You’ve worked for weeks, months, maybe even years. You’ve planned, you’ve cut, you’ve sewn, you’ve maybe accidentally poked yourself with a pin one too many times, and finally, your quilt is complete.
You’re now the proud owner of a gorgeous piece of handmade art, and it’s time to figure out how you want to show it off to all your guests.
You could, of course, use it as a blanket, bedspread, or throw for your couch. But if that’s not your style, or perhaps your piece is too delicate for actual use, read on for some other creative ways to put your work on display.
This can be done with any size quilt, but a larger quilt especially can become a fabulous tapestry for your walls. Simply hang your quilt up flat against a wall and voilà, you have yourself a homemade tapestry.
Here are a few different methods you can use to hang your quilt as a tapestry:
If your quilt is durable enough and you don’t mind poking some extra holes in it, using nails or pushpins is a fairly easy way to hang your tapestry. This is best if you plan on having the piece in that place for a long time without moving it, since taking pins out and putting them back in risks damaging your quilt.
If you’d rather not poke holes in your quilt, or perhaps live in an apartment with walls you can’t damage, you can also use self-adhesive Velcro tape or Command strips. Simply put one side of the adhesive on your wall, the other side on the back of your quilt, and press them together. Be warned: if your quilt is particularly heavy, this may not be strong enough to hold it.
A tapestry can be put up just about anywhere in the home. It can go behind your couch or television, behind your bed (this can create the appearance of a faux headboard!), or any other unused wall space you like.
2. Quilt Rack
If you’re looking to display multiple quilts in one place, this is the way to go. A quilt rack is basically a stand that holds and displays your quilts in a hanging position.
Quilt racks generally either sit on the floor or are mounted on the wall. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, so you’re sure to find one you like.
One popular variation is to take a (usually wooden) ladder and use it as a quilt rack. You can either hang it up or have it leaning against a wall, and then hang your quilts from the rungs of the ladder.
Quilt racks are both stylish, and good if you’d like your quilts to be accessible for use. Put the quilt rack in your living room, and that way your guests can easily grab one of your quilts to use as a blanket.
If you don’t mind the thought of people sitting or lying on your quilt, you can use it as upholstery on your couch or favorite chair. This is a great way to change up your furniture without actually buying new pieces.
Lay your quilt over your furniture surface and tuck the edges into the creases between cushions (this is easiest with larger quilts). You can secure it with pins or clips if you like. Now, your sitting room has a whole new look!
For a more permanent look, you can also sew your quilt around the cushion. Or, for a more advanced version, you can completely remove the upholstery from it and use your quilt to fully reupholster a piece of furniture.
If your quilt is on the smaller side, but you’d still like to display it on your furniture, you can fashion it into a pillowcase for a throw pillow.
4. Wooden Hangers
For both an eye-catching piece of decor and a practical way to display your work, consider using wooden hangers.
Find a set of wooden hangers and hang them from your wall using either nails or hooks. Then, similar to a quilt rack, drape your quilt over the bottom of the hanger like a piece of clothing.
This is another good way to display multiple quilts in one piece, while also turning the method of display into a work of art itself. And like a quilt rack, if you so choose, this is an easy way to make your quilts accessible for use by guests. Simply ask them to hang it back up when they’re done!
5. Decorative Tablecloth
Not for your dining room table of course (unless you want to, it’s your quilt!), but a small to medium size quilt looks great draped over an end table or coffee table.
This one’s fairly self explanatory. Pick a coffee table or end table in your home and throw your quilt over it like a tablecloth. Just make sure this isn’t a table where you frequently put drinks or light candles. You don’t want any stains or any quilts catching on fire!
You can either leave the table as is or put trinkets, coffee table books, or doilies over the cloth to add to the look.
If you do want to use your quilt as a tablecloth for a table you actually use, the best way to do that would be to get a sheet of glass the same size as the table and secure it over the quilt. This way, you can still see your work while protecting it from any accidents. You’ll see some restaurants do this so they can easily wipe down their tables instead of washing and replacing the tablecloths all the time.
6. Frame It
Another pretty self explanatory option, just find a frame you like, stick your quilt in it, and hang it up wherever you like. It gives off a very traditional and classic look, and it keeps your work safe and protected from the elements. A fun variation for this one is, instead of a standard picture frame, place your quilt behind a window pane. This adds some interesting depth to your display and creates the illusion of looking through a window to view your art. You can also use the window pane version to display several small quilts by placing a different quilt behind each segment of the window pane, like a collage of your work.
If you’re good with woodworking, you can also build shelves around a simpler frame or window pane. That way, you can display your quilt, and use it as a practical way to organize and display other items. Maybe put it in your craft room and use it to hold your supplies!
7. Gallery Wall
If you’re looking to display multiple quilts, especially those of varying shapes and sizes, consider using them to make a gallery wall.
For this, you pick an empty wall or two and hang your quilts up all over. If they’re all similar sizes, you can put them up in a sort of grid formation. If that’s not for you, or if you’re trying to display quilts of different sizes, place them in more of a cluster.
The key to this second method is to first lay all your pieces out on the floor and determine which look best next to each other and which sizes and shapes fit best next to each other. The end result looks almost random, but actually it’s planned out and all fits together like a puzzle.
The cluster version is also good if you plan on adding pieces to your gallery later on. If this is something you want to do, make sure you’re choosing a space with enough room.
To hang the quilts, you can use one of the tapestry methods, place them all in frames, or even use a combination for an interesting textural effect.
The sky is truly the limit when it comes to deciding how best to show off your final product. You may choose to use your quilt as a modest blanket or to create an extravagant gallery with all of your pieces. The choice is yours.
But whatever you do, don’t hide your hard work away in a drawer or closet somewhere. Your art deserves to be shown off!