I went on a canvas stretching course this week at DIYFraming and as part of the course we had to bring two items to stretch which could be canvas or fabric. I decided that I wanted to bring one of each so that I could get a feel for stretching both. One of the canvasses was to have a thick frame and the other was to have a thin frame but be mounted in what is called a tray which is what I was really interested in.
So I set about making a quick fabric picture to stretch on a frame and came up with a sunbird based on a photo that I had. I printed all the fabric on my computer and once I had stuck the applique pieces on with fusible web, I drew lines with a vanishing ink pen to help me with the thread lines that I was going to sew. At the end I decided that I would add some butterflies on the background in the same thread as the background just so that there would be a faint thread butterfly outline on the background. I did this two days before it needed to be finished and was alarmed the day before the course when I realised that not all the lines from the vanishing ink pen were disappearing. Where I had pressed a little harder the ink was not disappearing!
It looked terrible - these 3 drawn butterflies on the background spoilt the piece completely. So at 9.00pm on the night before the course, I set about replacing the background (I had already added a border). I reprinted a background with text, drew a pattern of where the background should be using a lightbox, applied fusible web and cut out the background. I stuck it in place and proceeded to sew around the edges. 10.30pm I was finished and it looked okay. Phew!
So here is the end result, stretched onto a frame. Although it wasn't perfect, in the end I thought it was better because the original background had looked too busy. It was a fun piece but not spectacular.
Here is the other picture I framed which is a photo taken by my husband that I manipulated. I love this piece and as you can see it goes well with the sofas in our lounge. These tray frames really make a canvas look professional and I'm chuffed that I am now able to do them myself: