Carol Scheps is a quilt maker who lives in a nearby town. She makes beautiful wall hangings that she primarily sells at various galleries throughout the country. Her quilts hang perfectly on the wall. She explained that she adds a bottom sleeve to her quilts and inserts a flat metal rod, a similar flatness and weight as a metal yardstick, to weight the bottom of the quilt down.
I have made bottom sleeves, but I’ve only put wooden slats in them, and I only included them when exhibiting at a show requiring a hanging device. The wood is either very thin with not much weight or thick which creates a little bulge on the bottom.
I decided to visit the local Home Depo to see if I could find something metal and flat. The other issues were how I was going to cut the metal and how I could insert it so I could fold the quilt for shipping rather than rolling or putting it into an over-sized box.
I strolled around and eventually found flat pieces of metal called roof stripes. They seem perfect — inexpensive, like 69 cents or so for a small piece — and sold in a variety of lengths, meaning no need to cut. I bought several lengths to experiment with and silver duct tape to cover the metal to seal off any rough edges.
Next I decided that rather than adding one long pocket, I’d add separate pockets with space between each. For this quilt, I added three short pockets, each a bit longer than the length of the shorter piece of metal. I left about 1.5″ between each pocket so that I could fold the quilt into thirds to more easily ship. Being that I didn’t want to rods to fall out, I stitched the corners of the pocket down.
Here’s how I did it:
From Home Depo, I purchased silver duct tape and roof strips to add to the quilt bottom.
I cut a piece of tape a couple inches longer than length of the metal and placed it half on the metal and half off.
I then wrapped the tape over one edge of the metal, cut another piece of tape lengthwise, and repeated the process for the other side of the metal.
This left a tail of extra tape on each end of the metal.
I folded the edges over and secured them with another piece of tape. which I wrapped around the edge.
Both edges are secured with tape. Use your finger to smooth out the bubbles (which you can see above) in the tape.
Insert the metal into a pocket.
Stitch the edges of the pocket down to secure the metal within the pocket. I found this necessary because I didn’t want the metal falling out when the quilt was unpacked, as I couldn’t be sure that they would be reinserted but I’m sure that metal flying out of the quilt would annoy those who unpack the quilts. I used larger stitches in case I need to remove the metal for whatever reason.
I recently sent this quilt to a show. It will be interesting to see how the judges react to the metal being stitched into the quilt bottom. If I get any comments, good or bad, on my return sheet, I’ll write a follow-up.