Well…Bummer…Did I Really Do That?

I’d like for you to think I’m a Quilter Extraordinaire. And, in fact, most of the time I’m very pleased with what I make. So, not wanting you to think I have no brain, I’m not going to tell you who put the rod pocket on the bottom of a quilt this weekend. I guess someone will have to do some unsewing.

But the whole rod pocket scenario got me to thinking about rod pockets and wondering if you know the three most common ways to prepare a quilt to hang.

One is to attach tabs. I don’t have a photo of this. I’ve only done it once and didn’t like it. The binding of my quilt would not lay flat against the wall where the tabs were. I won’t do tabs again unless I can figure out a way to deal with that issue, though even as I’m writing this, I have an idea. I’ll have to experiment and let you know what I find.

Are We Well...Bummer...Did I Really Do That?

Are We in Kansas Yet?

back Well...Bummer...Did I Really Do That?

Back of Are We in Kansas Yet?





This quilt is Are We in Kansas Yet? I made it in 2002 for a lesson for my quilt guild on making dimensional flowers. It is an example of the second way to prepare a quilt to hang.







This way is probably the most well known. A narrow rod pocket is attached to the top of the quilt back. I cut a strip of fabric 2½” to 4” wide and 1” narrower than the width of the quilt. I stitch a shirt-tail hem on one long side and both short sides. I line up the remaining long raw edge with the raw edge of the quilt and attach the binding. The stitching that attaches the binding secures the rod pocket. All that remains is to stitch the other long edge (the one I shirt-tail hemmed) to the back of the quilt.








detail Well...Bummer...Did I Really Do That?

Detail - so you can see the stitching

As you can see here, I often do that step by machine with a narrow blind hem. If you try this, the trick is to be sure the “bite” of the blind hem stitch only catches the backing of the quilt not the batting or the top of the quilt or you’ll have a noticeable crease on the front of the quilt.

sunshine Well...Bummer...Did I Really Do That?

Sunshine and Shadows

The third way is not as well known but works very well for narrow quilts. I had to look pretty hard this morning to find a quilt that didn’t have a rod pocket but I did finally find this one. I made it in 2000. It is another challenge quilt like I told you about last week. Mom did the first border and my sister did the second border.



Measure Well...Bummer...Did I Really Do That?

Measuring the quilt



The first step is to measure the quilt. This one was 24” wide. Divide that measurement by 2 but don’t add seam allowances and cut two squares.

So in this case 24 ÷ 2 = 12”. I cut two 12” squares.

cut Well...Bummer...Did I Really Do That?

Ready to cut

Fold each square in half diagonally and press so it becomes a triangle.

press Well...Bummer...Did I Really Do That?

Ready to press

Place one triangle in the upper right hand corner and one in the upper left hand corner. Stitch in place when you attach the binding. You should have a narrow gap between the two triangles. You can now put a wooden dowel in the pockets and hang with a single nail.

ready Well...Bummer...Did I Really Do That?



I’m sure some of you noticed that I’ll have to unsew the binding a bit before I can attach this to my quilt. So I’m not going to show you the finished project.

Back to the rod pocket on the bottom of the quilt. I was distracted. My sister and brother-in-law came from St. Louis to visit this weekend. Here I am (on the left) with my sister, one of my sons and my youngest grandchild. I have to brag about my sister. She underwent chemo and several surgeries this past year for breast cancer and she looks great and is doing wonderfully.

June 22 Well...Bummer...Did I Really Do That?

You can absolutely tell she is my sister!

Maybe I was wrapped up in the excitement of their visit and that is how the rod pocket got on the bottom of the quilt. I think that’s as good an excuse as any!

Are you following us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter? You’ll find great ideas and information there as well as on our website.

Happy quilting!

About Lori Baker

Lori is the creative editor at Quilters Newsletter.
This entry was posted in Lori Baker, Staff Quilts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Well…Bummer…Did I Really Do That?

  1. Marty Knutson says:

    Thanks for the great ideas — I have to do this with one of my quilts very soon so appreciate the information and how to’s!

  2. Blondie says:

    claim poetic license and just hang it upside down.

  3. Judy says:

    Love the triangle idea. I think this may become my new place for quilt label on wall hangings. If a gift may even inclue the dowel rod and hanger in the package.

  4. Marilyn says:

    I use little rings like 4 café curtains or the ones found in knitting supplies, for hanging my small quilts & u can also use old sewing machine needles which are very strong & make smaller holes in the walls. The needles will hold the small items with the rings!.. Also work very well 2 hang calendars.

  5. Carol Barringer says:

    I have read/heard of doing the rod pocket (or the triangle pockets) on the bottom as well as on the top; it’s supposed to help the quilt hang straight. Instead of unsewing, you could just hand-stitch a rod pocket to the top, put a rod in each, and never tell anyone else you didn’t plan it that way.

  6. Lori Baker says:

    Wow, Carol. That’s a truly wonderful idea. I’m going to do it. Thanks so much!

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