Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Day 14 ....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to ~

Today on this most glorious 7 F (-13.8 C) degree day...
I thought I'd share something that warms my heart like nothing else - 
A little needlework gadgetry!

This summer...
as I was trying my hand at an old Lavender and Lace pattern I noticed I kept missing stitches and getting off a stitch or two because I was forgetting to leave space for the beads. So after talking to a couple of ladies (who do this kind of stitching regularly) I figured out that one way I could solve my problem was to stitch and bead as I go along....

that made some issues because I was solely a Q-snap user. I mean I have written and written and written over the years, right here on this blog that I'll never use anything else besides a Q-snap. 
"yada, yada, yada"

Well I had a dilemma..I'm a Q-snap user. How can I snap the snap over beads and not break them? 
Again, I talked to a handful of ladies and all of them said essentially the same thing: "It's always a possibility that a bead will shatter if you snap a Q-snap over them..." 
They gave lots of good advice and experience techniques and some even said they STILL use Q-snaps and bead as they go and they sometimes have a problem bead or two, but that it is doable, the majority of beads will not shatter.
In the statistical world that is called random effect...or in simple terms in a group of numbers there are always a few that lie outside the linear bounds of reason (OR don't hit the mark!)

before I go on... I know people stitch in hand and I know people use hoops, q-snaps, frames, etc. etc. Let's face it, we all have our own, tried and true, ways to stitch. I'm not trying to say my way is the best way or the only way. I'm just merely offering up my data collection, my experiences for you to consider and perhaps open the door to your own stitching in a new way. That's how I learn. I ask lots of questions, to a lot of people and read every scrap of information I can read about the subject I'm researching. Maybe that is the scientist in me? I don't know. All I know is, if I have a question or a problem - I ask - LOTS of people. Then I will sit and ruminate on it for a few days and decide what path I want to take - or what the solution may be for me. Then after I test it out a bit, try different products and see how I like them, I form an opinion (or hypothesis, if you will). After further testing, weighing the pros and cons, either my hypothesis becomes a theory (I put it into daily use) OR I throw it out and start a new hypothesis (or go back to my old proven theory). 

I tried out these scroll rods (before trying the ones I'm sharing with you today)...

1. some brand that I got at Joann's that were split rail and were poor quality
2. Edmunds "Handiclamp" scroll rods (didn't care for)
3. American Dream Scroll rods (and I liked these for quality, still using one set...but the turn off for me was either I had to sew on to the project to the rod or I had to use velcro (that you have to buy over or reuse the used velcro by sewing it on the fabric)

I want a product where I slap it on and go. . . 

I bring to you: ROLAFRAMES!

These are scroll roads that have a split rail loading technique. The genius is though: the split rail has tiny tacks down the length to hold the fabric in place (no tape, no velcro, no sewing...just lay it on and tap it down on the tacks) 

Close up view...

Slipping the top rail on, the fabric is on the tacks, the tacks perfectly align with the holes to house them in the top rail. . . 

The rails fit into the grooves on the side bars... 
NOTE: you want to roll them up with the back of the fabric rolling to the top, that way the front of the fabric remains free from touching and clean. 

here is a side view...

Slip on the wing nuts: and keep them loose (don't tighten them down yet)

Flip it to the front: see the back of the fabric is rolled to the front. . . 

Now you will twist the bottom tightly and screw down the bottom wing nuts until they do not move any more. Then you will do the same to the top. 
(Here you can see the split rails rods are painted different colors so you keep the two sides of the rod together with the right side.)

Once it is all taut to the tension you want... it is stitching time! you just roll as you go when stitching...rolling the top (or bottom) up into the rod roll bring out a new area to stitch. 
(AND I can bead as I go when do my Lavender and Lace or Mirabilia or other beaded designs.) 

There is also a little magnet that is put on every pair of Rolaframes to park your needles! 


ROLAFRAMES is made by The Splinter Shoppe in Huntsville, Alabama. They do not have a website. They DO have a Facebook page. Before contacting the shop, I tried to see if there was a LNS around me that carried them. (Please do that yourself if you are interested in purchasing.) However there was no shop around me that carried them so, I got a hold of them when I wanted to order a few more sets. 

