Most fabric art pieces have raw edges that require finishing. I’ve used a variety of techniques to accomplish this task. My newest and most interesting method is to mount the project onto pre-stretched canvas.
I recently shared two posts titled Should I and I Think It Was Successful. Contained within those narratives were details about my thought process as well as photos. As curious as I was about the technique I thought it possible that you might be as well and as a result I am embarking on a short series explaining the steps I followed. Here’s a link to the first. Below is the second.
This tutorial assumes that your fiber art piece has been squared up and has four outer edges not protected by a binding, facing or envelope type finish. Rather than using one of those methods we will be mounting the project on pre-stretched canvas.
In an ideal situation your item would fit perfectly on a canvas, with no adjustments. Of course that would mean that you pre-planned the size to accommodate the desired canvas. If your item does not fit that scenario then these instructions will help you to adapt your art piece to make it suitable for mounting. Let’s get started.
Adjusting Your Art Piece to Size
- Lay your art piece on a clean dry surface.
- Using a rigid ruler determine the length and width of your item.
- Next, determine the canvas size you will use to mount your project. You can find pre-stretched canvases to fit just about any budget. I purchase mine from Blick. I’ve tried canvases from the big box stores and even a USA made canvas but the brand I’ve found to be the most accurate in size and quality, for my taste, is the Blick Premier Cotton Canvas.
- Once you have chosen your canvas size, compare that with the measurements you made in step three above.
- If your project is smaller than the targeted canvas, you will need to add additional fabric. When deciding how much, make sure you take into account the fabric you will need for wrapping around the sides and back edge of the canvas frame. Usually I add eight inches to the length and width. For example: If my fiber art piece measures 20” x 20” and my stretched canvas frame measures 20” x 20” I will need to cut strips that will increase my fiber art piece to 28” x 28.” The wood used to make the frames that I typically purchase have a 1 1/2” depth and 1 1/2” width. Obviously if the depth and width of the wood strips used to make your canvas frame is smaller you could reduce that amount. Once you have had experience with this technique you will know how much wrap around fabric you need for your comfort level. Remember the famous saying: “measure twice, cut once.”
- If you do not need to add additional fabric, skip to step 20.
- After adding the necessary fabric decide whether you will add batting behind it. If not, skip to step 20.
- If you are adding batting you have five options to hold it in place.
- a. Do nothing and take your chance. (Drawback: the batting could shift)
- b. Use a spray on adhesive. (Drawback: it’s messy)
- c. Cut batting to fit and secure it in place with pins. (Drawback: pins can be annoying)
- d. Use fusible fleece to adhere your batting to the fabric. (Drawback: adhesive can gum up your sewing machine needle)
- e. Rather than fusible fleece you could secure common batting to the back of your added fabric using a fusible web such as Pellon 805. (Drawback: The process takes longer)
- I have tried all of the above at one time or another. The thing to remember is that chances are the project you are working with is small in size and therefore not going to take a lot of manipulation to get it ready for mounting. In that case you could gamble and simply lay the batting in place and proceed from there. If, on the other hand, you are a perfectionist like me then I would choose one of the fusibles.
- Now that your batting is in place decide whether you will quilt the fabric and batting sandwich. If you are quilting it then now is the time to do that. So far my choice has been to quilt the sandwich.
- This next step is optional. After finishing the quilting you have another decision to make. How will you treat the raw edges that extend beyond the batting: Here are three suggestions:
- a. Do nothing at all. This option is totally fine if you are going to add a dust cover to the back because nobody will ever see the edge anyway.
- b. Run a zig zag stitch around the outer edges.
- c. Turn under and machine stitch the outer edges.
- Options 18b and 19c prevent the raw edges from unraveling. However, just as with 17a, if you are adding a dust cover neither one is necessary. So far my choice has been to turn under and machine stitch the outer edges. I like the professional appearance of the finished edge.
- Your item is now ready to be mounted on a canvas. The instructions for this procedure will be included in a future installment. Included below are a few photos taken while prepping one of my fiber art pieces for mounting. The very last one is of my art quilt all ready to go.
I hope that this set of instructions has helped to simplify the process. Once you have tackled it for the first time your confidence will sore and your interest in using this method will be an easy one. If you have questions about my instructions or would like to see additions or corrections made, feel free to include them in a comment.
The third chapter in this series will be published soon. Don’t forget that you can receive updates automatically if you become a follower of my journal.
Until next time, warm wishes for a wonderful day!
© 2012-2020 Cindy (Olp) Anderson and In A Stitch Quilting