The Kenya Quilt Guild will be holding an exhibition at the Village Market on May 11, 12 and 13. It is time now for all our Guild members to put needle to fabric and finish off some wonderful new work to be displayed there.
Our Guild picks up new members every year, so every year the cry goes up–“How do I prepare my quilt for hanging it in the show?”
Start by following the instructions at Quilts, Inc. for how to make a hanger sleeve. This is a pdf download that gives full instructions for how to make and set a hanger sleeve on a quilt.
Notice that the sleeve has extra fullness on the back. That fullness accommodates the depth of the rod, so that the quilt top does not wrap around the rod from the front in an unsightly way. With this kind of hanger sleeve, the face of the quilt will remain flat all the way to the top.
Then, find or buy a rod or pole that is suitable for your quilt. For small quilts, a stick that is 1/4″ deep by 1 1/2″ wide will suffice. For a large bedcover, you may need a stick that is 1″ deep by 2″ wide. Make sure you buy a rod that is sturdy enough to carry the quilt’s weight without bowing. Rods or poles for quilt display should not be seen from the front of the quilt, so it’s best to cut their length to about 2″ narrower than the width of the quilt.
Attach a screw eye to each end of the rod; again, size depends on the amount of weight that will be hanging from the rod. Screw in the eyes completely, leaving them in the correct position for hanging as shown above.
It’s a good idea to write on the rod with some permanent market the name of the quilt and your name. That way, if your rod gets separated from your quilt, they can always find their way back together!
Make and sew a label to the back of your quilt, usually placed in the lower right corner. The label should include your name, the date the quilt was completed, where the quilt was made, any special information about materials or processes, and laundry instructions if needed. You can also include details of any special occasion for which the quilt was made. Make your label entirely by hand, if you like, or print one using one of the computer printer fabric sheets. Embroidery, permanent marking pens, paint or other media that will last for as long as the quilt does are all acceptable supplies to use when making a lable.
With hanger sleeve and label attached and the rod with screw eyes inserted in the hanger sleeve, roll your quilt from the top downward, being careful not to fold the quilt top edge back on itself. Roll with the face side of the quilt outward, never inward. This ensures that the face of the quilt never acquires ugly and unnecessary wrinkles.
Make and slip your rolled quilt into a cotton muslin drawstring bag if you need to protect it from soiling or to store it for some time (remove the rod first). Then, deliver your quilt to the Exhibition organizers. Your attention to these final details about showing your work will be much appreciated and they will help ensure that your quilt and its rod are returned to you in good shape.