Here is the information for contacting:
The Splinter Shoppe Facebook Page can be accessed HEREor if the link doesn't work, here it is all spelled out to copy and paste:

At the Facebook Page, you can see other stitching products (they have stitching stands) and you can read reviews (including one that I did myself)....

For those of you who are not Facebook users, I have the e-mail. If you do not have a shop close to you that carries Rolaframes and you'd like to try them please contact:


They will send you a price list and options at your request via e-mail (after confirming no shop near you carries them). 

Rolaframes are:
Light weight
Rods "do not bow" made of good quality, hardwood
Come in various rod lengths
Sidebars come in various height lengths
Fully interchangeable among rods
Have a needle holder magnet on every set
Economical you buy a set and you are good to go (you never have to buy velcro, tape, etc)
NO SEWING project to rods
Little margin space needed on fabric because you don't have to sew, tape, velcro to rods.

I'm sold!
I'm using them pretty much (if you've noticed over the last fall posts here and on my Instagram feed) EXCLUSIVELY.

I love Rolaframes...
I have a hunch, you may too! 
Add them to your Santa list, Santa loves quality made, and for us good 'ol Americans "made in the USA" product!

Check them out today! (or sometime soon!)


Until Tomorrow....

UPDATE: I've had about 5 private messages/e-mails saying there is no way that a Rolaframe could keep the fabric as taut as a Q-snap. You are so wrong! I believe that Rolaframe hold the fabric MORE TAUT than a Q-snap and KEEPS IT TAUT until I loosen it. I'm not joking around with this information. I have researched and tried various brands and I'm telling you...I speak only the truth. Rolaframes is where it is at.


  1. I am so glad to see this post. I have been wondering how the Rolaframe worked. I am with you on the velcro things....great idea, but kind of a pain and pretty expensive to keep buying the strips. I have used to many different methods on scroll rods and I can tell you that the regular velcro stuff does not work too well so you have to keep buying the special one. Thanks for sharing this information

  2. Oh, I am sure you know this, but be sure to put a piece of felt or batting on the parts of the project that has been beaded. Makes it almost impossible to break those beads!

  3. Vonna, I always enjoy your reviews and recommendations for stitching gadgets. Your insights are truly appreciated. Thank you!

  4. I'm a huge fan of Rolaframes, I used to buy them in TN then the shop closed. I'm so glad you have shared the information so I can get different lengths of rods. I roll mine so your work sits high not down between the bars, it's just easier for me. I also keep my project in a cloth bag so my work doesn't get dirty. Merry Christmas! Hugs,

  5. I, too, always enjoy your gizmos and gadgets reviews. I am getting a set of these frames for Christmas. I had seen them reviewed before (Nicole's Needlework maybe?) and then saw you using them as well, and started looking into them. I am excited to try them. I got 20 inch rollers and 9 inch end bars to try. Most of my projects seem to be on fat quarters so I thought this would be a good size to try. I know you have several sets. Do you have a preference on size? I am especially interested if you have a preference on the end bar size, which is what I had the hardest time making a decision about. Looking forward to day #15. :)


  6. Vonna or anyone else...
    I have gotten so used to the taughtness that the Q Snap can give. I can't imagine that the same can be with any scroll rods. Is this so? Any insight would be appreciated.

    1. Mary Margaret, I'd like to respond to you personally so that you would see that I answered your question in the UPDATE above...however you are a "no response" google id. So I can just tell you here. I believe that the Rolaframe holds the linen tighter than the Q-snap does and KEEPS it that way until I LOOSEN the wing nuts myself. I wouldn't have made this drastic change had I not be fully and completely convinced. As I said in the post above..."yada yada yada" for years I have written that I will only use Q-snaps. Something DRASTIC had to happen for me to say to the world HEY I was wrong and you need to check these out.

    2. Thanks, Vonna!! I had no idea that I have a no response Google id....or how to change it. I will ask my 18 year old son when he comes home from college for Christmas. LOL
      Thanks for the info on the rods. On a separate note, I am attending the retreat you are teaching at the end of March. I can't wait!! Merry Christmas!

