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How to Make a Quilt Sleeve - Ozark Piecemakers Quilt Guild

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How to Make a Quilt Sleeve
These instructions have been updated from past shows. This method makes construction of the
sleeve a bit easier, and leaves extra space for the rod to slide through the sleeve for hanging.
Your sleeve will finish with a 4 inch opening for hanging. Quilts less than 40” wide require only a
2 1/2” sleeve. Follow the same instructions, beginning with a 5 1/2” strip of fabric.
• Cut a strip of fabric 8 1/2” tall and the same width as your quilt.
• Hem each short side of the sleeve by turning the edge 1/4” and then another 1/4”. Press.
Sew close to the folded edge.
• Fold the strip in half lengthwise wrong sides together and press to create a center fold.
• Open the strip and fold each edge to the center fold.
• Press so that the folds on each edge are well defined. You will use those fold lines to
attached the sleeve to the quilt.
• Match the raw edges, again wrong sides together, and sew using a 1/4’ seam.
• (Sewing with the wrong sides together allows you to place the seam under the sleeve instead
of inside it.)
• Press the seam open, being careful to keep the folded edges still crisply pressed.
• Place the seam side down on your quilt with the two pressed edges flat to the surface.
Notice how the fullness of the top layer of the sleeve forms a D-shape? This will allow the rod
to slide through easily and also avoids any distortion on the front when the quilt is hanging.
• Position the sleeve about 1/2” from the top of the quilt. Pin along both folded edges making
sure to maintain the D-shape. (If your quilt is longer than 90”, the top of the sleeve
should be 90” from the bottom of the quilt to insure that the quilt does not touch the
floor.) Hand stitch along the top and bottom edges of the sleeve. Take care that your stitches
do not go through to the front of the quilt.
• Now stitch the bottom layer of the short sides of the sleeve to the quilt back. This will insure
that the rod slides into the sleeve, not between the quilt and the sleeve.
• If you are a visual learner you might find it easier to watch a demonstration of this
method on You Tube. Check out Bonnie Browning’s explanation for AQS. (She has two
versions. The updated version shows her working with a black and white quilt.)
Fons & Porter also has a Sew Easy Lesson for making a sleeve using this method.
All quilts entered in the quilt show MUST have a sleeve. The sleeve
must be sewn to the quilt back, not pinned. Any quilt that does not
have a sleeve WILL NOT BE HUNG.
One exception: Antique quilts entered in the Bed Turning do not
require a sleeve.
How to Make a Quilt Sleeve
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