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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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Navigating Needlework Floor Stands – Which One is Right for You?

 

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What would life in the stitching world be without the tools that make needlework easier, more comfortable, and more efficient?

One tool that dedicated stitchers eventually invest in is the needlework stand – a device that holds a frame or a hoop so that you don’t have to! It is essentially a third hand (or pair of hands) that leaves your own two hands free to stitch. Or, in today’s terms, you could think of a needlework stand as a “third party app” that really does make things work better!

Wrist, arm, neck and back strain; finger and hand cramps; strange sitting positions to balance large frames; awkward stitching when you need to use both hands – all of these are things of the past, when you have a needlework stand!

If you haven’t reached the point of using a stand, but if stitching has become a major part of your creative life, chances are, you’ll eventually consider one. Or perhaps you have a stand you’re not thoroughly satisfied with?

Today, let’s navigate through the world of needlework stands together! We’ll talk about different types of devices to hold needlework, we’ll discuss the benefits of a floor stand, we’ll chat about what to look for in a good needlework stand, and we’ll explore some of the popular floor stands on the market today.

Needlework Stands - Overview of Different Types, Reviews

When it comes to stands that hold your embroidery hoop or frame for you, there are essentially five types that can do the trick:

There are floor stands, which stand independently on the floor.

There are lap and table top stands, which rest either on your lap or on a table top in front of you.

There are clamp-on stands, that clamp onto a table top.

There are sit-on stands, that can serve as a table-top stand as well.

And there are trestles, which are the “big guns” of large needlework frame supports.

Today, we’re looking at the Floor Stand, specifically. We can look at other options down the road, but because the floor stand is usually a fairly hefty investment that requires a bit of pondering, it makes sense to focus on it first.

Benefits of The Floor Stand

The benefit of a floor stand is that it is independent of you and it is independent of any furniture around you. You can pretty much set up a floor stand anywhere it will fit, and the only thing you need to bring to it is a chair and your stitching stuff.

A floor stand rests in front or to the side of you and holds your needlework frame or hoop up in front of you while you stitch.

What to Look for in a Floor Stand

There are many manufacturers of floor stands out there! And there are many good ones on the market. When it comes to choosing one, you want to look for the following:

1. Extension & adjustability: Does it offer enough extension and can it be adjusted in various ways so that it reaches you comfortably in your favorite spot for sitting? If you sit, for example, in a recliner, some floor stands won’t work for you. Take into consideration, too, whether or not you want the stand in front of you or to the side, with the work extending over your lap.

2. Balance: Is the floor stand engineered to hold large frames and even attachable accessories (like magnifiers or lights, chart holders, tool trays) without becoming top heavy and toppling?

3. Parts & Construction: Is it made with quality parts that are easy to tighten and adjust when need be? Do all the parts fit together and move as they should, without rubbing or sticking?

Popular Brands of Floor Stands

Needlework System 4: I’ve been using this floor stand for about 15 years; it’s my go-to floor stand. I have a couple variations of it. You can read a review of it and see it in action here. They also make a travel version that folds down smaller for easy transport. This is an all-steel, front-facing stand, but with the extra extension arm, it can also be situated from the side. It is sold in separate parts, so you have to purchase the stand itself, and then the type of “head” you want on the stand to hold your work. Options include a clamp, scroll frame, and q-snap heads. I prefer the clamp option, as it holds both hoops and frames. There are other accessories to the stand available, too.

The Lowrey Workstand: This is a popular option especially with stitchers in the UK, which is where it is manufactured. It is a reasonably affordable stand with lots of accessorizing options. It’s an all-steel front facing or side situated stand. You can explore the Lowery Workstation here on their website. I used to have a Lowery, but I passed it along to someone else because I didn’t really need it, and it seemed a little more complicated to me than my Needlework System 4 stand.

K’s Creations: This company makes several types of floor stands, including a stainless steel stand similar to the Lowery. I’ve used K’s Creations stands (a scroll frame and lap stand) and they are good quality for wood products, though, like most wood products, they require infinite adjusting and tightening. I’ve also tried the stainless steel floor stand – it is much like the Lowery. It works, and many stitchers love it. You can explore K’s Creations on their website here.

Just a Thought: This is a wooden floor stand designed and sold by Judy O’Dell. It’s made to sit directly in front of the stitcher, and it works best with large frames. It’s very solid, which means it’s also somewhat heavy, and it takes up a slightly larger footprint than most single-base floor stands. But it is well made and a good option for folks in the US looking for an affordable, front-sitting wooden floor stand that will hold wider frames. You can read my review of it here. Keep in mind, the review is older, so the introductory sale price is not valid.

