Anyway, the topic for this WIPocalypse is: “Do you use hoops, stretcher bars, lap stands or Q snap frames and why?”
My answer to this isn’t all that straightforward, and somewhat lengthy.
I use both hoops, Q-snaps and in hand pretty much equally. I do NOT use stretcher bars or lap stands for a few reasons… First, they require me to sit upright in an uncomfortable chair which means I have issues not only with comfort but also with lighting and magnification. I find these frames less than ideal with my Ott light. Second, when I have to end a thread, it means unscrewing and rescrewing the stand to which the frame is attached to get to the back of the piece. Not only is it an inconvenience but I never seem to be able to get the frame back in the right position when I finally have finished off the thread. I HATE that! And third, attaching the fabric to stretcher frames is a PITA — I have a set of scroll frames that require stitching the fabric to the frame. I also have some stretchers that require tacking the fabric to the frame. Both of these approaches take time I’m not willing to expend when a hoop or Q-snap will do! And fourth, while I realize that frames, especially scroll frames would allow me to keep a piece set up until it’s finished, and would allow safer attachment of beads, etc., I don’t really have room for such an apparatus where I stitch (to say nothing of the likelihood of attraction of cat hair as well as dust on the piece). Finally, I do not stitch with two hands (I hold with one and stitch with the other) so there is no advantage to using frames or lap stands for me in this regard.
I use a hoop, especially a 10” hoop, when doing my crazy quilt blocks (usually 8 inch blocks but sometimes larger). I like the tension I get with a hoop and it allows me to keep the multiple layers off the quilt block together while doing the embroidery and embellishment.
I use Q-snaps for larger cross-stitch and blackwork pieces. I have various sizes but mainly I use a 4 x 4 square and a 9 x 11 rectangle formulation, and move the q-snap around when I need to get to a different area of the fabric. I realize that I can’t use these with beads, and that I run the risk of crushing my stitches on already-stitched areas. I have not found either issue to be a major concern for me, although I do find that, after a few months of stitching with Q-snaps, the tension isn’t as reliable or stable as it is with hoops (I suspect the clamps loosen with use).
In all instances, I remove the stitchery form the hoop or q-snap after a session of stitching to avoid marking the fabric. I put the piece away in a plastic zip-lock back with the pattern and the threads as well as the hoop of disassembled Q-snap for storage unit lithe next time I take it out to stitch. I realize that this only helps in my chronic procrastination of stitching but…
There are times when I stitch in hand. Usually, although I have done this with smaller, ornament sizes of fabric for cross-stitch, my primary in-hand work is on needlepoint pieces. though I have been known to tack larger pieces to stretcher frames to avoid having to block later, stretched needlepoint canvases are less portable and needlepoint tends to be my traveling project, and so I much prefer the in hand method.
So, last month , I had not set any goals except getting my taxes to the accountant (they were supposed to be done Monday… wonder where they are now?) Anyway, in this full moon cycle, I managed to completed two colors in the inner border of my traveling needlepoint (“Palm Tree Elegance”) and the outline, two colors and roughly 30% of a third in the mandala (“Rematch”):