How do you hang a quilt on the wall?

Posted by on July 17, 2012, in quilting & sewing,

You’ve finally completed your quilt, taken the final stitches to attach the binding, and it’s ready to hang, either in your home or at your guild’s quilt show. So now the big question is, how to hang it? Well, you’ve come to the right place for answers! Trust Martingale to find you several options for attaching sleeves and hanging your quilt.

As Marketing Coordinator, my job includes displaying quilts from new Martingale books, both in our office for tour groups and in our booth at Quilt Market. Usually authors turn in their quilts with the sleeves already attached. However, when you have a deadline to turn in 15 to 20 quilts with your final manuscript, you might not have time to attach a sleeve to every one. So that’s where I come in. But more on that later. First, let’s look at a roundup of clever methods for hanging quilts.

1. How to Hang Quilts the Museum Way (tutorial)
Amy Hodge of Amy a la Mode shows how to hang a quilt invisibly—so classy!—a method she learned from the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. (Hint: it involves a flat piece of wood and two screw eyes, and it’s super easy!)

2. Seven Ways to Hang Small Quilts (plus how to display them with a plate stand)
Ami Simms, founder and executive director of the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative, has hung a lot of quilts for a worthy cause (and her organization has raised more than $730,000 for Alzheimer’s research since January 2006). Here you’ll find terrific photos showing different ways to hang small quilts. Plus, if you’ve run out of wall space, you can learn how to display your small quilts on plate stands!

3. Easy No-See Hanging Tabs (tutorial)
Have you used hanging tabs on a quilt? Over at Modify Tradition, Crystal shows how, with lots of helpful photos.

4. How to Hang Quilts from a Yardstick (tutorial)
Would a vintage look fit your decor? Here’s a clever way to reuse yardsticks or rulers as quilt hangers. When we asked Ann Hermes of Notes from the Quilt Lab for permission to include her tutorial in this list, she graciously agreed and even sent a great photo of her “yardstick gallery” (below right). Talk about charming!

5. How to Make Rod Pockets with Double-Fold Triangles (tutorial)
If you liked the triangle pockets shown in the AAQI post (#2 on our list), Nicole at Mama Love Quilts tells how to make them, step by step, in a fun photo tutorial.

6. How to Hang a Quilt on a Wall the Martingale Way
I said earlier that we’d get back to me, and here I am madly pinning. That’s right! When it comes to hanging a quilt on a wall at Martingale, we use premade sleeves and pin them on with lots of safety pins, about every 6 to 8 inches. And nobody’s the wiser! We put inexpensive brass rods through the sleeves and then hang the rods on dowels nailed permanently to the wall. These clever dowels have been miter-cut on one end and drilled with a hole just big enough for a finishing nail to be glued in.

7. How to Make a Hanging Sleeve
When you’re new to making quilt sleeves, it helps to have a set of illustrated instructions. And that’s just what you’ll find in How to Make a Hanging Sleeve, the newest PDF at ShopMartingale’s How to Quilt page. With just three steps and clear illustrations, it’s a quick and easy reference you can use when it’s time for hanging a quilt on the wall.

8. How to Hang a Wall Hanging in a Hurry
Of course, you can always take the easy way out and avoid having to put on a sleeve on your quilt at all! Simply purchase some beautiful decorative hangers that clip to the top of your quilt and voila! You’re done!

Now that we’ve talked about how to hang a quilt on a wall, tell us what we missed! Do you have favorite tricks for hanging quilts on the wall? Tell us about it in the comments!

32 Comments (leave a comment)

  • I had an old cafe curtain rod and those metal clips that go with it, and i hung the brackets to that, clipped the hangy things to my wallhanging, and voila! it was done.

    —Mary Fredrichs on July 17, 2012
  • I’ve used decorative tabs (like tab top curtains) before. They work great as long as you’ve got a nice looking rod to hang them from.

    —Sheila Craft on July 17, 2012
  • Same as mary .. used an flat white rod caught on 2 small nails in the white beam over a pony wall – and my wall/lap size things are clipped on .. changes every season or holiday or newly finished project. I have same set up in my room where the ceiling is really and can hang things there with attached rod pockets.
    PS… When using a pocket fabric that matches the backing, stitch a band of contrasting color along the 2 end openings so you can see where things go!
    I got a personal thanks from a gal hanging quilts at a home show – she said it sure made it easy to see as there was red declaring HERE when hurrying to get the rod thru the pocket.

    —Sandie McFerran on July 17, 2012
  • Great info, posting it will be appreciated by lots of quilters. Thanks.

    —Betty on July 17, 2012
  • Another quickie tip for hanging small quilts is to sew two plastic upholstery rings on each side of the back of the quilt. Hang the quilt with two small hangers, nails or, in a pinch, a couple of push pins!