    3. Mine is no response either and it has something to do with Google + or just plain Google or something. It doesn't matter, I just wanted to make sure you saw that I "heard" your question and responded.
      I will be more than happy to meet you in March :)

    4. Ive tried qsnaps for a couple of projects and had to re-tighten the fabric every 12 stitches!! I have 2 Omanik frames that i love but will definitely purchase a rolaframe to try out

  7. I alternately use Q-snaps and Rollaframes, depending on the project. Smaller ones go on the Q-snaps, but larger ones, especially samplers, go on the Rollaframe. I love how quickly you can get the linen off and on the Rollaframe. Occasionally, I wish the sides of the linen was kept tighter by the Rollaframe, but then I saw on Facebook where a stitcher used twill tape and laced the sides of the linen to the frame. Have not tried that yet, but in January I plan to start a larger sampler and have already bought the twill tape to use on the sides.

    1. I don't have that problem with the sides of the linen not staying taut and I don't use the lacing to the sides either. But I think something that does make a difference is: I don't use side bars over 10 inches. In fact most of mine are 7 or 8 inches and therefore does not span a great distance which means less chance to be loose.

    2. Good point! Thank you for mentioning this. It will help me in my decision of what size to buy. I truly appreciate you sharing your knowledge and experience in this matter, so valuable! Have a wonderful week!

  8. Thank you for your latest gadget review. I may look at Rolaframes for my next beaded project.

  9. wonderful! do they make this for quilts too?

    1. Since I'm not a quilter, I have no idea. You will have to check with them.

    2. Tired this a little too fast and thought you said that you aren't a quitter. Lol!!

  10. you might find it interesting that my dear dad who is the real stitcher in our family has been using Rolaframes for years and he has multiple size bars and also uses the frame. I bought the frame for him years ago for Christmas I think. He loves Mirabilia and particularly loves beads and glitz. My mom and I are so spoiled, we just order up what we want and he stitches it up pronto. He's made both of us a SB stocking in the past year. I should do a blog post dedicated to him. Enjoying the 25 days of Christmas
    cheers Mel

  11. Thanks for the review. Have never used scroll rods, I'm a Q-snap girl. But, it's something to think about!

  12. You are so very generous with advice and suggestions! Thanks very much!

  13. I'm behind in my blog reading as always. Just wanted to say happy belated birthday to Katie! I stitch in hand myself, except for those times when a frame is more of a necessity. This product looks pretty fantastic!

  14. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Can you give us an idea of the cost?

    1. If you contact the maker at the addresses/links/phone number given above, he will tell you current pricing.

  16. Thanks for the advice. I've been having an issue with my fabric staying tight in my current scroll frame, so this may be the answer!

  17. Anonymous6:03 PM

    Vonna, Do you use a lap frame to attach this this scroll frame to? I know you stitch two handed so I was wondering the setup and what lap frame you use. Thanks - love your blog!

  18. Might just have to think about getting these. I know the scroll rods I have now the fabric gets so loose on the sides, that is why I went to Q-snaps.

  19. I have a dumb question!Do you hold these in your hand like a hoop when stitching or do they go onto a stand? Thank you for all the tips!!

  20. I have been using the Rolaframes for more than 20 years and wouldn't consider using anything else. I have several bars in all sizes from 5 inches up to 21 inches. My favorite sizes are the 8 inch and the 11 inch. I like my stitching fabric to be taunt and have always been well pleased with the Rolaframe's performance. I would highly recommend them to anyone who likes to keep their fabric taunt.

  21. Thanks for this information. I use scroll frames from Joannes and they snap like twigs. I will check these out!

  22. Vonna, The first project on my Rolaframe is
    Rosewood Manor's Keys to the Kingdom. Would you stitch the seed beads as you go when they will be rolled up into the frame? Love all you do!

  23. I have a question that you may think is kind of crazy, but I'll give it a try anyway. I have always stitched using a hoop. I decided to try a Needlework System 4 with roller bars. It works great. My question is regarding securing threads. While using a hoop, I simply turned the hoop around and ran my needle through several stitches to secure my thread. If I turn the needlework holder around, it means I am working kind of backwards to secure threads. I have to physically pick up the stand and turn it over in order to run the threads through. Any suggestions? I hope my explanation makes sense. Thanks so much. Love your tutorials, floss tube videos, and blog.

  24. I’m sold! I have several and most are a pain taking, sewing etc. thank you!!


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The Twisted Stitcher