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Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Millenium Embroidery Frame – Follow Up

 

Last week, we looked at the Millenium embroidery frame up close. The review generated heaps of questions which I’ll try to answer for you. It’s also a good time to follow up a bit on my impressions of the frame, since I’ve been using it steadily for the past two weeks now.

Millenium Embroidery Frame

Probably the most frequent question I’ve received about the frame is whether or not it can satisfactorily be used with the Needlework System 4 stand. I didn’t go into great detail about this in the initial review, though I did touch on it. The frame can work with the NS4 stand & frame clamp, but it won’t work the same way the stand works with regular stretcher-bar frames. I don’t know how the q-snap set-up works on the NS4 stand, and whether or not it will hold the round sides of the Millenium frame, as I don’t have the q-snap attachment for the NS4 stand. The frame clamp does grip the top roller, but the clamp is made to close on a flat frame, not a round frame, so unless you rest the bottom roller on your lap or somewhere, the frame will slowly “roll” downwards. Still, I’ve used it this way, and it does work.

But I found a better solution with the NS4. The sides of the rollers on the Millenium frame are square. In the photo above, you can see that I’ve clamped the top roller on its left side, where the roller is squared off. The NS4 frame clamp holds onto this squared area very nicely. In fact, if the frame I were using were a little narrower (I’m using 20″ rollers), clamping onto the corner like this would probably be sufficient to hold the frame in place.

Millenium Embroidery Frame

I think it helps that I have the “extension” bar for the NS4 frame clamp, which you can see in the extreme left of this photo. This makes getting the right angle on the clamp really easy.

Millenium Embroidery Frame

I prop the lower right corner of the frame on the edge of my work table, to give it support. It works just fine. The difficulty would be for those who don’t stitch next to a table. Would the NS4 stand be ideal if you’re sitting on the sofa? I think it could work, with a little fiddling. But whether or not it would be ideal is another question.

I think it’s worth fiddling or rigging something, to get the stand you use to support the frame, frankly. I’ve been using the frame now for two weeks quite intensely, and my opinion of it hasn’t changed. Well – let’s say it just keeps going up in my estimation. It works so well, and it is so easy to set up. It’s worth the time figuring out how to make it work with your stand.

Or – if you don’t have a stand already – you could always invest in the Necessaire floor stand, which is made for the frame. I haven’t tried it yet, but I intend to – and I’ll let you know how it works when I do.

Other Questions About the Millenium Frame

Does it keep tension from side to side?

Yes, it does. I’m not sure how to drive this point home. It’s very difficult to capture tension in a photo. Up to the edge of the fabric, the fabric is practically hard as a board. And there’s no distortion in it, either, which can often happen from a hasty set up job on stretcher bars that aren’t pinned straight or on a slate frame that isn’t laced uniformly or sewn straight on the top rollers. It’s even tension, all the way across.

Can you use it in your lap?

Needle Needs makes a lap stand, called the Aristo. You can take a look at it to see how it compares to the lap stand you already use. I don’t use a lap stand, so I’m not quite sure how all the lap stands out there work. But if you can rest your frame on your lap stand, you should be able to use the Millenium frame with it. I’d say don’t quote me, though, because I don’t know what lap stand you use. Again, it’s worth fiddling to get your present stand to accommodate the frame.

Can the frame rest easily on your lap and be held in your hand?

Yes, of course, but the comfort of this type of situation fluctuates, depending on the size of the frame. For the larger Millenium frames, I think a stand of some sort would be essential, unless you are used to sitting up to a table and resting the top of your frame on the edge of your table. Incidentally, I do this all the time, and this stitching position works fine with the Millenium frame.

Is the frame heavy?

No. It’s no heavier than dealing with a pair of good stretcher bars or a slate frame of similar size.

Is it easy to square up the fabric in the frame?

Yes. Putting in the fabric “squared up” – on the grain – is easier on this frame than on any frame I’ve ever used. You just line up the grain of your fabric with the edge of your table, over the top of the roller, and use the little card to push the fabric into the groove – just like John demonstrates in the Millenium frame video, which you can see on the home page of the Needle Needs website. It really is that easy. If you need to adjust the fabric, it’s just a matter of tapping the inserted dowel to loosen the fabric and making the adjustment.

Can you frame up two layers or more of fabric?

You can frame up two layers. I don’t think it’ll handle three, unless they are very fine layers of fabric. But it takes two just fine.

Are you limited to the type of fabric that you use with the frame?

No, I don’t think so. It seems to be suitable for any normal type of fabric that you’d stitch on. It probably wouldn’t take carpet felt – but would you really want to stitch on carpet felt?

Where can we order these in the States?

We can’t. They have to be ordered from Needle Needs. To my knowledge, there is no distributor in the States. It’s not that difficult to order from the UK, and the price, whether distributed here or bought from there, would end up being the same, more or less, anyway. The only drawback is the wait. Without spending an exorbitant amount for shipping, you will probably have to wait about 2 weeks for the frame to arrive, or slightly more. But remember – Good Things Come to Those Who Wait!

