Displaying Irregular Shaped Quilts

There’s no need to be restricted to a rectangular shape if designing a piece to hang on a wall, so consider breaking out of the square sometime!  I have made quite a few irregular shaped quilts, and occasionally teach a workshop on designing, finishing and hanging them.

Hanging alternatives should be considered and be planned for in the design and construction stages of quilts with serious top edge shapes,  as for example the upper edge of this quilt, “Pahoehoe 2” photographed against a wall in our home.  (Yes, you can see cutout holes in places, showing the wall and a bit of shadow behind)  In this kind of  situation, template plastic at key points inserted between the batting+front and the backing works wonders in preventing upward-pointing shapes flopping forwards!  Yes, the machine will sew through this as you machine quilt, no worries, particularly if you take it slow and steady.Pahoehoe 2

“Pahoehoe 2” 1996

The next one, “Kimberley” 1996, photographed against black (an old slide that needs to be scanned to be really useful in this digital age)

Kimblerley“Kimberley”  1996,  110cm x 80cm approx,  against black B/G

Because of such extreme shaping as  along this top edge, the supportive plastic might not be enough to hold it all upright when mounted on a quilt rod, ie. if there’s too much distance between the highest point at which you can place a sleeve for a rod, and the uppermost points.  No rules apply here – you just have to try it and see, and be prepared to go to a bit more trouble.  You may find you need a shaped plywood panel (US marine ply), jig-saw cut to about 1.5cm smaller all round from the upper left to the upper right upturned corner shapes. Finish this off smoothly and seal – then drill holes in this to go over picture screws in the wall.  All round the upper edge, add strips of male velcro, glued or stapled to the wood; and to corresponding edges of the quilt itself hand sew strips of female velcro.  You place the quilt’s velcro against that on the board, adjust for proper fall/drape if necessary, and voila! it’s hung.  Of course, this is not a sustainable hanging method if such a work is to be travelling anywhere outside your home town, your own personal delivery area!  And, if its a really large hanging panel, by working with a carpenter you might find it preferable to work out a design hinged in several places for easier storage.

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