Sunday, August 16, 2009

Exhibit Quilt Preparation

For the last year I have been preparing for a solo quilt exhibit in September 2009. I thought I would share with you my routine for preparing quilts to get them "Show Ready" and also ready for shipping to a quilt show or event:

Click Images to Enlarge:
Pepper Dish Quilt Label

As soon as the binding gets sewn down, make your label and sew it on.
Never release a quilt until it is properly labeled.
The label should include: Your name & contact info, The Date, The Name of the Quilt & any quilt history & techniques used.
My preference is to type out all the quilt label info on the computer, then print it off on photo transfer fabric sheets (available at dept. stores)

Woven Sunshine Quilt Label

Log Cabin Quilt Label

This is one of my earliest quilts 1989

Memories of Yellowstone Quilt Label

Cabin in the Woods
Hand written label

Made for my favorite guy, so I went the extra mile to create a hand drawn sentimental label for him.

I took a log cabin quilt class in 1989.
This is one of my earliest quilts.
Machine pieced, Hand Quilted, Hand Bound

This quilt documents my very first hand quilting stitches.
I am so glad I never gave it away.

We are all beginners, we all have to start somewhere...
This log cabin quilt is a record of my days as a beginning quilter.
This quilt is worth more to me than any other I have ever made.

The bindings are done, the labels are sewn on...
It is time to remove all of the stray threads from the quilt.
I use this tape works like a charm.
It is amazing to see just how many threads are sticking to the surface of your quilt!


If the quilt lays fairly flat and square, I don't need to steam it and block it square.
All I need is a good spritzing with Best Press and a dry iron.
(Steaming & Blocking is a tutorial all on its own for another time)
The Best Press does not flake like starch sprays, and the fabric remains soft.

You want your quilt as flat as possible so it will hang properly against the wall.
If you have cut your borders properly, and sufficiently quilted all areas of your quilt, it should lie flat on the wall during the quilt exhibit.

The majority of exhibits require a 4 inch hanging sleeve on the back of each quilt.
I purchase extra backing fabric to make a sleeve to match.
Do not run the sleeve to the very edges of the quilt.
Leave a couple of inches for the wooden slat to stick out of the sleeve.
(see bottom right of photo above)

4 inch Muslin Sleeve
No matching fabric? Muslin makes a good sleeve too!

My favorite pressing surface for large quilts is this BIG BOARD my husband made a few years ago. It sits directly on top of my regular ironing board. It is 65 x 36 inches.
It is perfect for ironing quilt backings and pressing full size quilts.

Wood Hanging Slat
Cut the full width of the quilt

Pre-drill a hole an inch or two from the edges of the wooden slat.
This is where it will get screwed into the wall for hanging.

The quilt will be mounted to the wall by this wooden slat.
The wooden slat will NOT be visible from the front of the quilt.

Foam Swim Noodle
After the wooden slat is inserted in the fabric sleeve, you are ready to wrap the quilt around the Swim Noodle.
Rolling your quilt on the noodle keeps it flat and smooth.
No creases on Show Day!
Applique quilts should never be folded, ever.

Your quilt is all rolled and is now ready to be wrapped up.

I use a piece of muslin to roll the quilt in to protect it during shipping to the quilt exhibit.
I use safety pins to fasten the muslin in place.

I write the name and size of the quilt directly onto the muslin.
All of the quilts in the exhibit have a number (the order they are to hang in the exhibit). I also include the quilt number on the muslin.
(I don't want to take any chances by pinning a separate label onto the quilt, just in case it falls off).

Exhibit Quilts Ready to ship to the Quilt Show

This is also a good option for long-term storage of quilts.
(You may want to cover your foam noodles in muslin first, before long-term storage).

I have also prepared an Installation Binder.
This will accompany the quilts to the exhibit hall.
It includes hanging instructions, signage for each quilt, screws, nails, etc.
Everything needed to hang the show is included in this binder.
(For insurance purposes, I am not allowed to help hang the exhibit).

I have also included a tape roller.
In the instructions, I have asked them to tape roll all of the lint from the quilts after they are hung up for exhibit.

The Evolution of a Quilter
Quilt Exhibit by LuAnn Kessi
September 16, 2009 - October 26, 2009

Unitarian Fellowship Church

2945 NW Circle Blvd.
Corvallis, OR 97330

Open Daily: 9:30 - 1:30

May Your Bobbin Always Be Full,

To see my New Work CLICK HERE

To see the Thread Shed CLICK HERE

To see my Exhibit Quilts CLICK HERE

To see Tutorials CLICK HERE


Vicki said...

Thanks for sharing your process on preparation for a quilt exhibit. I really like the idea of using the foam swim noodle to roll your quilts around.

Good luck with your exhibit.

LuAnn Kessi said...

The foam noodles can be found at the dollar store.
I use duct tape to splice them together for the needed length of each quilt.

Jo said...

Thanks for sharing. Very organized:)

Riel Nason said...

Hi, I surfed in from Totally Tutorials. I enjoyed reading this. I like the pool noodle idea and will be buying some. I am entering some quilts in a show in May and I like the idea of rolling them so no wrinkles at all! I do iron them, but always then hate to fold them after.