Friday, January 10, 2014

Tutorial: Cheater Hanging Sleeve

 I love to sew, but I'm not a huge fan of hand stitching (yet! I probably just need to get more comfortable with a needle and thread). At any rate, I finished my Dogwood Blossom Wallhanging, and I found a cheater way to install a hanging sleeve behind my quilt as I put on the binding.  I'm sure I'm not the first one to do it this way, but since I just winged it on my own, I took pictures as I went, and I thought I'd share! I hope you enjoy!

Lay your quilt down on the floor, notice I have NOT attached the binding yet:

Cut a 4 inch strip of fabric exactly the width of your quilt.  (use a wider strip for a bigger quilt, up to 8 inches) Piece the fabric if the quilt is longer than the width of fabric.

Turn the short ends of your strip under 1/4 inch and then again 1/4 inch and topstich creating clean ends.

 Repeat on both sides.

Press the strip in half lengthwise, creating a crease down the middle of the strip.

Open the strip and press both sides of the fabric lengthwise towards the middle crease you just created.

Now sew WRONG sides together with a 1/4 inch seam. Why wrong sides together? Once you insert a dowel to hang your quilt, you want the inside of the sleeve to be nice and smooth. if there is a seam allowance inside the sleeve, the dowel might catch, and that's not good! The seam allowance will be neatly hidden against the quilt back.

 Press open seam allowance. This is a bit tricky , if you want to preserve the creases you made earlier, so when you attach the sleeve to the quilt there's a little extra room for the dowel (see above), iron to the side, so you don't smush the creases (see below).

 Pin your sleeve centered at the top back of the quilt along crease with the seam allowance facing the quilt back :

 Attach your binding from the front, (if you are attaching your binding from the front, then folding back) I use the tutorial from Mary Fons at Quilty to attach my binding - there are three videos and they are awesome!

 Here is the quilt with the corner turned up so you can see the attached binding and how it interacts with the sleeve! Yay, you just saved yourself a whole row of blind-stitching!

 I turned my binding over, and zig-zag stitched it to secure (again, Mary Fons's tutorial - awesome!) and the sleeve is attached to the quilt quite neatly.  Here it is ready to have one row of blindstiching  attached to the bottom of the sleeve, using the crease as a guide:

 And here you can see the blind stitching (took half of an episode of Downton Abby to finish!) And the quilt is ready to hang!

I cut a 3/8 inch dowel to a scant width of my quilt, and balanced it on two nails  and once everything was straight, on went the quilt!

I suggest you use this technique only for quilts that are always going to be wall-hangings, as it is much easier to remove a sleeve that is hand-stitched on, if you change your mind with this technique, you would have to take off the binding!


  1. Oh GOSH, what a gorgeous mini. I am so glad I came by today to get to see it! Why don't I have one of these on my wall? I really like the proportions on your sashing/borders/binding too.

    Thanks for your kind comment on my "Just thinking" post. Boston would definitely be fun! If you know of a sewing retreat center around there, do let me know =)

  2. visiting you from crazy mum quilts. Great instructions on the quilt hanging. That makes it very clear

  3. Great tutorial!! I love the red binding on your fabulous quilt, it frames it perfectly, and really stands out on your wall!!

  4. Great hanging technique! Recently I did a sleeve with two triangles,one being placed in each corner and then I used a skewer to hang it on the wall.

    Fresh looking quilt!


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