Hanging quilts

I've had this post sitting in Drafts for over a week now waiting to take photos to accompany the words. I've still not managed it so here it is as is. Next time I do a sleeve I'll record the moment and re-post!....

I should start by saying thank you to everyone who takes a moment to leave a comment. I'm sorry that I can't always reply, but please be assured that I do read everything! I recall that someone asked either here on on Facebook, about how Linda and I fix our quilts to the wall. Here's a quick guide:

Usually when we make a quilt we opt for an invisible sleeve on the reverse of the work. Basically this is just a tube of fabric. Ideally use the same fabric as you have done for the backing of the quilt and it'll look really neat.

Quilt shows often use really chunky battens to suspend quilts from, especially if they use quilt frames rather than hang against walls. To accommodate this you need to make sure the sleeve is plenty big enough. If it's not, then you'll get a bulge on the front of the quilt which is not particularly attractive! Even for small quilts I'm in the habit of making the sleeve very generous so I'll usually cut it 9" deep by the width of the quilt. (Finished depth of sleeve will then be in the region of 4.5").

I turn the side edges under and top stitch to hide the raw edges. This also serves to shorten the width of the sleeve so it'll be short by about an inch or so at each end which is a good thing!

Press the sleeve with the long edges aligned.

I add the sleeve before the binding. I pin it in place to the back of the quilt lining up the raw edges of the sleeve with the raw top edge of the quilt. Sew along taking a scant seam allowance to secure it in place. Then I add the binding taking the proper seam allowance. The sleeve will be stitched twice making sure it's not going anywhere!

The sleeve and binding are both hand finished and I blind hem stitch the binding down then the sleeve. The important bit is to roll up the sleeve slightly, make a new crease and then hem along that line. This'll make the sleeve D-shaped in profile which is going to accommodate the batten. I finish off by hemming the back of the two short sides of the sleeve to the quilt just to make sure that the batten always slides through the sleeve rather than slipping between the sleeve and the backing.

The battens we use when fixing to a wall are flat and you can get them in any diy store. We cut them to length, just short of the width of the quilt and then drill a hole at each end. The batten can then be slid into the sleeve, and because the sleeve is shorter than the quilt you can just bend the corner of the quilt back and screw through the hole into the wall. This is pretty secure and dead easy to do.

Hope this is useful.
Thanks for stopping by,
P.S. Got any questions? Just leave a comment and I'll help if I can!


  1. So nice of you to share your methods and techniques with us!! Always look forward to your posts (& of course DMTV!)

  2. Thank you Laura. It was the fixing to the wall bit I was curious about. I know security, sadly, has to be considered and I liked the way they seemed to float on the wall. Seems like a great idea. Unfortunately my quilts are to be hung in a 12C chapel and I don't think I can put holes in the walls!! lol. Looks like I'm back to the suspended batten and cable tie idea.

    1. Hi Amanda, Years ago we exhibited in a church and couldn't fix anything to the walls. We found there are a surprising number of hooks and nails in old buildings though! We used copper wire to be as in keeping as possible and suspended things that way. It all looked pretty good, but certainly a lot more of a challenge than a conventional gallery! Good luck with the exhibition. x

    2. We're lucky the chapel has fabulous rafters we can use to put bars across and run lines down to battens. Well that the theory! Lol.

  3. Thanks Laura! I'm terribly lazy about this aspect of quilt making, and I need to get better and more professional, so thanks! But, what's a batten?? Wood? What size? What kind? Signed, clueness in the usa

  4. Funny question... have you ever done an ancestry.com tree or anything like that? I can't get beyond the Kemshall info and I've stumbled across your blog searching Kemshaw....

    1. Hi there, I've not done any research myself, but I know that a distant relative did and there's a book. It's definitely Kemshall rather than Kemshaw though. If you want to email me I'll tell you what I know! laurakemshall@gmail.com


Post a Comment