Canvas Mounted Fabric Art Part Two

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

  1. Lay your art piece on a clean dry surface.
  2. Using a rigid ruler determine the length and width of your item.
  3. 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.
  4. Once you have chosen your canvas size, compare that with the measurements you made in step three above.
  5. 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.”
  6. If you do not need to add additional fabric, skip to step 20.
  7. After adding the necessary fabric decide whether you will add batting behind it. If not, skip to step 20.
  8. If you are adding batting you have five options to hold it in place.
  9. a. Do nothing and take your chance. (Drawback: the batting could shift)
  10. b. Use a spray on adhesive. (Drawback: it’s messy)
  11. c. Cut batting to fit and secure it in place with pins. (Drawback: pins can be annoying)
  12. d. Use fusible fleece to adhere your batting to the fabric. (Drawback: adhesive can gum up your sewing machine needle)
  13. 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)
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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:
  17. 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.
  18. b. Run a zig zag stitch around the outer edges.
  19. c. Turn under and machine stitch the outer edges.
  20. 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.
  21. 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

Canvas Mounted Fabric Art Part One

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 you might be as well and as a result I am embarking on a short series explaining the steps I followed. Below is installment number one.

Before we start let’s assemble a few supplies. The first two items would be your art piece and a suitably sized pre-stretched canvas. Listed below are the other items I included in my tool chest:

Suggested Supplies

  1. A chalk pencil or suitable substitute for making marks on the back of your art piece.
  2. A sharpener for the chalk pencil.
  3. Rulers of various sizes to draw lines on the back of your art piece and to make certain your art piece is centered on the stretched canvas.
  4. Screw driver with small tip to remove misfired staples.
  5. Needle nose pliers to remove misfired staples.
  6. Ergonomic staple gun. I use the PowerShot.
  7. 1/4” staples (I used Arrow brand staples).
  8. A scissors to trim fabric bulk.
  9. If you will be adding a dust cover to the back of your frame you will need a scissors or rotary cutter to cut the material. Do not use your fabric rotary cutter.
  10. Double sided tape for adhering the dust cover. (I use Scotch Permanent Double Sided Tape. It comes in a yellow box and measures 1/2” x 25 yards.)
  11. Not in my box but essential is a dispenser for the tape. The dispenser eliminates the dreaded tangling.
  12. Pen or pencil, just because.
  13. A cardboard template to be used when signing your art. I made mine from card stock.Canva
  14. Micron 08 permanent marker for signing the art work.

Even though the list might seem rather long it should include everything you will need to successfully attempt your first project.

Here is gallery of some of my favorite supplies.

Be watching for the next chapter in my tutorial.

Warm wishes for a wonderful day!

© 2012-2020 Cindy (Olp) Anderson and In A Stitch Quilting

Flash Back: Displaying and Storing Your Quilts

Flash Back

Today we are taking a trip down memory lane. This is the sixth in the series I’m calling Flash Back. The original post was shared way back in May of 2012. I hope you will find it as informative as I do.

Where Do You Start?

There are many fun, creative and inviting ways to display quilts.  Some are approved by quilt preservationists and some are not.  Only you can decide which path is right for you.  Before we explore the various options lets cover some of the basic quilt handling do’s and don’ts.

The following conditions or items are harmful to quilts:

