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Decorating With Quilts

Looking for great ways to display quilts in your home? Here are 15 terrific ideas to help you get started.

  • Added Dimension

    Secure curtain-rod brackets above your bed at headboard height and add a curtain rod. Fold your favorite quilt to fit and drape it over the rod for a one-of-a-kind, custom headboard. When you're ready for a change, swap the quilt with another one.

  • Picture This

    Many quilters have an assortment of individual blocks that never made it to a completed quilt. Instead of hiding them in a box, use those blocks to make a decorating statement in your home. Simply mount the pieced blocks onto contrasting mat boards, then add nonglare glass with matching frames and you've got a great wall grouping that reveals your love of quilting in a clean, classic way.

  • On the Fence

    Ladders are a great way to display your quilts, but here's a new idea. Stand a section of an antique picket fence on its end and drape the pickets with quilts. There are more pickets on a fence than rungs on a ladder, and since fencing is usually wider than a ladder, you can see more of your folded quilts.

  • Changing Times

    The opportunity to turn another person's trash into your own treasure is one of the great aspects of yard sale and flea market shopping. When you're out and about, be sure to look beyond an item's intended purpose to see if there is a way it might be used to show off your quilts. This baby changing table turned display shelf got a new life with a coat of red paint. The shelves are spaced perfectly to showcase folded quilts when not in use, and the top shelf could be turned into a vignette with family photographs, dishes, or other home décor items.

  • Head Strong

    Use a striking quilt, such as one with vertical rows shown here, to direct your eye from the ceiling down to your bed. Be sure to hang the quilt so that there's no break between the bottom edge of the quilt and the bedding. For a serene, luxe look, paint the walls a color that blends effortlessly with the quilt's border.

  • All Buttoned Up

    For small wall hangings, run a thin dowel through a rod pocket on the quilt back's upper edge. Knot a length of narrow ribbon to each end of the dowel to make a ribbon hanger. Then hang the quilt from the ribbon on a thin nail, perching a button on the nail to cover the nail head. If the shank on the back of the button isn't large enough to keep it in place, a bit of wall tack or removable wax will ensure the button stays in place.

  • Pieced to Perfection

    For designer Sandy Gervais' custom-upholstered sofa, she quilted panels large enough for the upholsterer to cut pattern pieces from - in this case, rectangles bigger than the cushions' tops and bottoms, long strips for the gussets, and squares for the pillows. In this photo, Sandy's original artwork and antique bench turned coffee table complete the room's cozy look.

  • Speaking Volumes

    Stacking quilts one on top of another is an idea that's been around for quite some time. But rolling them up and standing them on end like books on a bookshelf? Now that's a great idea. Here, designer Alex Anderson combined white pitchers and platters and unadorned, artificial trees to add interest to the display without taking attention away from the quilts.

  • No Sleeve? No Problem!

    Using trendy curtain clips, suspend your quilt from a curtain rod. It's the perfect way to hang a quilt that doesn't have a sleeve on it, or to make quick seasonal changes in a snap. (Be sure to use enough clips to support the weight of your quilt, preventing undue stress on the fabric.) You can also try this idea in your sewing room. Consider removing closet doors and adding a curtain rod above the open door frame. Your favorite quilt can hang from the rod, keeping your stash out of sight and giving you another spot to display your artisanship.

  • Best Seats in the House

    Instead of turning salvageable quilt pieces into pillows and purses, transform fabulous old quilts and unfinished quilt tops you find at auctions and garage sales into quilted chair cushions. Since they aren't perfect from the beginning, you won't have to worry about something being spilled on them.

  • A Step Above

    Show off several quilts at once by displaying them on an antique ladder hung horizontally, rather than vertically. This arrangement allows for more of each quilt to show, as well as making a powerful decorating statement in your room. Decorative wood shelf brackets and long wood screws can be used to hold the ladder in place. To prevent the ladder from discoloring your quilt, seal the wood with polyurethane or place a white cotton pillowcase between the quilt and the ladder.

  • Bits and Pieces

    Cut a piece of wood or other sturdy material slightly larger than your container's opening. Use this piece as a pattern to cut quilt and batting pieces that are 1 to 2" larger around all sides. Place the batting on the wood piece, then use a running stitch to gather the fabric tightly over the batting and wood piece to complete the project. It's a perfect way to rescue parts of a quilt, or to share pieces of a well-loved quilt with several family members.

  • Cottage-Look Cover-Up

    Use a quilt to cover the cushions of a wood-frame sofa. Tuck in the ends for a fitted look or leave them hanging loose for a casual appearance. Add a mélange of favorite antique-linen-covered cushions and pillows you've pieced from leftover blocks, and you'll have a comfy spot to curl up on. If the sofa is used frequently, be sure to turn the quilt often to reduce wear and tear.

  • Change of Art

    Designed for urban dwellers who don't want to hang traditional curtain rods on the wall, this telescoping rod uses tension to balance between floor and ceiling. Besides spicing up a so-so corner in your home, consider other ways to use this unconventional quilt holder, such as three rods placed side by side to create an artful room divider.

  • Feed your Creativity

    This feed bunk, found at an antiques shop, is large enough to hold several bed-sized quilts. Lined with batting to protect the quilts and topped with glass cut to size, it makes a perfect coffee table. The quilts can also be rotated to change with seasonal décor.


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