Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Day 16....

~Greetings and Warm Welcome ~
To
Day 16
of
The 25 Days of Christmas with 
The Twisted Stitcher

Today is going to be a complete review of a product that I get asked about over and over and over....
My Needlework System 4 Stand(s)
If your upcoming Santa bucks are burning a hole in your pocket....
you'll want to read on!

The Needlework System 4 FLOOR STAND
with 
Q-Snap Head

*for a review of the floor stand with CLAMP HEAD, please go to: 
and read her 2008 review

On February 8, 2008, I purchased my Needlework System 4 Floor stand with Q-snap head.
Here it is the day I got it:

Floor stand and Ellie


Here it is today:
Floor Stand 2015
This has been the single-most, perfect purchase that I have made in my stitching hobby. Period.
The reason I got it originally was: I was essentially developing tennis elbow a form of tendinitis. The doctor told me to stop stitching. I stitched in hand and also used a Q-snap from time to time. The problem was: I stitched A LOT and I was in pain. In fact my elbow was swollen and sore to the touch. 

Basically it was: stop stitching or find an alternative so that I continue doing what I loved most. That was the impetus behind my getting very serious about finding a way to make my elbow/arm/shoulder heal. I read anything I could get my hands on about floor stands.

I test drove some models and felt like while most other models did hold the project well and you could stitch quite nicely....they all lacked in one area....turning the work easily to start/end off.

It seemed to me at that time (10 years ago) there were lovely stands but none that involved seamless stitching without turning nuts, locks, knobs...you name it. It was, frankly, annoying. I could well imagine spending more time tightening screws, knobs, bolts, etc, than doing what I want to do most:
STITCH!
(I'm not mentioning any other brands because I'm not here to knock other brands merely point out what my thought process was)

This is what I was looking for, something that would: 
*Hold my Q-snaps. (I didn't want to change to scroll rods)
*Turn easily with out adjusting/tightening something

I read Mary Corbet's review (she got her Needlework System Stand one month before) and sight unseen (for myself) I purchased the stand...after reading her review.

The head turns like a hot knife through butter, these series of pictures demonstrate how easy it is to turn. One finger and the whole head rotates 360 degrees. Easy starting, easy ending. Simply Easy.







to adjust the angle of the head (or remove the Q-snaps head completely) 
you turn this knob (see arrow below) at the top of the stand. 
Head Adjustment
It has interlocking "teeth" and all you have to do, is hold the head in your hand loosen the knob, adjust the head to the angle you want and screw it down and lock tight. Once the angle is determined and screwed and locked, you never have to change it again. It stays that way until you want a different angle. 
*note: my stand is 10 years old and has taken a beating, the paint is chipped off due to my hard use, not because of a faulty product.


To adjust the height of the stand you turn the knob on the side where the angle piece is (see arrow)
Height Adjustment

This too is very simple, it is based on where you sit and what height you want it to work. I don't like my work down by my legs. I am most comfortable if my work is about chest height. All I have to do is: turn the knob (see arrow below) adjust the long 'arm' of the stand and tighten it down. It stays held in that position. I used to carry my stand upstairs and downstairs each day, upstairs at night to stitch, downstairs for day stitching. Each stitching spot I had to change the heights due to the chair. But it was simple and quick to do this.

The Floor stand Model with the Q-snap head is easy to use. You can see it slides right under very low profiles seats like recliners and sofas.
NOTE:  If you are a stitcher that likes to recline...this floor stand may not be for you. I cannot use it with my foot rest all the way UP but I can use it with my foot rest 1/2 of the way up and it works perfect. I do have a footstool that I use a lot, especially if I want my feet up. I just slide the stand under and roll my footstool up next to the stand. I put my legs to one side of the stand (rather than in between my legs) and my legs are comfortably on the footstool. I stitch like that all the time with no problems.

Some Key Points to keep in mind: 
* probably weighs around 10 pounds in total weight (that is with the stand and snap head in place).
*It does fold down for easy storage in a closet or under a bed, the knob that you turn (arrow in photo above) allows the long arm to completely fold down. so its like a big letter T. 
NOTE: To fold down you can leave the Q-snap head on or you can take it off. If you leave it on, you have to loosen the knob (arrow in the top picture) so that it will lay flat against the bottom T. 
*I have owned this for 10 years and I've not been "nice" to it, its gotten knocked around yet it still is in relatively prefect shape, minus some paint being knocked off.
*I use it EVERY DAY.
*Lifetime Guarantee by company
*Easy to use
*NO knobs to turn continuously for making it "fit" to you. Just adjust everything once, lock it down and you are ready to go.
*360 turn radius on the snap heads for ease of beginning/ending off.

