I cut a strip 3.5" wide. How I determine the length is to measure the top edge of the quilt. In this case it was 51". I want the sleeve to be 2" inside each edge of the quilt, so I subtract 4" off the 51"= 47". Then, because I will be finished each edge of the sleeve, I allow a 1/2" per edge, (turn under 1/4" twice on each edge) so I add 1" back on to the 47, which equals 48". Join however many strips you need to equal your determined length with a mitred seam.
Once I have finished the short edges of the sleeve, I find the centre, and mark it with both chalk and a pin. You can see the centre here, the finished short edges, as well as a mitred seam.
Fold the sleeve in half lengthwise wrong sides together, and press lightly; you want a tube to slip a dowel inside for hanging, right? Find the centre of your quilt, match it to the centre of the sleeve, and then pin the entire sleeve to the raw top edge of the quilt.
Stitch through all layers with a walking foot. Use a scant 1/4" seam.
Apply your binding to the quilt as usual. I like to use a double-fold binding, apply it to the front of the quilt sandwich, and then hand-stitch it down on the back. Rarely, I will machine stitch from the front side of the quilt, in the ditch, catching the folded over edge of the binding as I go. Whatever method you use, finish off the binding as usual. You will have a "floppy" sleeve at this point.
Here is a trick I learned from Judy Villett in that Colourwash Quilt class I took all those years ago. You do not want to sew the sleeve down taut or flat to the quilt; you need to allow some give, or breathing room for the width that the doweling will take up. To do that, push the top edge, the edge just under the stitched down binding, to the top edge of the quilt. This brings the lower edge of the sleeve up about a 1/4" or so.
The lower pressed edge of the sleeve changes slightly once you've pushed or rolled the top edge of the sleeve up even with the top edge of the quilt.
|Binding clips work great here, the old style or the new ones from Clover|
Another view so you can see the room that has been created for a dowel. Buy a piece of dowel that is 2" longer than your finished sleeve. This is so that the 1" sticking out on either side of the sleeve will rest on the nails in the wall, so there will be no pull on any part of the quilt!
Here's a sneak peek of what I was up to all afternoon: