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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Quilt Class: How to Make a Hanging Sleeve

If you make a quilt for a wall or for a bed
you may need a hanging sleeve.  For a wall
hanging you need it for obvious reasons but
if you plan to enter your bed quilts in a quilt
show or exhibit you will need a hanging sleeve
so the quilt can be hung for the show.

First measure the area inside the binding
on the top back of your quilt, add 1 inch.
I like to use fabric that matches the backing
fabric of the quilt if possible, cut a strip of
fabric 9" x the measurement from above.
You may have to piece this strip if you have
a very large quilt.

On each 9" edge turn under 3/8" and press,
turn again and press and stitch along the edge
using a 1/4" seam foot.

Bring the two long edges together with
right sides together and stitch using a
1/4" seam.

Open up the tube as shown so the seam is
in the center and press open the long seam.
Press the edges gently.  Turn the tube out to
the right side and press along the edge lines.

Place the sleeve evenly between the 2 side
bindings and just below the top binding,
with the seam in back.  Pin in place.

Take a few small stitches on the back of the
quilt to hold the knot, then bring the needle up
through the very edge of the top of the sleeve
and put the needle down just on top of the
sleeve.  Do not put needle all the way through
quilt, you want to just skim below the backing
fabric and catch a bit of the batting in the stitch.
Bring the needle back up 1/4" away and repeat.

As I am stitching, I keep my fingers of
my left hand on the front of the quilt
to be sure the needle does not come
through to the front.  Continue stitching
all the way across the top and make a knot
at the end beneath the sleeve.

Now here is the magic part of this process.
If we were to just stitch the bottom part of
the sleeve as it is, it can make your quilt hang
strangely.  So, pull up the fabric on the bottom
and fold about 3/8" below the pressed edge.
Just be sure the sleeve does not go above the
edge of the quilt.  Press this new edge.

Then take a ruler or a yard stick and
get the top edge nice and even, then
press this edge.

Pin both long edges to keep the
sleeve even and in place.

Sew the bottom edge the same way
as the top but this time fold the top
under a bit so you can still use the
fingers of your left hand to make
sure the needle does not come through.

I also sew down the back sides of the
sleeves.  Remember you most likely
will not be hanging your own quilt at
a quilt show and if someone just slides
the rod in the space between the backing
and the sleeve then your quilt will not
 hang as nicely.  So take the few extra
 stitches to make it just right.

And you are done!

Now don't forget to add a
quilt label.

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