BOTTOM LINE: If I had to do all over again...I'd buy this exact floor stand. It was the best thing I ever did for myself. PERIOD. I have learned to stitch TWO HANDED, therefore I believe my stitching may be a little faster than my one handed stitching. With my hands being free, I don't really touch my projects, so my linen stays clean and I don't have to wash it prior to framing/finishing ~ therefore running of thread dyes are not an issue.


I have had one issue with my head...

Head problem

Where the arrow is pointing, those plastic pieces that hold the two arms of the Q-snap head and allow the two arms to move back and forth for the width of your frame (they open to accommodate a 17 inch wide Q-snap) crumbled after about 8 years of heavy use. One e-mail to the company - as this frame has a lifetime warranty -  and less than 24 hours, I had a response from the company. I could either send the head to them for fixing, and pay only return postage, or they could send me the parts and I could fix it myself. They sent me the parts, my husband fixed and I didn't pay a dime.

If you are in the market for a floor stand...
I highly, highly recommend the Needlework System 4 stand. 
I do not own the travel stand, so I cannot comment on its ease of use or its longevity or if its effective when traveling...but I can tell you with firm, absolute affirmation that the floor stand is sturdy, built to last and a wonderful investment in myself and my stitching!

Now for the Q-snap head...
I do not own the scroll bar head, because I do not use scroll bars. 
I do not own the clamp head for use with stretcher bars (and even hoops), because I primarily use Q-snaps.

*HELPFUL HINT* You can use the Q-snap head using stretcher bars if you get the thick stretcher bars, they fit in the Snap holders and you twist them down and it works fine. I do it all the time. 
I also use the skinny stretcher bars too...I just put a thick wad of felt on the snap holders and wedge the stretcher bars in between, tighten it down and it works fine. (with me....where there is a will there is a way!)


Here is the Q-snap Head:
qsnap head


Grasp the outer arms of the head and pull out to widen:
Widen

Grasp the outer arms of the snap and push in to shorten the width:
Push in to shorten


Here is a close up of the snap holder or what holds the barrel of the Q-snap. You twist the knob down to tighten and when done you twist up to loosen. The bottom of the snap holder is fixed (it does not move) but the top holder moves 360 degrees around, for ease of loading and unloading your Q-snap.
Snap Holder

 The snap holder barrel also moves...this is the silver tube....it will move in and out to make it easier to adjust the head width and also turns 360 degrees allowing your Q-snap to rotate (with ease) 360 degrees around (like the strip of pictures above show).
Movement for snap holder


Needlework System 4 ~ LAP/TABLE STAND 
I also own the Needlework System 4 Lap/Table Stand.
I wanted something  portable to take to stitch-ins/friend stitch days/retreats.
Having so much luck with the Floor Stand, I purchased the Lap/Table Stand with Q-snap head without really thinking about it. 

Mary Corbet also has an older version of the one I have. The one I have (a newer model) is mounted on a tray, where her stand is not its like an open steel frame. You can see her review of the Needlework System 4 Lap/Table Stand: HERE

The Lap/Table stand works the same as I've described above with the Q-snap head. 
Here's my Lap/Table Stand. I use this in my living room stitching place (my floor stand is in our bedroom).

Lap Stand



Interlocking teeth (yellow arrow) is what holds the Q-snap head in place on the curved extender bar arm. This knob controls the angle that you want your work to be at.  The curved arm (teal arrow) of the lap stand is the extender bar it is what allows your work to be close or away from you ~ however you prefer it. Right under the teal arrow on the opposite side is another knob, that holds the extender arm to the tray. It also has interlocking teeth and this knob is what controls the movement of the extender bar ~ bringing your work close to you or away from  you. Once you get your work where you want it, twist to tighten down and it stays in place with no shifting. 

