have never been a problem. Since I have been doing it for over 20 years, I think I'll just stick to my method of madness instead of trying all the latest and greatest gadgets.
Donna

Mii Stitch said...

Hoops for me all t way.... couldn't stitch without them :)

Robin said...

I use Q-snaps (6 or 8 inch) as I haven't been able to stitch in hand in years. I never could get into a scroll frame rhythm and found them a nuisance.

Good luck in your quest, Shirlee! And have a wonderful weekend!

Robin in Virginia

Sarah in Stitches said...

I've never used any of these gizmos to stitch. I've always just held it in my hand. Depending on the size of the project, I can usually just fold extra fabric in the palm of my left hand, which holds the piece straight, and stitch with my right. I've never had a problem with thread or fabric, and I find it gives me a lot more flexibility and maneuverability than a hoop or frame.

Vickie said...

If I am stitching tiny, little pieces (as I do) then I stitch in hand. When I stitch small and medium pieces I use Q-snaps with quilt batting in between the clips and linen. I have not had a fluff problem. I always remove the clips if they are covering stitched work already. If I left them in place over night, the stitches would squash. I use a table stand to hold the Q-snaps. I cut the bare minimum for linen to fit. I can't afford to waste it.

Casa Pearl said...

I stitched in hand for years and years, gifting away all my Qsnaps. But I was noticing how much better others stitcher's work looked that used a hoop or Q snaps so I retried them. I am finding that my stitches look much better and if I keep the hoop or snaps smaller (less heavy to hold) I'm pretty happy with the results. I use the quilt batting method to keep my snaps tighter and have not noticed any left behind matter. Maybe a doubled cotton fabric would be better for you? Good luck in your decision making!

Myra said...

I have tried snaps and hoops and all those things you jump through when stitching :o) but in the end I enjoy stitching in hand the best. Honestly, distortion and wrinkling have never been a problem. The fabric does wrinkle when stitching but nothing a good ironing doesn't take care of.

Melody said...

Good question for open discussion, Shirlee. I have used qsnaps, but did not stay with them, because of the distortion or mashing of stitches when they had to cover work already stitched. Also after awhile they made my wrist hurt that was holding it.

I prefer using a screw fastened hoop. I can control how tight I want it, and easily move it. I don't think my work looks as nice when I stitch in hand. I despise those spring hoops (where the curved metal gets pinched together and goes inside the outer ring.)

butterfly said...

I love a small hoop not too small and move it about I never leave my stitching on there , but the reason for me to use a small hoop is that I use to get a bad pain in my hand now I don't , It is easy to pick up and because I stitch on many designs each night I can take it off and then work on the next one, I must have that many frames up stairs even fllor stands , but no for me a small hoop is the best . Hugs

Ma Teakettle said...

I am a QSnap girl thru and thru, Shirlee, and I find the same problems that you do…here's a couple of my remedies which work for me…I use felt between my clamp and fabric…it holds tight and doesn't leave presents on the tabby, also I use a large hair clip to hold the extra material onto the clamp, instead of trying to fold it into the hangover inside the clamp.
Hope these help, but I am also interested to read how others resolve their issues :) Thanks for asking such a good question, Shirlee!
Hugs
Ma

Simply Victoria said...

I am a "hand held only" girl. I like being able to hold it close to where I am stitching. I haven't noticed uneven stitches. And as Myra said, a good ironing takes care of any wrinkles.

Vicki said...

I love the Q-snaps! I haven't had any problems with them, other than having to twist them occasionally to tighten up the fabric, but I used to have to pull the fabric tighter in hoops too so that doesn't really bother me. I do use hoops sometimes still. I've never tried the Scroll Frame and don't use my bare hands. This has been an interesting post and I've enjoyed reading all the comments!

Vonna, The Twisted Stitcher said...

