Posts Tagged ‘D-shaped hanging sleeve for quilts’

Hanging Sleeve Instructions For Large, Rectangular, Fabric Art

Wednesday, May 15th, 2024

I was a little surprised a while ago when the conversation in a group I belong to made it clear that several people had never seen the memo about how to construct a hanging sleeve with a bit of ease to hold the hanging rod or wood or metal slat, so that the work hangs absolutely flat against the wall without any ridge appearing along the top. The reason for doing this is that in time every ridge will gather dust, which can be distracting, and the ideal hanging arrangement for a wall quilt also has absolutely nothing protruding from the sides to distract the viewer’s attention.

While it’s easy to construct this kind of sleeve I’m talking about, I do it automatically, and it’s decades since I learned it by watching a demo at a Front Range Contemporary Quilters meeting 30+ years ago. So when I blithely offered to ‘send you some diagrams’ this took a bit more work than I expected 🙂 The directions had to be carefully worded, and in the end, rather than hand-draw some diagrams, I made up a mock sleeve and photographed each stage of the process.

Directions for a ‘D’ shaped hanging sleeve for art quilts

On really wide (say 2m+ ) or heavy quilts, you might judge it best to make two or even three sections rather than just one long one, so that holes to go over a wall fitting can keep the hanging rod/slat straight, prevent it sagging in the middle – which wooden rods/slats might do, but metal rods won’t.

  1. Cut the width of the sleeve no wider than the edge-to-edge width of the finished quilt, and hem those two ends, so that the finished width is about an inch or 2cm in from each side edge, ie at least 2 inches/ 4 cm less than the finished over all width of the quilt, edge to edge.   The size or depth of the sleeve is usually required to be 4” – so measure twice that (8”) plus 1” inch – ie cut a piece of fabric 9″ X the width-of-your-fabric long.   For a 5” sleeve cut 10”+1”= 11” X required quilt width;  for a 3½ ” sleeve cut 7+1= 8” X quilt width, and so on.
  • Fold in half lengthwise.  Press. Then fold the long sides in to meet along the crease in the middle – maintain that first crease – you now have 3 creases.  Press.
  • Place the two long edges together, and sew with ~1/2 inch, or 1cm seam allowance, as shown above.  This means the seam allowance is on the outside of the tube, but when you stitch it to the back of the quilt, that will be hidden.
  • On the back of the quilt, pin one of the pressed folds about 1” / 2cm below the top edge of the quilt.  Pin the other fold below that so that the extra ease, the ‘D’, provides the tube through which the rod or slat will slide. 
  • Hand stitch the top edge first and I recommend starting at the top right of the photo, stitching from right to left to the other end, then stitch down that side, turn the whole quilt around and stitch from right to left to the other corner, and up that back end to the corner.  Voila! The sleeve is completely attached, the ends of the tube are open, and the seam allowance is hidden away.

Because the sleeve is at least 2” / 4cm narrower than the overall width of the quilt, no hanging hardware is visible from the front. With a properly sized rod (including metal hooks or eyes) and sleeve, the viewer in front will see only the quilt sitting flat against the wall, and just slightly out in front of it up at the top. If you have any questions or problems with this, please email me –

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All images and text are © Alison Schwabe
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