Friday, December 14, 2012


While cleaning up the studio and craft closet (first time I've called it that!) I found an old Ikea frame with five windows, similar to this three window version. Over the years I have accumulated lots of Ikea frames which come with pre-cut mats and instantly framed some artwork. But these mats are not archival and soon turned yellow-gray like old newspapers, endangering the artwork held within.
Grrr. Hold that thought.
The other day I received this small jpg in my email from the owner of my Treehouse series. They are now framed and hang in the breakfast room of their house. I love how great these looked framed.

 So here's my plan... I took out the matt and the glass, leaving the thin masonite backing. I cut a piece of cotton batting to fit that masonite, and a larger piece of white cotton. Using double sided tape I folded over the cotton and have a really nice padded white base for something quilty. The batting is enough to absorb some of the stuff the masonite may exude, but still keep it away from the fabric.

This  combo is a  good deal thicker than the original matt and so I was thinking about the difficulty of placing a long narrow quilt of three or more layers on top of that + glass and would I still be able to keep it secure inside the frame? The frame has these little bendable metal fingers, which are just about bendable for the last time...
And then it dawned on me. Either remove the glass totally or keep the glass and fuse a single layer/quilt top directly onto the backing fabric.
This is what creative people do:
1. Have an idea
2. Realize the idea creates a new problem
3. Use creativity to solve that new problem.

I saw a framed artwork on TV yesterday that was long and skinny and I think that's just what I need to make for this frame. Sorta starting at the finale, but I am thinking this will work.

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  1. I like all of your creative ideas. Isn't it wonderful to have all this much fun making art and allowing the creative juices to flow. Thanks for sharing.

  2. A friend recently mounted a piece of textile on the original matt of a deep Ikea frame (I'll warn her about the yellowing.) and simply left out the glass. it looked fantastic, the shadows inside the frame made the texture zing!

  3. Melody - I'm very interested in this project with framing your art quilt pieces. If you happen to have the "small jpg" your customer sent with the framed pieces, it would be interesting to see it. I'm looking forward to following your creative framing ideas.

  4. Anonymous6:20 PM

    I use Ikea frames a lot for little quilts. Do you know that they sell shadowbox frames? One size is about 8"x8" and another I think is 14" square. There's lots of room inside the glass for a quilt though you still need to make sure the bendy guys fit!

  5. Hah! I had to remove the glass from a framed fiber art piece last summer, and I really prefer it! The glass always glares unless you spend a ton of money on glare-proof, but eventhen you lose a lot of the detail work. Great ideas on how to avoid the yellowing!

  6. Years (and years) ago, I managed a picture framing shop and gallery. The rule of thumb was anything constructed from fiber/fabric should NOT be behind glass (much like a canvas stretched oil or acrylic painting....unless it was in a shadow box type frame with lots of airspace between the glass and fabric so it could "breathe". I think this was more important in our South Florida humidity, though I'm not sure the same "rules" apply elsewhere.

  7. Wow.
    What a great idea!!
    Of course that would be what one should do.

    Thanks -I am going to print this off and borrow your idea and all these comments ideas when I need to frame my next textile pieces.

    I have been having custom shadowboxes made (at great cost) complete with glass - but why not just leave off the glass and try some of those Ikea frames.

    thanks again

  8. The no textile behind glass is not limited to Florida's humid weather. I live in Upstate NY and spent beaucoup bucks to have a couple of pieces framed to museum/archival quality. They are 40 years old and still look fabulous. I can't say the same for a piece I made for my parents before I knew more about preserving textiles. Skip the glass, and if you really want your pieces to be around for a long time, use all archival quality products in the framing process. Hugs.

  9. Just a thought - I bought some double-sided carpet tape that is seriously sticky - like you can't lift your finger off it - but it secures, and holds fabric absolutely taught (that can't be the right 'taught' can it? Oh well, "whadeva" as the kids say). It's great for framing pieces.


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