I'd be devastated if my 2-yr old daughter snagged a thread or spilled some juice on it, so I searched high and low for some product to display it, to no avail.
Unfortunately, the market for quilt holders is slim-to-none, and so I came up with the idea of these tattoo-style swallows holding the quilt up on the wall for all to see!
(FYI: This process will take approximately 5 days [including paint-drying time], and requires a band saw, acrylic paint, printer (color not necessary), dremel or hand-held drill, clothespins, eye hooks, framer's wire, and small screws. Pliers also help. Oh yes, and a nice quilt to hang is good, too!)
Step 1: Find, Copy, and Cut Out a Swallow
I used scrap pieces of wood, so I had to be sure to omit all the knots, but you can really buy or use any piece of wood, of any thickness.
Once the edges were cut with a band saw (thanks to my talented husband!), I gently sanded down the rough edges and then I went back over the pencil lines with a black pen [see picture].
Step 2: Prime the Wooden Swallow
(By the way, this may be an artistic faux pas, but I used two coats of white paint instead of actual primer.)
Step 3: Paint Swallows
Paint the bird with acrylic paints, being careful around the parts where two colors meet. Don't forget to continue shading onto the sides of the bird.
Then, you'll carefully trace over the black pen lines in black paint with a thin brush. I don't have advice should you encounter trouble here, so don't mess up!
Allow to dry for at least one day.
Step 4: Varnish Top and Sides of Bird(s)
The black lines will hide any small overlap issues, and I think it really defines the limited detail and gives it that old school tattoo effect.
Allow to dry for at least one day.
Step 5: Mark Wood to Drill Screw Holes for Eye Hook Screws/ Framer's Wire
(Framer's wire is ideal for this project, as it will allow you to adjust the angle at which the bird points when it is mounted on the wall. )
Keep in mind what angle the bird will sit at based upon the weight of its' extremities (wings/ tail/ head), as well as which direction the weight of the quilt may pull the bird.
Set your Dremel press to the exact depth which will allow for the eye hook to be screwed in. I set mine to just before the point on the eye hook screw.
Step 6: Drill Eye Hook Screw Holes
Then, screw two eye hook screws into each of the two holes you just drilled out.
Step 7: Disassemble, Mark, and Drill Clothespins
Set your Dremel press to go all the way through the disconnected side WITHOUT the spring.
Mark the same general spot on each of the 4 disconnected pieces and carefully drill through your four (4) disconnected clothespin pieces.
(Careful not to go too far! Once you're through the clothespin piece, pull the Dremel back up!).
Step 8: Mark Drill Points to Attach Clothespins to Bird
This part can be tricky, but your best bet is to have the clothespins opening directly toward the bottom of the bird.
Since you're only attaching them to the bird in one spot, the angle at which they open will also be modestly adjustable.
Step 9: Set Dremel Press Depth to Drill Holes for Clothespin Screw
Again, here, I allowed to drill right up to just before the screw point.
Carefully drill your clothespin screw holes (somewhere above and between your eye hook screws).
Step 10: Reconnect Clothespins With Pliers
I used pliers to help life the clamping bar. Once you scoot the bar into the notch, you can really just push the wooden piece into place with your fingers quite easily.
Step 11: Disassemble Clothespins to Attach to Bird
Trust me, there is a madness to my methods
Step 12: Screw Clothespin Onto Bird and Reassemble the Clothespins
I highly recommend a manual screwdriver ~ wooden clothespins are pretty easily cracked and/ or broken if pushed too hard! I also screwed the scew through the clothespin just enough to where the tip was peeking through the opposite end, then let it "find" the hole in the bird and continued to screw it in...gently!
Now reunite the clothespin halves the way nature intended and revel in the hope that you won't have to separate them again.
If you don't screw them in too tightly, you'll notice that you can actually sway the clothespins to redirect their openings. (This was a total bonus for me, but I can pretend I subconsciously had that in mind all along!)
Step 13: Finish by Attaching Framer's Wire to Eye Hooks
(Note how the mounted wire doesn't stray outside of the boundaries of behind the birds!)
Step 14: Hang Swallows and Enjoy!
I love that my daughter's priceless heirloom quilt can now be displayed with the contemporary and colorful style by these two swallows.
They are truly unique and really complement the butterfly quilt!