When I was little, my mother sewed these big stuffed letters (L-A-U-R-E-N) to hang on the walls of my room. She tacked little plastic loops to them, and then put some nails in the wall and probably prayed that the loops would match the nails. I can imagine that it was a giant pain in the ass. Perhaps that’s why today I’m a connoisseur of quilt-hanging methods. I have three quilts hanging in the various rooms of my house, each by a different technique because I’m continually seduced by the next “solution” to come along. And let’s just say this: if you’re trying to hang a quilt by the same method my mother used to hang those damn letters, YOU NEED HELP.
Thanks to the fact that quilters are creative folks by nature, there are a lot of modern solutions to the problem of how to get a quilt up on the wall. Here are the major ones, with the lowdown on difficulty and pros/cons.
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The Clamp Method
Quilt clamps are a great choice if you like to swap out your quilts regularly. They mount to the wall, evenly spaced across the top edge of your quilt, and pinch it in place either by springs (like a chip clip!) or by manually tightening and loosening with a screw. Clips and clamps are available in a variety of wood finishes; I’ve also seen more “decorative” metal ones in the shapes of stars and that sort of thing. If you’re interested, check out Hang Ups:
Difficulty: Depends. They can be mounted by screw into the wall or hung with 3M Command Strips.
Pros: Easy to rotate quilts, no sleeves or loops needed.
Cons: When mounting the clips on the wall, you’ll obviously have to line them all up straight. If you’re like me and can’t even cut or sew fabric in a straight line without help, this method is likely not for you. Also, the clamps are visible; personally, I prefer not to see anything but my quilt.
The Rod-and-Sleeve Method
The rod-and-sleeve method involves attaching a sleeve (a long tube of fabric) across the top back width of your quilt. Then you insert a rod or dowel and find some way to hang it up. Hand-basting aside, I really like this method to hang a quilt and have had good luck with the Hang It Dang It (which wins “best product name ever” hands down). The rod and a wall bracket are included in the product, and it’s easy to take the rod down to change out the quilt.
Difficulty: 3/5. You have to nail the bracket into the wall and stitch a sleeve onto your quilt. A large initial investment in time, but if you ever want to change the quilt, it’s easy.
Pros: Invisible! It looks like your quilt is floating on the wall. Also, easy to adjust by pulling out the extendable rod for different quilt sizes (and to make sure the quilt hangs straight on the wall).
Cons: Expensive. The MSRP for the Hang It Dang It ranges from $30 (small) to $70 (large). There’s a price for convenience and aesthetics.
The Pocket Method
For some reason I always forget the pocket method, which is silly because it’s probably the best. It involves adding two triangles to the top back corners of your unbound quilt, basting them on, and then binding your quilt. To hang a quilt, you simply cut a yardstick to the proper length, insert it into the pockets, and hang it on your wall with Command Strips.
Beth Ferrier from Craftsy has an awesome tutorial. BEHOLD:
Pros: Super easy and CHEAP. All you have to buy is a yardstick.
Cons: Requires a bit of forethought before binding; you have to think ahead of time to put in the pockets. Also, not recommended for large, heavy quilts.
The Lazy Ass Method
Listen: sometimes you need to hang a quilt on the wall of a child’s playroom or somewhere else where it’s going to languish mostly unappreciated. You know what you do? You put a couple thumbtacks in that puppy and call it a day. Will your guild members judge you, should they ever visit your home? Would your grandmother or first sewing teacher cluck with disapproval? Sure! But who gives a rip? If you match colors and do it sparingly, hanging-by-thumbtack is really okay. And we would never steer you wrong. See?
Difficulty: 0/5. When’s the last time you showered?
Pros: Takes five seconds; still have time to watch Real Housewives of Sisters, Oregon before bed.
Cons: Small tack holes in your quilt. Oh, and eternal judgment from others, but that’s a small price to pay.
What are your favorite ways to hang or display your quilts?
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