The Necessaire by Needle Needs: This is an all-wood work stand made to sit in front of the stitcher, too. The Necessaire is manufactured in the UK, which can be problematic for US stitchers. If you like the style of the Necessaire, you might consider the Just-a-Thought stand above instead. I’ve written about the Necessaire stand here. It’s well made. It’s significantly lighter and without as large a footprint as the JAT stand mentioned above. Unfortunately, the customer service and turn-around time when ordering from Needle Needs has proven problematic.

Edmunds Adjustable Craft Stands: These stands, pretty widely available at Big Box craft stores in the US and online through discount craft outlets, are all wood, front-facing floor stands. They are made in China, and they’re not the best quality stand out there. They have two things going for them: 1. They will hold your work, at least initially; and 2. they are affordable. They can be a “bridge” between no stand and a really good stand. What it comes down to is whether or not you want to put $50 or so into a temporary stand. And they are temporary. Eventually, the need for tightening and adjusting constantly becomes a bit of a frustration.

What About You?

Undoubtedly, there are other stands on the needlework market, but these see to be the mainstream stands that are often talked about in stitching groups. I’ve tried all of the above, and they all have their benefits and their drawbacks, depending on what you’re looking for in a stand and what your budget is.

But what about you? If you use a floor stand, what kind do you use and what do you like about it? What are its drawbacks? If we pool our collective knowledge about floor stands in the comments below, as a community we can go a long way to helping others who want to make a good choice when selecting their first floor stand or when switching to a different one.

So, chime in below, and tell us about your favorite needlework floor stand! The good and the bad! Don’t hold back!

 
 

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(65) Comments

  1. Dear Mary

    I have 2 stands the System 4 stand and The Necessaire by Needle Needs. The one I use most is the Necessaire. I like the Necessaire for embroidering projects on their Millennium Frame, I also find it really convenient and the perfect size when I am using my wooden painters board, which I use when I am making other things like my fabric books etc. As I live in a very small place the board acts as a table and sits nicely on the Necessaire and I can cut and sew on my board and it doesn’t take up much room. The system 4 I use for embroidering in hoops and again as it is really slim it doesn’t take up much room. I am very happy with these stands and would recommend them both. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on different embroidery stands.

    Regards Anita Simmance

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  2. Thanks Mary, this is super useful and informative! Just a quick nitpick: at least in my browser, the links to your earlier reviews are the same color as the rest of the text, so at first I didn’t understand what you meant by “review here”! You do get the link icon if you mouse over the linked text, though.

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  3. I use the Just a Thought floor stand from Judy O’Dell and I love it. The arms can be adjusted to different widths, so it will hold smaller and wider frames. I’ve added small wheels to mine and it makes it so easy to move from one place to another.

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  4. Mary, I think the Just a Thought may no longer be available. I tried to visit the site and the shop appears to be closed. I have one, like it very much, but needed some parts. My knobs have stripped threads. Not to worry, I can get something similar at a hardware store.

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    1. Hi, Charlotte – I think you can contact Judy to order it. Her contact info is on the main page. I think she only sells the stands via emailed PayPal invoice, rather than through the shopping cart.

    2. Hi Mary,. I also tried to get ahold of Judy. I have emailed her at her Gmail account, just a thought.net and called and left a message. It was an answering machine and generic voice with no identification so I have no idea who I left my number with. I am looking for a frame sturdy enough to hold my millinium.

      Have you ever heard of the Rowland wood floorstand made in her in US? Good price but not sure how sturdy.

      Thank you!

      Deborah

  5. I’ve got a 28-year old Grip-It, of more or less the same configuration as the Edmunds. As you say of that product – it has its advantages and disadvantages.

    On the plus – it was what I could afford at the time. It holds my medium-sized frames well enough to stitch on. Note that I sit in a large Morris-style chair. I position the frame so that its legs extend under my chair’s bottom side rail, allowing the frame to sit across my lap, with some of the weight supported by the chair’s arm on the opposite side – otherwise the thing tips over. Shortly after I bought the thing I posted to Usenet that when used with the smaller/lighter flat frame I had then, it had a tenancy to tip over “like a toddler holding a bowling ball.” That earned me a nastygram from the maker, who obviously had never tested the stand with anything approaching the weight of my project.

    Shortcomings aside, I still use my ancient Grip-It. At this point I have also replaced most of the bolts and nuts, swapping out the original hardware store wing-nuts with larger units that are easier to turn. I also replaced the bolts securing the hold of the “jaw clamp” with ones that were two inches longer – those were absolutely necessary to accommodate the width of my frame’s risers, plus the depth of the easier-to-turn nuts. And I have padded the jaws to protect the stitching frame.

