Art quilts are usually hung from rods. A 'pocket' (a tube of cloth as wide as the piece) is sewn to the back, at the top, and the rod is pushed through. I don't like that technique. It means that your art is flapping loose at the bottom. It doesn't look finished, to me. I want it tight, strong, I want it under control.
I've tried a number of different approaches:
1. Building the rod as part of the quilt construction. This is the back of my Tsunami piece. I printed information and sewed it to the back, so the quilt could explain itself. This one has multiple layers, sewn together to form a thick strong piece (no flapping ends!) and an iron rod with 2 wire loops to hang it.
2. Stretching it over a frame. At one point, I had sturdy wooden frames built for me. I used an electric staple gun to attached plastic fencing (my pieces were NOT going to sag) covered it with batting, then cloth. The fencing formed a supportive strata, holding the heavy embedded objects I often used. I could sew the art to the fencing, before covering the back, creating a beautifully rigid piece. Also quite heavy.
3.Building wire frames. After elections, I collect the wire-and-plastic campaign signs along the road. These wires are tough to bend, but give me a very strong structure. With all the padding and wrapping, it's an intermarriage between the quilting and upholstery families.
Before I went to Peters Valley, I had decided to try yet another approach: to use materials which were meant to hold cloth:
Old wooden drying racks. Their original purpose was to hold clothing. They folded! And I could take them apart and create new frames:
My first triptych! With sections of a drying rack, a wooden hanger, and embroidery hoops.
I sanded the wood, waxed it, and drilled tiny holes. Then I sewed through the holes, firmly pulling my textile art to the frame.
Next up: the technique that gave me the weird printing on the cloth.
On a side note: My art was just featured in a magazine called Textiele Plus, in the Netherlands. It's written in Dutch, so I don't actually know what it says, but if you'd like, you can go to their website, www.textielplus.nl