How to make tabs

Posted by Ruth on 26 August 2013 | 1 Comments
This content belongs to Arbee Designs.


I had a number of inquiries today asking how to make tabs for a quilt like I made on yesterday's challenge piece so I thought today was a good day to share that with you all. 

Decorative tabs on Autumn Daisy

I use tabs for all my quilts, it is much easier than adding a sleeve along the entire length and it allows me to hang them up when I wash or photograph them. I usually sew them down like shown below.

Regular tabs are stitched down at the back and are out of sight

For large quilts, I put tabs along the bottom too so I can thread a slat through them when I hang it. This creates enough weight to hold it straight, particularly when photographing.

I make various length tabs depending on the quilt and how I want to display them. For my small art quilt I only needed short tabs so I cut them 3" x 6". For large quilts I cut them about 5" x 9". Anything in between works too.

I usually cut them from the same fabric as the binding but sometimes from the backing fabric.

How to make tabs

Cut the required amount of pieces needed, one per tab. Make two for a small quilt, three to four for larger quilts. Make extra if you want to add them to the bottom. 

Fold the fabric in half lengthwise, right sides together. Stitch down the long side to make a tube leaving the two ends open.

Stitch the long side leaving the ends open

Turn the tube to the right side and twist the seam so it is in the middle of one side and press flat.

Twist seam to middle and press

Fold the tab in half so both raw ends are together and seam is on the inside. Sew the tab to the top of the quilt within the binding seam allowance. Make sure the tabs are evenly spaced. 

Now go ahead and add the binding as normal.

Two tabs sewn into binding seam

The folded edge will need to be stitched down to the back unless you want to have them show above (like Autumn Daisy at the top). In this case you may want to stitch them to the binding along the top edge.

Give it a try!

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  • Thanks! I've always put a sleeve on, but this is a great alternative!

    Posted by Helen Burdette, 29/08/2013 12:40pm (9 years ago)

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