Monday, October 25, 2010

Getting “Cooped” ready to hang, and sell

The back of Cooped before adding the sleeve and pocket
I was recently contacted by a woman who loved my piece “Cooped,” which is in the October/November issue of Quilting Arts magazine, and wanted to purchase it. Hoo-ray! We e-mailed back and forth about ways to display it. We considered stitching it to a mat and framing it, with or without glass, or adding a hanging sleeve at the top so it could be hung from a small dowel.

In the end, we settled on an approach that will allow her to hang it either using the dowel-through-the-sleeve approach, or on a wire strung through a piece of foam core that fits into a pocket on the back, keeping the piece nice and taut, and able to be hung on a single nail. Here’s how I constructed it. This is similar to the way some of the members of Fiber Art Options (a Charlotte-area group of fiber artists) finished their pieces for our Orchids: Sensuality Stitched exhibition earlier this year.

The piece is about 11-1/2" wide by 8" long. I used fabric that matched the facing, and cut a piece 12" x 8". On each 12" side (what would become the left and right sides), I folded under and pressed 1/4", then folded under and pressed 1/4" again, and stitched it down to create a finished edge:


I did this on both the left and right sides (so that it was now about 11" wide, slightly narrower than the piece), and then did it on the bottom edge, too. The photo below shows the back side of the sleeve/pocket (the side that will go against the back of the quilt), with the top part with the unfinished edge, folded down about 2", and machine stitched in about 1/4" from the unfinished edge to form the sleeve:


Note: On a larger quilt, I would have created a 4" sleeve at the top, since this is the standard sleeve size for quilt shows. This piece is so small that a 4" sleeve would have covered most of the back, and been rather silly!

Next, I pinned the sleeve/pocket to the back of the piece, with the sleeve at the top. I started hand stitching at one of the sides at the bottom, and stitched the pocket part to the back of the quilt, then knotted, and left a small gap right before the seam for the sleeve (see photo below for details). Then I stitched the back of the sleeve to the back of the quilt, leaving the front part of the sleeve open so a dowel or slat could be placed through it to hang it that way, if desired. 


I folded down the very top edge of the sleeve about 1/4", to leave a little “give” for a rod or slat, in case it ever needed to be hung that way:


… and then stitched across the top of the sleeve, and down the other side in the same way as I described above. 

Next, I measured the pocket, cut a piece of foam core to the correct size (in this case, 11" x 7"), and taped the edges with artist’s tape to make them nice and clean:


I measured the distance from the top of the sleeve to the gap in the stiching where the wire would come through, and then marked this on the foam core (you can see it in the photo above) and made a little hole with a sturdy needle. I cut two pieces of wire about 10" each. On each side, I ran a wire through the hole and wrapped them together for about 1-1/2" next to the hole:


Then I inserted the foam core into the pocket just a bit, fed the wires out of the unstitched part of the pocket, and then pushed the foam core completely into the pocket. Last, I wrapped the two wires together in the middle:


Here is the piece hanging on a single nail on my studio’s red wall:


I think it looks great on my red wall; it picks up the bits of red on the chickens’ heads! It hangs nice and flat against the wall now. I hope its new owner will like it.