Lap Stand Adjustment
You'll note the tray. I like this feature - a lot. I put my scissors, my orts jar, other patterns, cookies...whatever I want on there :)

For inquiring minds: the white clip I have on my q-snap head holds my pattern. It is not a Needlework System 4 product, it is just something I bought to try and it works. It clips right on the arm of the holder and my pattern is held for me in the tall clip. It is called: The Help-N-Hand. I don't know if it is still available for purchase, I did a quick look around the web and I don't think it is....

Helpn' Hand



How do I feel about the Lap/Table Stand by Needlework System 4? Well...I'm not as positive about it as I am the Floor Stand, but I still like it. I made it work for me and you'll see how later.....

As a Lap Stand: it works as a Lap Stand, but even though I'm tall, I felt if I'm sitting in a regular sitting position, the tray is a little awkward and hard to keep on my lap.  Plus it sort of digs into my legs and it got a little uncomfortable. The tray is really wide, so...it is awkward sitting on your lap. I usually wedge it under my "belly fat" and it still doesn't stay on good. If I use a flat, thin pillow - that improves it a lot as a lap stand. If I lay back or recline...it is very useful and I would garner to say: awesome! If I use a footstool, its works fine too. But I typically stitch sitting upright with my feet on the floor and this stand used in that way (wedged under belly fat with or without a thin pillow)....I'm not so thrilled with.

As a Table Stand:  I have no complaints. It is just as good as the floor model. The tray is wide and has rubber feet on all 4 corners so it does not slide. Its sturdy. Its is just as good as the floor stand. I have ZERO complaints when used as a Table Stand.

So here's my summary of the Lap/Table Stand with the Q-snap Head by Needlework System 4:

HIGHLY RECOMMEND: If you like to stitch with your feet up, either in a recliner or on foot stool, then this is the perfect stand for you! It has all the features of the floor stand that should sell you on it: 
*Lifetime Guarantee by company
*Easy to use
*NO knobs to turn continuously for making it "fit" to you. Just adjust everything once, lock it down and you are ready to go.
*360 turn radius on the snap heads for ease of beginning/ending off.
*Easy for travel! With two turns of a the knobs you have this completely taken apart, and it fits nicely in a large tote for carrying to stitch-ins/travel/retreats etc. I have taken mine on vacation with us, to retreats, to my LNS for stitch day...its works great!

One draw back: it is a tad heavy, I'd say around 12-15 lbs. The tray is the culprit here I think in making it heavy. But a heavy tray means a sturdy base and it doesn't tip or slide over. So I would say a give or take deal on that one.

I do not recommend it if you like to sit with your feet on the floor in a chair when you stitch because its just a little awkward on your lap. A little unstable because the tray is large and it doesn't stay on your lap well. I question it being called a lap stand, because its a little unwieldy to be a lap stand. I think it is perfect as a Table Stand and nearly as wonderful as the Floor Stand. But I still prefer my Floor Stand over this model.

That was UNTIL one month ago....

Let me set this up: personally, I don't like to stitch reclining as I feel it puts unnecessary strain on my neck/shoulder muscles, plus I just like to sit upright - this is my personal preference only. 

I had on my Christmas Wish List: A new Needlework System 4 Floor Stand, because I wanted one for my living room because I didn't like my Lap Stand and I didn't want to sit at a table, I wanted to sit with my family in the living room. My husband was going to buy one the weekend after Thanksgiving. Then I had to go to Office Depot and while I was walking through the showroom, I spotted something I didn't know existed:  a rolling laptop desk. 

$34, I bought it immediately because I knew it would work for my lap stand.
Laptop desk

It rolled, it was small, adjustable height....
I bought it and it worked out PERFECTLY!
I bought mine at Office Depot, but they are available at Walmart and Staples and just about any place that sells computers.

It rolls right up to me, adjustable height. When I'm done stitching for the day, I roll it out of the way beside my light on the side of the sofa (sort of like a side table).

