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