What the Book Doesn’t Tell You: Dream Fabric Frame

November 25, 2016By Rebecca Kemp BrentQuilting, Tips & Tricks 16 Comments Opinion by Paid Consultant

What the Book Doesn’t Tell You: The Dream Fabric Frame

It seems like only yesterday, but I’ve been working with The Dream Fabric Frame and my DreamCreator™ Innov-ís VQ2400 for a year now! They’ve become my friends, and I’ve learned a few things along the way that you may find helpful, too. They aren’t in the official manual, so maybe I should call this off-road quilting.

  • Get a big package of long, sturdy pins. You’ll use them for basting the layers of your quilt sandwich to the cloth leader and maybe to each other. I like the ones with large, round heads, but there are flat heads available, too.
  • Use a magnetic pincushion to store your pins. I’m always in a hurry – “let’s get this pinned so I can start the fun stuff” or “how fast can I unpin this so I can see what it looks like?!?” – and with a magnetic cushion I can basically just toss my pins in its general direction and they’re snagged.


  • Another benefit to a magnetic pincushion: if when you drop pins on the floor, a quick sweep with the magnet makes them jump right onto the cushion. Easy-peasy.
  • Mark the center of your cloth leader with a permanent marker. I use a big, bold arrow. You’ll know where to match up the center of your quilt without having to measure every time.


  • Find the true center of your Dream Fabric Frame workspace. Slide the machine all the way to the left and note how far the needle is from the side of the frame. Slide the machine all the way to the right and measure there, too. In my setup, the measurements are different, so the true center of my workspace is not at the center of the frame. I seem to quilt a lot of 42″-wide projects – just about the full width of the frame – and knowing where to center them to maximize my workspace is a real plus.
  • When you use pins to attach the quilt layers to a header, “sew” each pin through the cloth. Pierce into the cloth and rock the pin back to the top, catching the layers you’re joining. Do that twice with each pin (this is why I like long pins) and space the pins close together; you’ll find it holds as well as a basting stitch.


  • When I’m working on a small project – one that fits the width of the Dream Fabric Frame – I often pin my quilt backing to the cloth leader and then use the machine to baste the batting and quilt top to the framed backing. Here’s how:
    1. Pin the backing to the cloth leader and mount it in the Frame.


    1. Smooth the batting into place on the backing, with the batting’s edge about 1/2″ below the row of pins. Use the machine to stitch the batting to the backing, sewing straight across from left to right.


    1. Arrange the quilt top on the batting; make sure it’s straight. The edge of the quilt top should lie along the basting stitches you made through the batting. Use the machine to baste the quilt top about 1/8″ from its edge, keeping the edge straight. A handy tip: I use the inside of my quilting foot’s back leg as a guide, running it along the edge of the quilt top.


    1. Remove the front and side clamps, smooth the batting and quilt top into place, and clamp all of the layers to the Frame. You’re ready to quilt.


I’ll leave you with a thought about a final check to make before you start to stitch. Take a look at your setup from underneath! It only takes a second and it’s a good way to be sure you haven’t caught a pleat or pucker in the backing fabric.

And if you won’t ask me how I discovered that one, we won’t discuss the stash of chocolate you’re hiding in that drawer. 😉







  • I am lucky enough to have my Dream Frame set up in my loft and have gotten into the habit or standing on the stairs and checking the underside of my quilt each time I roll it on the frame.

  • Hi Rebecca! I am so grateful you’ve posted these tips! However, I still have more questions! I am having issues installing my Dream Fabric Frame. I have torn it apart three times now and cannot get past the initial startup on the Dream Motion software of choosing your corners. When I move my machine on the frame I can hear the belts making noise. How tight do you make these before you begin your projects? Any advice is welcomed! I just keep getting the error message that my safe zone is too small even though my project covers the entire Dream Fabric Frame ):

    • Hi Karen,

      Thanks for reaching out!

      The Brother Dream Frame will only work with a Brother machine (The XV8500/8550D, VQ3000/2400, and PQ1500).

      Hope this helps!

      Happy Sewing!

      The Brother Sews Team

      • It also works with the Brother Dream Quilter 15. I stepped up from the VQ2400 to the Dream Quilter and it is awesome! I get to use more of the hoop space due to the deeper throat, which I really like!

  • I am considering buying a used Dream Quilter 15 and dream frame. I mostly make lap size quilts, 55×65 or maybe 60×70. How would those sizes fit on this frame? Is it a lot of repositioning? Would it be worth it to get the dream frame pro, that allows for more space and rolls the quilt so you aren’t having to adjust it each time you move on to a new section? I’ve never used a mid arm/long arm; i’ve only ever quilted on my Juki 2200mini (which i love! But this deal on the used machine might be too good to pass up….) Any issues with the machine head I need to be aware of? thanks in advance for all your help!

    • Hi Ida,

      Thanks for reaching out!

      In our opinion and from the information you provided, the Pro would be the better choice. If you have the space, the Pro has the traditional quilting frame which means less repositioning. We would also suggest talking with your local authorized Brother dealer as well.

      Hope this helps!

      Happy Quilting!

      The Brother Sews Team

  • Do you find you need to pin all over prior to putting it on the frame? In your pictures you don’t do that, but when I talked to the salesperson she told me I would need to pin every 5″ or so. I’m thinking about purchasing it and am curious to talk to someone who has used it a lot.

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