Will it work with needlepoint canvas?

Yes.

How much will US customs charge on delivery?

They won’t. If you’re concerned about customs, give your local customs office a call and ask them specifically.

Do the dowels stretch all the way across the width of the frame?

Yes. This is what achieves the tension across the width of the fabric.

So that about covers the questions that have come up. If you’ve e-mailed me with questions about the frame, I will try to get to your e-mail and answer it personally, if your question isn’t covered here. I’m a bit snowed in with e-mail these days, so if you do have something pressing that you really want an answer on, feel free to nudge me with another e-mail!

I’m open to any other questions you might have about the frame. Feel free to leave them below or to drop me a line!

 
 

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(19) Comments

  1. Thanks for posting the video, looks interesting, and I can see why it costs a good deal. The dowel inside the bar looked awfully familiar, and then I remembered this product – http://www.stitchaway.com/cross_stitch_03-attach.html

    I’ve never seen this frame and have no ties to the company or owner, but it may be an alternative to the Millenium. I only know of this item because Fred Kruhn posts (used to post?) on the rec.crafts.textiles.needlework newsgroup (remember those?).

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  2. I had an issue with the frame for the very large piece I’m working on. It is on the largest slate frame Evan makes, and was too heavy for my “Giraffe” type (not sure of brand) floor stand. My solution: I bought a second floor stand, and use one on each side, with them holding it on the sides. There’s always a work around — not always an elegant one, but *something* 🙂

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  3. Mary,
    After giving things much thought I decided to order the floor stand and the lap stand from NeedleNeeds along with all the other bars etc. and I am glad I did. Like you know I have all types of other stands – the Lowery worked the best but was a bit tippy unless well weighed down and I was concerned about clamping the Millenium frame in any area. The floor stand works very well and is very stable, the lap frame is equally good – both in your lap or as a table frame and can be used well with the 8″-10″ stretchers and upto a 20″bar. The larger stretchers and bars make the whole lap frame set up a bit awkward to handle in your lap.
    Getting the extenders for the floor frames makes it even more convenient and flexible with all the stretchers.

    One of the points you made was on customs…. I am not sure if this differs by state but there is a customs charge assessed. Also, you state that the shipping is slow and takes upto 2 weeks – well, that too may be inaccurate – I got things both times within 5 days. There are credit card fees unless you use Paypal etc.

    BUT in the final analysis it is the best frame, stand and lap stand I have used to date for all types of embroidery. Like I stated in my earlier message I still use the traditional Japanese frame for my japanese embroidery but for all things I use the frames from Needleneeds. The ‘little Wizerd’ frame works beautifully also for smaller projects.
    They are all well made and work very well esp. together. I ordered things with an element of risk since I did not know of anyone having one or did not have a freebie trial one – I placed a large order and took a great leap of faith – and have never regretted this decision… no financial interest etc…. just a very satisfied consumer!
    Hope this helps others,
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Nupur

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  4. I’m thinking one of these frames is in my future, hopefully soon. I think my students will be much more able to both justify the cost of and to successfully use this frame than a slate frame, which is what we’ve been using. Certainly it would be better for hauling to/from class, not to mention it would give us a whole class session, now used to introduce the slate frame & setup, to use for stitching instruction.

    As to mounting it in a floor stand, what I have had folks do, successfully, with round-bar frames, is to use 2 very thin pieces of wood (thinner than 1/8″) about 3″ wide and as long as the frame is wide. These I use on either side of the round bar, adjusting them so the ends are just barely extended beyond each corner of the frame over and under one of the round bars. Then that ‘sandwich’ is clampable and doesn’t creep down. I do have the gals cover these with washed muslin just so the bare wood (not sure what that wood is nor what might have been used on it) is not clamped against the ground fabric. This even works well with the much-maligned Q-frames. Looks like it could work even better with this Millenium frame as the corners are already squared off.

    Thanks for the intro to this frame; I think it’s going to make a big difference to not only myself but for a number of my current students and all those in the future!

    Susan, under a foot of new snow and it still coming down furiously….stitching weather has arrived!

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  5. Hi Mary, I watched the video and have a question about the sizes available. Since I do Stumpwork, I wouldn’t be able to roll the work up or down the way it’s demonstrated in the video. I think I would therefore need to order the largest side stretchers. They list them as 15 – 18″, does that mean that the max height of the design area can be no more than 18″? And is there any reason that you couldn’t turn the frame once your fabric is mounted so that you have the bars vertically and the side stretchers across the top and bottom? I’m just trying to figure out which size makes the most sense to purchase. Thanks!

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  6. Happy Thanksgiving to all!!
    I called the Customs Offices, there are no extra charges from shipments form the UK, as long as the sender does not state in the paper work “Value Added”. Speaking to the frame company, I was otld they do not add any other value to their purchases. I would only pay the purchase price+ shipping. I assume this would be standard for the whole US.