Shirlee, I have stitched with a q-snap the majority of my stitching life. I use felt rather than the batting, and if you use felt you can actually cut your fabric a bit smaller and it still grips tight and now fluff getting in the stitches. I use two layers of the cheap felt in a white/ecru color from craft store. I've never had a problem with the distortion/wrinkles or anything like that. However, I have started to also use these: F.A. Edmunds stretcher bars like these: http://www.123stitch.com/item/FA-Edmunds-Stretcher-Bars-11x34/EDM-3011
They are cheap enough that you can get multiples and fit them to the exact size of your project. I have found using them and these tacks: http://www.123stitch.com/item/Clover-Needlecraft-Needlecraft-Thumb-Tacks-with-Remover/CLNP100H
really are a very nice way to stitch. I just started using these bars this summer. I do still use my q-snaps too, bust thought I'd throw my 0.02 in the ring ;) I admire people that stitch in hand, but I simply cannot do it. I also use a Needlework System 4 floor stand and I also have their lap stand too. I use the Q-snap head for both, but the bars also fit in that head, so I can use both, whatever I choose.

Linda said...

Hi Shirlee. I have always stitched in hand and never had a problem with distortion.

Linda

Annette-California said...

For me I use both hoops and Q-snaps. Right now while stitching on a HUGE project, I'm using a 6in hoop and you should see the hair clips holding the extra fabric. I too have only used batting for the snaps and after reading Vonna's comment I am going to try the felt instead. I see many samplers being stitched with a Millennium frame from England. But its very costly and what appealed to me is that its said the frame holds the fabric tight. Honestly I love my Susan Bates hoop. I like the inner hoop that has the protruded flat edge and that is Fantastic for keeping my fabric tight. Yes I do pull the fabric tighter while I'm stitching but I think thats due to me holding and while stitching I push the fabric. Hope that makes since. Well I think the best answer is all the above - LOL. Because as much as we stitch and all different sizes of projects - I think a variety of tools are needed. love Annette

Nan said...

I use and love q-snaps. My clamps tend to stretch out and don't hold tight after a while. They make replacement clamps that are very inexpensive but I found that shelf liner works great under the clamp. It helps hold the fabric tight and doesn't smash or distort the stitches underneath. You can find the shelf liner at wal-mart. I use the kind that has holes in it and cut about a 3 inch wide section as long as my clamp. Good luck. I would love to stitch in hand but it makes my hand cramp and I don't think my stitches lay as nicely.

capecodgirl565 said...

I know there will be a collective scream through the stitching world, but I have used a 4" spring hoop for my entire stitching life, the plastic hoop with metal springy thing. I find with a few gentle tugs I can tighten my fabric as I like it, I never leave my work in it overnight and have never had a problem. I even used it to stitch And They Sinned and it worked beautifully. I can't deal with wooden hoops as the fabric always seems droopy and I like something small and light that I can hold in my hand without discomfort, and yes, I do have some arthritis. So there you have my two cents!

Michelle said...

My dear Friend I think I may be able to help a little here as I have also been toying with this. Recently being diagnosed with start of arthritis in my fingers my days of holding my fabric are over so I have invested in a stitching stand (Lowery)and then knew I had to buy some frames to hold the fabric to put on the stand. I purchased the Able Stretcher which is new to the market (im quessing its similat to the Q Snap) and I really recommend it - I bought the largest one (20") as it will cover most sizes. So this on my Lowery stand is wonderful. Then today someone kindly gifted me a stitching stand they don't use called the Necessaire floor stitching stand and today I purchased some roller frames to go on it which I have used in the past and have always liked so now I can have 2 samplers on the go at any one time. I hope this helps a little x

Justine said...

I stitch in hand and am surprised to see how many others do so. I was self-taught as a cross stitcher and did what felt natural. I have tried using hoops and frames and while I have heard it's quicker, it doesn't seem to work for me.
This is a really interesting post!

Chris said...

I am an inhand stitcher too....In my first stitching group many moons ago someone lectured me about using a hoop...It scarred me for life...lol

Marilyn said...

I stitch in hand also.
I've tried Q's and Scroll's, and they both seem too awkward and I lose my interest in the piece I am stitching. I've never had a problem with tension or distortion either. I also roll the extra fabric and keep it tucked in my left hand.
I guess you have to try several things and see what works best for you. Sometimes it depends on the size of the piece also.
Marilyn

Cactusneedle said...

