Quilt making is a longstanding tradition of making beautiful bedspreads and coverings out of throwaway fabric scraps and tattered clothing. Displaying heirloom-quality quilts upon their very own quilt rack serves as a decorative home accessory as well as a secure place to neatly store quilts when not in use. A woodworkers' guide for making a quilt rack is as simple as gathering the wood, tools and supplies and applying the measurements to make a one-of-a-kind quilt rack.
Take measurements of your favorite display quilt--its full length and width and its folded length and folded width. For the width of your quilt rack, add about six inches to the measurement to make it suitable for larger quilts. Use the folded length measurement to determine how tall to construct your quilt rack to prevent the hanging quilt from coming in contact with the floor. Add an additional eight to 12 inches to the folded length of your quilt to also allow for a more universal fit for other quilts.
An easy quilt rack design is to cut two side panels and connect them with four or five rack bars for both support and to house the display quilts. Look for a decorative design that compliments your room's style, either from pictures of quilts racks or from mimicking a decorative motif repeated throughout your home. Use the height measurement as the total height of the side panel. Work with 1-by-12 inch wood boards cut to this height measurement. The 12 inches will give the quilt rack enough depth to be self-supporting and the 1-inch thickness will make it very sturdy.
After cutting the two side panels to length, trace the design onto the wood and cut it out using a jigsaw. Sand down the edges to make them nice and smooth. If you have a router, use it to give your quilt rack's side panels a professional and decorative edge.
Use the quilt's folded width measurement to cut the lengths of the quilt rack's four to five bars. Use wooden clothes rack polls or 1-by-1 inch, 1-by-2 inch or 2-by-2 inch wood strips. Attach one poll to the top center of the both the side panels, and then attach two more polls parallel to each other and along the edges of the side panels about 3 to 4 inches down from the top poll. Attach the remaining one or two polls at the base of the unit also near the edge of the side panels for stability and balance.
Use wood screws and a generous amount of wood glue to secure these polls into place. After countersinking the screws into their holes, conceal them by filling the holes with wood putty. Allow the glue time to dry and sand the quilt rack again before applying your favorite stain and finish.
Another quilt rack idea is to construct a ladder quilt rack. Use the folded width of the quilt plus a few inches to determine how wide to make the ladder rungs. This design is used to house several quilts at one time, and are often constructed up to nine feet tall. Since this ladder-style quilt rack leans against a wall, the quilts gently hang down without hanging over each other.
According to Robinson's Woodcrafts, construct the side rails of 2 ¾-inch-wide wood strips and the rungs of 1 ¾-inch-wide wood strips. Space the rungs between one and two feet, depending on how visible you want your quilts' patterns to be.