I have been asked by Deborah Boschert and Janis Douchette to do a tutorial on how I finish my stretched quilts so here it is. It's really very easy and I have to credit Leah Higgins for giving me the idea to find a way to do this. The photos below are shot with a relatively small piece but this works with much larger canvases too. Just make sure you buy canvases which are braced with cross bars across the back. The equipment I use is as follows: (A) Canvases. I use normal artists stretched canvases sold for painting on. I don't fuss about the quality of the canvas because I am covering it up. I buy mine from Jacksons in the UK, usually their own brand because they have the sizes I like at a good price but I have also used Gerstaeker canvases from Great Art. I use standard width canvas and buy in bulk or in the sale sometimes to save money. I guess you could use stretcher bars but I have never done that. (B) A heavyweight staple gun and staples from a DIY store. (C) Painters tape - mine is from Jacksons again. (D) D rings and screws and picture hanging cord ( or you can use wire ) bought in bulk from Lord of the Frames on eBay. (E). Small cordless electric screwdriver. (F) a thin nail ( the kind that comes with picture hooks) and a claw hammer. I take the following steps:
- Some of my art is a quit with top and wadding ( batting) inly. the more recent works are comprised of a based of white cotton with painted cotton collaged on the top. You could easily do this with a one layer work or back with another material. I work to a size at least one inch, usually a little larger than the canvas I plan to use to allow for some shrinkage and trimming
- I then need to trim the top to the size of the canvas plus a quarter inch all around for seam allowance. This is where I first needed to apply some thought because the canvases are in centimetres and I quilt in inches. So I first trim two sides of the top to create a right angle of trimmed edges.
- I then lay the canvas up against that right edge so the bottom and left hand side are aligned. I then slip a quilting ruler under the canvas leaving a half inch plus a smidgen showing. A smidgen is an imprecise about of roughly an eighth of an inch but adding this tiny amount over the half inch makes this go easier later as you will see. I then trim the quilt following the ruler to give seam allowance.