Friday, May 2, 2014

Making A Sleeve for Your Textile Work

I have finished my art piece and I L-O-V-E it. I will only be able to post a picture after the opening of the exhibit in mid-June in Geneva, Switzerland.

Preparing white cotton for the dye bath. This was the beginning of my piece.

I am sewing on a sleeve before I mail it off.

Below are some tips on making a sleeve for an art work or a quilt.

A standard size sleeve is 4 inches wide. I cut my fabric 5 1/2 inches wide by the entire width of my art piece.

I fold the ends in 1 inch and sew the flaps down by machine. (seen below)

I fold the outside raw edges inward by 1/4 inch and pin down along the edge.

I make a small fold along the middle (spine) and pin. As I pin I make sure the width of the sleeve stays at 4 inches. I use my mat for that and line the fabric up with the lines on the mat (seen below). The pleat will take the fullness of the rod making the front of your work lie flat as it hangs instead of bumping outward to accommodate the rod. You can use a flat piece of wood but I still add a fold.

There are lots of pins but it is worth doing this stage so the sleeve doesn't become crooked while you attach it making your work lopsided when it hangs.

I center and pin the sleeve on the back about 1/4 inch from the top and appliqué it using the blind stitch. Be careful that your stitching does not go through to the front.

If I plan to add a quilt binding to the work, I will add the top of the sleeve at the back of the work by lining up the raw edge with the top edge of the work without folding it in the 1/4" edge and that gets sewn in by machine when I attach the binding. It makes the sleeve strong and it eliminates one of the hand sewing steps.

If you have a baby quilt that a child has out grown adding a sleeve to the back will make it perfect to hang on a bedroom wall.

If you have a large, heavy quilt it is advisable to make 2 sleeves and sew them along the top leaving a space in between. This will make the rod accessible in the middle so the weight of the piece can be secured by adding another hook on the wall.

Hope that's helpful.

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