For years I was an in-hand stitcher. Then arthritis made it uncomfortable to hold the fabric. I then started using Qsnap frames for pieces that the design area would fit within the frame, not liking wrapping the finished work. I have recently order the Millinium framing set, including the floor and lap stand. I "treated" myself with part of an inheritance. I have some big repro samplers that are just not going to work in Qsnaps. I'll try to post on my blog once I get the stands and get the projects mounted as to how I like working with them.

Stitchy Mc Floss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathy Winkler said...

Everyone has their own style, but I personally could never stitch without a hoop, Q snap, etc. I feel that you cannot get even stitching without. As for having to use extra fabric to fit the frame, take a 6-8" strip of fabric and using a large stitch, attach to the edge all around and then you can put the snap ons. I attach the Q snap to a small handless frame and love stitching with both hands.

Pam in IL said...

I've tried hoops, q-snaps, stretcher bars, scroll frames and don't really care for any of them. Since I have a pinched nerve in my neck/shoulder, I am only able to stitch "in hand". If my piece is large, I roll the side of the fabric so the top of the stitching is on the inside.

Lumiruusu said...

Hello Shirlee and Thank You visiting my little blog again !

I mostly stitch just holding the fabric in my hand but for small things I use traditional small wooden hoop.I have a q Snap frame but using it makes usually my hands and shoulders beeing in pain -I think it is because my arthritis.
Happy New Year and be blessed !
Maija from Finlnad

Carol said...

It's been interesting to read all the comments, Shirlee... I used to use a hoop back in the 1980s when I began stitching, but now stitch entirely in hand... I love the feel of the fabric in my hands and just can't seem to enjoy it as much if I am using a hoop or Q-snaps. I think my stitches look good, but who knows? Maybe they would look even better if I used a hoop :)

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

I always stitch in hand. I roll the fabric so the stitched side is on the inside and my hand is touching the reverse. That way hand oils can't transfer onto the face of the fabric or the stithing. Learned that lesson the hard way!

jennifer768 said...

Good morning Shirlee,hope you got some snow too. For a newbie like me this has been a very interesting post.I loved reading your post and the resulting comments. I had been wondering if there was a stand for the Q snaps,so now I know that there are I will be searching out more info on them.Blessings sweet friend,Jen

Julie said...

I'm a qsnap stitcher. If the fabric I want to use is too small fir the frame, an off cut, I add some waste fabric to it to use and make it fit the frame and remove it after. Hope that makes sense.

Maggee said...

First of all, for all the QSnap users--I was taught to use a scrap of linen under each side, which helped prevent slippage. But then---putting the cover pieces in the dishwasher will bring them right back to size! So, there... problem solved. Years ago, I used to use scroll rods and then Qsnaps. Now I stitch in hand only. I would LOVE to get back to two-handed stitching again--it is much faster! I am just too lazy to fit together some qSnaps. I have a floor stand but I absolutely HATE basting the fabric onto the rods. My husband split one set of dowels (rods) and I used to wrap the linen in there but it slips... I admit it. I plan to work on my BAPs this year, so I better try experimenting again! Not much help I guess...but it really is a personal choice. Hugs!

Kaisievic said...

Hi Shirlee, I always stitch just in hand and I think/hope that my work is okay. I just find it much easier that way.

Marie said...

I could not function with out my spring hoop...I have 3 sizes but always resort to the 5" ~ These are getting harder to find though. I always see the hoops that you twist the little peg to tighten but I don't like these.

As for stitching without a frame...Nope, I need to have it tight to keep my stitches consistent.

Peggy Coffey said...

I went looking for comments about stitching in a hoop or frame. I was taught by my grandmother who never used a hoop, so I never used one. Now that I am older Iave found that my arthritis is too bad to hold the fabric tight enough to make nice stitches. I wanted to see what others were using for holding fabric in place. I do have a large floor stand for my needlepoint but the small cross stitch pieces and embroidery pieces I was wondering what to use. I will try a small hoop, sorry grams. I think she would be ok with it.

Elisa Reynozo said...

My problem is taking the snaps off the q-snap to move the fabric around. My q-snap is new, so that may be one problem. I will keep working at it!! LOL