Monday 26 October 2015

Quilt Label and Hanging Strip Combined

Finished today, a 12 x 12 inch quilt.  Here is the back view, with the title. 

Rather than do a label and a hanging strip separately, I like to combine them into one job. Here is the strip, a two and a half inch wide piece of calico, with the selvedge running along the lower edge.  I have turned under the raw edges on the sides with a single fold and done three lines of machine stitching to prevent fraying.  Two lines would probably do, but I am just making extra sure.

To mark the centre of the strip I have made a light crease, and the pin marks the centre of the top edge of the quilt.

Next, I place the seam guide on the machine right up against the side of the foot, and adjust the stitch length to its longest setting.

Then, lining up the crease with the pin, I sew the strip to the top edge of the quilt.  To make sure the strip doesn't shift from position, I start from the centre and stitch one half in place first.

A long stitch is handy because it is quicker to do, and in effect it is just tacking the strip into place.

Now the quilt is turned over and stitched from the other side.

At each side there is plenty of room for the rod to emerge from under the strip, and the strip is well clear of the corners.

The raw edges are going to be covered with the binding.  I have already started the binding - the pink stitching in this photo is the first line of stitching, which attaches the binding to the front of the quilt.  I always do the binding entirely by machine. 

Here is the method I use, and which I adapt slightly for densely quilted wall hangings - firstly, there is no need to stitch around the edge, because with dense quilting the edge is already firm and stable: secondly, I start by attaching the binding to the front, and then fold it to the back for the second line of stitching.

To reduce the bulk inside the binding, I trim the strip as near as possible to the machine tacking.

Then I turn the binding to the back and machine stitch it into place.

Before hand stitching the lower edge of the strip to the back of the quilt, I use hair grips to fold it up a fraction against the binding and hold it secure.  This gives a little fullness to accommodate a rod without putting the front of the quilt out of shape.

Finally, if I need to add any more writing, I slide a fold of paper inside the strip just in case any permanent ink soaks into the quilt.  Just think how disastrous it would be to wreck a quilt at this stage.  No, it doesn't bear thinking about.


  1. Excellent idea! Who'da thunk it? A sleeve and label all in one!

  2. You are my hero. Anything that cuts down on label- and sleeve-making time for me is a win/win, especially with 16 hours less time in the studio per week than I used to have. And this is just downright clever. Thank you so much!

  3. Good idea. I need to put hanging sleeves and labels on a couple of small quilts for my quilt guilds upcoming show. This might work well on those.

  4. Thanks for sharing your approach - I love the hair pins for that fullness fold. I've been using pins, and they POKE me. :)



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