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hanging sleeve
sleeve on back side of wall hanging

Hanging Sleeve

for Quilts & Wall Hangings

Also see: Quilt Lessons


Hanging Sleeve

Once your wall hanging or quilt is finished, you will need a secure method for attaching it to the wall. A hanging sleeve is sewn onto the back of the piece, and a wood dowel or decorative bar is run through the sleeve. Hooks hold the bar or dowel to the wall.

Small hangers can be used for smaller projects, but a larger quilt should be hung with a hanging sleeve.

If the piece is going to be quilted, stitch the hanging sleeve onto the quilt AFTER quilting. If it is a small piece that will not be quilted, the hanging sleeve can be attached to the backing before the layers are stitched together.

Refer to: Assemble & Bind Quilt for more information.

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NOTE: These instructions explain how to attach a hanging sleeve (or hangers) before the binding is added.

There are two choices for hanging a small quilt or other item on your wall. One is to attach "hangers" to the back of the piece to be hung. Two or more hangers can be used. If the item is larger, such as a small quilt, a hanging sleeve is recommended. There are many ways to make hangers and sleeves. I am presenting the method that I use. Both hangers and sleeves are made in the same way. The difference is that hangers are only an inch or so wide, and a sleeve runs the width of the quilt. After your hanging sleeve or hangers are on, the binding is added.

banner method of hanging Another method is to hang your wall hanging or quilt as a banner. Binding is not used. For this method, refer to: Message Center Banner


These instructions make two hangers that are each 1" wide. Cut 2 pieces from your backing fabric, each 3" x 1.5"; iron under 1/4" on each long side. Fold in half (the short way) and stitch a line across the hanger, far enough away from the fold line so that the dowel fits into the tunnel created between the fold line and the line of stitching.

Place the hangers so that their raw edges line up with the top raw edge of the quilt back. The two outside hangers should be about 2.5" from the sides of the wall hanging. Baste across top of hangers 1/4" from top of wall hanging, sewing through all layers. Refer to diagram below. Hand stitch the bottom edge of the hanger to the backing (hand stitching is shown as 'x').

Add your quilt binding. Refer to Binding Instructions.

When the binding is in place, run a dowel through the open hanger loops as shown (only a piece of the dowel is shown - your dowel should be long enough to run through all hangers). Use the dowel to hang your wall hanging on the wall. I use a dowel that protrudes a bit past each hanger on the sides of the wall hanging. I slip those ends of the dowel through small brass hooks that are attached to the wall.

Hanging Sleeve: after layers are together

A hanging sleeve is made in the same way as the hangers above, except that it is longer and wider, it will run almost the entire width of the quilt. If my quilt is 36" wide, I would cut a piece of fabric 4" x 33". I would then follow the instructions above. When finished, the sleeve will be 2" x 32.5" long. My dowel would be 34" long. The photograph below shows a hanging sleeve on a small wall hanging.

Add your quilt binding. When the binding is in place, run a dowel through your sleeve and hang your quilt on the wall, using small hooks to hold the dowel.

Hanging Sleeve: Before layers are together

NOTE: an alternative method is to machine stitch the sleeve onto the backing fabric BEFORE the quilt is layered. Fold the sleeve lengthwise and iron along the fold. Open and lay the top edge of the sleeve against the top edge of the backing. Machine stitch the sleeve to the backing by stitching along the fold line (remember - this must be done BEFORE the quilt layers are put together - stitch only to the backing). Bring the bottom edge up so both edges of the sleeve align with the top of the quilt. Run another machine stitch parellel to the first line of stitching, far enough away so that your dowel will fit through the tube you create. This creates a strong hold.

When you add the binding, the upper edges of the sleeve will be covered by the binding. This method only works if you are not planning to quilt in the area of the hanging sleeve. DO NOT QUILT THROUGH YOUR SLEEVE.

hanging sleeve

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