When you hang a large quilt you are faced with two problems: the weight and the
width. One of the best solutions for both of these problems is a hanging sleeve.
A sleeve is just a sewn tube of fabric the width of your quilt.
Cut a piece of fabric about 9" wide by the width of your
quilt minus 2 inches. You may have to piece this to get it long enough for your
quilt. If you have a particularly wide quilt and think that you will also need a
center support, then cut two strips of fabric each 9" and half of the width of
the quilt minus 2". (For example: If you are cutting for a quilt 70" wide then
you would need 1 piece 68" x 9" or 2 pieces each 33" x 9")
Fold over ¼" and ¼" again on each of the narrow ends of
the hanging sleeve and sew in place. Fold the hanging sleeve in half along the
long edge, wrong side together. Before adding the binding center the raw edges
of the sleeve to the raw edges of the quilt along the top edge and sew in place
a scant ¼" from the edge. (The quilt back will be 1-1/2" wider than the length
of the sleeve.) Now when you add your binding, the sleeve will be further reinforced
because you are enclosing the raw edges under the binding, and the edge will be
hidden under the binding.
If you are using the double hanging sleeve (for a quilt
that needs more support), then place the outer edges of the sleeve 1" from the sides
of the quilt. You will then have a gap in the center between the 2 sleeves. This
is the place where you can add another support bracket. There is also enough of
the quilt on each side without hanging sleeve, so that you can hide the brackets
if you so desire.
Your next step is to slipstitch the bottom fold of the
sleeve to the back of the quilt being careful to catch only the back of the quilt.
When these steps are completed, use a heavy pole like the
ones in your closet or a drapery rod and two or three brackets such as those used
for draperies. Securely attach these to your wall, thread the pole through the
sleeve, and hang your quilt. It will be evenly supported across the entire edge
with no strain points and no wobbles.
The advantage to this system is that you can easily change
quilts for different seasons or just to give each of your quilts a chance to show off.
Smaller quilts also benefit from this method, just make
your hanging sleeve a smaller width, maybe 6" instead of 9". Café rods and brackets
are perfect for the smaller pieces. If your quilt is light then PVC pipe will also
*Here is a trick for pieced backs: If you have pieced your
backing so that the top edge is not the same, fabric all the way across you can
easily make your hanging sleeve to match. Make sure that you piece enough backing
so that you have at least an extra 9" of backing available at the top of the quilt.
Before or even after the quilt has been quilted, cut this extra 9" off and use it
for the hanging sleeve. It will exactly match the backing of the quilt with no fuss or
©2003 Barbara Siedlecki