    Was it worth the low cost? Yes, for me at the time. But I am now ready to trade up. My criteria would be STABILITY, ability to use it at the side of my chair, reclining (not a two/four-legs-for-upright sitting configuration); ease of adjustment; and ability to hold my Millennium securely without crushing its delicate side-scroll risers.

    Pix of my ancient and overburdened Grip-it, holding my scrolling frame are here.
    It’s at the knife-edge point of pitching over: https://kbsalazar.files.wordpress.com/Wed,/11/frame_2.jpg

    Hope this helps. – kbs

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  6. I have used the Canadian-made Hearthside Mark 2 Floor Stand for years and love it. It has rear wheels so it’s easy to pull it into your chair (or push it out) and comes with a number of accessories. Best of all, since my favourite chair is a swivel rocker, it fits on either side of the chair. And if I’m ever unfortunate enough to need a wheelchair, it will fit over the arms of that too.
    http://hearthsidecraftworks.com/mark-2-floor-stand.html

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  7. I have used the Canadian-made Hearthside Mark 2 Floor Stand for years and love it. It comes with many accessories and has rear wheels which make it easy to pull it into your chair or push it out. Best of all, I sit in a swivel rocker to embroider and the Hearthside is wide enough to go on either side of the chair. And should I ever be unfortunate enough to need a wheelchair, it will fit on either side of that too.
    http://hearthsidecraftworks.com/mark-2-floor-stand.html

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  8. I have used my K’s stands for years. The metal floor stand is easily adjustable, without having to add too many expensive parts. It slides easily under a recliner. The addition of a table clamp makes an ideal traveling stand for classes, etc. It is easy to turn to access the back of a piece.

    Their wooden Baby Z is perfect to tuck into a bag for smaller pieces. It is ideal for airplane, RV, and car stitching. It is also easy to turn to access the back of a piece. Their large scroll frame handles stockings, etc. perfectly. I have had no problems with their wooden stands needing frequent adjustment and tightening

    On the rare occasion when I have needed to replace a worn or lost piece, their service has been impeccable.

    I have tried the system 4 – too bulky, awkward, and much too expensive.

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  9. I’ve used a Daylight stand for years….if I used a stand…..which is not often. It works quite well for me and is easy to store

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  10. Mary,
    I have had a System4 stand for almost as long as you. Their table stand is an engineering marvel, and a blessing to those of us who travel in an RV because I can store it easily. I use it with stretcher bars and scroll bars. I rarely have a balancing problem with it. If I do have a problem, it’s with a project of scroll frames. A book or can of vegetables for just a bit of extra weight works wonders.
    I have had excellent customer service from them. A request for a part is honored quickly.

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  11. I have a Gazelle and an Elan as a floor and lap stand. The Gazelle was bought at an estate sale, the Elan was my first ever stand,a dn I use it in the car, at the table, anywhere.
    I also have another stand that may be just a mom and pop item— I purchased it at a seminar from the woman whose husband made it. I can’t remember their names. It’s great for large pieces and is simple to use. I can take a photo, but no name is on the stand.
    All three of the stands work with pretty much any bars, hoop, qsnaps etc I have attempted to use.

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  12. I have the Needlework System 4 with both the clamp and the scroll frame. Have also had a wooden frame years ago and have had to replace the “gear” on my System 4. Customer service is excellent and this frame serves me very well.

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  13. At the moment I’m using the Lowery which I have had for years. I like it because it is light weight, small footprint, very adjustable to my position and can handle a fairly large scroll frame. I also have another project at the moment in my rotation which requires a much larger scroll frame that I use on the Hearthside Craftworks Floor Stand and I love it because it can handle a very long scroll frame. I’m using a 42 inch scroll frame on it. It takes up a lot of space but it is so worth it to me because I love having a stand that will accommodate whatever large project I’m stitching on. I am almost always stitching in a scroll frame using a floor stand. My System 4 pretty much stays packed away in the closet because the webbing that’s suppose to hold the fabric is very open weave and does not hold my fabric secure enough to have a drum tight fit. I also have the Q Snap holder but have not used it very much along with the table frame which has not been used very much either. I am a floor stand person and have a K’s Creation stand and some other wood stand (don’t know name) which is two stands I used before the Lowery, System 4 or Hearthside. Wish I had enough space to have them all set up so I can move from stand to stand to work on different projects. Happy Stitching! Jackie

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  14. I have rheumatoid arthritis and had been searching for a stand that would allow me to stitch in comfort. I wanted something that would allow ease of access to the back of my work, something to hold any type of frame, hoop etc., as well as being able to collapse easily for storage (due to small living quarters). I really wanted a NeedleNeeds stand but didn’t want to have to wait for eons for it to arrive like I had heard from so many people.

