Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hanging my quilts and tops

Recently, I was asked by Nan V.:  How do you hang your quilts? Looks like you have batting looped over curtain rods, and then you pin the quilt to that? Is that because it's a top, or do you do that with your finished quilts as well? It's a brilliant idea to be able to view tops - I sure have plenty of those! 

Yes, I hang up my tops.  Why not?  Instead of being stored in a closet or on a shelf, why not enjoy all the hard work that was put into the making of the top.  Since it takes me so long to hand quilt all those tops, they are starting to pile up (12 tops + my hexagon that is almost a quilt) and I might as well enjoy them as a top and then as a quilt down the road.

All my quilts have sleeves for hanging.  Not a problem for slipping the quilt onto a rod and hanging them up.

Now, my tops are another thing.  Before, I did use curtain rings with the clips and it worked in the past.   (Oops, this is one quilt that does not have a sleeve.)
Something a little more permanent was needed for my tops because I didn't want the metal rings leaving any marks on our freshly painted walls.  After rummaging through my batting scraps, two long pieces were cut to the correct size:  5" wide x 45" long.  Two sets were made because there are two walls for hanging large tops in our home. 

In our dining room:
In our foyer:
How did I make them?  On the batting, using Crayola Washable markers, an 1/2" line was drawn and my batting folded over to the line and sewn using 1/4" seam.    
 There is a 3/4" lip just below the sewing line that is used for pinning the top to the batting.
Can you see the line of stitching below where the arrow is?  That is used as my pinning line so that my top looks straight once it is hung up.
My rod is an electrical 3/4" conduit pipe (cut down to 100") and the brackets are electrical brackets cut in half.  Both the brackets and pipe were painted the wall colour so that the whole system fades into the wall and you focus on the top/quilt not the hanging rod and brackets.
Three brackets are used to hold up my tops/quilts so that there is no sagging in the center.  The rod slips easily through the sleeve opening .... just be extra careful with the pins.  You don't want to stab yourself and bleed over the top or the batting sleeve.  On a side note, when we were down in Amish country, seeing all these straight pins reminded me of  the Amish women with all the straight pins on their dresses to keep their openings closed since they don't use zippers or buttons. 
For my quilts (large or small), all have a sleeve with an opening in the center so that the center wall bracket can be used and my quilts hang perfectly.
So, go and hang up your tops and enjoy them!  :o)   Thanks to Nan V. for asking the question.

Have a great day! 


sandra said...

This is such a good idea! I have some lovely almost finished tops. I think I will finish them and do this. have lots of wall space.

Jennifer said...

Now that's a good idea! Several years ago a quilt show I attended had tops on display, as well as finished quilts......they were in their own section called "Quilts of the Future".

Peg - Happy In Quilting said...

Great idea...