The best way to hang a quilt on your wall is to sew a fabric hanging sleeve to the back. Here’s how…
What you’ll need:
- A strip of cotton fabric that coordinates with the backing (or plain muslin fabric), 8-1/2 inch wide by the width of your quilt
- Needle & thread
- a wooden dowel
- nails or 2 Command Strip hooks
How to make the hanging sleeve:
Cut an 8-1/2” strip of cotton fabric the same width as your finished quilt. This will make your finished sleeve 4 inches wide. (*NOTE: if you’re going to enter your quilt in a show, most require a hanging sleeve 4” wide; however, if you’re using a wooden dowel to hang the sleeve on your wall you only need the finished sleeve to be wide enough to slip the dowel through—so you can opt to cut it smaller…see note at bottom.)
Fold under the short ends of your strip 1/4 inch or more and press; then fold it over once more about 1/4” or more and press. Using your sewing machine, topstitch.
Next fold the strip down the middle the long way (wrong sides together) and iron to make a crease down the center.
Open the strip back up and press each long edge to that center creas.
Now open the strip up again and bring the long edges together (wrong sides together), pin, and machine stitch a 1/4” seam. Now you have a long tube.
Carefully press that seam open. Be careful not to disturb your original press lines on the edges. (NOTE: You’ll notice that the sleeve doesn’t lie flat—the front side (without the seam) is a bit wider than the back, so it “curls”. Don’t worry–it’s meant to be that way.)
Lay the back of the sleeve (hemmed side) onto the back of your quilt, positioning the top crease about 1/2” from the top (or just a “smidge” under the binding)—and pin. Then pin the lower creased edge.
By hand, with a needle and matching thread, whip stitch the top creased edge and bottom creased edge to the quilt backing. (NOTE: Be sure not to sew all the way through the quilt…we don’t want the stitching to show on the front of the quilt.)
You can also whip stitch the short ends to the quilt…but only the back part…. (NOTE: Be sure not to whip stitch the front of the short ends—you need the ends open so you can slip the dowel inside the sleeve.)
Again, notice the front of the sleeve will poof out just a bit (see photo below). That’s okay! This is done on purpose to accommodate the width of the wooden dowel (or rod) so that the front of the quilt doesn’t buckle or get distorted when you hang it up.
The wooden dowel can be any diameter, but I like to choose the smallest diameter dowel that can handle the weight of the quilt without bending out of shape. For most of my quilts and wall hangings, I use a 3/8 to 1/2 inch diameter wooden dowel. For my smaller wallhangings, I might even use a smaller one. If you’re hanging a very large bed-sized quilt, or a quilt that is unusually heavy, you might want to consider a larger diameter dowel or even use a metal curtain rod.
Cut the wooden dowel about an inch or less than your quilt back. Twist an eye screw into each end. Slip the dowel evenly through the hanging sleeve. Hold the quilt (with dowel) up against your wall, positioning where you want it and being sure it’s level. Then mark with a pencil where the center of the eye screws are. Then hammer the nails at those marks, and hang the quilt by putting the eye screws on the nails.
If you’d rather not use the eye screws, you can cut the dowel almost the same size as the quilt, and hang the dowel ends directly on command strip hooks or nails instead.
That’s it! Here’s a photo of my latest quilted wallhanging on my wall…
I hang all of my quilted wall hangings and art quilts this way. Here’s one in my livingroom… and a large landscape art quilt in my diningroom…
And s photo of the hanging sleeve on the back of one of my smaller art quilts. I used a 3/8 inch diameter wooden dowel for this one…
This method of hanging quilts works great for most of my quilted wall hangings and quilts. However, I’ve found a different method for hanging my small art quilts.
Most quilt contests require a hanging sleeve that is 4 inches wide, so by cutting your original strip 8-1/2” it will end up being 4” wide. However, if you’re just hanging it at home, you don’t really need to start with your strip that wide. Just be sure your strip us wide enough so when it’s finished you can insert the dowel through it with a little extra wiggle room (don’t make it too tight).
I hope this tutorial on hanging your quilt is helpful.
Until next time,