Sunday, November 24, 2013

GO DUCKS!!!! Also: Hanging sleeve and label tutorial

done done done!!!! YES!!!
Very green on the back
I did very large wavy cross hatch quilting so that it maintained it softness as we will be using this quilt in the living room.
The design is from an American Civil War cot quilt. I started the quilt in 2011 to hang at work next to an Oregon Beaver quilt made by my manager. The first year my "quilt" hung as a quilt top. Last year it was half quilted. This year, it is completely done including the label and hanging sleeve!!!  

When I get a quilt done, there is still the binding to hand sew down to the back, the sleeve to sew on and the label to make and sew on. I decided to do it a little different on this quilt.

Hanging Sleeve and Quilt Label

If you are going to put your quilt in a show, the one requirement that most shows have is having a 4" hanging sleeve attached to the back.
My sleeves have morphed over the years, and I think I am finally happy with the design I currently use. I added a quilt label to this hanging sleeve which really saves a lot of time for me!! This is what I do/did.

Hanging Sleeve and Quilt Label

Measure across the top of the quilt where the hanging sleeve will reside.
Subtract 2 inches-this will be the length of your unfinished sleeve.

Make your sleeve: Quilt top width minus 2" X 9 & 3/4" (I like my sleeves to be a little larger than 4" )
If you decide to put your label into the sleeve, adjust your measurements. My label was 4.5" X  3.5" So my sleeve length needed to be:
Quilt top length minus 2" = A
A minus 4.5"- (label width) = B
B +  1" for seam allowance = C-length needed for hanging sleeve

You also need a strip of the hanging sleeve fabric the same width as your label.

Cut a section the same width of your label. Cut off 1.25" of the top
Sew the sections together.
Decide where on the hanging sleeve you want your label, cut , and sew the sections back together.
Hanging sleeve ready for construction!!
On each short end, fold in 1/4" and press
Fold again and press
Stitch seams down
Fold in half lengthwise and press.

All pressed and ready to be attached to the quiilt. Maddie is so very impressed!!!
Once I'm at the point of putting the hanging sleeve on the quilt, I pin it down on the back, then continue with my application of the binding on the front. That way the sleeve is a part of the whole quilt and cannot be removed very easily. Plus, it gives you a very sturdy hanging sleeve.

Binding all hand sewn to the back and now it is time to sew the hanging sleeve down.
I first pin the edge of the underneath side down, leaving the top free. You are actually making a tube now so that when you put a stick or rod, in you will not damage your quilt or quilting.
Pinned and ready to hand stitch. Notice that my pin on the left is at the 1/4" mark. I will stitch up to that point.
Hand stitching. I am a lefty!! Enough said!!
At the 1/4" mark, I make a good knot to keep that point secure. Then I pull back on the sleeve. Notice how you can see the crease? I will pull the sleeve back the entire length using the crease to help me measure 1/4".
Notice the 1/4" crease?
And notice that the sleeve is not laying flat? This is what will give you space for a hanging rod and not contort your quilt.
Hanging rod tunnel!!
Label done and not easily removed!! And no handstitching the label on!!! YES!!
A little different than most quilt labels, but easier and a bit more permanent!!!
Maddie approves!!!

Take care, Happy Quilting and I hope I didn't confuse anyone!!?? If so, let me know and I will try to re-clarify my instructions!! Martha
Oh, and keep those scissors sharp!!!


  1. Wow, that quilt is gorgeous! I need to search back and see a close up of the borders. And THANK YOU for the instructions on the sleeve. I always wondered how to do it the right way.

  2. Oh and happy birthday! I guess November is a good month for Marthas to be born. ;) (me too)

  3. I love the idea of a permanent label on the sleeve. And your instructions are spot-on! Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial, and Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Makes perfect sense to me - and what a time saver!! Thanks for sharing - ;))

  5. What an awesome/beautiful finish - love your quilt!
    GREAT hanging sleeve tutorial too and clever way to add your label!


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