Wednesday 15 October 2014

Tutorial: Art quilt preparation for a show/exhibition

Preparing for a show or exhibition

Well I am off to another exhibition this week.  I have been invited to be the guest artist at the Waitomo art society annual art exhibition in Te Kuiti this weekend. I am really excited to be going down to be part of this great event and to be spending 3 days on my own!!  I am looking forward to time with like minded souls like myself and to get some much needed R&R.  

It is really important to have amazing art work but almost as equally important is to have it well presented.  Imagine ordering a succulent porterhouse steak and a plate of beautiful crispy kumera chips with a ailoi dressing at a restaurant and having it arrive on a plastic plate with plastic knives and forks and given to you on your lap.  Imagine now the same food arriving on a beautiful china plate with beautifully designed cutlery and a gorgeous well pressed white damask napkin at a well laid out table. The food would taste the same whether it arrived on a plastic plate or a china plate but it would feel completely different.  I have been at exhibitions where the work is hung poorly,  loose threads still hand over the art quilt,  they are not pressed and the quilt has had little care taken of it.   The art work feels unprofessional, unfinished and uncared for. Why would I want to part with my money for something the artist doesn't even love? Professionally hung work that has has the utmost care taken of it is far more likely to be bought and treasured.

When I go to an exhibition there are many things that need to be done to prepare my work to be hung at a show. Today's tutorial will take you through steps to have your work completely ready to hang at most events.  


  • Label for the quilt
  • Price label
  • Scissors
  • Sticky de fluffing roller 
  • Damp cloth
  • pressing cloth
  • Iron

  1. Mount/frame or bind your work accurately. Spend time checking to make sure everything is square,  that the binding is full and neat. Send time perfecting your finishing techniques.  many great pieces of work are spoiled by the lack of attention to the finishing details.  

2. Make sure that all edges are finished.  I use a zig zag stitch for  the edge of the art and I always need to check that it has been neatly stitched,  it has caught all the edges,  that I haven't accidentally cut any stitching when cutting any loose threads and that it looks neat.  

3. Label the back of the work and sign the front. If you want to know how to make labels go to this post here . Documenting your work is so important.  Make sure you have also taken a photo, catalogued the exhibition/art work details and this piece of work has been added to your portfolio.

4.  Attach a hanging sleeve to the back of the quilt 

4.  Print a price label.  Add the name of the art quilt, dimensions (H x W ), techniques, materials used, and the price. 

5.  De hair and de fluff the art quilt.  Use a sticky roller (above) or a damp cloth (below) to remove any bits and piece that art quilts pick up.

6.  Cut off or stitch into the art quilt any loose threads.

7. Remove any marks. This art quilt was hanging on a wall in a bedroom and it wasn't until I took it off the wall I noticed a number of fly spots on the surface.

Dip a white cotton cloth into a solution of water and a mild dish washing liquid.  Gently rub in circular motions until the mark comes off.

The mark gone.  If the mark is on a painted art quilt start with just water and then if it still won't come off try a above solution.  I have found it pays to spray a protective spray on my work now so it is easier to clean.

8. Press with a white pressing cloth over the quilt. Press well  with a medium iron.

9.  Store flat until the exhibition drop off or until you are ready to hang them.

10.  Carry them to the event in a beautiful bag or box.  You will value your work and therefore other will value it more if you treat it well.  

Quality art work deserves to be treated like royalty.

To see more of Catherine's work or to purchase her work go to 


  1. Absolutely agree. I hate seeing work hanging that should have been finished better. It doesn't take much, but makes a big difference.
    Congrats on having your blog highlighted in NZ Quilter!

    1. Thank you. It was a lovely surprise to be asked to be highlighted this month.


I love hearing from you. Leave me a message :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...