One way to finish a quilt…Part 2

Onto the next stage. The binding will need to be hemmed down, but before I do that I make the sleeve.

I usually use a concealed hanging sleeve for displaying my quilts. It's invisible from the front of the quilt, easy to do and offers a reasonable amount of security at exhibitions, well any thief would need to be armed with a screwdriver!

Making a Hanging Sleeve

While the quilt is on the table being trimmed I also cut the sleeve fabric. To make the sleeve as neat as possible it's nice to use the same fabric as you have done for the backing. I'm into printing the backs of my quilts with the handwritten title so I've just made sure to print a little extra for the sleeve.

Cut the sleeve fabric the same width as the quilt by about 9". I know this seems deep but some quilt shows use really chunky wooden bars to hang quilts so you need a capacious sleeve to accommodate them.

On one short side of the sleeve fold the raw edge to the wrong side, and then over again. Take about 1/2" with each fold. Pin and top stitch to secure the folded hem. Repeat at the other end. This'll have narrowed the width of your sleeve by about 2". Perfect.

Next fold the sleeve right sides together lengthwise and press with an iron to set the crease.

Pin the sleeve to the quilt so that the raw edges of the sleeve are aligned with the raw edges of the top of the quilt. Pin and sew along the top edge. Be careful about the seam allowance that you take, it shouldn't be greater than the one that you used to add the binding. Oh, and be careful to fold the binding back out of the way so you don't stitch through it. (It can be easier to add the sleeve before the binding, but in this example I didn't!).

The sleeve will now be attached but it'll be flapping about. It's time to hem the bottom edge and sides. Take the work back over to the ironing board and roll up the bottom edge of the sleeve about 1/4" as shown in the photo below. The crease you ironed should be fairly easy to see and you can eyeball the 1/4". Pin, a lot, especially if you're going to hem the sleeve while sitting in an armchair watching TV as it'll slip otherwise! Blind hem the long bottom edge of the sleeve to the quilt. Be as neat as you can, especially if you're entering a competition as judges seem to be sticklers for this sort of thing. Your stitches should travel well into the quilt batting, but not pierce the front of the quilt, obviously.

I blind hem the back of the sleeve on the short sides to the quilt. This helps to ensure that the batten of wood doesn't slip behind the sleeve and touch the back of the quilt just to avoid the risk of it pulling any stitches or damaging the quilt in any way.

 Look at the lovely D profile created by rolling up the bottom edge of the sleeve.

That's it! Next time we'll hand finish the binding and find a suitable bit of wood to use as a batten.

See you then,


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