Improvise! Bungee cord system to hold up quilt

27 04 2014

One of the ladies on my quilting forum has designed a system for holding up quilts to prevent drag when the quilt falls off the edge of the table, as any large quilt will do unless you have a HUGE work area. You can buy her system from here: However, because the shipping costs for such as system to Australia would be HUGE, she’s also suggested that we develop our own. So I did.

I remembered that we had an old portable hanging rack that we’d dragged around from previous houses, and that had been very useful in the day. But I didn’t know where it was as we’d either given it away or stored it after we last moved some four years ago. But my husband said that it should be in the shed (I’d looked) if we hadn’t given it away, and he thought we might have dismantled it. After some hunting around in the shed, I found it in pieces on top and behind a couple of storage racks. He also said we had bungee cords in the stuff for the bike rack, so I found those too, and grabbed two of the clamps I use on my basting table, and voila! I had a suspension system for my large quilts made from stuff I already had.

Here’s my setup after I’d finished putting it together (30 minutes to find the stuff, 10 minutes to put it together).




The only downside is that I had to move the table out from the wall about 6 inches to accommodate the legs (my Sweet Sixteen is in the main living room). I’ve yet to use it, but will report back once I have. If it doesn’t work for me, then I’ll just dismantle everything again and put it back in the shed 😉

And yes, that’s an Eagles ‘Hotel California’ poster on the wall. And note the 1980s grey of the hanging rack 😉

Update later the same day: Well, these are brilliant! I didn’t realise how much drag I had put up with, as I thought I puddled my quilts pretty well. But once the drag was taken away, the quilt moved effortlessly across the table top/sewing bed without much shoulder/neck/arm movement and no death grip grabbing and pushing/pulling. Yes, I had to reposition the clamps every so often, but I had to reposition the ‘puddle’ much more when I was doing it that way. This is a winner!!




17 responses

28 04 2014

I am so glad this worked out for you!!!! I had thought of something similar for my set-up but I have some shelving above the machine. Anyhow, as I looked at your rack, etc, I had the thought that a couple of bungees from large hooks in the underside of the bottom shelf might work the same!!!! I’ll report back to you on this one!!!!!!

7 11 2016

I have shelves too but I am sure going after bungee cords today!!

9 11 2016

Be sure to let me/us know how it works for ya!!!! ;-D

28 04 2014
Dawn C.

U 1 clever cookie!

28 04 2014
Lin Marsh

Rhonda, that looks great! I’ll be very curious to see how it works for you.It doesn’t look like there’s much tension on the bungee cords, they’re hanging loosely. Like treadlemusic above, I have a shelf just over my machine too. Maybe???
Lin from the forum

30 04 2014
Community Quilt 138 | Rhonda Bracey: At Random

[…] I was quilting this quilt, I set up my suspension system and it worked a treat in reducing […]

3 05 2014
Have you experienced this??????? | Treadlemusic

[…] to the 2nd idea. This one was recently posted on Rhonda Bracey’s blog “At Random” in answer to a question brought up on a Yahoo forum. Again, a photo from her […]

29 06 2014
Gwen’s quilt | Rhonda Bracey: At Random

[…] it as the drag and weight of the quilt did their best to usurp my attempts! I had it attached to my bungee cord system, and while that helped, it only mitigated against the weight of this quilt, not eliminating it […]

14 07 2014
Community Quilt 153 | Rhonda Bracey: At Random

[…] the quilt made it a real pain to move around, and, as I was away from home, I didn’t have my improvised bungee cord system to help prevent drag and hold up the quilt, so my shoulders were really aching by the time I […]

10 08 2014
Pam Stalnaker

I saw this when you first posted it, and I finally got around to asking my husband to put together one for me. I have been working on a quilt with lots of ruler work, and the drag was killing me! I did the last 25% of the quilting with my new suspender system! and I absolutely love it. Thanks for the post.

18 11 2014
Linda P

Have you ever been to the dog groomer! Can you picture upright pole that a groomer attaches the dog lease, to secure the dog, it clamps to the side of the table. To which you (we) can attach clamps. They are sold on Petco’s web site. I’m asking Santa to bring a pair.

thanks Linda P

19 11 2014

I don’t have a dog so I didn’t know about those until after I’d created my setup.

4 09 2015
Stephanie Hateley

Just found this, saw the set up on Amy’s quilting site, just letting you know that the overhead rack can be bought from Kmart really cheaply, cords from Bunnings. I just got my Sweet 16 and this will be great for it!

3 10 2016
MacGyvering a solution | Rhonda Bracey: At Random

[…] a photo of my solution (the other stuff you can see near the table legs is the hanging rack I use for my bungee cord system, and a rollaway set of drawers for rulers, notions, etc. — ignore those [and the dust […]

14 04 2018

l have just set up a wooden ladder behind my machine and attached bungee cords using bulldog clips tp hold the quilt. Not pretty but works.

20 03 2019
Joan Kniffen

Where did you find the clamps? I am having trouble finding clamps to hook to the bungee cords.

24 11 2021
Ways to use bungee cords in the classroom | The Bungee Store

[…] inspiration from Rhonda Bracey’s duvet hanger suggestion, this same method works well for hanging up any classroom accessories or […]

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