Friday, February 14, 2014

Mounting Quilts on Canvas

I have always liked seeing different ways to finish and display a quilt - there are many choices besides the traditional method. The museum wrap is one of my favorites but you need quite a bit of extra fabric to wrap around the 1 1/4" edge to the back. I often forget to leave the extra which leads me to mounting pieces on prestretched (and standard sized) canvas.
This method works well with small quilts. I'm part of an online gallery - Galleribba  which requires you to make pieces 12" or smaller...It's a wonderful gallery - check it out by clicking on the link above. Back on track, I buy 12" canvas's from a local chain craft store - ready to use. It doesn't have to be the best quality as they'll be covered. On sale, they're @ $2. each, less expensive than 4 stretcher bars.
The first step is to cover them with a thin batting. The corners need to be cut and not overlapped - this is to prevent bulk.
The batting stretches to the back and is stapled in place. An electric or heavy duty stapler is needed; using a regular one will not hold the batting and fabric in place. I usually place staples around an inch apart.
You can see how the corners have been trimmed and neatened up.
Next step is to mount the quilt on the background fabric. I use black fabric to wrap the canvas and have a roll of black silk noil which I keep for just this purpose - it keeps all pieces consistent. Next I center my 12" quilt on the black fabric and pin well. There is at least a 2" overhang of black all around.
Using an invisible thread, I stitch the quilt to the black fabric, stitching in the ditch where the binding seam meets the quilt.
I remove any forgotten pins. I then lay the piece on top of canvas/batting.
Next I carefully flip it over...
and staple in the middle on all 4 sides.
I once again flip it to make sure it's where it needs to be.
I staple the black fabric to the back of the canvas. It's best to alternate sides - staple a couple of places on first side, then a couple on opposite side, then top and bottom always working from center out. Every so often, flip it over to make sure the quilt is still where it needs to be.
Next, I make a backing to cover up the staples and give it a finished look. To do this, cut a piece of heavy weight interfacing a tad smaller than the canvas - around 11 3/4" square, spray with a quilt adhesive (I use 505) and lay on top of black fabric. Iron edges to back, hold in place with double stick tape. You only need to do this in a few places.
Add your labels - my smaller pieces have a Haiku on the back which I center in the middle.
Place backing on top of open back and put a few pins in corners to hold in place. This is the tedious part - to hand stitch the backing to the edge. I've tried fusing but it's not as nice or strong an edge.
I found this wonderful curved needle which is used in upholstery but perfect here...makes it so much easier.
I use small eye hooks which go right through the backing fabric and then picture frame wire which is softer and easier to bend.
You can see the finished edge from the side...
and the nice presentation from the front...The piece is called "The Woods" and is in the Galleribba (link above) and also on my website . To all my "snowbound" friends, hope you're having some quality time in your studio.
Hugs for a Happy Valentines Day!


  1. Thanks for sharing! It seems to be a very good idea.

  2. gorgeous! The art and the finishing work. So tidy and a great way to present textile work. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  3. Thanks for sharing this great tutorial, Judy. I've never seen a quilt mounted with the binding showing like this before...very cool!

  4. I like how you stitched in the ditch along the binding, very secure, beautiful artwork

  5. Oh! Such a timely find! I saw this tutorial on your sidebar, and I'm very soon going to have to tackle mounting 9 mini quilts onto art frames. Thanks for this. :D

  6. Judy, I love this! Particularly how you close up the back and stitch in the ditch along the binding. Thanks!!

  7. What wonderful instructions. I really haven't found a way to frame my feltings. This is perfect! Thank you.