Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Getting it up

I am speaking of artwork of course, and getting it up on the walls. Here we have two examples of how artquilts, or embroideries in this case, can be displayed. The larger frame was done in a frame-it-yourself studio, at mucho expense. However, I think it was way worth it, since this means the artwork will remain in great condition and on display and not stuck in some closet.
On the right is another, less expensive, do-it-yourself display idea. Quarter-inch plexiglass from a local plastics manufacturer which I found on

Detail of the embroidery under glass

Detail of the embroidery which is NOT under glass, but mounted on the plexiglass.

Here's the scoop. The plexiglass is custom sized and ordered to have the edges 'flamed' which means they are melted with a blow touch to remove the saw marks. It comes with brown kraft paper stuck to both sides, to prevent scratches. This is removed and the quilt or fiber art is positioned and while I used a drill to make holes in the plexi to sew on the quilt, I would not do that now. Now we are using tiny adhesive Velcro dots to stick to the plexi and the quilt.

However 2 holes do need to be drilled through the plexi. Here I show one of the holes, with 30 lb. test nylon fish line used to loop through the holes, as a hanging device.

This David Walker piece is sewn on and then placed on a plexiglass easel. I got it in Tokyo, not exactly handy.

Two Marcia Derse pieces hang in the bedroom

while two Andy Stern works are hanging in the living room.

This Sylvia Whitesides quilt is mounted on suede board and framed without glass.

There are oodles of ways to get the art off the shelf and onto the wall. IKEA has a 20" square shadow box for $20 (in black only) and it comes with a mat with a 12" window. The frame has a spacer which recesses the artwork about an inch. A quilt larger than the 12" size could just be mounted directly onto the mat and look great.

Or use the idea from Deb Boschert. Get a gallery wrapped canvas (at least 1.5" deep) and paint it an appropriate color and mount the artquilt to the canvas. Imagine four 24" square canvasses grouped in a four patch with coordinating designed artquilts, with colors or fabrics in common. What an impact.

Tommy Fitzsimmons wraps some of her quilts around stretchers and staples the edges to the back, eliminating binding ( hurray!) The same idea could use stretched upholstery fabric as the mounting base, with the artquilt stitched or velcroed to the fabric.


  1. Anonymous10:50 AM

    Lots of good ideas here. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Anonymous11:02 AM

    Just some practical thoughts about mounting fiber arts: If you're using glass on the front, you don't want the glass (or plexi) to touch the fiber (squish it, so to speak)as besides being aesthetically unappealing, it's a trap for mildew. So that depth between the frame and the fabric is essential! Also you want the weight of the piece to be supported evenly so you don't eventually get sag. (I'm sure your small pieces don't weigh enough to worry about that.) One other caveat is to not use adhesives or anything that might leave a residue when attaching to a backing board. Stitching it on is preferable. Everything you do to the fabric should be reversible. Just things to consider--not a reflection on how you are doing things!!

  3. Good information! What wonderful works as well.

  4. Thanks so much for this. Could I ask how you sew pieces onto the plexiglass if you don't want to use velcro?

  5. Just sew it on like a button, through the double drilled holes in the plexiglass. This is much more work than you want to do so just use the velcro. If you don't like the idea of the sticky parts on the fabric, use it without the sticky on the quilt, and just the sticky on the plexi.

    I know if you try this just once it will all become clear to you.

  6. Anonymous1:40 PM

    A perhaps obvious fact, but one I missed. If you're using the velcro, sticky on plexiglass and sewn on the fabric, is the plexiglass behind the fiberart piece or on top of it? I was assuming when you were sewing it to the plexiglass that the art piece was under the plexiglass, but with velcro I'm lost.. Thanks!

  7. The art is on the plexi, not the plexi on the art. The fiber piece is way out in the open.

  8. Anonymous4:35 PM

    Perfect! That cleared it up completely! I kept seeing you describe this method which seems to be great, but needed that one missing link. Thanks! You're so sweet to share all your secrets with us!

  9. Wow Melody,evey artist is honored in your home gallery.How to mount tutorial can be found in Mel's and Sonji's July '05 archives.

  10. Anonymous11:35 PM

    You share the best ideas, Thanks so much!

  11. Acrylic book easels and display frames are available from library suppliers. has them on sale this month from $3-$11.

  12. These are great ideas. Thank you. I think they would make the art quilts more art and less quilt. So far I have been using curtain rods to hang my quilts up with.


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