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DIY Quilt T-bar Photoshoot Frame

When I first started Cedar Quilt Co. I had no idea that one of the most difficult parts of marketing quilt patterns would be figuring out how to hold them up! Finished quilts are heavy, and larger sizes are much too big to hold up with just your arms. Even if you are able to hold the quilt up, you won’t be able to hold it up for very long. Our arms get tired faster than you’d think. There’s also the matter of keeping them up off the ground so they stay pristine.

I’ve devised my own method of holding up quilts during a photoshoot. I find it works well for the following reasons:

  • It holds the quilt nice and straight and flat without losing any of the top edge
  • It is customizable to the quilt size (if you invest in different lengths of cross bars)
  • It is light and easy to hold, and can even be rested on the ground for support
  • It can be disassembled and carried easily
  • You can run around with it like a giant quilt flag (and who wouldn’t want to do that!?)

How to build the Quilt T-bar

This t-bar is constructed using ABS piping and fittings. ABS, or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, is a black plastic pipe that is commonly used for drainage, sewage, and vents. I got the supplies at the hardware store. 

I built my T-bar using 1.5” diameter pipes and a tee fitting. I got the length of pipe I needed for my desired frame:

  • (1) ABS pipe - 1.5” diameter x 72” long
  • (2) ABS pipes - 1.5” diameter x 36” long
    • Can be customized to the length you need
    • Note: ABS pipe can be cut to length
  • (1) 1.5” diameter tee join

For the two shorter poles, I got a 6’ length of pipe and cut it in half using my miter saw. You can also get ABS pipe cutters or use a simple exacto knife to score it and snap it. 

This T-bar system works best if you make the cross bar close to the finished width of the quilt. If the cross bar is too short, the quilt will flop at the corners. Too long and it sticks out the sides. I have a few different cross bar poles that I can swap out for my different widths of quilts. Sometimes I go and get new pipes if I need a new length, or I cut down an existing pipe to fit. 

How to Attach the Quilt

For full instructions on how to construct this DIY quilt T-bar and attach a quilt, you can download our free PDF instruction by signing up for our newsletter here:


Everything you need to know is contained in the PDF. How to build the T-bar and how to seamlessly attach the quilt to it. I hope you give this a try for your own quilt photoshoots!

Once the quilt is secured to the cross bar, you can roll it up around the cross bar and transport it along with the support bar. When you get to your location, simply insert the support bar into the tee join to make the T-bar!

We have found this T-bar to be extremely helpful for larger quilt photoshoots. If I am able, I will still hold smaller quilts up by hand because it offers more flexibility for dynamic movement shots or photos with me in them. The t-bar is amazing for those perfectly flat shots of the quilt where it looks like it is floating in mid-air.

If you have follow up questions about this quilt photoshoot T-bar DIY tutorial, you can reach out to me here