Today I'm doing a different Friday post, as I'm part of the Whip Up blog tour. And Chronicle Books is so kindly giving away one copy of this lovely book by Kathreen Ricketson, Whip Up Mini Quilts, to one of you! Simply leave a comment below by June 17th for a chance to win.
I've personally never made a quilt, yet. It's on my list of crafting projects that I plan to accomplish at some point soon. But for a novice like me, whipping up a queen-size quilt seems beyond mission impossible. The skills, the time, the patience. Crafting is all about pleasure, but I for one revel in that feeling of finishing a project you love. That's why this concept of mini quilts is so appealing to me: a quilt that can be finished as a weekend project.
I asked Kathreen about decorating with mini quilts, and how to display them as wall art. I love the way her mini quilts look hung up on the wall in the book. And if I finished a quilt, the first place I'd want to put it is prominently displayed in a look-how-amazing-I-made-a-quilt gesture of satisfaction. But I couldn't figure out what the invisible mounting trick was, so I asked Kathreen. Here's what she said:
+ Decide where you want to hang the quilt. Be sure the quilt is not in direct sunlight, since this will fade the fabrics. Avoid areas near heating vents, fireplaces, and walls that may heat up in the summer. Moisture is also bad for textiles.
+ Wherever you hang it, you should change your quilt's location every six months in order to protect it.
+ When hanging your quilt, you need to distribute the weight evenly so you don't put any stress on the seams or the fabric.
+ Never piece them with nails or use metal clips to hang them — this would damage the fabric.
+ To hang your quilt, attach a narrow sleeve to the back of the quilt and hang with a dowel or curtain rod. This distributes the weight evenly and will not damage the quilt. For a small quilt, you can use a picture hanger: just sew two buttonholes into either end of the sleeve, insert a flat strip of wood in the hanging sleeve, and attach the two ends of a picture-hanging wire to the ends of the wooden strip. Hang as you would a painting.
Kathreen shared how to make a hanging sleeve:
+ Measure the width of your quilt and cut a strip of cotton or muslin fabric that is the same width as your quilt.
+ Hem the short edges by folding 1/4" under and under again; then pin and sew.
+ Fold the strip of fabric lengthwise, Wrong sides together, and sew along each of the long sides, making a tube. Lay it out so the seam lies in the center and press it open. You won't turn it Right side out. Instead lay the open seam against the back of the quilt, about 1/2" below where the binding finishes, and whipstitch, or blind stitch through to the quilt front.
And she shared a no-sew method, too!
+ An alternative for short-term quilt hanging that doesn't involve sewing anything to the quilt is to securely attach a strip of stainless steel to the wall, just the width of the quilt. Then use tiny rare-earth magnets all along the front of the quilt, attaching it to the stainless steel strip on the wall. (I also think this would work with a magnetic tool bar if you can't find a strip of stainless steel.)
Kathreen did a fantastic job of making this book an easy-to-follow primer for people like me who've never made a quilt.The pretty projects are inspiring (my favorite is the Shibori Sampler, above, which uses a Japanese dyeing method. So cool!) If you like to make things by hand, I think you'd love this book.
Thanks so much to Kathreen for sharing her quilt-hanging secrets and a big thanks to Chronicle Books for the giveaway! Just leave a comment below for a chance to win the book. I'll pick a random winner on June 17th.
Have a great weekend!
ps. Here's the rest of the Whip Up blog tour, if you'd like to follow along.
UPDATE: I used Random.org and goosie is the lucky winner! Thanks for playing everyone! It was so fun being a part of this blog tour.
June 1 - Craftzine – essential quilting tools
June 2 - Crafty Pod – book review + giveaway
June 3 - Chronicle Books – Behind the making of the book
June 4 – Indie Fixx – Designing your own mini-quilts
June 7 – Craft Sanity – Piped binding tutorial
June 8 – Hand Made by Alissa chatting about mini quilts
June 9 – My Love for You Background on Mini Quilts
June 10 - Film in the Fridge
June 11 - The Haystack Needle Decorating with mini quilts
June 12 – West Coast Crafty
(Photography by Leigh Beisch for Whip Up Mini Quilts, courtesy of Chronicle Books)