How to Display and Care for Art Quilts
I am asked a lot when I show my quilts- "What do you do with those??"
Here is some information to let you know how to display and care for Art Quilts. My quilts are like any piece of fine art, I just use a different medium. Instead of watercolors or oils, I use fabrics, fibers, and other things along with paints to create my pieces.
Most of my larger quilts have a hanging sleeve stitched to the upper edge of the back. This will hold a dowel or wooden slat that then can be attached to the wall, hidden from view. If you wish, you can use a decorative rod and brackets to allow the hanging system to add to the look of the piece.
Some of my small, narrow pieces such as my 8 1/2" to 11" wide, long pieces have a piece of bamboo glued to the top edge of the back, to hang the piece from. Most of these are light weight enough to use a thumbtack to hold it. These pieces can also be framed by carefully removing the bamboo, then mounting them to a backer board, adding a mat, or just adding the frame.
My 5x7", 8x10", and most 11x14" pieces are stored and sold in clear archival bags. These pieces have no hanging devices on them. They can be put into a corresponding size frame, as in the small piece upper right; or they can be matted and placed in a larger frame, as in the left piece. The quilts that have a simple satin stitched edge are made especially for matting and (or) framing, with the very edges being covered by the mat or frame. My newest little quilts have various decorative yarns couched to their edges, and are best mounted on mat board to "float" in a frame, where the edges are not covered up. The quilts can be displayed in frames with or without glass. I have had numerous quilts displayed with and without the glass, and they are fine either way.
My newest favorite way to display my smaller quilts, is to mount them to pre-streched artist canvases. I have stitched quilts in many sizes to plain white canvas, paint the canvas first, or cover them with fabric. When covering with fabric, just use a staple gun to stretch the fabric tightly over the canvas, holding it securely with staples on the back. The quilt then can be stitched to the prepared canvas. This way of displaying the quilts, allows the decorative edges to show, and they can be hung on the wall just on the canvas, or the canvas can be placed in a frame. The above quilts show one mounted onto a black fabric covered canvas, and the other on a canvas covered with a sparkly ivory fabric. The right photo also shows what a mounted quilt would look like in a simple frame. The quilts below are mounted (from left to right) on a painted canvas, a plain white canvas, and painted fabric covered canvases.
As far as cleaning is concerned, if the quilt is displayed without glass over it, an occasional careful vacuuming with a brush should be all that is needed. My quilts are made using quality materials, and I have made every effort to be sure the paints and other media used will not be harmed by water, but washing is not recommended, as every item in each piece may not be washfast. Treated with care, these works of art should last for many many years.
© 2002-2013: Andrus Gardens and More- Sue Andrus.
All images, artwork, and original designs are property of Susan Andrus.