My Living Room Stitching spot

Essentially what I did was:  I made a floor stand with my lap/table stand purchasing a laptop table. I made it work for me. My husband didn't have to invest in another stand! Needless to say, he was quite pleased with my purchase to make my lap/table stand more workable for me in my second stitching area.
 :)

Pricing varies from shop to shop. Essentially, bottom line is these prices are around what you will pay for the system (as I have shown) this is similar to what I paid for my combinations:

Floor Stand:  $125.00
Q-snap head: $125.00
Travel Stand (instead of the floor stand): $160-170
Lap/Table Stand: $110 (plus you would need either the q-snap, clamp or scroll heads)

So you are not confused....I own:
(1) Floor Stand
(2) Q-snap Heads (one for the floor stand and one for the lap/table stand) 
*I could take one head off and move it to the other stand...but seriously, I don't want to do that. I have two areas that I stitch in, I wanted both areas identical
and
(1) Lap/Table Stand

I love them. I have tried every stand on the market, including the newest ones. I still, without a shadow of a doubt, do not regret my purchases, would not have any other brand/style/variety. 
Needlework System 4 is the only way to go, in my opinion. If you need a stand, struggle with pain in your hands, wrist, elbow or shoulder...I highly recommend looking into a stand. If it is this one, you won't go wrong.

I have sold LOTS of stands for the company, I get asked about 25 times a year what I think about the Needlework System 4.
I suspect, I might sell a few more after this review...
They are definitely worth the investment.

And let me reiterate I am reviewing this product on my own, under my own initiative. No one/no company is asking me to review their products. I bought my own stands and I'm reviewing them based on my own use of them. Some (few) people are taking offense to my product reviews. If you have opinion...GREAT! I have one too! And I think 10 years of being a consumer and using a product give me the right to tell you what I think about it. I'm not saying that there are not other floor stands out there that are comparable or may even be better. But it is my opinion this model is the best on the market, hands down. It may not be the prettiest stand, but it is the most functional stand.

Like I said: I cannot tell you about the travel stand, the clamp head, the scroll frames, because:
I don't use them. Never have, likely never will. I use what I stitch with and what works for me is Q-snaps and Stretcher Bars that I "make work" on the Q-snap head. People ask me repeatedly what I think about the Needlework System 4 and this is a clear, honest, concise testimony to my best ability.


Until tomorrow....
I'll be keeping my hands to work..
my heart to God..
while treating my neighbor with kindness and respect, 
and trying to be the best me I can be.
It's hard, isn't it?
I may stumble and I may fall, but I pick myself up and I remember:
To thine own self be true...
because...
I want to BE the change I want to SEE.
Join me!

Merry Christmas,
Vonna xxxx

26 comments:

  1. What an excellent review, Vonna! I'll have to save up my pennies! :)

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  2. First I wanted to say what a lovely post yesterday honoring your grandmother. I was out of town and didn't get to post a comment. You are caring on her legacy and she lives on in your heart.

    Thanks so much for sharing all the info and pictures on the lap stands. I don't have one and you have provided great information. It's nice to see what they look like and how they work. I need to write Santa a note :)

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  3. What a wonderful review! I like that you were able to make the lap stand work for you with your purchase of the rolling laptop table.

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  4. I love my Needlework System 4 as well! I have the floor stand and the lap stand. I don't use Q-Snaps. I use stretcher bars and hoops. Works for me! Very complete review. I also use the sit on frame and floor stand made by Elbesee. I have two each of 3 sizes of their hoops - 6, 8, and 10 inches. You have to use the Elbesee hoops with the attachment for the sit on and floor stands. Regular hoops won't work with them. Regular hoops do work well, however, with Needlework System 4.
    Thanks!

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  5. I have friends that own the portable stand that sits on a table and they are big and heavy and take up a lot of space, but the floor stand sounds very nice. Glad you found something that works for you.

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  6. Glad you like your stitching stands. I have a gazelle floor stand and had to buy scroll rods for it. I also have the pattern holder for it. I only use it for large projects so it doesn't get used to often.

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  7. I have a travel-mate System 4 and it works very well. Mine is not used daily ( actually rarely used) and I mostly use it for np with stretcher bars. I only have 1 head - a clamp type for stretcher bars. I just move it from stand to stand as needed. I also have the table clamp and the lap/table base. I purchased the table clamp before the lap stand came out and it is very nice for classes because it takes up much less room at a table full of women IMO than the floor stand. I am short and fat and there is no way I can balance that lap frame on my lap - therefore it is rarely used except when I go to EGA for stitch ins or for a np class. I enjoyed reading how System 4 works for you - they are right down in Ormond Beach - your favorite place in the world. You should ask if you can visit their facility some time. PS your package has shipped - Hugs Mel

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  8. As always enjoyed the review. It has now got me thinking about a new stand.

