Thursday, March 03, 2011

This is a test...

I'm ready to wrap my leaf prints-on-silk-backgrounds around stretched canvas, but I want to try a method by Catharina Breedyk Law as described in the March 2008 issue of American Quilter. Because it requires some cutting, I didn't want my first time to do it to be on something that could not be salvaged should it not work as advertised. I should not have worried. This test run on one of my Strawberry Moon pieces worked like a charm, and was much quicker and easier than anticipated. I am sold on this method. You start by centering the canvas to mark the corners with dots. Catharina does this from the front with pins, then flips the piece over to place dots where the pins enter. I'm not sure why working from the front first is necessary - it appeared you could just as easily do this from the back. At any rate, once those guide dots are marked, you draw lines through them, then stitch along the corner lines only with a small stitch for reinforcement. Trim away the corners leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Mark the depth of your frame. In my case, that was 3/4" - you can see the pencil mark just above the pin. Match the dots (bring the quilt right sides together) with the end being exactly where the stay stitching reinforcement turns the corner. Stitch just to the left of the stay stitching, down to your mark and back and down again. I used a 1.5 stitch length.

When all four corners are sewn, turn right side out, poking out the corners. Slide in your frame - it should be a snug fit and the corner stitching should stop right at the back of the frame; otherwise, folding back those corners in the next step will be problematic. I have to tell you, this was one of those "little bit of magic" moments for me when the frame fit in there perfectly.

Now you can start stapling the excess to the back of the frame. Staple centers first and work your way to the corners (where her only instruction is to "fold the corners neatly and staple." You'll have to experiment to discover what constitutes a neatly folded corner). Remember to pull tightly as you go for a snug fit.

With the background print, it's a little hard to see, but here is Strawberry Moon 3, neatly wrapped around the stretched canvas with corners to die for (compared to the way I've done them in the past).

So this is how I am going to finish my two leaf prints on silk. But I'm not through with Strawberry Moon yet - I have another thing to try out.

A couple of years ago, I noticed many oil paintings being displayed in a frame I'd not seen before, but thought would showcase my textile art well as they allowed the canvas to "float" inside the frame, leaving the sides in view. I later found out that these are called "Illusions Frames" and even with careful reading of descriptions, I couldn't quite figure out how they worked. Being a bit pricier than the metal and gallery frames I've used, I was hesitant to buy sight unseen. But ASW was having a big sale in January, so I decided to order some up, crossing my fingers that my 3 most recent Strawberry Moons would look good in them. To my delight, they are easy to mount artwork in and make these textile pieces look great as you can see.

This is how the frame works: The canvas is inserted from the front, and rests on the innermost "ledge." The next little ledge keeps it in place, giving it the look of floating on the background. The next ledge is the outside of the frame which is essentially flush with the top of the canvas.

I had visions of having to drill through the canvas frame into Illusion frame, struggling to have everything centered properly. Instead, 6 little brackets on the back hold all in place, and only 1 screw through each into the canvas frame is all you use.

So simple, so effective. I'm in love...

If you are an AQS member, you can download the article with directions in pdf form here.


Linda B. said...

Very impressive - your work, your instructions, the mounting process are all really good.

Linda Stokes said...

Your artwork looks great in the frame and thank you for the clear intructions - will have to try it.
Thanks for your comments on my blog too.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thank you both! I so enjoy your work and appreciate your comments. Hope my info helps you on your own creative journeys.