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  7. Hi Mary and all,

    I just took a deep breath and hit the “confirm” button for my Millinium frame and lap stand. I revisited the videos and comments several times to solidify my decision.
    Thanks to Mary and all the the participants in this ongoing needlework “classroom and gathering place.” It’s the first and sometimes only e-mail I open every day.
    An International, Internet Affiliation of devotees of needlework!

    Again, thanks to all.
    Regards,

    Doreen

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  8. I am just a needlepointer who is not as concerned about how taut the canvas is. But after reading your site I am starting to become aware of a many things. Mind you I only found your sit last weekend. For a small needlepoint do I need evertite strecher bars and a big stand. I have a 10 year old basic Lowery stand . Is it really out of date, like. E. I have been disabled for the last 11 years and unable to do anything. So when I started feeling a little better I picked up my needlepoint.. My only hobby besides reading. Prior to falling I’ll I had no time for hobbies I was a high school chemistry teacher and getting my children off to and ready for college. People out there’s do not ever push yourself so hard that your health suffers. I have a severe case of fibromyalgia and a. Textbook one at that, 18 out of 18 and never lower than a 5-7. But I miss my needlepoint and something to DO. So I would love to learn all I have missed the last say about 25 years between the kids, the job and the illness. My consolation is that I have taught some outstanding students who keep in touch from a compounding pharmacist, to a TV reporter to a vet. But please email and tell mecall about this remarkable frame. Thanks
    Sharon

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  9. Thank you Mary.

    “Enfin” a frame for me. I will buy one right now.

    I wish you a nice Thankgiving day, all American embroiderers.
    Louise from Québec

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  10. Hi – I ordered the frame! I’ve been using it for a week or so. I have never used a slate frame, only hoops, so I don’t know how to compare it but as a stand alone product I’m enjoying it. It was easy and fast to put the linen on. I think having the sides more taut would be better, not jus the top & bottom but it still works well. The best bit is packing it up. I spend every weekend at my partner’s house and I always have to bring along small things to stitch so I can carry it. This frame did just roll up and ta-da! Ready to go. I love that.
    Thanks – Audrey

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  11. Bonjour Mary Corbet,

    Je ne parle pas l’anglais alors je fais confiance Ă  Google traduction:

    I read to you very often and I learn(teach) with you a lot.
    Can you say to me if the frame(executive) to be embroidered(exaggerated) with the millennium is made in Great Britain. I believed to understand(include) that it was the case.
    I shall like getting myself him(it) and it would maybe be cheaper in transport than by the needle in United States.
    Thank you in advance.
    Cordially

    Marie Lameignère

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  12. Woohoo – after all your reviews and comments, and other people’s comments, I’m getting one of these for my birthday in February. 🙂

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  13. Hi Mary – I enjoy reding your blog very much. This comment may be a little late, but here goes. I have the N4 Floor Stand with the Q Snap mount. I also have a Millenium frame – 20 x 8. I can place the Millenium frame on the holders for the Q Snaps by taking off the tri knobs on both sides where the Q snaps fit in, and placing a large spool of thread on each of the screws that hold the tri knobs. Sounds complicated, but it’s very simple. The spools then act like the pegs in the Necessaire floor stand. Works a charmj~
    Thanks agian for sharing your knowledge.
    Colleen

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  14. I am ready for my HUSBAND to buy me Millenium frame (for Christmas). I can’t find a place to get my ?s answered when I tried their site. I need to know how I should order frame size for a 4-way Bargello fabric size 21.5″ X 21.5″ and a Kit that is 16″ X 22″ but the narrow is the top & bottom. Would It make any difference if the posts & stretchers are turned when I’m working on this project?

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  15. Hi,

    I have a way that I attached the scroll frame of the System 4 to the Millennium frame. I took 4 pieces of stick on velcro and put them on all 4 corners of the frame. Then I took the scroll bars off the System 4 scroll frame. I stuck the other halves of the velcro to the ends of the scroll frame. Then I stuck the frame on the metal scroll bar ends. Then I put a large piece of non-sticky velcro around the frame right below the screw area, and fastened that around the metal frame for stability. Ta-da – a Millennium Frame with all the adjustability of the System 4!

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  16. Mary, on Feb. 1, 2016 I followed all your articles and recommendations for the frame made by Needle Needs in UK, ordered on 2/01/16 and paid $121.05. They immediately charged my credit card and told me to wait 3 months for delivery. It has now been 4 months. All of my attempts to contact them have been ignored – just an “auto reply”. I do not know what to do about this company. No delivery after 4 months, no response to e-mails. Can you help me? I will wait for your reply before, later today, I report them for fraud.

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    1. Hi Sandy – it does take a while to get the products from needle needs, but to my knowledge they always deliver. Remember that they are handmade products and they are shipping from overseas. Normally their wait is 12 week. I would imagine that your order will show up pretty soon. Aside from using their products and liking them, I don’t really have any affiliation with them, so I don’t have any influence. I’m sorry they don’t have better customer support, but they do have many many satisfied customers. Personally I would give it a little more time, but that decision is up to you.

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