The smaller I work, the more desire I have to find ways to give the art the presence it deserves. I think quilts of all types look great as-is in lap or larger sizes. Doll quilts look great in context. But I find that many of my art quilts that are 24″x 24″ -ish or smaller just lack a “finished” look. The quilts for 12 x 12 have a sort of built in presence as they should always be displayed in groups, either by individual artist or as a group by theme. But what about all those other little pieces we make as tokens or experiments?
Creating the artwork for a specific frame is an option (scroll to the bottom of this post to see them hanging):
Many quilt/fiber artists are mounting their small works to matching sized painted canvas to give a nice depth and easy way to hang the art, or they are painting larger canvases to coordinate. I decided with my “Fairytale Forest” that since stretched canvas is just stretched fabric, then why not stretch my (dyed, stitched, beaded, and collaged) fabric directly onto stretcher bars as if it were the canvas.
This week, I finally hung some small art gifts from friends and noticed that they showcase a few more display options. Clockwise from the upper left:
Bird by Terry Grant. This one’s easy. 3-D art sits well on a shelf — even if that shelf is a shadow box. I used some museum tack to hold the little feet in place so it wouldn’t get knocked off with every breeze.
“House Upon a Rock” by Deborah Boschert. This one is just a little larger than your typical fabric postcard. I bought an unprimed linen canvas and just stitched the art to it from the back in a few places. The natural linen complements so well the little pebble she’s sewn on below the house, and fits right in with the current decor aesthetic.
Art quilt by Esther Parkhurst. This one isn’t the actual piece, but a digital print of it sent to us as a holiday card by Esther’s husband and friend of my dad’s. Why not take a printed postcard, greeting card, calendar page, business card, or whatever with a favorite textile image and mat and frame it? Easy peasey lemon squeezey, as they say.
“What If #9” by Jude Hill. Being nearly square, this one fit well into a square shadow box. I poked two holes in the mat where each corner of the artwork would be, and sewed it on from the back. I have one of my own pieces (Village Series #3) in a deep frame where I’ve sewn velcro to the back of the quilt and then glued the counterpart to the mat. I also have a Bundle by Sonji Hunt which arrived mounted to black foam core — perfect for popping into a shadow box (a great option for dimensional art which tends to collect a bit more dust).
It occurs to me that I also have another piece by Jude which I’ve sewn to a larger linen pillow cover (I’ll have to photograph that and share). I’m loving the decorative pillow as display venue because it’s not too far removed from the comfort of a quilt, which is, of course, the media of this art. Similarly, my mom has sewn a small bird quilt I commissioned for her from from Terry (similar to this one) to a pillow, which now resides in a place of honor on her upholstered window seat.
What do you do with your small quilt art?