A while back, after I posted my quilting room reveal, I was asked by Carmen how I hang my quilts. I emailed her a response but thought it would make a good blog topic, as well.
The most important tools I use are these:
A level, hammer, blue tape, and either applique or sequin pins
If you aren't familiar with these kind of pins, they are shorter than regular pins.
When I began the wall of small quilts, initially I laid out the quilts on the floor and then moved the composition to the wall, but the spacing wasn't just right, so in the end I decided to just tape them up so I could move them around until I got the arrangement just right.
The blue tape was enough to hold these small quilts up. When the arrangement was completed, I used the hammer to "nail" the pins right through the quilt and into the wall.
Don't have a heart attack!!!! This does no damage to the quilt. It is just a pin hole, and it disappears easily when the pin is removed. I have been doing this for 15 years with no deterioration whatsoever. And believe me, they come down and go back up on a different wall every time I move!
Furthermore, when you do take them down, all that is left on the wall is a tiny pin hole. You don't even need to fill it with spackle. (This is very helpful when you move all the time.) These little quilts only require one pin in each corner and maybe one in the middle of the top edge so that it doesn't sag.
Can you see the tiny head of the pin there in the corner?
Larger quilts can be easily hung using this technique, as well. Here is how I do that:
First I use the level to run a strip of tape horizontally where I want the top edge of the quilt to be. I used about 10 pins evenly spaced across the top, aligning the binding to the bottom of the tape. You can see, though, that it isn't hanging nicely. I use the level again and run vertical strips of tape on each side so that the quilt can be pinned on the sides to make it square.
What you don't want to do here is grab a bottom corner and yank it over to the edge of the tape. You don't even want to drop just halfway down and pull the edge over like this:
See how it curves the binding? If you do this, you will never get the edge straight, it will just scallop all the way down the side, whereever there is a pin.
Instead, start at the top and place your hand in the interior of the quilt and smooth it over to the tape. When the binding is nice and even with the tape, put in a pin.
Work your way down the side of the quilt and then do the other side.
See how the quilt is now smooth and perfectly square! It works like a charm. You may want to pin the bottom edge, too, if there are any ripples or if the bottom wavers a bit.
Experience has taught me that if you don't put the pins close enough together, especially on the top edge, the quilt may sag over time. It is pretty easy to put some more pins in, but usually I take it completely down, wash it, and then put it up again, this time using more pins.
The other big, big tip to keep in mind is that you really have to support the pin with your fingers and tap gently with the hammer. If you don't, the pins will bend. Even with all the practice I have had, I still manage to bend some, but once you get the "feel" of it, you won't bend so many.
I emailed this technique to Carmen, but she replied that it wouldn't work because her walls are plaster! I've been mulling it over ever since, but the only thing I can come up with is if there may be a Command removeable adhesive thing that might work. Do any of you have any potential solutions?
Have a wonderful day!