    A stitching friend came to the rescue! She sent me a K’s Creations Stow-away portable stand, which is wonderful! But I still wanted somehow to be able to use any type of frame, hoop or Qsnap on it and be able to flip the work back and forth (similar to the Needleneeds) without having the stitching “attached” to the frame. (there are times I have to stitch with just one hand so I really need the adaptability). And then, low and behold, I found a video on YouTube of a lady who had the exact same stand and wanted the same functionality of the Needleneeds – she purchased the “arms” to one of their stands and with placing the top arm brace of the K’s Creations’ stand upside-down, the Needleneeds arms fit perfectly and she has a beautiful combination of everything! (it’s much easier to do than it sounds written out).

    I went to Hobby Lobby, purchased a square dowel, some wooden Shaker pegs and a friend is cutting the wood/drilling the holes for me. A bit of glue to hold the pegs and I will have the same thing (basically speaking) 🙂 I am very happy 🙂

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  15. I just a “Just a thought” as my primary floor stand. I also have a homemade stand that my late husband made for me out of the base of a student drafting table. In addition, I have a K’s table stand.

    Things I like about my Just a Thought – lovely finish on the woodwork; it’s pretty enough to sit out in my living room. The slate or scroll frame is independent of the stand, so it’s very easy to flip it over and get to the back (this was the big selling point for me). I can put my big quilting hoop on it when the arms are at full (widest) extension and a midsize Q snap on it when the arms are at the smallest extension. Adjusting the angle and width is fairly easy, though you do have to set the scroll or slate frame aside to do so. Even though it’s (as Mary noted) larger and heavy, it’s smaller than trestle frames.

    Things that are not so great – you can’t use it with a recliner; it can only be used as a front facing stand. My clamp on lamp won’t fit on it. I’m seriously thinking about asking a local woodworker to modify the head slightly to get a bit of a ‘bump out’ to give me somewhere to clamp it. There’s nowhere to put tools. This is not really an issue for me personally as I use a chatelaine for my scissors, but some people might not like that.

    I’m not a huge fan of my K’s Creations table stand. It’s the older model, wood and plywood. The plywood in the base is not well finished, I’ve had it snag on threads. The biggest problem with this stand is that you cannot easily get to the back of your work to end off threads. It’s a pivot stand, but the pivot is very hard to use because it has to be really cranked down to hold the work, then loosened almost entirely to pivot the work to the back. I’m also not very happy with the extension part of the base (for adjusting for various widths of scroll rods), it’s plastic and rather flimsy at full extension.

    I’m happy with my floor frame so far, and I think my next equipment purchase will be a proper slate frame. I’ve been ‘faking it’ by lacing the sides on my scroll frames, of which I have at least 6. But it’s time to upgrade. The Just a Thought stand can handle small to mid sized slate frames, even my largest scroll frame works well on it. And honestly, between the quilting frame and the treadle sewing machine and the vintage 1960s zigzag sewing machine in a desk cabinet, I’m running out of floor space!!!

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  16. Wonderful article on floor stands! I love my Necessaire (especially since I use their frames exclusively). It’s been awhile since I’ve had to buy anything from them but my eperience has been fantastic. I ordered on a Thurs, it arrived in Friday. I understand that they had a storage place in Tenna. from which they sent out American orders.
    I like the fact that I just lay my frame on the two arms, I can turn it easily to lock threads on and off and it’s sturdy. It’s a stand alone (I have a Lowrey’s, which I also like, but I need a chair or something to hold the base down – not always convenient). The Lowery’s, however, does securely hold the Necessaire frames and takes up less space than the Necessaire.
    Can’t imagine stitching without a floor frame! (Tho I do have a lap frame which I fight with every time.)

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  17. I have a Lowerys stand and love it. When it comes to large pieces (24″ x 24″ or larger), I use Kay’s Creations floor stand and it works great. I would love to try trestle stands in the future.

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  18. I have a DayLight Stitchsmart stand and I LOVE it. Mine does make noise when I twist it to the back but I also haven’t tried WD-40 which I probably should. For around $100 it is an EXCELLENT stand and it hold any kind of frame/hoop, etc. I would highly recommend if you don’t need an extension. It is perfect if you want a stand in front or to the side of you.

