How to make a 4″ hanging sleeve

My quilt guild worlds are happily colliding this summer!  The Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild‘s biannual quilt show July 26 and 27 will feature a special exhibit of modern quilts by the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild.  I volunteered to do a tutorial on how to make a quilt sleeve for tonight’s AAMQG meeting, so I thought I’d share it here as well.

I owe this method to long-time GAAQG member, Carol Riffe, whose instructions I learned from many years ago.  So, let’s get started!

1.  Cut or piece a strip of fabric 9″ x the width of the quilt.

Step 2

2.  Turn the short ends under twice, toward the wrong side, and stitch in place.

Steps 3 and 4
3.  With the wrong sides together and the long raw edges lined up, stitch a half inch seam.  Press.
4.  Using a long basting stitch, baste along the other long edge ½” from the fold.
Step 5

5.  Center and nest these seam allowances and press the sleeve flat.
Step 6

6.  Pin the sleeve to the quilt back at least ½” from the top edge of the quilt and with the basted seam facing out and the stitched seam against the back of the quilt.

Steps 7 and 8

7.  Hand sew along both long and both short edges, leaving an opening for the hanging rod.

8.  Remove the basting stitches.

Most quilt shows use much larger rods than the small one in the picture here.  The extra fullness in the sleeve helps the quilts hang flatter.  I’ve also adapted this method to hang quilts in my home using smaller measurements to suit the rod I plan to use.  Now, go enter your quilt in a show!

  • Patti Nethery
    Posted at 01:07h, 25 August Reply

    I have started machine sewing my sleeves onto my quilts using the hem stitch. Works perfectly and is quick and easy.

    • Lucinda Herring
      Posted at 20:33h, 15 February Reply

      I do too.

      • Chris Setzer
        Posted at 14:32h, 29 March Reply

        How do you keep the stitches from showing on the front????

  • Josée Carrier
    Posted at 13:46h, 01 April Reply

    Thanks Debbie! I like the idea of basting the second side. I have two to prepare, so I'll definitely use this.

  • Sharon
    Posted at 14:00h, 27 March Reply

    Thanks for that!

  • PT in SC
    Posted at 02:48h, 27 March Reply

    If I am making a quilt intended for the wall, I incorporate the raw edges of the hanging sleeve when sewing down the binding. Thanks for the tutorial.

  • Rachel
    Posted at 22:15h, 26 March Reply

    Just eyeballing it, it looks to me like your pink sleeve is going to show above the top of the quilt if you use the rod you've got there. Am I missing something?

    Since I only hang quilts in my own home, I use what works for me, which is a length of flat trim board (looks like a yard stick, but whatever lengths I need). I keep the pocket quite flat since my hanging strip is flat too.

    • Debbie
      Posted at 05:42h, 27 November Reply

      I like the idea of a flat trim board. How clever and less bulky. I will try this on my next quilt.

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