Quilt Hanging Methods | Madam Sew

Quilt Hanging Methods

For quilters, displaying our handiwork is one of the fun things about making projects. We put them on beds, tabletops, kitchen counters, over quilt stands and on ladders. Hanging a quilt is also a lovely way to show off your work, decorate your home, and showcase your creativity. How you hang them is sometimes a challenge, so today we’ll show you several hanging options.

hanging quilt

For very small hanging quilts, mini quilt stands are a great option. These stands have a break in the hanging bar, so the quilt’s hanging loops can slip over and hold the mini quilt. To make the small loops, cut a bit of fabric 2 inches by three inches. Turn under the 3-inch ends and topstitch to finish the edge. Fold over to 2-inches x 1-1/2-inches, then stitch to the upper back side of the quilt. Mini quilts up to 12 inches square can use this type of stand. These can also be placed under the binding.

mini quilt stands

The tiny size ensures the loops do not show over the top of the quilt, and they are just big enough to slide onto the hanging bar.

hanging quilt bar

Small wood hanging clips are hung on nails so they can be taken down easily to replace the quilt on display. The clip screw on the top is loosened so the quilt can be clamped between the wood top and back, then tightened to hold it in place.

small wood hanging

Then the wood clips are hung on the nails. I have mine about 20 inches apart, as I have found that to be a good distance apart for two hangers. It allows me to hang quilts up to 24 inches wide without damaging the quilt.

wood clips nails

If you wish to hang larger quilts, and you have a more modern decor, metal clips that are attached to the wall with molly bolt screws can handle more weight. Just be careful that you aren’t putting too much stress on the quilt by using four or six of these instead of just two.

Using hanging sleeves that span the entire top of the quilt is a good way to hang larger quilts as it distributes the stress across the entire top. If the quilt isn’t too large, a small sleeve with a wooden slat placed inside the sleeve provides good support. Leave a one-inch gap between the sleeve and the edge of the quilt. Old wooden rulers are perfect choices for the slat. A metal loop nailed to each end of the slat provides the means to hang it on a nail placed on the wall.

The advantage here is that the hanging system is invisible from the front.

A variation of this is to put fabric triangles on the backside corners of the quilt prior to binding. These create pockets for a wood slat to be inserted. For these, cut a square approximately five inches, and fold in half corner to corner. Place on the top corners of the quilt raw edges to the edge of the quilt prior to binding.

The hanging hardware is placed a bit farther in, and again is invisible from the front. For wider quilts, you may want to add a loop in the center to prevent sagging.

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For full bed size quilts, the best method to use is a curtain rod with a larger sleeve. This is the method most quilt shows will use if the quilt is to be displayed or judged.

Measure your sleeve length by measuring the total width of the quilt including the binding. Don't worry, it won't reach the edge when we are done. Cut a piece of fabric the length you need by the finished depth you need x2 plus one inch. For example, if the quilt is 31 inches wide and the sleeve needs to be 4-1/2 inches deep finished, cut a piece of fabric 31 inches x 10 inches. Place WRONG sides together, and sew a seam the length of the strip with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Press the seam open, with the seam running down the middle of the side you will have against the quilt.

Turn the edges twice to the outside (right side), covering the raw edge of the seam.

Stitch the hem through all the layers.

Press, then push up the bottom edge 1/4 - 1/2-inch up from the pressed line and press again.

You will then have a pressed line to follow when stitching the bottom of the sleeve to the quilt. This will give some room for the rod, so your quilt hangs straight. Pin the edge against the quilt where the rod is inserted, and sew it down. This will guide the rod inside the sleeve as it is being inserted and protect your quilt back from damage. One thing to know, this is mostly hand work, labor intensive, but not difficult. Most will be able to whip stitch one of these on a large quilt in an evening or two.

For temporary sleeves, the stitches don't have to be perfect. They can be fairly far apart, just don't go through the quilt to the front with your stitching, catch only the sleeve and into the batting layer. If you plan to show your quilt at a guild or national show, make the sleeve at least 4-inches in finished diameter to accommodate most sizes of hanging pipes used by shows.

A favorite method for home display is to use a curtain rod with ring clips. This allows frequent changes of decor without the need for sleeves on every quilt.

Seven clips are enough for a twin size or smaller quilt. If your quilt is larger, use a longer rod with two sets of clips to reduce the stress on any one point on the quilt.

The method you choose to display your quilt is purely personal preference. I hope you will find ways to incorporate your fabric artistry in your home decor in new places.

Have fun quilting, and stop by my blog for more easy projects. If you are new to the Madam Sew blog, be sure to check out my complete Beginning Quilting series - Basics, Tools and A Simple Block, Making Half Square Triangles, Sewing Flying Geese, Choosing Colors and Prints, Choosing Batting, Adding Borders, Finishing Quilts with Binding, and Choosing Threads. I’ll be doing more articles to advance your quilting skills on Madam Sew. Subscribe to the Madam Sew blog so you don’t miss a thing!

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I purchased a set of all the machine feet, but they didnt come with any directions or suggestions for their use. Do you have those available for me? Thank you

Connie Jennings

Great information, I saved it. Have done several ways shown, but especially liked some I have never used. Thanks.


I really love the idea of putting yardsticks in the sleeve of the quilts; I am going to try it and see how it goes!

Barbara Griffin

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