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  9. I have this floor stand for my scrolls. I can even use my own scrolls that I have in every size with it so I don't have to buy all their parts. I got a new recliner and it's not as user friendly as my other chair and so I have not used it for awhile. I should get it back out and see if I can come up with a solution. I'm a legs up type stitcher though! Finally a product I purchased without reading your review first! LOL

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  10. That is very intriguing. Thank you for your review. I think the lap stand would work best for me since I tend to stitch on the lounger chair of our couch.

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  11. I have the Millennium floor stand and like it but wish I had seen this first. Oh well. BUT, the rolling table is genius. Hopped right on over to the Office Depot site and used a 20% off one item coupon! sweet! After I decorate the tree I can go get my table and stitch in comfort with my other lap stand. Thanks Vonna!

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  12. What a great concise review. I never thought of the rolling table...

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  13. Thank you for the great review--I have been thinking of purchasing a floor/lap stand that holds Q-snaps.

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  14. I don't have a stand but have been thinking about one - thanks for the review with lots of great info on what you considered and what you like!

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  15. I have never used a stand. Still able to use just my Q-snaps for stitching. But I'm sure as the years roll on and my body starts to rebel will have to re-adjust the way I stitch. Thanks, for the honest review.

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  16. Vonna, I bought the floor stand with the q-snap head based on your review several years ago. I have to say it is hands down the best thing I've EVER bought for my stitching life. I absolutely adore it. I tried several different stands (floor and lap) before buying this and none came anywhere near functioning the way I wanted - except this one. Now, your tip re: stretcher bars (particularly for tiny projects) had me pulling out my wallet for a set... So now, of course I need to buy the clamp head so I can use my stand for those tiny 5" projects, too! This 25 days is turning out to be pretty pricey for me, lol!!! - Robin (My Life's a Stitch)

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    Replies
    1. Well, thanks to you, my dear I have been using the stand for years...and love it! I love how my Q-sanps work so well with it, and I don't remember life before it! My neck and shoulder are never sore anymore, and that's even after hour long (or more) stitching sessions.
      I was about the laptop table, I thought maybe you were going to mount a camera on it so you could do more video tutorials...but I love your idea! You are the most creative person ever, V!
      Thanks for another amazing day of Christmas...I love your reviews and tips, not to mention a birds eye view into the mind of an artist :)
      Love ya girl

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    2. Oh PS...I love your chart holder in the "Today" pic, did you make that V? It looks perfect for our charts...

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  17. I have been wanting to get a needlework stand due to some pain issues in my shoulder/upper arm area. Where can one purchase a Needlework System 4?
    Thank you!

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  18. That was a very good review to share all the ins and outs of the stands! Thank you! I have a floor stand that has been idle for years because it does not hold qsnaps... I should see if they have changed that by now! Hugs!

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  19. Wow, what a lot of information. A very thorough post for everyone looking for a floor stand. Should I ever give up in-hand stitching I come back here and re-read all the details.

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  20. Thanks for a great review. Lots to think about.

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  21. So convincing, I almost ordered one until I remembered I stitch in-hand! Fabulous review.

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  22. I can't stitch in hand, my thumb begins to hurt fairly quickly. I put this table stand on my Christmas list along with the QSnap Head and the Frame head. LOVE that you found the rolling desk/table - brilliant solution! Thank you Vonna!

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  23. Hi Vonna,

    Thanks so much for your review of this stand. I too have developed some bursitis in my elbow from constant stitching and holding my qsnaps for hours on end. I was trying to figure out and understand what floor stand would work best for me, and after reading your review, I had my LNS order this one for me. She was so nice to let me try hers out in her shop and I loved it. I got mine yesterday and am so thrilled with it. It is everything you said it would be. Thanks again for the info. Happy Stitching!

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  24. Thank you so much for the hint about the computer rolling stand. You have saved my sanity and my husbands wallet!!

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Thank you for following me on my blog. If you have any questions, please ensure that your e-mail is left or associated with your profile so that I may contact you. Or you may contact me personally at: thetwistedstitcher@comcast.net
My sincere thanks for taking the time to comment!
~Vonna
The Twisted Stitcher