Saturday, April 4, 2015

Hanging Sleeve Tutorial

Tess (my Innova longarm) and I have become quite close this week, as we've spent almost 20 hours together. On just one quilt.  This is something I don't do very often, but we had a great time. I'd love to show the completed quilt we created, but a sneak peek will have to do.
metro rings medallion ice crystal

I've decided to keep it out of the social media world for awhile, just until it's been at some local shows. I do apologize for building the suspense, but this one turned out better than I expected.

I'm almost finished, just making a label, and attaching the hanging sleeve. Not my favorite things to do, but they are necessary. But it makes for a perfect time to write a tutorial about hanging sleeves!

Start with a 9" wide piece of fabric that is approximately 1" shorter than the width of the quilt. Choose which side of the fabric will be on the outside of the sleeve. In the following pictures, I'm using the back of the fabric as the outside/right side because I want to be able to find the sleeve on the back of the quilt!
Finish the ends by folding over 1/2", then folding over again. This should make a sleeve that is approximately 2" shorter than the width of the quilt. Make this fold to the outside of the sleeve, so that it won't catch the rod when it's inserted inside. Stitch the edge down. 
hanging sleeve rod
Fold along the entire length of the sleeve, with the chosen right side on the outside, matching the edges. Press. 
hanging rod pocket
Open up the piece, and bring each edge to the center, and press each side.
hanging sleeve rod pocket
Fold again along the center fold, bringing the edges together and stitch a 1/4" seam along the entire length.
hanging rode
Notice how the folds have drawn in toward the seam. Press the seam open, being careful not to eliminate the folds.
hanging sleeve
Flipping it over, the seam side now sits flat, and the other side gaps up which allows room for the rod. The seam side goes against the quilt back, eliminating another rod snag opportunity!
rod pocket hanging
Center the sleeve on the back, at the base of the binding so that the extra fabric doesn't show at the top when a rod is inside. Hand stitch the edges, using the fold lines as guides.
rod pocket
And don't forget to stitch down the short ends. The rod could be slipped in there and rub against the back of the quilt. Definitely not what we want!
quilt rod pocket
And for me, by using the back of the backing fabric on the outside of the sleeve, I can now find it easily. But you can choose whatever you want to see for the outside of your sleeve.

And there are no seams to catch the hanging rod!

Happy Quilting!


  1. I find that even when I try to be careful when pressing the central seam down, I lose the creases on the sides. What works for me is to baste those creases before ironing. They are easily pulled out when I am finished sewing the sleeve onto the quilt.

  2. Try moving the center seam to one side such that one fold can be repressed. See the iron picture above--the center is moved to the right.

  3. Thanks for sharing the tutorial! I have never tried to put a sleeve on my quilts (they are not good for shows just yet ;)) but I will save this information for the future!

  4. I just put a sleeve on my quilt for the first time last week! I could have used a tutorial like this. thank you for posting and linking up!


Any comments you want to share? I'd love to hear from you!