How to Make a Loop to Hang Your Quilt

Many of my quilts are small and light weight and adding a hanging sleeve for a short little slat just doesn’t make sense. (And, as you know, I’m all about common sense.) So I’ve come up with this hanging mechanism for your small quilts: a simple loop added to the back.

Here are the steps:

1. Find the center top of the back of your quilt. Make a mark about 1.5 inches down from the top to mark the center of the quilt. A pin hole in th fabric will do the trick.

2. About .5 inches to the left of that mark, take a stitch with your needle and a size 5 or 8 pearl cotton thread.

3. Take a stitch into the quilt backing fabric and leave an open loop. (Leave the needle on the thread.)

4. Put your fingers into that loop and pull the thread through the loop to make another loop. You are making a chain stitch much like a crochet stitch.

5. Continue to make the chain stitch until the chain extends .5 inches beyond the center mark. The complete chain will be about 1 inch long.

6.  To secure the chain, take a stitch into the quilt back. Pass the needle through the final loop and tie off the thread.

7. Snip the thread, hang the quilt on the wall, and enjoy the view.

It Takes This Long to Make It

windycity6

Windy City #6 (9″ x 12″) by Laura Wasilowski

A few days ago I asked if you could estimate how many hours it took me to make this small quilt, Windy City #6. And, as an experiment, I tried to keep track of the time to complete it. But honestly, my skills at time keeping stink! It seems I go into a zone when making a quilt and lose track of time.

Below are the stages of creating the art work and an estimate of the number of hours to complete each stage. Let’s see how close you were in guessing the total time.

  • Hand-dyeing the fabrics-  .5 hours
  • Fusing the fabrics-  .5 hours
  • Designing the quilt-  1 hour
  • Adding hand embroidery-  6.5 hours
  • Machine quilting and binding-  1 hour
  • Photographing and documenting the quilt-  .5 hours
windycity6detaila

Windy City #6 (detail) by Laura Wasilowski

The total is about 10 hours from start to finish with most of time spent on hand embroidery. Now, what you don’t see in this list is the hours of enjoyment I got from making the art work. That’s really hard to measure.

How Long Did It Take to Make?

What’s the most frequently asked question you receive when you show your art work? I bet its “How long did it take you to make it?” We’ve all heard this many times. My cheeky response has always been “A life time.”

windycity6

Windy City #6 by Laura Wasilowski

But not any more. I decided to actually keep track of my time when making Windy City #6. It measures about 9″ x 12″, is made with fused fabric scraps, hand embroidered, and machine quilted. Can you guess the total time it took to create this quilt from design to the final stitch? Give me a few answers and I’ll let you know in a few days.

Improvisation: The Only Way to Design

improv10Lucky me! I just came across this set of pre-fused fabric scraps and collages for art making. (Note to self: clear my work table more often.) Sure some of the pieces are 10 years old. But like starter dough, these scraps have great art making potential.

improv20But first, a batik background fabric is selected to provide a base for the design work. Working on a background helps you choose the colors for the elements in the design and gives you an idea of what size it will be. This set of odds and ends are pulled from the “fused for your convenience” scrap pile to kick start the design. 

improv21And here’s the design made with some of the fused fabric shapes and other shapes found in my mound of pre-fused scraps. Improvising is the only way to go! Next up? Hand embroidery, of course.

Interior Landscapes?

prettyplanetpalmtreesWe’ve reached that time in my gardening life where I shut myself up in the house. Why, you ask? Because mosquitoes roam the earth looking for blood, my blood.

prettyplanetpalmtrees1So what’s a gardener to do? Why work on a landscape indoors, of course! Here you see a quilt sample from my defunct Pretty Planets class being turned into a small piece of art. All it lacks is some machine quilting and a few tiny dots representing…. mosquitoes.

Transformation of Old to New

littlelandscapestitch1

Little Landscape (pre-stitched)

It’s not often you get a chance to transform something old into something new. But like a magician, I shall soon turn this old quilt (2005) into a snappy updated version. And all through the magic of hand embroidery.

littlelandscapestitch2Can you see it changing right before your eyes? Good, cause it’s taken me several hours and several TV shows to get it to this point. This is a small piece (9″ x 9″) so I’m using fine, size 12 threads on the rather small elements that make up the design.