Monday, April 11, 2011

Creating a Sleeve for a Quilt

Our local guild, the Genesse Valley Quilt Club,  has an impressive show coming up in June - over 600 quilts will be on display as we celebrate our 75th Anniversary. I hope that some of you will be able to see it in person.

As we prepare our quilts for the show, questions inevitably come up on how to make sleeves for hanging them. It really is a simple process - create a tube and hem it to the upper back of the quilt. It is important to create a pleat of sorts as you hem the sleeve to the quilt to allow the quilt to hang properly.

A picture or diagram is worth a thousand words and, of course, the web is an excellent resource for just that. Here are a couple of sites that can help you along the way.
  • My favorite is the explanation offered on Gloria Hansen's blog. She leads you through the process with some excellent photos. The result is a beautiful sleeve.
  • offers descriptions with diagrams for two options - a simple sleeve to whip stitch on a completed quilt and another alternative for adding a permanent sleeve before a quilt is bound.
  • If you are being a bit lazy and want to try a pre-made sleeve, Quilter's Hangup offers one which they say has a patented gusset feature that guarantees your quilt will hang flat.
  • If you would like to print out a pdf of instructions, the website of Country Crossroads Quilters of Modesto, California offers a one to download.
By the way, if you are just using the sleeve on the quilt for a one-time exhibition, you can actually pin the sleeve to the top of the quilt, pinning every couple of inches along the top and bottom of the sleeve, rather than whip-stitching it to the back of the quilt.

Hope this helps.  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Hansen's technique is pretty much what I use on my pieces; every time I make a sleeve, I double-check it against the instructions in my copy of "The Quilter's Ultimate Visual Guide", a book I've found indispensable!