Framing choices … or how to put textile art on walls

Many fiber artists sew tunnels on the back of their art pieces to hang them like you would a quilt. Or they choose to sell their art work without hanging system and leave it to the buyer how to put it on his/her wall.

Me? I found that I simply like deciding how to put my pieces up myself! Earlier, I sometimes feared the risk of the buyer disliking my framing/mounting choices. Not anymore! I love to mount my finished pieces on or into something that is easily hangable; in fact, I feel that my pieces are only finished after I have mounted and/or framed them! So why stop before what I see the last step in my creative process only to try pleasing a broader buyer spectrum?!

“I don’t hear your cries” – one of my “bearded men”, finally framed!

Also, I really want to make my textile pieces shine like classical paintings. Textile arts live a shadowy existence within the fine arts anyway; and proper framing at least gives them the opportunity to quickly be hung between paintings in a gallery.

“Just grateful” with it’s beautiful wooden frame

My mounting choices

I have two favorite mounting options: mounting the piece on canvas or mounting it on foam core board.

As to canvases, I buy industrial made canvases and customize them by painting and/or embroidering them to become the proper frame for my fabric piece. The fabric piece is then sewn (or in rare cases as I would with denim) glued onto the canvas.

“After birth”: an old piece, directly sewn onto canvas

As to foam core boards, I buy them in do-it-yourself stores or in architect’s supply shops. After having cut them into the right sizes, I mount the textile piece onto the board. Sometimes, I then call the art work finished as is; other times I also frame it afterwards.

“Los-t”, mounted on foam core board and put in frame (without glass!)

My framing choices

I buy my frames in do-it-yourself stores or online. Sometimes I overpaint them. Going to the framers and having the pieces put in a customized frame would be far too expensive for me (it is VERY pricey to have it professionally framed in Switzerland!) – in fact, this would multiply the price of my work. So I leave professional framing for the times when I will be a rich and famous artist… 😉

Some pieces go in a vintage frame; I especially love upcycled old wooden frames that once were windows or mirrors!

“Dad” in an old mirror frame.

What is YOUR way? How do YOU put a textile piece on a wall??


Stepping out of my comfort zone

So… two days ago, I suddenly felt the urge to leave known waters and find a new challenge. I always wanted to be able to sketch more spontaneously and I decided to try to practice just that. Of course, it would have to be in “my” medium, embroidery thread and a needle!

I already tried threadsketching two years ago, but in a more random manner and without a concept. This is one of these early threadsketches:


The concept I now have is to sketch with embroidery floss in three colors of the same color family: one for the midtones, one for the highlights and one for the shadows. The picture is not to be fully filled but rather a great part of the background should also be seen. The background should be high quality fabric (such as silk) and again of the same color family. I aim to create somewhat monochrome pieces without big contrast.

This is my first try:

#raven (2017)

The piece is relatively small (10 x 10 cm). At first, I also stitched the eye (with a tiny french knot), but the stitch was somehow “lost” within the other stitches and did not give the bird much character… So I tried a roccailles bead and then decided to go with glass beads for all the pieces of this series.

#vixen (2017)

I want to keep practicing and practicing and practicing… until I grow way more spontaneous in my stitch placing and can sketch more quickly. (Mr. Raven took me approx. 2 hours flat.) Also, I want to gain enough expertise to finally eliminate unpicking… (had to unpick half of Mrs Vixen yesterday as her proportions were not right).


My ultimate goal so far is to be able to capture movement with stitch… let’s see where this path leads to…