Lavender and Rust Art Quilt-hanging and framing

Heidi, a member of the Melange street team just did a tutorial on how to hang a gorgeous art quilt that she had done. Hope you enjoy it; this is always such a hard thing to figure out--how to display these kinds of fabric art pieces.

From Heidi's Blog:
When last we met, I had printed and quilted an art quilt from a blended collage of my photographs of a lavender flower and a piece of rusted machinery. Here’s a photo of the quilt, and this is the post about the process:

Finishing and framing a piece is always a challenge for me. Since I used new techniques and products for the quilt (more about that later!), I wanted that novelty to be reflected in the way I framed it. Rooting around in my supply closet, I found wooden framing stretcher strips about the right size. When assembled, the frame was a bit larger than the quilt. To finish the plain wood in a manner that would reflect and honor the quilt, I printed some of the elements of the lavender and rust collage onto Transfer Artist Paper (see my earlier posts about TAP), and ironed them onto the front of the frame.

My next challenge was how to attach the quilt to the frame. I decided to use some kind of ribbon that I would sew to the quilt and thread through screw eyes attached to the inside edge of the frame. It’s not easy finding good screw eyes! My local fabric store didn’t have anything I liked, and I had to visit three hardware stores to find the size and color that I wanted. I put screw eyes in each of the four sides of the frame. This is the top right edge, showing the screw eye:

I decided that instead of using premade cord or ribbon, I would make it myself. I started with the image that I used for the quilt and designed ribbons, but rescaled to be much smaller because the ribbon would have to fit through the screw eyes. I printed it on the fabric that I had used for the quilt and doubled the fabric over so both sides would have a pattern. I cut thin strips and stitched down the center of each to hold the sides together. I threaded them through the eyes and tied knots, working with each to get the quilt centered in the frame. This is a closeup of the ribbon at the center right side of the frame:

And this is the quilt tied to the frame at the six eyes:

The last challenge: how to hang the framed quilt? I didn’t want to string a wire across the back because that would show through the gaps. I couldn’t use a sawtooth because the gallery that I show my work in (a plug here for the Pinole Artisan galleries) doesn’t allow those. I decided to echo the screw eyes used on the inside, and put two at the top of the frame. I made another long ribbon, threaded it through the eyes, doubled it over and stitched it together. The framed quilt now hangs flush against the wall from a hook or nail. This is it:

If you’re wondering about the back of the frame, it’s nothing fancy. I finished it by painting the plain wood with a few coats of white gesso. I solved the eternal question of how to sign an art quilt (many people print labels on fabric and sew them to the back), by signing the gessoed surface with a pigment ink pen. This is how the back looks:

If you’re wondering where the piece is now, it’s hanging in the new show at the second Pinole Artisans gallery, Pinole Art Center Too, 2814 Pinole Valley Road, Pinole California. Email me at if you would like to know when the Center is open, or when I’ll be working there.



  1. Heidi, this is a fabulous tutorial on how to hang an art quilt or other fabric or hard to manage piece. Thank you so much for allowing this to be re-published for our Melange members and others who read our blog. Thank you again.

  2. Gorgeous work and very helpful information on those hard to figure pieces. Thanks Heidi!

  3. Glenda, Thanks so much for putting it on the blog! I'm really so happy to see it here... You're the best!

  4. very clever idea & it looks great!

  5. Thank you for sharing! It is a lovely piece!