Time to answer another question from the March 31st comment section:
Donna Fay posted this: I would find it most helpful to get in-depth info on finishing details such as binding, hanging and mounting art quilts of various sizes.
Thank you for the question, Donna Fay. In addition to my initial response posted below your original comment I have gathered some images to elaborate on the topic.
Finishing and hanging must be integral to the art piece. It is as important as the actual work and careful finishing contributes to the overall strength of the work. It is a personal pet peeve of mine when I see eye catching and strong designs executed in textile and fabric art that has been poorly finished. I have been approached time and again by colleagues asking why their work was rejected by a curator or gallery – public and/or commercial. For that reason I have taken the time today to elaborate on Donna Fay’s question.
As always, I am going to write based on my own experience. When it comes to finishing I evaluate each piece individually, no matter what size. My primary objective for each fiber art piece is to hang and display the way it was intended: straight and the hanging device must support the overall design.
Before I go on with descriptions, let’s look at a couple of images here:
This work that does not have much quilting to stabilize it, so it was imperative to add stability in another manner. Stretching was not an option. I knew the work would travel and adding stretchers makes the cost of shipping and transportation prohibitive. I opted to used facing for stabilization. This enables me to roll the work and at the same time makes it easy to ship and store.
Alma Beach, backview. The quilting, facing and label are visible. For the facing I cut canvas strips 6 ” wide. They were folded in half, stitched to the front of the work as if I apply binding. I trimmed the bulk away from the edge, folded the facing to the back and pressed it in place. I attach the sides with blind hem stitch first, then I add bottom and top, making sure the facing is not showing at the front. The hanging sleeve is applied last – but more on that later.
Pinball Memories is a small pieced and appliqued hanging. I incorporated silver fabrics and decided to add a 1/4″ binding with the same fabric, which supports the overall theme and finishes off the final border appropriately.
I layer the piece from bottom to top: Batting, quilt top, backing. I stitch all around the piece, leaving an opening large enough to turn the piece inside out. Before turning I carefully trim the batting from the seam allowance to ensure reduced bulk and a nice crisp edge, see close up below.
I had created a number of smaller quilts and connected these with fabric tabs. The exposed copper rod became a integral part of the design. Note: The tabs for the rod are a little larger than the tabs connecting the smaller parts. The emphasis on the rod is just enough to draw attention to it but not enough to stop the eye to travel across the work.
My work has evolved and I now rarely feature the hanging device as a design element. Here is “Small Island – Great Impact,” my tribute to PEI’s potato fields in early spring, the wind and water surrounding the province.
Here is the back. The piece is assembled from individual strips, some of them inserted for a 3-D effect. This required a more individual approach to assembly and finishing. For added stability I used facing.
The close close up image shows the label, and since I used blue thread to secure the facing you can detect the stitches on the ecru fabric.
This is a close up of the hanging sleeve. It was made separately as a tube and sewn on securely by hand. It measures about 4.5 ” wide and is large enough to accommodate rods that are as large as broom sticks with out bulging.
To achieve the space for rounded hanging rods I attach the hanging sleeve with 1/4 “pucker” all along the upper edge. Allowing this extra fabric at the bottom means that the hanging sleeve material potentially shows at the top when the piece is hung in the exhibition space. So, always leave the space at the top! The yellow pins below are placed where the fabric fold is located.
Here is the hanging sleeve with a hanging rod inserted.
I hope the images and sharing my personal experience will help those of you who have been wondering how to finish work and prepare it for hanging. More questions: Leave them in the comment section and remember – each question will be entered into the contest. I am drawing the name on May 15th. To see and example of the piece check out the post from March 31st, 2013.