A New Way to Decorate with Quilts


A TV is hidden behind this quilt

Ever since we bought our house, I wanted to hang a quilt over the fireplace For a long time (more than a decade), a picture hung there that we got at a garage sale. The picture was of a forest stream, very formulaic in composition, just like you would expect to see in a corporate insurance building. Every time I considered that picture, I thought “A quilt should be hanging there instead of that boring office picture.”  But, the quilt over the fireplace was one of many low priority projects during the years of raising our family. At least the picture was the right size for the space. Sometimes you have to settle.

As the nest emptied, I considered what quilt I would finally make for this long delayed creative addition to the living room. When I mentioned this to my husband, I discovered that he had a different plan for the wall space over the fireplace. He wanted a new TV placed there. We have a Colonial Revival style house, and I didn’t think a TV over the fireplace was in keeping with that style. My husband didn’t care about the style of the house. He just wanted a TV in the living room. This was an impasse (not the first and, unsurprisingly, not the last).

Ingenious idea for decorating with quilts

I got what I thought was a rather brilliant idea that would get us both what we wanted. I envisioned a frame around a wall mounted TV, holding a quilt that conceals the TV. I call it the Quilt Frame for TV Cover.

Quilt partially lowered

As I worked on my idea, I considered several options to for a mechanism to raise the quilt to reveal the TV.  After talking to a very patient expert in window treatments that I found on the internet, I chose to use a Roman shade apparatus, which requires some space at the top of the frame to hold the quilt when it is drawn up. The space needed at the top of the frame became a rather emotional issue, as will be described.

I eventually reached the point in my design process where I needed to have the TV in place to proceed with my plan. So my husband and I went to a big electronics store to choose a TV.

Unexpected opposition

I will skip a lot of unexpected and prolonged conflict that occurred in this part of the story. (You’re welcome). The issue at hand was the size of the TV. As mentioned, there has to be room above the TV for the quilt, when it is drawn up. My husband was committed to getting a huge TV, and since I didn’t have a final design for the frame, I was afraid there wouldn’t be enough room on the wall for the frame if we got the giant TV. On my side of the argument was physics and math. That is, the wall is a finite size and I had the wall measurements. On his side of the argument was our son, who also believed we should get an unnecessarily giant TV.

We went to the electronics store three times and had what may have been somewhat loud discussions about math, physics, TVs, our son, and maybe some stuff about our own relationship. The third time we were there, the sales associate said, “Yeah, we remember you guys.”

Compromise works

Finally, we got a larger TV than I wanted and a smaller one than my husband wanted. And both of us still believe we were correct in our original positions. But we have both gotten used to the chosen TV and we are not bitter about it. Not most of the time, anyway.

Quilt drawn up to watch TV

Quilt out of the way to watch TV

Display your art

I worked out my frame design and was pleased with the final product. I got such positive feedback about it that I thought it could be a marketable product. (See more detail about the frame here). I refined my design, which took way longer than I  expected, and decided to sell it online. (You can purchase it here). The quilt frame was the inspiration for this website.

I believe all of us have more creative power than we acknowledge. I have no formal artistic training, but I do have a lot of experience in making stuff. I find great satisfaction in using stuff I made. The quilt that hangs above the fireplace is one of my favorite examples. I’m not a fine artist, but I can sew pieces of fabric together to make my own art.

Whatever your abilities are, consider how you can use them to make and display your own art.

Lessons I learned from the Quilt Frame TV Cover

  1. Seemingly impassable disagreement can lead to a new idea.
  2. Television acquisition can be more of a complex and emotional issue than one assumes.
  3. My own art is good enough for me to enjoy.

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