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  19. I had wanted a floor stand for some time, and one of my daughters got me one . She bought an Elbesee Posilock from the UK. All seemed fine until opening we discovered it did not come with a hoop or frame. All could be purchased separately. Is this usual ? Now I must put the clamping part together (made of heavy plastic), or have someone take pity on me and put it together for me. Will this hold any hoops I have, or should I put it aside and get another ?

    i

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  20. I have the Just a Thought floor stand by Judy which I use with my Millennium frame. (If you are going to order from Needle Needs, be prepared to wait until they have stock in). My stand from Judy arrived very quickly. My only wish with my Just a Thought stand is that I wish I could get some shorter arms. The arms are about 20″ long, but my Millennium only goes to 14″ (Speaking of which, I wish I had bought the side stretchers extension pack). My Millennium took almost a month to get here. As soon as it arrived and I tried to use it without a floor stand, I knew it would never work. It’s very heavy.

    I contacted Judy at her e-mail and my stand arrived in a week.

    I love the stand, it’s sturdy, it adjusts beautifully. However, it doesn’t go up and down the stairs easily, so I have had to decide where it will live and keep it there. Which turned out to be upstairs in my tiny studio.

    I use the same set-up as they do in SF, a rolling chair and a floor lamp with magnification.

    Downstairs, I stick with the recliner, a seat stand which I got from the Crewel Work Company (you can buy them from the SF School of Needlework). I got a clamp on Number-One light and magnifying glass with a USB connection, that I plug into a Pisen charger. The EGA no longer allows plug in lamps at events, and the #1 clamps beautifully to table or the wood arms of my recliner. The Pisen runs my lamp for longer than I can stitch in a session and quickly recharges when plugged in. This combo travels well together.

    So, upstairs and downstairs neatly sorted. Good stands where I need them. With lighting and magnification…off to stitch!

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  21. After years of trying many different wooden floor stands I finally treated myself to a Lowery. It did what I needed – tall enough to let me sit upright, easily swing away when I needed it to move away, and so on. The down side was that it didn’t fit where I wanted it to if it had to be placed under one of the chair feet. I solved the problem by buying a flat weight (like those used on barbells) to lay on the Lowery base – this way I can place the stand in front of me, or anywhere else I need it to be depending on the size of the stretcher frame being used. I found that I needed a 25lb. weight to keep the stand in place.

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  22. I really had my heart set on the The Necessaire by Needle Needs. They have a website but are a small family owned business and are very slow about attending to emails or inquiries or orders through their website.
    I Put my frustration out on Facebooks “Stitchmania” and “Needlepoint Nation” and a stitcher told me that you need to call them, midday 12-1PM England time (they are 5 hours ahead of us) and they will usually answer their phone. I had gr at success doing this. I placed my order and it took about 8 weeks (the handmade all of it) but it did eventually come and I’m excited to use it!

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  23. I have been stitching/teaching for a long time and have tried or seen just about every frame on the market. I LOVE my Lowrey frame. It is light weight, easy to travel with….you can fit it in a backpack, accommodates stretcher bars, embroidery hoops, and slate frames and does not take up much floor space. The base is about the size of a piece of paper. I do prefer the corner clamp, but I also use the side clamp for smaller pieces. My Lowrey has been all over the world. TSA always checks the hollow metal tubes in my carry-on…but that’s their job! It’s the best needlework item I have ever purchased. I’ve heard that it is available on Amazon, but please check your local needlework store first. We all need these stores to stay in business, and the only way that will happen is if we all keep buying stuff from them!

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  24. I have 2 Lowery stands – I like them as you can rotate the frame without removing from the clamp. Why 2? One is not really stable when holding a 24 inch RSN Slate frame so I use one either side. I know purists would use trestles but I do not have floor space enough and using the Lowerys I can put the top of the frame above the dining table and work on the fabric in the lower section, then turn it round to do the rest.

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  25. I really like my Edmund’s Stitcher’s Wonder. It has an adjustable 9 x 24″ scroll frame and it is on a solid stand. It is affordable and worth every penny.

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  26. I am a long time needlepointer and a needlepoint shop owner. I love the System 4 stand and clamp! I have just tricked mine out (in the shop for display and at home) with the radius arm, the Stella light and the light/magnifier holder. My Dazor is banished–with the Stella light, I don’t need a magnifier.

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  27. I like to stitch in my wingback chair in my living room where the light is wonderful. I ordered a Just a Thought stand as I thought it was beautiful and would look good when left out in this room. I do like it but my husband had to add a three inch piece to raise the center pole up higher for me. You can adjust the angle of the bar tilt, but it does need a further up and down ability as well. I wish it could travel but it is much too unwieldy for that! Overall it was affordable and suits me well at home.

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  28. The JAT Judy O’DEll stand is wonderful!
    Simple parts, you will never need to refer to a manual or find where you stored the “extras”.
    I can carry with one hand.
    Everything beautifully finished.
    Best of all, (for me), it looks like furniture, or the finish quality is good enough that my husband is happy to have it in our living room full time.

