Sunday, January 04, 2009

"Balance Check" Revisited

Oh, this was WAAAYYY too easy. I promised to show this TIFC from August again after getting it framed and here it is. The method I used to frame it comes from Gai Perry's book Do-It-Yourself Framed Quilts and was so quick and simple. All it requires beyond a rule and scissors is foam-core board, sequin pins, & a frame.

The nearest inch I could round the top up to was 14 " so I ordered pairs of 14" metal framing strips. The foam-core on the left (under the book) is cut to exactly 14" and I've chalked where the 14" edge will fall on the quilt. I'm always nervous about raw edges, so although Gai does not say to, I ran a narrow zigzag stitch along this chalked line to hold the layers together and control fraying. I fused a label on the back and gave it a quick steaming.

Next, mark the midway point on all four sides of the foam-core and also on the quilt top.

Starting from those midpoints, line them up and secure the quilt top to the foam-core with the sequin pins. (Sequin pins are very short and have a small head.) This foam-core is 3/16" thick and the pins have to go in at an angle so they don't poke all the way through. Work from the midpoints to the corners, adjusting as necessary until you've secured the quilt all the way around. Gai doesn't say how closely to space these pins, but I found I was putting them in about every 1-1/2 inches. When I was sure everything was the way I wanted, I pushed the pins all the way in. The lip of the frame extends out 1/4" so I did a check with a ruler to make sure all pin heads would be covered by that lip.

Now trim away the excess quilt right next to the edge of the foam-core. This was the most nerve-racking part, but all went well. I tried doing it from the back first but found it was actually easier to follow the edge of the foam-core from the front. Steady hands could probably rotary cut this excess off, but care needs to be taken not to cut into the foam-core.

That's it! Now the mounted quilt is ready to slip into the frame. The metal frame (this one is a NielsenBainbridge brand) has slots to hold the artwork so you assemble three sides leaving the top open. Once the quilt is in, slip the top bar on and tighten the screws.

The slot is bigger than the thickness of the board, so you could fill that in with cardboard, or just use these clips they provide with the frame to hold it in place. No diagram so I'm just guessing that this is the way to insert them. (You can just see some writing on the foam-core; I wrote the same info from the label on the back of the board as well.)

They also provide eyelets to slip in slots along the back - attach wire and your quilt is ready to hang. Not only was this quick and easy to do, it is totally reversible. Just loosen some screws, and it can be switched to a different frame, or if I want to finish it like a regular quilt, just remove those pins and add a binding or whatever.

Here's a detail shot of the beading (click on it for a larger version) - I chose to stop with the black and green and call it good. Both this and the full shot at the top were taken in not the best light conditions. On my screen the colors look a bit more saturated than I think they are in person. Yet another quilt I've had trouble with capturing the color accurately.


Exuberant Color said...

I really like this piece and I think framing was a good option for it.


Thank you so much for this! As you know, I'm battling with the framing thing, and was delighted to read about a method I could use. The quilt looks magnificent in it's frame!

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks, Wanda & Anabelle. Of course, now that I've been staring at it as it hangs on the wall, I'm wondering if it wouldn't look better with a dark green mat or even a wider dark green frame. Well, as I said, easy enough to reverse the process if I decide to.

Anabelle, glad to be of help. I should mention there are variations on this technique in the book - for instance, if so desired, a mat and glass can be added. For small pieces, she suggests leaving them a bit larger than the opening of a mat and taping them (with linen tape or other archival tape) directly to foam-core cut the size of the frame. That is very appealing as well and I shall be trying that one. I really like the stability of that foam-core yet it is so light weight.