    Beth Strand on July 17, 2012
  • With a miniature I have at times just used a couple of straight pins in the corners and pushed them into the wall. Sometimes it takes a thicker pin to get into the plaster but once you get in a short way you can replace it with a thinner one and the quilt hangs fine.

    —Ellie on July 17, 2012
  • If I am hanging a small quilt or wall hanging, I use flat head straight pins in the top corners.

    Supplies needed: 2 straight pins, level and hammer

    Tap gently with a hammer and they will go right through the quilt and into the wallboard. (Hint: For easy removal, leave a little of the pin sticking out of the quilt) When you remove them, they leave such tiny holes my husband never notices them! 🙂

    —Virginia on July 17, 2012
  • I wish I could send you (or post) a picture – I have wooden handmade holders that use pressure (you tighten and untighten as needed) to keep the quilt on the wall. If there is a way to send you pictures, let me know, and I will show ya! 🙂

    —Laura/Readerwoman on July 17, 2012
  • I learned to add a 2nd sleeve on the bottom of the quilt as well as the top. Slip in a dowel that is a little shorter and your quilt will hang so nicely.

    Some times I find cute things like a flower or bird with a hook on it so I purchase 2 and use a dowell to hang your quilt between the 2 hooks you hung on the wall. You can purchase little wooden shape to glue on to the dowels if you want to fancy them up a bit.

    For small gifts go to Ackfeld Manufacturing for holders out of wire and be held with one nail. I found them cute as in a cat motifs or butterfly and very well made with strong wire and wood tubing to easy hang up your gift. Go to for a wonderful collections and the price is right too.

    —Virginia Brown on July 17, 2012
  • For hanging quilts on a door, we use over the door hangers and a piece of dowling. We also use clear stick on hooks, attach clips to the binding of the quilt, add a thin dowling to keep the quilt straight and hang it up with the clips. This way we can get 2 small quilts on a door.

    —Rose=Marie on July 17, 2012
  • I use double back tape and tape them to the wall, which works for wall hangings.
    On one I used an old iron curtain rod and made hang tabs on the piece, that way I can change it out when I want.


    Debbie St.Germain on July 17, 2012
  • Bubble every time.. Love that Mary!

    Pat Wys on July 17, 2012
  • Thanks for outlining all the methods!

    Jean on July 17, 2012
  • I bought a curtain rod at a rummage sale and added tab tops on my quilt. I’ve also hung a Christmas wallhanging from an old ski pole. I’ve also used the spring type clamps and pinched them on the top and slid them on a narrow expandable curtain rod.

    —Diane Lindberg on July 17, 2012
  • I don’t put sleeves on any of my quilts except when it’s requested for a quilt show. One of my Guilds uses Velcro attachments, sold at 10 cents per inch. Yes, it gets expensive when they want Velcro on any quilt under 76 inches wide. One side of the Velcro is permanently attached to a PVC pipe frame and the other side is attached to our quilts for easy removal for our one day outdoor show. Once the show is over, Velcro is removed from our quilts and reusable.
    My second Guild uses 4 inch wide sleeves and each member makes their own and attaches to thier quilts under the guidelines of the Show Chairman, depending on the length of the quilt. These "sleeves" are tacked down using an applique’ stitch across both sides of the sleeve.
    When a customer requests I make a sleeve for their quilt, I sew one side down along with the binding and the other side, like the binding, is tacked down using tiny applique’ stitches.

    Are we having fun yet? A pieced top is NOT a finished quilt.

    Keep smiling,

    Lynnita Shipman on July 18, 2012
  • I use the plastic cafecurtain rings spaced so that the quilt will hang right and then use push pins to hang the quilt. The pins don’t leave large holes and are easy to move around your space,

    kathy osterby on July 18, 2012
  • For small wall hangings I just staple the quilt to the wall. If you staple right in the seam of the binding you can barely see it. It also makes the smallest holes in the wall so there is no repair to be done.

    —Donnamarie on July 19, 2012
  • I make two short sleeves instead of one long one. I leave about 2″ between the sleeves at the center. I Then use a dowel that is slightly shorter than the quilt, and hang it with regular hardware store hooks meant for framed artwork. The quilt hangs nicely on the wall with no visible supports.
    I like Mary’s idea of pinning temporary sleeves on the back!

    —Crazy Cuban on July 20, 2012
  • I just made a quilt that comes to a point at the top. A regular sleev causes the point to droop. I’ve looked on the net for help with this problem with little results. I would appreciate any suggestions. The quilt will hang in a show.