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  29. Which stand I use depends on the type of frame. I have a floor stand just for the Hardwick Castle wood hoops. I love it.

    For Susan Bate hoops I use my system 4 table top model. That is also great and breaks down to be very portable.

    For needlepoint on stretcher bars up to 16 inches, I use my System 4 table top.
    16 – 20 inches I use the System 4 floor model. Over 20 I use trestles.

    If I am using a traditional slate frame, it is always my trestles from K and A embroidery supplies in California. Great trestles.

    If I am using wood roller bars as a slate frame (up to 12 inches)I use my Daylite Frame stand or my System 4. Larger goes on trestles.

    For cross stitch I like the DayLite frame stand because I can add both a magnifier lamp as well as a clip to hold the pattern. I generally use a hoop for Cross stitch or roller bars.

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  30. After reading about Needlework System 4 I decided to make the investment. Not a single second of regret. It is light weight and yet steady and solid on the floor. I prefer the clamp also over the roller stretchers as well. The system 4 is a must in my stitching life.

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  31. Hi Mary. I love my System 4 floor stand. I invested in it based on you very thorough review and while pricey has been worth every penny. I do mostly cross stitch and some specialty stitch work so I use the scroll bars set up. After 5 years its going strong with no issues. I even have my Stella light clamped to it with no issues. Love love love it!

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  32. I absolutely love my Lowery floor stand. It has a smaller footprint than the Needlework 4 system. The large base allows for heavy attachments + you can easily weight the base if you go overboard with attachments/frames. There are 2 types of clamps. I use the side clamp and it has always held my work firmly: hoop or scroll bars or frame or q snaps. The height is adjustable. A longer arm is available. I would highly recommend this product. I have the stainless steel version of the floor stand the the lap/table top stand as well.

    It has not been advertised in the US, so stitchers do not know about it. It has been around for a very long time. I have had mine for over 20 years. They do not have much of a presence in the US. They could use a US distributor! Nordic Needle carried it and I see it available from Stitchers Paradise with whom I am NOT familiar.

    It is worth the hunt to acquire this stand.

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  33. Dear Mary,

    That was a really good write up on floor stands. I have never used a floor stand before but I got a rough idea now. But what I am really looking for is a lap stand, something which I can use while sitting on a couch or bed. I would be really grateful if you can give a write up on lap stands. In India these are not available. I tried to order one from Amazon, but the import duty was more than the actual price! Now I have got an opportunity to travel to U.K in July and I wish to buy one from there. I want something strong and of a smaller size.

    Thanks once again,
    Raji

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    1. Check out the Hardwicke Manor products which are made in Germany. These are quality hoops with a companion Fanny Frame which has a paddle to sit upon. This may work for you.

  34. Needlework System 4! (Floor model) Loved it from the first try. I’ve had it for 6 years and it has never let me down. Worth the money for a serious stitcher. I also have the Necessarie. Work set up is super easy but find that picking up and turning is more cumbersome. Just being able to flip the frame with the Needlework System4 is so much easier. Easiest stand to correct the thread twangles that can start on the back of your work.

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  35. This is a really good article. I’m in the Uk and in the past used the needle needs necessaire stand with their scroll frames. Its a great stand and perfect for use with their scroll frames, however is does take up a lot of space and I found the finer adjustment of position to get it just right was sometimes difficult. I recently bought the Lowery stand and boy is it a workhorse. Its a heavy based metal stand with really simple workings. I love the way it allows you to swivel the work out, away from you to get out from behind it, and also how easy it is to flip the work over to the back. It feels super sturdy. I am attracted to the Needlework System 4 for its portability but to be honest, I would rarely travel with a piece of work that couldn’t be held in hand or a small hoop, so the extra expense doesnt seem worth it for me.

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  36. Hi Mary,
    I am very interested in modifying my stitching so I have a frame question. I use my System 4 for my needlepoint and now I’m in love with reproduction samplers. The questions becomes should I buy the largest scroll frame for the System 4 or buy the JAT. Price-wise it’s fairly comparable. My concern with the System 4 is that it may be unstable because of the size of the scroll frame. Thoughts? I value your opinion.
    Best,
    Beth

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  37. I bought the Edmund’s when I was getting started with tambour: it was right there at the Big Box store, I could use it with hoops, Q-snaps and lightweight scroll frames …and it wasn’t a big investment in case embroidery turned out to be a passing thing.

    It worked so well for me I now have two. Maybe someday I’ll get a better-quality stand, but I’m plenty satisfied with the Edmunds. It’s lightweight to carry around; collapses down to a small footprint for car travel or storage; infinitely adjustable; and stable. The long bolts on the clamp are good to hold a spool of floss. Plus, I can clamp one of those lightweight IKEA gooseneck lamps onto the bar that holds the clamp for bright light. The wood is finished quite well for an inexpensive stand.

