How to Mount a Small Quilt on to Foam Core

I just taught myself how to mount my 2005 journal quilts on to foam core so I thought I’d post a photo tutorial, as it has been a while since I did one.

Here, from the last post, is the photo of the cut, painted boards. I cut them about an inch wider all round than the quilts, with a craft knife. I painted them with a mixture of black acrylic paint and black gesso (I used the latter only because I didn’t have enough black acrylic and wanted to make it go further).

foam core painted black

I sponged them so that there was a bit of texture and to avoid the smears you tend to get with a brush (apparently you can buy black foam core but I couldn’t find it). I also sponged the foam sides of the boards:

side of foam core with journal quilt sitting on it

Position the quilt on the foam core. This quilt is the July Journal Quilt which I was mounting. If you click on the link you can read about its evolution.

journal quilt on foam core

First of all I made two holes in the foam core at each corner using a large needle (well, I think it was something for making rag rugs actually, but it was the best thing I could find for the job). Try and make the top two pairs of holes level so you can put fishing line or something on them for hanging.

poking holes in corners of foam core

I kept the quilt on the board all the time as a guide. I poked the holes roughly first to get the position right and then lifted it up and poked the needle right through.

This is what it looked like when I had finished making the holes.

board with holes in

I then decided which was going to be the top, and cut a piece of fishing line about one and a half times the length of the top.

coiled fishing line

I pushed this through the top left pair of holes from back to front and then from front to back through the hole next to it, like a button.

fishing line through holes

I then tied this at the back several times to stop it coming undone and threaded the other end through the next top pair of holes, knotting it well again. Here is what it looks like from the back (note that I don’t bother painting the back!). This will be used to hang the quilt from a nail in the wall.

fishing wire on back of foam core

I then put the quilt back on the front of the foam core, and threaded a piece of matching thread on to a sewing needle, a long enough piece to go all around the perimetre of the quilt (it is not too vital to match it exactly as it will just catch the corners of the back of the quilt and not go right through to the front). Knot it well (I didn’t do this with the first piece and it pulled right out of one corner!). On my first attempt, I used nylon monofilament thread and regretted this choice pretty quickly! Not an easy thread to use…

Catch a few threads at the back of the quilt at one corner near to the holes you have made, and take a few stitches over and over to secure it. Try not to go through to the front.

stitching a corner of the quilt

Put the needle through the left-hand hole and bring it back to the front through the right-hand hole. Then take another stitch into the back of the quilt.

stitching the corner of the quilt to the corner of the foam core

Then take the thread across (between the back of the quilt and the front of the foam core) to the next corner and repeat. Each time you stitch it, position the quilt centrally again and pull the thread fairly taut. It stays in place fairly well, I find, with a bit of flexibility. Go around each of the corners in this way.

top of quilt in position!

Then take it back to the last corner and stitch over and over to finish it off, then cut the thread.

final corner being stitched

Here it is, finished!

quilt attached to foam core

And hanging on the wall:

cocoon quilt hanging on wall

I decided to hang some of them on the stairway in our house (next to the photo of DH receiving his Superbrain of the Channel Islands trophy when he was 16):

journal quilts in stairway

This took a lot of space to describe on here, but it probably only took me about 5 minutes to attach each quilt. You can also put them into box frames mounted on the foam core if you wish.


  1. Brilliant idea, many thanks for sharing Liz. They look great hangin in your stairwell.
    Making me think about putting some of my work up on the walls.

    Best wishes


  2. Thank you, Liz, for those really clear instructions (and photos, to boot)…even *I* can follow them. Now to try it out…

  3. Thank you for making the effort to show each stage of the process. I know this always takes much longer than just doing it. It’s a great idea.
    Now I have to make some small works to try it out……

  4. That’s an ingenious way of mounting your work. I always wonder when I see work in galleries how all the different pieces have been done. They look great hanging up your stairs.

    p.s. I think you can buy black foamcore from (under the framing section).

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  6. Thank you so much for explaining in such detail – now I understand! Your work is wonderful and I so enjoy seeing each new piece.

  7. Very nice tutorial. That quilt looks so intriguing. Thanks.

  8. WOW!!! I’m going to have to try this!!! they look so good!
    I’m just moving into a new house and could do with something to brighten it up!!!! thanks :)

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