Monday, February 6, 2012

Create an Art Quilt Coffee Table Book

I am honored to belong to Serendipity Art Quilts which is described on its blog as “A collaborative art quilt project for a group of like minded quilters who want to explore and expand their abilities in fabric and mixed media”.   Until recently themes were chosen every two months and we have been exchanging fabric art postcards.  The works coming out of this group were phenomenal.  This year we decided to expand our creative efforts to exchange 12” x 12” quilts on a quarterly basis. 

Our first themed work, “Writing on the Wall”, was exchanged in January 2012.  I received a vibrant and beautifully executed quilt titled, “The Color of Happy”, from Deborah Stanley.  I was so bowled over by it that I immediately began thinking about how I might showcase Deborah’s piece, as well as those that will arrive in the future and hit upon the idea of making a coffee table book.

Finished page with Deborah's 12" x 12" s mounted quilt

This is the process I developed for making pages for a quilt art book:

Since the exchange quilts will be 12” x 12”, cut a piece of cardboard 13” x 13”.  I used the mailer in which Deborah’s quilt arrived.
Audition the quilt atop the cut down cardboard to make sure that there will be enough marginal space around the quilt to allow for the addition of hold down tabs and to insert metal eyelets. (Deborah Stanley’s quilt shown here.)
Cut two (2) 13 ½” x 13 ½” pieces of fabric.

Audition the cardboard atop the fabric to make sure there will be enough fabric for ¼” around all edges.

Place fabric right sides together and pin around all edges.

Stitch around 3 sides only.  Leave one side open for turning.

Clip Corners

Turn fabric right sides out.

Poke out all corners to crisp points.

Because the printing on the cardboard showed through the fabric, I applied a coat of gesso to the entire top surface.

Because the wetness of the gesso tends to make the cardboard warp, weight cardboard until gesso is completely dry.  (Note:  It would be best to use a plain white cardboard and then this step can be omitted.)

Insert cardboard into fabric sleeve

Prop top of sleeve open with anything on hand
Apply glue to edge of cardboard
(Note:  I used Contact Cement ™.  It adhered instantly and left no bleed through onto the fabric.  Since this edge will not come in contact  with the quilt, I doubt if there would be any damage to the quilt.)

Fold fabric onto the glued edge and finger press. 

Remove separators and apply glue to the previously glued fabric

Fold top fabric toward inside of sleeve and finger press it to the glued edge.

Measure 4” away from each corner on all edges.  Mark with a straight pin.

Cut ½” strips of vinyl for corner hold downs
Apply glue to the fabric just before each pin-marked place.
Lay vinyl strips from glued point to glued point to create the hold-down strip.
Finger press vinyl to glued fabric and let completely dry.
When glue is dry, cut off excess vinyl.

Punch holes through glued vinyl areas.

Stitch embellishment with holding bead from back to front.
Completed hold-down strap element.  Do this for all 4 corners.
Completed straps on all four corners.
Punch 3 equidistant holes and insert eyelets in the side that was glued.

Completed page with hold-down straps and eyelets.
And here, again, is the page with Deborah Stanley's quilt mounted on it.

Since the quilt can now be mounted on a stiff mounting field, it can also be displayed on a stand without drooping 
Finally, create a front and back cover
in the same way as each page is constructed.  


  1. What a great idea, Linda! Thank you for the clear and concise instructions.

  2. This wasn't difficult but it did require a lot of steps. I'm glad that Mia found it user friendly.

  3. This wasn't difficult but it did require a lot of steps. I'm glad that Mia found it user friendly.