Things You'll Need
5 lengths 1" PVC pipe, 40" long
4 lengths 1" PVC pipe, 25" long
4 lengths 1" PVC pipe, 9 1/2" long
2 pieces PVC pipe, 6" long
4 3-way fittings, 1"
4 tee fittings, 1"
2 ell fittings, 1"
2 caps, 1"
4 or more 1" snap clamps
Pipe cutter (optional)
Quilting frames don't have to be expensive or heavy. An inexpensive, lightweight quilt frame is as close as the hardware store. PVC pipes from the plumbing department can be used to create a sturdy, durable quilt frame. The pipe is simple to cut into lengths and is connected by joints and glue also sold in the plumbing department. Once the glue has dried the quilt is held into place by simple-to-use PVC clamps. The frame has a slight angle to make quilting more comfortable.
Set up the quilt frame without using the adhesive to make sure all the joints fit properly.
Connect two of the 9 1/2-inch lengths of PVC pipe with a tee connector. Repeat with the remaining 9 1/2-inch PVC pipe.
Form the bottom crossbar by placing a 40-inch piece of PVC in both tee joints. This section will be the base of the quilt frame.
Place tee joints to the two right-hand ends of the frame. Place two ell connectors on the left-hand ends.
Connect two 25-inch lengths of PVC pipe to the ell connectors on the left. These will form the legs or uprights for the frame. Put a 3-way fitting at the top of each upright.
Place a cap on one end of each 6-inch pipe. Fit the open end into the bottom of the tee joints on the right sides of the frame. Add the remaining 25-inch uprights to the tee joints. The quilt frame will now be angled for easier quilting. Place the remaining 3-way connectors on the two uprights.
Put the end of a 40-inch pipe into a 3-way connector at the top of an upright. Place the other end in the opposite connector. Repeat with remaining 40-inch PVC pipes.
File any pipes not fitting into connectors slightly until they slide in properly. Glue the pipes into the connectors with the PVC adhesive. Allow to dry completely.
Use PVC clamps to secure the quilt to the frame.
PVC pipe can be bought in long pieces and cut with a pipe cutter but it is simpler to have it cut at the hardware store.
Do not use the adhesive on the upright joints if the frame will need to be taken apart for storage.
Quilters who prefer a level quilting frame can leave off the 6-inch lengths and connect all four uprights with ell joints.