Put this in the category of "Why didn't I think of that?"
A few weeks ago, Assistant Editor Kristine Lundblad came up with a terrific way to solve a problem we have at Quilting Arts. Many of the beautiful art quilts we receive for challenges and galleries don't have hanging sleeves, for whatever reason. Maybe the artist didn't know how to make a quilt sleeve, or maybe the artist was focused on quilt making and not the mundane task of making and adding a sleeve. I know the latter is what usually happens to me.
Still, we often need to hang the quilts for photographing. So Kristine came up with a solution. She made a hanging sleeve 15 yard long that we could take to the shoot and cut as needed. We attached the cut lengths to the quilts as needed, photographed the artwork, and then removed the sleeves.
This trick made the whole photo shoot go so much faster. And it got me thinking about my own quilt art: Instead of making quilt sleeves for each of my quilts separately, why not make a long one and use what I need as I go? Sort of like making a giant pan of lasagna and freezing it in batches to be defrosted and enjoyed one meal at a time.
|Leslie Tucker Jenison
It's not difficult to make a quilt sleeve when you know the basics. Fiber artist Leslie Tucker Jenison, a pro at getting quilts ready for shows and safely shipping them, has the following tutorial. Her instructions are for making a sleeve for one quilt at a time. If you want to make an extra-long sleeve like Kristine did, just ignore the "exact width of your quilt" measurement.
How to Make a Quilt Sleeve
Tutorial and photos by Leslie Tucker Jenison
1. Cut a piece of cotton fabric to the exact width of your quilt by 9 inches deep.
2. Fold and press each edge into a ¼ inch fold.
3. Then turn again and press so raw edges are concealed.
4. Stitch the folded edge in place on both ends. Then stitch the length of the quilt sleeve "tube" (right side facing inward).
5. Turn the tube inside out.
6. Press the sleeve tube so the seam is on one edge and the fold is on the other.
7. Baste the folded edge with the longest machine stitch possible.
8. Then, roll the basted stitch to the top center of the sleeve so the basted stitch is situated over the other seam, which will be situated against the quilt back.
9. Pin the quilt sleeve to the quilt back one inch below the top of the quilt. The width should allow the sleeve to be positioned approximately one-half inch from each edge.
10. Stitch the sleeve securely in place. Be sure to whip-stitch the ends to the back of the quilt, which assures that the hanging device is inserted into the sleeve properly. It helps to take an extra stitch every 4-5 stitches so the sleeve won't become loosened from the quilt if it is hung in multiple venues. Check to be sure that the stitches do not go through to the front of the quilt!
11. Once the sleeve has been securely stitched to the quilt back, remove the basting stitch from the sleeve. This tuck allows room for the hanging device to be inserted without creating excessive tension on the front of the quilt.
NOTE: It is important to attach the name of the quilt and the artist's name and contact information onto the quilt sleeve, as well as the date the quilt was completed.
Want more tips, tricks and other quilting instructions? You'll find all that, plus surface design techniques, hand and machine stitching techniques, and stunning examples of fiber art in the upcoming issues of Quilting Arts Magazine. If you don't already subscribe, now's the time.
P.S. Do you have a special way of making a quilt sleeve? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.