Sunday, July 29, 2012
The One-armed Paper Hanger
Not quite one armed, but met a challenge at any rate! The first photo is a single layer of muslin adhered with liquid starch. I was disappointed in the result. It didn't cover the slight irregularities in the surface and was so thin as to be nearly translucent. The starch did hold well, however. I grumbled to myself and figured I'd have to go with paper after all if I wanted a smooth surface.
Then I had a brain flash: why not double the fabric? I don't know if you can see the difference, but this second try is perfect. I painted starch on the gessoed board and pressed one layer of muslin into it and gave it a coat of starch, too. Pressed the second layer onto it, smoothed it with my hands, then used an iron to press it flat and dry the starch. The result is just what I wanted.
I've had the pieces of wall in and out so often that I think I can apply the fabric to all of them while they are flat, before sliding them into place. The fabric will act as hinges between the sections. Except for the back wall, of course, but I think that one will be far enough back that little irregularities won't be bothersome. And of course there will be quilts and wall hangings on it.
Having solved that problem (I hope), I decided to move on to staging, as other adjustments must be made. I knew the worktable was too big for the elevated work area, so I cut out a section and reassembled it.
It will be dark in that corner but I found a nice bridge lamp in my stash that will lighten it. It is a bit short, so I made a base for it and painted it to match the wainscoting. I doubt that the base will be seen.
I spent a good bit of time playing with the bits and pieces. The troublesome piece was the big fabric shelf unit. It has bolts on both sides and one end, and I want to be able at least to glimpse all of them. This arrangement works except that no quilter is going to get her skinny butt between the tall unit and the low one beside it, nevermind be able to pull out a bolt.
However, if the stairway gets cut from 5" to 2-1/2" inches, there would be room on both sides of the tall unit. The only bits a viewer can't see with this arrangement are the muslins and batting on the backside of the counter in the front. There's a sign on the end that says they're there and one can be seen between the flannels; maybe that's enough. The stairs are still in one piece as I type this, but I think that will change soon.
I mentioned yesterday that I want to change the view outside the window. If the door windows were to stay clear, the new picture would have to wrap around inside the box. In the spirit of keeping things simple (ha! it's never simple!), I glazed the door with frosted glass (acetate). The light will come through, so it ought to look just fine.
With that little task completed, the workers left for the day.