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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Framing your work (updated)

When I look at a frame, the first thing I check for is the depth of the frame. The space between the lip where the 
glass sits and the back of the frame is called the rabbet.  The rabbit needs to be at least ½” deep, in order to
accommodate fringe flowers and/or roses. The ideal frame would have a double rabbet, one to put the glass on, and a second (lip/rabbet) a minimum of ½”back. This is where the quilled mat and whatever backing you use would rest. (The majority of framed pieces I sold were wedding invitations or baby frames. I like to have a frame where the invitation could be taken out and replaced with a wedding photo, or the baby photo could be updated. This was particularly important when my work was purchased in a store. The customer had to be able to do this for himself). The mats and backing would be held in by metal flex tabs that would lift up so it would be easy to remove the mat and change things like photographs in the quilled mat. The mat size in a double rabbet frame will be slightly larger than the glass size, so the mat sits on the second rabbet and doesn’t “fall” against the glass. You may be able to find double rabbet mouldings in some frame shops, where they can make up a frame for you in any size; they are however, very expensive. Oh well, let me tell you what I am doing for frames now.

Once again, I try to find a moulding that I like, (I prefer something that looks like a conventional frame rather than a straight sided shadowbox.) and check for the depth of the rabbet. If I have only a half inch to work with, I will try to work out of the back of the frame. This means I cut my mat to lay on the back of the frame, once again, this means cutting the mat slightly larger than the glass size so it doesn’t fall into the frame and against the glass. I usually leave about ¼” of the back of the frame showing all around the mat. After I have completed my quilling, I put a strip of double sided tape (framers call this ATG tape, it is made by Scotch and will say Adhesive Transfer Tape) on the back of the frame. This tape is paper backed so it is pretty easy to work with; don’t take the paper backing off until you are ready to put your mat on, because it is really sticky. You might want to mark on the back of the frame exactly where you want your mat to be; if the mat doesn’t go onto the frame back nice and straight it gets a little tricky moving it back off the ATG without tearing the mat. If you have done this correctly, you will have about ¼” of the frame back showing around the edges of the mat. I generally put a second strip of ATG over the edge of the mat and right out to the edge of the frame. I then cut a piece of brown craft paper to cover and seal the back of the frame. (This is also available at frame shops and craft stores that do framing; it looks like the paper from brown paper bags but is a slightly lighter weight) I then trim the craft paper to fit the back of the frame exactly with a razor blade. If the paper seems too loose you can lightly spray it with water, when it dries it will fit nice and tight. Then add your hanger (I use saw tooth hangers) and plastic bumpons to keep it from marking the wall and most importantly your card or sticker on the back. I print out a business card size sticker with an explanation of quilling and all of my contact info. 

FYI we now have a 5" x 7" unfinished frame that is perfect for quilling,The back is finished nicely, the glass slides out so all you have to do is anchor your quilled mat in place and slide the glass back in. To see the frame, just click on the link (item # 9184-76).

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Trinket boxes for quilling

Well for the first time, we are offering some of Stephen’s work here at Whimsiquills.  As I have mentioned before Stephen (who is my son) does some gorgeous woodworking in his shop in Massachusetts. He has designed two little trinket boxes with recessed lids. The round boxes are 3” and 3 ¾” high, and about 2 1/2” across, the lids are recessed 1/8” . . . perfect for quilling. The taller one stands on a short pedestal base. (Item #'s WS01 and WS02) These little trinket boxes are hand turned on Stephen’s lathe. Because they are handmade, we won’t  stock large quantities, but will always have some on hand. I've pictured them here with some quilling just to give you an idea of what they look like. (If you are interested in seeing more of Stephen's work or reading about the process, check out his blog  I've also included a little locket (QC166) that I put a graduation hat and diploma in for the graduates in your life. I think it would make an adorable gift in one of our trinket boxes. Happy Quilling everyone!