Friday, September 26, 2008

Taking a break while moving on

Gee, thanks everyone for your opinions on whether or not one can mix matte and shiny beads. I knew the answer was "yes" of course, under the proper circumstances. I tried so many different combinations yesterday, both by auditioning and actually sewing them on only to remove them when they didn't look right. My conclusion was 1) I didn't like the sparkle in the center when there was no sparkle in the outer areas, and 2) I'd totally lost my vision of how I thought the beading would be done within the applique shapes. So I did a rather uninspired thing - ran a spaced line of black beads up through the centers, almost like place holders. I may add more in, in fact scattered additional beads to check effect, but bottom line is, I need to set this aside for a bit.

Today, on to more constructive work. Remember my April TIFC, "Change?" Remember how I sewed on border strips and announced how easy peasy it was going to be to mount it in a frame? Yeah, right. Once I got home with the mat and frame, I discovered I'd not cut the borders wide enough in one direction. And then I decided I really didn't like the seams. So I removed the borders, found a different green that I have a big enough piece of to more than fill the opening of the mat without piecing, then set it aside while I considered what to do next.

What I decided to do next was my usual - start with someone else's instructions and tailor them to my needs. The starting point was this article from Quilting Arts Magazine, and I chose the method of attaching my piece to heavy watercolor paper. Here you see my background fabric centered over a piece of the paper cut to the same size as the mat. I tried adhering it along the edges with fusible web (the instructions actually said to fuse the whole thing to the paper but I felt my next step would make that unnecessary), but found that the watercolor paper buckled under the heat of the iron. Didn't like that. So I resorted to using glue. I think any glue appropriate for fabric would work, but I used Aleene's No-Sew basting glue. It's not permanent which I think a good idea, but should hold fine over time because it only goes away upon washing.

Next I placed the mat over it and centered my little quilt, tacking it in place with the same glue.

Then I stitched it through all layers. I'd already sewn under the edges of the underlying muslin and now, using polyester thread and a 100 jeans needle, I used a basting stitch to secure it to my fabric/watercolor paper base. I used my hemming foot because in some places there wasn't a lot of muslin beyond the line of stitching securing the edge of the quilt through the batting and backing. This foot allowed riding up on the turned back batting.

Here you can see the basting from the back and how I pulled the threads to the back. I also penned all the quilt information on the back as well.

I used tape to hold the watercolor paper layer to the mat and put it all in the frame. This is a double mat and the frame could barely accommodate the thickness - hadn't thought about it being an issue. I would have liked to have used some spacers in the corners to give a little more breathing space between the quilt and the glass. It would also be better if I had non-reflecting UV glass but this is my first effort at framing a quilt and the piece not very important. If need be, I can put it in a different frame later. More important, I learned a few things, I like the outcome, what I did is reversible, and will try a different approach on my next effort.



Thanks for explaining that. I had thought how nice textiles look in frames and would like to try it for some of my larger pieces. The cost of huge frames is a little prohibitive and I wouldn't want to launch into buying one until I'd got the techniques of getting the quilt to lie flat etc, sorted.Brill.

brdhsbldr said...

Very spiffy piece.
It looks like spring to me.
I don't know if it has a meaning to you (my husband is an artist, painting both relism and non-representational work) but to me it "feels" like a wheeled cultivator for the garden. (See, the wheel is absolutely unneccessary.)

The Idaho Beauty said...

WCB you might want to consider a more stable backing if the piece is getting very large. One method I may try uses mat board - of course, sewing through that with your machine probably won't work - the suggestion is to drive holes through it with a nail and hand stitch. The other I really want to try has you using sequin pins to attach your piece to foam core board - the pin heads would be hidden under the lip of the frame. No mat or class probably on that method. Good luck.

Nora, it wasn't my intention, but I too saw something resembling a cultivator after the fact, although I hadn't thought about the stripes as furrows. I was just trying to set up a tension or vibration in the green and red together and chop the thing up to show how disruptive I think change is.

Mary Stori said...

Consider eliminating the glass when framing, esp. when the pieces are thick due to double matting or the piece itself. I actually prefer the look w/o glass....which allows the texture of the fabric to be realized.
I've found that tag board (or poster board) is easier to sew through for the initial mounting.