Do you want to display one or more of your handmade creations but aren’t sure how to hang a quilt on the wall?
When you think about your quilt as part of a system, it becomes much easier to figure out how to get it up on the wall and display it.
A Quilt Hanging System
In order to hang a quilt, there are usually three parts to the system:
- a rod
The rod is a straight object from which the quilt hangs.
The anchors are how you attach the rod to the wall.
Fabric is added to the back of the quilt and holds the rod in place. It can be in the form of a rectangle, triangle, or tab.
These three parts work together as a system and allow you to hang your quilt.
Examples of Quilt Hanging Systems
Now that you’ve seen some examples of how the rod, anchor, and fabric work together in a system, let’s focus on each part separately.
The goal when you’re hanging your quilt is to make sure the weight is distributed evenly in order to eliminate stress on the seams.
One way to do this is by choosing a sturdy rod. Rods can be any straight object that will hold the weight of the quilt without bending.
Examples of items that can be used as rods are:
- an unsharpened pencil
- the cardboard tube for a pant hanger
- a dowel rod
- a tension rod
- pvc pipe
- a piece of wood with an eye screw in each end
- Hang It Dang It rod
Other examples of items you can use as rods are:
- a curtain rod
- yardstick, meter stick, ruler
- paint stick
- something unique like a stick of driftwood
When you’re selecting and choosing a rod, there are some things to keep in mind.
- The thicker the rod, the further it will hang from the wall. So, if you want the quilt to lay flat against the wall, select a rod that doesn’t have a lot of depth to it.
- Consider the ends of the rod. Do you want the ends to be visible? If so, you may want to find a rod that has a decorative finial, hip knob, or end cap.
- Does the rod come with its own anchors or will you need to find some?
- Can the rod support the weight of the quilt without bending or giving a little?
- Do you want the length of the rod to be fixed or adjustable? If it’s adjustable, you can use the same rod with different quilts.
An anchor is what will hold the rod on the wall.
There are many items that can be used as anchors. Make sure the rod and anchor you decide on can work together to hang the quilt.
- Screws with anchors – (these are a good option for heavy quilts)
- Monkey hooks – (for drywall, no tools required, can hold heavy quilts)
- Command Strips – (work well if you don’t want to leave a hole)
- Push pins (these cannot hold a lot of weight)
- Command Hooks (another option if you don’t want to leave a hole)
More examples of items that can be used as anchors:
- cup hooks
- curtain rod holders, brackets, and mounts – (These can be sold separately from rods and come in a variety of shapes, styles, and colors.)
You need ask yourself some questions about anchors before you settle on one for hanging your quilt.
- Are the anchors long enough to go in the wall and project far enough to hold the rod securely?
- How big of a hole will the anchor make in the wall?
- Would you prefer an anchor that doesn’t leave a hole?
- Will the anchor hold the weight of the quilt? (Check weight limits on commercially made products.)
- Do you want the anchors to be visible or hidden behind the quilt?
- Does the rod already come with anchors?
There are some choices of rods and anchors that come as a set.
A couple examples of these all-in-one systems are a wall mounted quilt rack or a curtain rod with brackets. Both come in multiple styles, sizes, and finishes.
In order to hang the quilts on the rod, you’ll need fabric to make rectangles, triangles, or tabs.
- Rectangles are also called sleeves.
- Triangles can be used to make hanging corners or a triangle sleeve.
- Tabs can be made to be visible from the top or hidden on the back of the quilt.
Depending on the fabric option you choose to hang your quilt, you will also need to determine if you want the fabric to be a permanent part of the quilt or a temporary one.
- Permanent fabric options are added before the binding is put on.
- Temporary fabrics can be added to quilts that already have a binding or on quilts that you don’t always want to be on display. They are easy to remove.
Any fabric can be used for a rectangle, triangle, or tab as long as it doesn’t stretch.
You can use:
- left over fabric from the quilt
- coordinating fabric
- fabric left over from another project
Quilt Hanging Systems without the Fabric
There is an exception to the three-part quilt hanging system…sometimes the quilt hanging system doesn’t need the fabric.
If you don’t want to mess with the fabric portion of the system, there are options that don’t require you to put rectangles, triangles, or tabs on the back of the quilt.
Wooden quilt hangers come in different sizes, shapes, and colors. Some are as small as the clamps in the photo and others can be as long as the width of the quilt.
With any option you choose to hang your quilts, it’s important to make sure the weight of the quilt is spread out evenly over the width of the quilt.
My Favorite Quilt Hanging Parts
When I can, I like to use items around the house to display quilts and other handmade wall hangings.
While I have bought several different types of rods and anchors, there are a few that are my go-to methods for hanging:
Monkey Hooks – Anchors that don’t require any tools, are used in drywall, and can support heavy quilts.
Hang It Dang It – A rod that is adjustable, easy to level, and only requires one anchor. Comes in different length ranges. I hang it with a Monkey Hook.