    Sheilah, we’ll brainstorm ideas for you when we’re all in the office on Monday. Can you email us a photo of the quilt?
    Karen Johnson

    —Sheilah on July 21, 2012
  • I make the no-see hanging tabs with the same fabric that the backing is made from, I make mine wide enough so the bigger quilts hang nicely. I have a few different metal quilt hangers that my daughter makes, I put a dowel through the hanging tabs and hang them on the quilt hanger, I change my wallhangings for the various seasons and different occasions like Easter, Valentines day etc. I love my quilt hangers!

    —GwenH on July 21, 2012
  • The quilt my grandmother made me 60+ years ago was restored by a certified textile conservator about 15 years ago. At the time, the conservator invisibly sewed the non-loop side of a 3-inch wide strip of Velcro across the length of the quilt. They also provided a Velcro wall hanger (basically a strip of plastic 3-inches wide x length of quilt) with the Velcro loop side attached to the hanger facing out. The wall hanger is screwed into the wall and projects only about 1/4 inch. The quilt side Velcro attaches to the wall hanger Velcro. I am searching for a replacement for the Velcro wall hanger piece; the conservator is no longer in business. I have never seen this method of display before and have searched high and low to find something like or similar to the wall hanger piece I had before. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Hi Dawn,
    I did an internet search and couldn’t find anything, either. If you really want to continue hanging your quilt using velcro, it looks to me like you are going to have to make it yourself. The following instructions tell you how to make it with wood, but you could probably get a piece of acrylic cut to size if you have a a place in your area that will do it.

    Here’s the link to those instructions:

    Just as a cautionary note: It is not particularly good for antique fabrics to be hung. It’s very hard on the aging fibers.


    —Dawn Little on October 9, 2012
  • Thanks very much, Cornelia. I appreciate your cautionary note, but I’m wondering why the conservator would go the Velcro route if it is not so good for the ‘aging fibers.’ Surely they must have known that!? Alas, we shall never know the answer! :-Q (confused)

    Oh, Dawn, I’m sorry if I added to your confusion-but I do care about your precious heirloom! If you decide to continue hanging it, just watch it carefully and maybe take it down once in awhile to give the fibers a rest?

    Best wishes,

    —Dawn Little on October 10, 2012
  • my sister in law made me the most beautiful table runner bordered with sea shells, however, she put a 2 inch hem on the back in case i wanted to hang it, which i do…I hate to leave it on a table for fear something will spill on it. Do you use a curtain rod? It will hang in a Florida room and i was thinking a drift wood type stick and tie nautical rope on each end and a hanger in the middle (so the rope hangs) My question is does anyone sell such a contraption? Is there a website with pictures of options. Thanks

    Hi Mags,

    Your driftwood and nautical rope idea sounds just perfect! I don’t know if you’d be able to purchase it, but it shouldn’t be difficult to put together yourself. If you want to find examples of how other people have hung their quilts, you can find a lot by searching the internet-use terms such as "quilt hanging" or "quilt display" and start clicking!

    Curtain rods work great for hanging quilts, too.


    —Mags on October 17, 2012
  • I am trying to hang a quilt is used to lay out quilt blocks for positioning before sewing. It came without directions. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    —Florence C Lynch on February 7, 2013
  • I have my mother-in-laws rolling pin in one of those black metal holders mounted on my kitchen wall and I make small quilts with hanging tabs on the right and left top edge. I have several of these small quilts for special holidays and changing sessons.

    —Patti Jennings on July 25, 2013
  • I have hung many small wall size quilts using used sewing machine needles. The walls in my apartment are filled with quilts hung this way. I also have wooden quilt racks with a dowel rod that were made by my husband that hold quilts.

    —Alvina Nelson on October 10, 2013
  • Its really a great and useful piece of information. Im glad that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing. ecekdgbdebee

    —Johne799 on May 13, 2014
  • I have a non quilt hanging question…
    I am smitten with those wall hangings behind/above the couch shown in the picture. Which magazine or book is the patterns from? I have been thinking about them for days. I know I could take the time and figure it out but if the patterns are in print somewhere I’d rather go that route 🙂
    I was going to buy the magnetic quilt hanging system but I think this is the way to go for me – although I might try this method. It’s a lot cheaper than that magnetic system!

    Deb on July 30, 2014
  • Very nice guidance thanks for sharing……..

    mandala tapestry on October 13, 2016
  • I have an old cafe curtain rod that I attached to my front door with cup hooks. My wallhangings slide right onto the rod using the sleeve that I always include. The occasional quilt that is too wide Is hung using wire clothespins like those used to close chip bags.

    —Linda Towers on April 8, 2017
  • Do you have group tours. If so what days and time?

    Hi Marilyn,
    I’m sorry, but we are no longer doing group tours of our offices. Thanks for your question!
    Cornelia/Martingale Customer Service

    Marilyn Himmelspach on August 6, 2018
  • All of these are looking beautiful and some of them are resembling with mandala Tapestry.

    —Jayden on November 9, 2018

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