As I was hanging up some of my quilts recently, I was thinking that some of you might be interested to know how I’m doing this without any visible hanging mechanism showing.
I learned this method from the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, and figured if it’s good enough for a museum, it’s surely good enough for me! And that you folks out there might like to know how it’s done as well.
First thing you’ll need to do is make a sleeve for the back of your quilt. I didn’t take any photos of this process, but it should be wide enough to fit whatever you are using as a hanger, and a little narrower than your quilt. I cut my strips 6 inches wide, then sewed them in half down the long side with a 1/2″ seam allowance. I pressed the seam open so that it was oriented down the middle of the strip, and then laid the strip with the seam side against the quilt. I don’t bother to do any finishing to the seam OR to the short ends of the sleeve. Not really necessary.
Here’s the slowest step: hand sew the sleeve to the back of the quilt. No way around this really. And it doesn’t have to be pretty, it just needs to be secure.
Okay, now here’s what you’ll need to get it up on the wall:
1. Quilt with sleeve attached
2. Piece of wood or dowel for hanger. Make sure it is thick enough to put your screw eyes (see below) into. Mine was a piece of pine 1/4″ thick by 1 5/16″ wide. It was less than $1 a board foot. We were able to cut it to length and buy however much we wanted at the Home Depot.
3. Two screw eyes – here’s a photo of the ones I used
4. Straight edge
6. Hacksaw (or your favorite tool) for cutting the wood or dowel.
Step one: Lay the wood or dowel on the quilt to see how long you need to cut it. You want it long enough so that when you screw the screw eyes into the end they will stick out past the hanger but NOT past the edge of the quilt.
Step two: Use the straight edge and the pencil to mark a line where you need to cut.
Step three: Cut the wood or dowel. Sorry, I don’t have a photo of this step, because I was cutting! This is the most fun step, by the way. Who doesn’t love tools?? Use the sandpaper to sand the cut edges so they don’t snag your quilt.
Step four: Screw your screw eyes into the end of the wood or dowel. I did this with my hands – no other tools required. If you are having trouble screwing them in, try holding the screw eye with vice grips, or putting a pencil or something through the eye that you can use to turn it.
Step five: Check to see that everything looks good. The screw eyes should stick out past the hanging sleeve but not past the edge of the quilt.
Step six: Put the hanger into the sleeve.
Voila! You are ready to hang!
Here’s what you need to hang your quilt:
2. Two nails
3. Level (if you care that much)
4. Oh, and maybe a pencil
I don’t have photos of this either, but all you need to do is take your quilt with the hanger in the sleeve and hold it up on the wall where you want it (this, of course, may require a helper so you can step back and look). Check to see that it’s level, then mark the spots through the centers of the screw eyes with the pencil. Hammer a nail into the center of each circle you marked and hang the quilt on the nails.
(You can even see here where I screwed up and hung this one crooked the first time and had to go back and redo it. That’s what I get for doing these without a helper!)
It’s so simple, that I can’t believe I didn’t figure this out by myself. Note that if you are hanging big quilts, you will likely want bigger, sturdier wood. The museum told me they hang big quilts on what is essentially flat baseboard molding. Who knew?