Learn how to hang a quilt on a wall with a sleeve sewn to its back. It is super easy to make – no need to turn a long fabric tube inside out.
I have many friends who do not like to make hanging sleeves for a quilt. Instead, they hang their quilts using other methods or tools. So, before showing you how I make these sleeves, let’s explore some of the options to hang quilts on the wall.
Thumbtacks and shower curtain rings
I do this all the time with transparent thumbtacks and cool-looking shower curtain rings. It is a quick and easy way to add pizzazz to a room that needs brightening up, it does not damage the quilt because the thumbtacks do not go through the quilts, and it is fast to change the quilts as you please.
For larger quilts, just use many rings and thumbtacks. For those of us who are not inclined to spend a lot of time measuring, who do not have the tools to install other hanging options, and who like to change the decor of a room in a flash, this is a good solution.
Hanging loops and dowels
This option works equally well for small or large quilts. I like to prepare the loops as I would the strips for a bag, cut them to size, tuck them under the binding, and stitch them as I stitch the binding. I spread them out along the width of the quilt and, yes, I do measure the distance between the loops because I won’t be able to reposition them as I can do the shower curtain rings in the previous example.
Here is a bag tutorial where I show you how to prepare the strips that will work as loops for hanging the quilt.
Using decorative hangers
For mini quilts, I like using wire hangers and tiny clothespins. When I give them as gifts, I include them in the package so the recipient already has an idea of how to display the project. These hangers can be found in craft stores and online.
There are also beautiful and seasonal decorative wire hangers, such as these from Annie’s Catalog which already come with the patterns for the projects, or if you just want the hanger, click here for another option. (These are affiliate links).
[The photo above shows a quilt with my first sleeve. It was not done according to the tutorial below and it does not look good!].
Finally, let’s talk about the hanging sleeve. As far as how to hang a quilt on a wall, this alternative is very useful for large quilts that will be hung using a rod at home, for when you are sending the quilt to a magazine for a photoshoot, or if your quilt will be displayed at a show. The traditional way to make a hanging sleeve involves sewing a strip of fabric into a tube, turning it inside out (ouch, that is a pain!), and stitching it to the back of the quilt.
One day I found a video by Nancy Zimmer (don’t we all miss her?) showing how to hang a quilt on a wall and the method she used to make the sleeve. I have searched for that YouTube video but can no longer find it. So, I took some photos of my last hanging sleeve and hope they will be helpful. It is the easiest way I found to make the hanging sleeve.
Begin with a fabric strip that is 9″-wide x the width of the quilt minus 3″. I like to use the backing fabric remnants as the sleeve will sort of disappear on the back of the quilt if I decide not to hang it.
Hem the short ends of the strip by turning in 1/4″ and stitch. You can turn it in twice before stitching, too, if you are afraid the fabric may fray.
Next, and very important, and with the wrong sides together and 1/4″ seam, sew the long sides of the strip together to make the tube. Yes, you are stitching on the right side of the fabric.
When you are done, this is what your strip will look like.
Center the seam on the strip, press it open, and, at the same time, crease the edges and press them till they are very crisp. This step is necessary because you will need to use one of the folds as a guide.
Position the sleeve on the back of the quilt. To know exactly where to pin it, measure 80″ from the bottom of a large quilt and pin the bottom of the sleeve at that point or, for smaller quilts, just pin it so the top edge of the sleeve is about 2-3″ below the binding.
Pin the bottom of the sleeve first…
… because you will use the fold of the top of the sleeve as shown above: slide it toward you by about 1/2″ and pin. This is what will create a pocket for the rod. The sleeve can’t be stitched flat on the back of the quilt or the quilt will look funny on the front once it is hung. Ask me how I know.
Begin by slip-stitching the part of the sleeve that touches the quilt back. Use matching thread and ensure the stitches are not showing on the front of the quilt.
Then, continue stitching the bottom part of the sleeve all the way to the other side of the quilt. Sew the opening on that side as you did in the beginning.
Finally, sew the top edge of the sleeve. I like to listen to an audiobook while I do this and time flies.
There is room enough for a rod to go through, the front of the quilt won’t pucker and, because I used matching fabric, it will hardly show if I decide to use the quilt on a bed or as a throw.
Wasn’t that easy? If you always wanted to find out how to hang a quilt on a wall, I hope this post helped. For sure, there are more ways, such as installing hardware on the wall, stitching fabrics to the corners of the back of the quilt, and inserting rods on those corners (this one works better for smaller wall hangings), but when it comes to using hanging sleeves I do not think you can beat this construction method.
Have a great weekend!