Thursday, January 19, 2012

How to Hang a Mini Quilt

So, I am really not an expert on mini quilts.  I've finished.... two?  But, I've been working on several lately, with two more due to finish this weekend, so I've been experimenting with how to hang them.  Here's a tutorial for hanging a mini quilt with two nails and a long dowel.  I'll show you how to make a long dowel pocket from extra binding strips.  It's fast and subtle and probably not the first time someone's done this, but I thought you might like me to share.  If your mini's really small you can go with one nail, hung at a center point.  In that case, I'd make the pockets a little differently, which I'll discuss.  Here goes!

Step 1: Prepare the Dowel

First measure your quilt back from just inside the binding at the very top.  Overall, my Retro Flowers quilt measured 25.5", but inside the binding it's just 24.5".  You'll want a dowel rod about as wide as this inside-the-binding measurement - so 24.5" in my case.

Sleeve Tut - 1

Purchase a dowel at any home improvement store or many craft stores.  You don't need a real thick one unless your wall quilt is very large.  Mine is about 3/8" in diameter.  Cut it down to the correct measurement with a sharp utility knife used in a sawing motion. 

Step 2:  Make the Pocket

Cut a piece of fabric as long as your dowel rod and 2.5" wide.  I used a 24.5" length of extra binding.  If you're planning ahead, purposely make extra binding for your mini so that your pocket will match the binding.  It looks very subtle on the back!  Prepare the fabric pocket by pressing it in half longways with wrong sides together so that raw edges meet.  This is the same way you prepare binding strips.  If you're using leftover binding, it's already pressed in half!  For step-by-step binding instructions see my Zigzag Binding tutorial.

Sleeve Tut - 2

Unfold the end of your fabric strip a bit to allow you to fold in the raw edges by about 3/8" and 3/8" again.  Press after each fold to create a nice hem.  Do this on both sides to hem the ends of the pocket.  Stitch the hem in place.  I made two lines of stitching, which is totally unnecessary.  Just felt like it!  Be sure to sew close to the fold on the inside though, so that the dowel won't get stuck in that fold when you push it through.

Sleeve Tut - 3

When the hemming is complete, fold the ends of the pocket in half longways again, and press.  Now you have a long, hemmed pocket ready to attach.   It should be shorter than your dowel rod because of the hemming process.  Mine is 22" long.

Step 3:  Attach the Pocket

Slide the pocket under the binding at the top of your quilt.  Ideally you're adding this dowel pocket before stitching down your binding.  If the pocket is an afterthought (like mine), just unpick the binding at the top edge.  Since I machine sew my binding in place, unpicking is not a mental hardship.  So, tuck the raw edges of the pocket under the binding, matching its raw edges with the raw, trimmed edge of the quilt.  Be sure to center the pocket on your quilt.

Sleeve Tut - 4

Lay the binding over the pocket and pin in place.  Secure your binding down as usual.  I zigzag stitch it down from the top of my quilt which catches the pocket and fastens everything in place.  If you prefer to hand stitch your binding from the back, do so sewing through the pocket and into the quilt back.  This might be a little tricky?  You'll have to tell me how that goes.

Sleeve Tut - 5

Now that the top, raw edges of the pocket are sewn in all that remains is to secure the folded edge of the pocket that extends below the binding.  Hand stitch that folded pocket edge to fasten the pocket in place.  Don't stitch all the way through to the quilt front.  Just poke your sewing needle through the backing and batting for a firm hold.

Step 4:  Hang!

 Sleeve Tut - 6

Now insert your rod, which should extend a little bit more than 1" beyond each side of the pocket.  Using a level, place two nails in the wall on which the exposed dowel ends will rest.

Sleeve Tut - 7

Ta da!  Properly hung!  Because you've used two nails, your mini will not slip off-kilter as time passes.  My Retro Flower quilt hangs by our main door, so this was a must for me!  If you're hanging a smaller quilt, you can use just one nail.  In that case, make two shorter pockets, hemmed on both edges, with a space at the center to expose the dowel.  This is just a tiny more work in hemming, but creates a shorter length of pocket to hand sew, so it all comes up about even in time invested.

properly hung!

This is just one way to hang a mini quilt.  I'm also experimenting with using grommets on a quilt I worked on last night.  If you're a veteran mini-maker, I'd love to know your favorite way to hang them!

32 comments:

  1. I haven't done many minis, but this tutorial is the one I've followed for hanging minis. It's similar to yours, but uses a couple smaller sleeves.

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  2. This is great! I recently moved to a new home and I've got some baby wonders to hang. Thanks for your timely post!

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  3. check out www.alzquilts.org on how to finish mini quilts using fast finish triangles. It only requires on nail in the wall and works with quilts as big as 18 inches wide.

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  4. Thanks so much, I've been avoiding hanging a mini for a while now and this looks like such a simple, but brilliant solution!

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  5. My husband is in the Army and we move A LOT. My favorite way to hang my small quilts is to use short sequin/applique pins. I just run a level blue tape line where I want the quilt and stick the small pins through and pound gently and carefully into the wall just below the tape. I use several down the length of the quilt top, so no sagging results and I even use some down the sides or across the bottom to keep things flat against the wall. When it is time to move, I pull out the pins, wash the quilt to remove the dust, and voila!, there aren't even any nail holes to fill in the wall and there is no damage to the quilt. And, I don't have a bunch of dowels to get lost, broken, etc. (I've tried them in the past.) I also have the flexibilty (if the quilt isn't directional) to turn the quilt if I wish--making a different side the "top" edge.

