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Thursday 13 June 2013

Nearly a disaster

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:


  1. Great stuff, Ann! I particularly love the dragonfly. I'm glad your near disaster ended up in being an even greater success!


  2. Thanks, Shoshi. Just a relief because if I hadn't worked, I would have been short of a canvas to stretch!