    The only downside I’ve experienced so far is that if you leave the stand untouched in any extended position for a week or so, the screws eventually loosen, and the work & clamp flop down onto the floor. It’s a good reminder to get back to your project every day!

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  38. Hi Mary,
    Thanks for all of the information on the needlework stands. After taking a few rounds of Royal School of Needlework instensive classes, one quickly realizes how important a great stand is. If you don’t mind if I share, I was actually blessed to have a carpenter in the family who created a trestle stand for me. The director of the Williamsburg School of Needlework has several of the stands at the school for student use and they really enjoy the stands. The beauty of the stands is the detailed attention to the finishing of the wood. It has a satiny smooth finish. It is durable, and has a nice hardware system so the pins don’t fall of the holes causing the bars to drop. It is also easy to assemble.

    Thank you again for sharing and allowing us to share information as well.
    Carrie

    https://www.ecclesiasticalsewing.com/collections/slate-frames/products/trestle-frame-stand-for-holding-stlate-frames

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  39. I live in New Zealand and bought a Needlework 4 floor stand first, then last year I bought the lap and table clamp. I use the clamp version. These are really good, cost was not over the top and they sure make life really good. I first heard of these from Mary’s original review, so thanks Mary. I did buy these from the USA, it was by far e easiest and the most cost effective. Sue

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  40. I love your post and your website! I love your advise and am taking it on board! The floor stand sounds really good. Now just need to make more space in my workshop 🙂

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  41. I had a “Giraffe” floor stand for many years, but it was constantly in need of adjustment as the wood fluctuated with the weather. I’d be all set to stitch, only to find it drooping because the wood had shrunk. Flipping the hoop involved loosening and tightening one of the nuts – and it was unwieldy to use a scroll frame on it due to lack of support for the frame. Whatever project that was on that stand had to stay there. It was too much trouble to switch to another. A devout stitcher for 40+ years, I finally decided to upgrade my tools so that I could stitch in a variety of locations and with a choice of hoops or scroll rods. I also wanted a stand to accommodate a scroll frame for larger projects. In a purchasing frenzy, I researched stands for weeks. The Lowery, System4 and Necessaire all looked good but – with my non-committal to a single type of holding frame – were not cost-effective for me. I didn’t want to wait months for the Necessaire. I finally purchased a K’s Creations metal stand from EBay (at 8 lb., this is fairly portable) a Just a Thought (JAT) floor stand (stationary) and a lap/table stand (portable) from Hearthside Craftworks in Canada. I like them all, but am not really impressed with the overall workmanship of the K’s Creations stand. Mine came with unfinished wooden accessories that really could use some reworking, for example. If I hadn’t bought this stand at a fairly decent price I would have returned it. The packaging when shipped was also a disappointment. Rods were protruding from the box and it wasn’t well-packed. No damage was done, but I held my breath throughout the unveiling. In its favor, it has a slim footprint and is not bulky. The base is quite thin and should fit under tighter spaces. In contrast – the JAT and Hearthside Craftworks stands (both wooden) are gorgeous, ingenious in design and well-constructed. Both were packaged beautifully and arrived in perfect condition despite their respective long journeys. I keep my largest project on the Hearthside Craftworks stand and totally enjoy the spring mechanism that allows me to flip the scroll rod back and forth with ease. Their Mark 2 floor stand is definitely on my bucket list now. I may treat myself for my upcoming birthday. The JAT stays in the living room and is great for my other projects that might be in a hoop – or perhaps a different size scroll rod. Customer service was terrific for both companies, which are small businesses that still offer personalized service.

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  42. I normally use a hand held hoop as that is how I learned to stitch and what I am most comfortable with. While I have mentioned before that I do 1770s reenacting, I also do – or used to do – a late 1800s event. (Yes, I need different clothing for same.) This is a local tri county, county fair and not as period correct in what I have with me or I am doing.

    The first time I went to do this I had big plans to stitch ahead of time the same flower with different stitches and bring it with me. Of course I did not and it was the day before I was to go. I grabbed big piece of fabric, a large oval quilting hoop, box of floss, books of stitches (in case I ran out of ideas) and the floor stand for hoops or frames that was shoved behind one of my work tables. I set it all up at the event. It worked great. People could stand around me and see what I was doing. So, I found the stand with large hoop to be great for demonstrations.

    The stand is an old one – we must have bought it sometime in the 1970s or 80s when my husband was doing hand quilting and no longer seems to exist.