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  6. I do it different ways,
    #1: I sew about 3 tiny sleeves under the top of the binding, like you did with a row
    #2: I have really tiny clips and hang it on a metal bar.

    Hugs

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    1. Oh, I forgot about the clip way! That looks very modern.

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    2. you can take a look here, I did it with my swap quilt, on Amelies wall

      http://lh5.ggpht.com/-puFLiDwxHso/TfieXbmXD6I/AAAAAAAAHw0/Xdq7XERGXlM/014%25255B3%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800

      Hugs

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  7. Like Brenda, I always use the AAQI way (fast finish triangles) since I discovered it. No extra sewing and if you put the fast finish triangles at top and bottom, you can put another rod along the bottom to give the quilt an extra help to hang straight. This is the link (to save you searching the AAQI site) http://www.alzquilts.org/sleeve.html

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  8. Nice tutorial. I've made dozens of wallhanging quilts. I generally use a sleeve like this to hang mine, although if it's a really mini wallhanging, I just use little pins.
    I almost always handstitch my binding down and it's never a problem. Because the top edge of the sleeve is aligned with the top of the quilt and machine sewn, I just sew my binding to the sleeve. I'm not sure I'd do that if I were going to hang a very large quilt but for any I've done, up to maybe 3'x4', it has worked out great.

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  9. As I expected, there seems to be lots of different ways. Thanks for sharing your ideas, friends!

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  10. well how strange.
    I did just that today and was going to post a 'how to' tomorrow, maybe I wont now!

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  11. I do it this way although I attach the sleeve at the same time I am machine sewing the binding on the front.... Then I just whip stitch it down...

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    1. Hmmmm... sounds like we're doing the same thing?

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  12. Oh excellent! I made my first wall hanging quilt a few months ago and tried to just attach a ribbon to it and it didn't hang flat, I'll do this next time! Thanks for the tute!

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  13. Nice tutorial, thanks for sharing!!! And your quilt looks really nice! :-) J.

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  14. For hanging mini (& even medium sized quilts!), I use the sticky Command Strips from 3M (I find mine at Target) -- they make these to mount posters, and even to hang pictures on the walls without nails. It's basically a sticky strip with velcro, that I just attach to the quilt and the wall. Easy!

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    1. Oh, totally cheater. I love it! That's a great idea for seasonal quilts you'll put up and down, especially!

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  15. I've been racking my brain on how to hang mine. I didn't research ideas yet and now I don't have to -- this is perfect! Thanks Rachel!

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  16. As usual, you have given us a fabulous post with lots of good ideas for minis. Makes me want to get some of mine out and get them hung up somewhere. This sure beats my thumbtacks in the corners! P.S. Cool-looking green wall, too!

    Elizabeth E.
    occasionalpiece.wordpress.com

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  17. Just read a different post on this yesterday: http://www.amyalamode.com/blog/2012/01/18/how-to-hang-a-quilt-tutorial/

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  18. I saw a post on a blog a while ago, don't remember where, and they used half square triangles in the corners and put a dowel across the top. I tried that with my last wall hanging and liked the results. I think it hangs a little better.

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  19. My favorite way to hang small small quilts is to mount it on an artist's canvas - you can get them at big box art supply stores fairly cheaply. I paint the canvas with black paint (spray paint or acrylic paint), making sure to paint the edges, let it dry completely, the carefully baste the small quilt to the canvas. Put screw eyes in the wooden canvas frame on the back and use a hanging wire. Looks great!

    You could get an old oil painting frame at a thrift shop, painted black, and put the canvas in it for a more finished, polished look. I happened to stumble across some clearance frames at the same big box store (take and additional 75% off!) and use those over and over, changing out the canvases when I need to.

    FYI, if you are ever asked to display a piece at a venue (church, etc.) they will want a hanging wire. My personal quilts at home are all hung on nails as you describe, but I'm having to figure out a way to mount an unobtrusive hanging wire for a little display at my church next month.

    Sorry about the long post! I'm sold on the canvases for mini-quilts however! They look very clean, neat, and professional.

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    Replies
    1. Really good details here. Thanks, Chris!

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  20. I'll have to try this. Great idea, Rachel!

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  21. Yay! And just like that you can enjoy your hard work.

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  22. That looks so good, I love how the doweling is hidden. I'm not really into hanging mini quilts, I guess I've just never made one that I liked enough to put on the wall! I do have a couple up in my sewing room, but they're just hanging via the oh-so-ghetto one straight pin method!

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  23. That looks fabulous, thank you for the pointers. I'm terrible at starting huge projects and running out of steam part way through, so maybe a mini quilt or two could be a good idea for me.

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  24. I have hung a couple of minis in my kitchen on the steel door to the garage. I used the AAQI corner triangles and bought 4 little magnets at JoAnn's. I inserted the magnets between the triangles and the quilt (like you would a dowel) and it holds the quilt perfectly. This is the door we use ALL the time, and my quilts have not so much as shifted. I'm just careful when I change out quilts, so the magnets don't slip out of the pockets and scratch the paint on the door.

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  25. brilliant im going to do this for my FTLOS mini quilt, its similar to how id thought of doing it but I hadnt thought to hand sew it down so its flat against the back which is a much better idea than just leaving it. So thank you

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  26. I've just finished using this method on a mini quilt, and it worked awesome! I'm a handstitch the binding kind of girl, and it made the process no different than usual. I just stitched through the layers as usual and the hanging pocket is nice and secure. Thanks so much for this. I will use it again for sure.

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