Adding a Quilt Sleeve (or D Sleeve) Tutorial

There are a range of ways to hang a quilt which mainly depend on the size of it. Small to medium quilts can be hung with some decorative wire hangers, but for larger quilts they may require a hanging pole or rod to hold the weight, therefore you will need to attach what is known as a ‘D’ sleeve. It is given this name because of the shape. The flat part of the letter, (or sleeve) lies flat against the quilt and the front has enough space to slide the pole through.


Wire hangers can be used for hanging smaller quilts

‘A Robin Lives Here’ by Sharon Robins 2013


‘D’ Sleeve Tutorial

If you are entering your quilt into a quilt show or exhibition you would need to attach a D sleeve so I thought I would show you how.


Quilt show poles

Quilt show poles


1) Measure the width of your quilt. You will need to cut a piece of fabric 8.5″ (21.5 cms) x the width of the quilt.

2) Add a double hem at each of the narrow ends.


Add a hem at each end of the sleeve


3) Fold the fabric down the length, wrong sides together and press to crease it.


Fold lengthways

Fold lengthways


4) Open it out and then fold the long sides in to meet in the middle on top of the crease. Then press in place.


Fold both sides in



Then press to add creases


5) Next take the two open edges and place them wrong sides together and pin. Proceed to sew a 1/4″ (0.6 mm) seam down the length.


Sew the open sides together


6) When pressing the centre seam open take care not to remove the earlier creases made along the top and bottom edges of the sleeve. The crease lines are what you will follow when hand sewing your sleeve in place.


Press the seam open


7) Place the seam side of the sleeve, onto the back of your quilt. It should sit about 1″ (2,4cms) below the top edge.


The shape gives enough slack in the fabric to provide space for the pole.


8) Use a slip stitch to hand sew along the creased lines. Complete by sewing around all four edges making sure to go into the wadding, but not through to the front of your quilt. Use double thread to give the sleeve extra strength.


Slip stitch the sleeve to the quilt


Your quilt is ready to hang. Happy showing!



  1. Jean Lyonssays: Reply

    Nice clear photographs and clear instructions. I am impressed with your very informative website.

    • Thanks Jean that’s very kind of you. It’s nice to know that all the time and effort is appreciated. Sharon

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