    So for myself, when I am working, a handheld hoop is best for me, but for demonstrating the floor hoop works better as it is easier for people to see the work and how it is being done.

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    1. The painting is called ‘Lady Seated at her Needlework’ by 19th century Hungarian painter Mihaly von Munkacsy.

    1. Thank you Charlotte for your advice. It is nice to have the input of others. I went to the Facebook page ocean works I think it was and the company said that they are changing the feet to be a little wider for better support. The post was dated June 11, 2018. I think I will order one with the chart holder. Thank you!

  43. Hi, I’ve been using my lowery stand for a year. I first saw it being used by Jan Beany ect. I live in Australia and when my local needle work shop got them in I was quick to obtain one. I hadn’t heard of the Needlework 4 system but that sounds good. It is not available in Australia though. I also have a table clamp to go with the lowery which makes it more portable.

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  44. Hi Mary. I have just invested in a hand-made floor stand from Hearthside Craftworks in Calgary, Alberta. Each stand is made out of solid wood as it is ordered and the standard is high. It is designed to hold a scroll frame, which I had been reaisting since my experience with scroll frames in the past had not been good, but Helen at Hearthside sent me all sorts of PDFs and photos to show how easy theirs is to use. I also invested in some large size clamps that can be used to attach q-snap frames or stretcher bars. I haven’t used that feature yet since I need to buy a special attachment that holds the clamps top and side, and although it’s not expensive, the budget is low right now. This frame is about 36” from side to side, and the scroll frame is 30”. It slides comfortably on the floor and I can bring it righ into me. The knobs are well and solidly made and fit comfortably into my palm as I turn them. This is useful since I have a lot of arthritis in my hands and fiddling with teeny or awkwardly made knobs is difficult. The frame comes with a tray for your accessories and a pattern holder stand, each of which rotate through 360 degrees and are at a easily reachable distance. They attach separately to the back bar of the stand and can be placed anywhere along that bar, which comes with holes drilled along its length for that purpose. The height of the stand can also be adjusted through its legs, and it tilts in to allow for a comfortable reach.

    I love it and recommend it to everyone.

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  45. I ordered a Millennium frame from Needle Needs in October 2016. It arrived last week. They are completely unresponsive to queries. It is a nice frame, but 1 1/2 + years is a long time to wait. I use a System 4 stand and love it. It is light, strong, and adaptable. Really great product.

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  46. I prefer the lap stands (the ones where you sit on the base) as I find all the floor stands require too much bending over in a way my back dioesn’t like. The stand comes with three sized hoops and the large is good for larger pieces of work. This type of stand was recommended by Phillips Turnbull on a course I atttended and I much prefer it to my floor stand.
    Thanks for all your great advice and reviews Mary

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    1. Hi, Joyce – it looks like you were added to the list, but you haven’t confirmed your subscription yet. You should have received an email with a link in it that you’ll need to click, to confirm your subscription. If it didn’t come to your primary inbox, please check your “promotions” and “social media” filters, as well as your spam filter. You’ll want to move it out of any of those filters and into your primary inbox, so that you can confirm the subscription and receive the newsletters. Let me know if I can be of any further help!

  47. Hi, I’ve been reading your blog for years but this is the first time I’m asking a question: do you use a slate frame with your Needlework System 4? If so, what’s the largest you’ve tried? I have one with the clamp attachment but have so far have only used it with hoops and a 13×13 slate frame. I want to invest in 30″ slate frame for a firescreen project but not sure if the Needlework System 4 can hold it. Thank you, as always, for sharing your knowledge!

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    1. Hmmmmmmm….. I’ve used a 20″ without a problem, and I think you could use the right kind of 30″ but it depends on the weight and the depth of the frame and of your project. If it’s one of the slate frames that have the heavy rounded rollers, you wouldn’t be able to, but if the rollers are the flat ones (not round) and the whole frame is comparatively light (some slate frames are heavier than others), the NWS4 should be able to handle it, I’d think. The place you’ll have a problem is flipping the frame or turning the clamp head. You won’t have as much room for turning the frame, with one that large. If you’re using the table top version, I think it’d be impossible. If you’re using the floor version, you’ll have to scoot back or move it forward away from you, to turn a frame that size, I think. Or you’ll have to unclamp, flip, clamp in, take care of the back, unclamp, flip, clamp back in. But I think the stand itself should be able to hold the 30″ wide frame, as long as it’s not super heavy and as long as your project is not super deep (it could be rolled on the bottom roller, for example). I don’t really have a frame that large to test the theory with, though…! Maybe someone else will chime in, who has used a large frame with their stand?

  48. Looking forward to your post on Lap models! I am a newbie to all of this and my preference is to sit on the couch in the family room while embroidering.

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