We have taken many quilts and delicate fabrics off of old stretcher bars, and off of old cardboard from bad frames. People who appreciate fiber arts and the skill in which it takes will often spend thousands of dollars in restoration; We have established many relationships throughout the country sending fiber art to restorations such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But imagine my jaw dropping, when I had something so museum- worthy as this 73” square Quilt to be FRAMED. The piece was in need of repair in some parts, but the piece overall was breathtaking. The hand embroidery was enough to make you stand for hours to look at it.
I started with a 72” square stretcher bar “form” to begin my layout. From there, I covered the stretcher with 3/16th inch museum foam core, and on top of that laid 6 ply pure cotton rag board. I carefully placed the quilt centered, and began sewing at 4” intervals using filament thread, with as little loops as possible. The over-hang edges were carefully folded under, but still on top of the cotton board. The Frame that was used was Fotiou #5129BL, making the piece a total outside dimension of over 80” (almost a 7-foot square). We lined the inside of the frame with Filmoplast Rabbit Tape to make sure no wood alkaline came in contact with the quilt’s fabric.
But the most beautiful feature to this project was its chosen glazing: Tru-Vue Optium. Remember when you would go to the museum, and have to stand 5 feet from the Van Gough? And now, you can get your nose right up to the piece without being yelled at by the guard? Well, that’s because this surface – with 99% UV protection, and less than 1.6% light reflection makes it possible to see the subject so perfect – you wouldn’t even know this surface was on here! (It’s static free, too!) We used this acrylic with 3/8” frame space to prevent the ¼” acrylic from touching the quilt itself.
And the piece is amazing. It took 8 hours to create, and the frame job was $5800.00 to complete. Half of this price is A) size, and B) glazing. It is the framer’s opinion – though not an appraiser by any means – He would estimate this quilt to be worth twice that amount.