Command Strips – These anchors work well if you don’t want to put a hole in the wall. They are removable but make sure to follow the directions on the package or they could fall off before you want them to. I use these with a flat rod like a yardstick or length of wood from the home improvement store.
Sewing Supplies to Hang Quilts
In order to make the rectangles, triangles, and tabs, you need basic sewing supplies:
- needles (machine and hand)
- seam gauge or measuring tape
- rotary cutter, mat, and ruler
- iron and board
- sewing machine
Sewing Skills to Prepare Quilt for Hanging
Depending on whether the fabric you add to the back of the quilt will be permanent or temporary, you will need to use your sewing machine, hand sewing, or both.
The quilt will need a binding whether you decide to use rectangles, triangles, or tabs to hang the quilt.
For tutorials on how I bind quilts, take a look at the following posts:
- Double Fold Quilt Binding – A Beginner’s Guide
- How to Attach a Binding
- Use the Blind Stitch to Finish Binding
Hand Sewing Tutorials
Not sure how to hand sew or need a refresher?
You can find all my hand sewing tutorials here – Types of Hand Stitches: a Guide for Beginners.
Popular posts in the hand sewing guide for beginners are:
- Three Ways to Tie a Knot in Thread – In this tutorial you learn different ways to tie a knot when you start.
- How to Finish a Stitch in Hand Sewing – Learn multiple ways on how to finish a thread at the end of your hand sewing.
The two main stitches used to attach the fabric for hanging your quilt are the:
Hanging Quilts with Rectangular Sleeves
The most popular way to hang quilts, especially large ones, is with a rectangular sleeve. However, sleeves can be used with any size quilt or wall hanging.
Rectangular sleeves are not hard to make or attach but there are some decisions you need make:
- Permanent or temporary sleeves
- Full length or split sleeves
Depending on what you decide will determine how you cut the fabric for the sleeves and how it is attached.
For everything you need to know about rectangular sleeves, go to the comprehensive post How to Hang a Quilt with Rectangles.
Hanging Quilts with Triangles
There are a couple of ways you can use triangles to hang quilts:
- Triangle corners
- A triangle sleeve
Triangle corners are a popular way to hang small quilts though it is possible to use them with larger quilts.
If you decide to use triangle corners with a larger quilt, it may be necessary to add a hidden tab or two between the two corners so you don’t have any sagging in the middle.
A triangle sleeve is a fun option because it gives you a couple of choices – the ends of the rod can be visible or hidden.
Like rectangular sleeves, triangle corners and triangle sleeves can be either permanent or temporary. (Permanent meaning you add the corners BEFORE you attach the binding.)
For everything you need to know about using triangles to hang quilts, go to the in-depth post Hang Quilts with Triangles.
How to Hang Quilts with Tabs
The use of tabs is another way to manipulate the fabric in order to hang your quilts.
Tabs are a permanent part of the quilt (attached BEFORE putting on the quilt binding) and can be visible from the top of your quilt or hidden on the back.
One or more hidden tabs can also be used on the back of a larger quilt in conjunction with triangle corners if you notice there is sagging in the middle.
For everything you need to know about using tabs to hang quilts, go to the in-depth post How to Hang a Quilt with a Dowel Rod and Tabs.
Considerations for How and Where to Hang Quilts
As you create the system on how to hang your quilt, there are several factors you should keep in mind before, during, and after the decision-making process.
Attach rectangles, triangles, or hidden tabs to more than one side. If your quilt doesn’t have a directional design, attaching rectangles, triangles, or hidden tabs on multiple sides will allow you to rotate the quilt and minimize stretching. This is helpful if the quilt is heavy and will be hanging for a long time.
Put a rod along the bottom edge of the quilt to prevent rippling. If your quilt does have a directional design and there is a definite top to it, you may want to attach a rod to the bottom. This can be done with the same fabric method you used at the top of the quilt or a different one.
Avoid hanging quilts in direct sunlight. This will help to minimize fading.
Avoid hanging quilts around heat sources and humidifiers. Heat and water can damage fabric over time, so it is best to make sure quilts are away from anything that creates higher temperatures or moisture.
Even though it’s a quick and easy way to hang a quilt, DO NOT put nails or tacks directly through the quilt. They will leave holes in the fabric that will always be there permanently damaging your quilt.
Make stitches farther apart on sleeves that are temporary. This will make the sleeve easier to remove.
Save temporary sleeves. If you plan on changing out the quilts you hang on the wall, save yourself some time and use sleeves you’ve already made.
Use a hidden tab or rectangle sleeve between triangle corners to prevent sagging. Triangle corners are a popular way to hang small quilts but also work on larger quilts. By adding tabs or a rectangle sleeve between the corners, you can prevent any sagging in the center.
Related Quilt Hanging Posts
Looking for how to make those rectangles, triangles, and tabs? Check out these other quilt hanging posts.
My main goals are to support, empower, and inspire you to discover the joy of sewing.
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