  • Ultraviolet Light from the sun or fluorescent lights will breakdown fabric dyes and accelerate fiber oxidation.
  • Heat and Humidity can also damage your quilt.  The ideal environment for your quilt is a temperature between 65-75 degrees with a humidity level of 45-55%.  Storing quilts in the uncontrolled environments of attics and basements is not recommended.
  • Moth Crystals are often used to repel unwanted creatures. Their use is not recommended with quilts because of their inherent health hazards.
  • Cedar Chests should only be used if the quilt is first wrapped in a cotton cloth.  Direct contact with cedar must be avoided because cedar is highly acidic and can cause brown spots on fabric.
  • Natural Pest Remedy Try using crumbled dried leaves of the Artemisia plant in a cloth sack.  Store that cloth sack, without allowing direct contact, in the same container as your quilt.
  • Paper, Newspaper, Cardboard Non acid-free paper, newspaper and cardboard all contain harmful decaying agents.  Allow only acid-free paper to come in contact with your quilts.
  • Wood must be sealed with polyurethane to protect fibers from the chemicals it emits.  If you are unable to coat the wood with polyurethane then place a barrier of washed cotton fabric between the wood and the quilt.
  • Plastic containers, dry-cleaner bags, heavy-duty plastic bags, garment bags and Styrofoam are never acceptable for storage.  All of these items emit harmful vapors.
  • Store Quilts folded and padded with acid-free tissue in acid-free containers.  Clean cotton sheets or washed, unbleached muslin can also be used to wrap your quilt before placing in the container.
  • Metal is also not recommended.  Protect your fabrics from metal by either lining the metal with washed cotton, muslin or acid-free paper.
  • Dust, Dirt, Body Oil, Perfume, Food and Smoke will all shorten the life expectancy of your quilts. Avoid contact with these hazards.  Remove dust through careful vacuuming.  Wear cotton gloves to protect fibers from your body oil, perfumes and other lotions.  Prohibit smoking.  The smoke from cigarettes can leave not only a film but also an odor on your quilts.
  • Folding and Stacking quilts can be detrimental as well.  If left in the same position for an extended period the creases created from the folds can cause uneven wear.  When stacking folded quilts, limit the quantity.  Weight caused from piles of stacked quilts can create hard to remove creases.  Every three to six months unfold your quilts and then re-fold them from a different direction.
  • Tacks, Nails, Staples and Clip On Metal Hooks should not be used to hang your quilts.  All of these items can put stress on the fibers.  The stress can cause micro tears in the fabric.  Use a hanging or rod sleeve to suspend your quilt on the wall.  Even when using a hanging sleeve periodically remove the quilt and allow the fibers to rest.  Use that opportunity to remove dust through careful vacuuming.

While my list might not be complete, it certainly gives you a lot to ponder.  As I said above, only you can decide how your quilts will be handled.  Now, let me share a few options for creatively displaying your quilts.  Please follow the above guidelines for adapting these display techniques.

Quilt Blocks  Almost everyone has left over quilt blocks.  Rather than leave them stacked away somewhere why not mount them on mat board and insert them into a frame with non-glare glass.  Arrange them on your wall for a unique collage of quilt art work.

Hang them on an Old Piece of Fencing Stand the fence on end and drape the quilts over the spindles.  Be very careful to protect your fabric from the wood and its old finish.  You could drape clean cotton fabric or muslin over the rungs and then lay your quilts on top of that.

Stack Folded or Rolled Quilts on Shelves or Cabinets This is a wonderful way to add a variety of color to your decor.  Rotate your quilts to change the display even more.  Be aware of the suggestions about stacking quilts and contact with wood.

Attach a Hanging Sleeve to the back of your quilt or wall hanging.  Insert a rod into the pocket and you’re ready to go.  If it’s small like a wall hanging you could attach a ribbon or string to either end of the rod.  Find the center point of the ribbon or string and hang it from a single nail on the wall.  Once the ribbon or string is hung over the nail a button could be used to hide the nail.  Simply slide the button over the nail through one of the buttons holes.

Chair Pads  Find tattered old quilts at auctions, garage sales or flea markets.  Salvage the usable portions and transform them into covers for kitchen chair pads.

Headboard for a Bed  Suspend a curtain rod on the wall above your bed.  Drape one of your quilts over the rod as a headboard.

Bolster  Fold and roll a small quilt into an oblong shape.  Fasten an old belt around the middle to secure it from unrolling.  Use the rolled quilt as a bolster on a bed or other piece of furniture.

Table Cover  Drape a quilt over a small side table for a decorative cover.  Make sure the table has been finished with a layer of polyurethane.

There are so many ways that you can use your quilts to adorn your home or craft area.  Only your imagination can limit the possibilities.  Why not dig out some of those quilts and enjoy them.  If you don’t your relatives will.

Cindy of In A Stitch Quilting