Either you send a quilt to an exhibition or just want to hang a quilt, you need to add a hanging sleeve.
A hanging sleeve is a tube shaped piece of fabric stitched on the back of a quilt where you insert a hanging bar to hang a quilt.
This is how I attach a hanging sleeve.
First, make a sleeve.
A common size of the sleeve is 4″ or 10cm. And it should be slightly shorter than the width of the quilt that is going to be attached.
I cut the fabric 9″-10″ wide and make sure it is long enough. And then cut to the width of the quilt. I am using the selvedge end to make my life a bit easy this time.
Now to sew the sleeve.
First hem both ends. Fold the raw edge twice and stitch down. I fold about 1/4″ – 3/8″ wide twice. On the selvedge side, I fold only once.
Now the sleeve is at least a half inch shorter than the quilt on both sides.
The next step is to make this into a tube shape.
Fold the fabric length way in half, the wrong sides together. Then stitch on the long side with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Iron the seam open. At the same time bring the seam to around the centre of the sleeve.
That’s sleeve is done.
Now to attach it to a quilt and I do this by hand sewing.
First, position the sleeve to have an equal gap on both ends. Align it at the edge of the binding and pin. I don’t cover the binding at all at this stage.
And stitch the sleeve along the binding edge.
Once the top end of the sleeve is sewn, slide the loose fabric of the sleeve to the edge of the quilt. Pin it in the position and pin the other side too.
This is to make a little gap in the sleeve to accommodate the thickness of a hanging bar. Otherwise, the top of the quilt may curl up.
And then sew down the rest of the three sides. Yes, I stitch both ends as well as the bottom to avoid a hanging bar going between the quilt and sleeve accidentally. As well as it gives a bit more strength.
And that’s it. My sleeves have a bit of space to take the thickness of a hanging bar. And also it is a little shorter than the quilt itself, the fixture of a hanging bar will be hiding behind the quilt.
A little note about hanging bar. It doesn’t need to be thick to take the weight of a quilt. Mines are 1/2″ by 1 1/2″usually. Round ones have more tendency to bow.