I’ve been meaning to share this sewing project for so long, and recently a friend inspired me to finally do it!
Several years ago, I became frustrated and deflated at my children’s (in)ability to make a bed. What is so hard about pulling up a sheet and a quilt and straightening it out? It takes me 30 seconds or less! But the children? Forget it! I was mildly irritated, but not enough to go to battle over it, so I sat down and started thinking about the process of making a bed. At the time, my daughter must have been about 9 and my oldest son was probably about 5 or 6. Come on! Boys – neat beds? The two ideas don’t belong together in the same sentence!!!!!!!! Still, I had hope I could figure this out.
I remembered an old Lands End catalog….from maybe 20 years ago….and I remember being so impressed with the kids bedding section. I didn’t have kids at the time, so I just filed it away, and I’m glad I did! I remembered that in the Lands End catalog, they took a simple comforter and had the ends sewn up so it fit the end of the bed like a box, thus rendering the act of making the bed simpler for a child. Could this really be the ticket? I wanted to find out!
I knew that I could not sew up a thick comforter on my home machine, so I tried working with a quilt. And what I came up with was so simple to accomplish and it has utterly transformed the bed-making process around here. It’s been 5 years now since I first did this, and we’ve added 2 more children to the mix, so I can definitely say that this one stands the test of time! I hoped you all might enjoy a little tutorial of the process! Here you go!
1) Place the quilt on the bed and position with the WRONG side (back side) of the quilt facing up. Make sure the quilt is centered in place and that you’re happy with the position of the top of the quilt, where it meets the headboard.
SIDENOTE THOUGHTS: As you can see, my quilt hangs a little low off the end of the bed and that is so that when the bed is made, the quilt just barely reaches the top of the bed. Kids don’t know what to do with overhang – it mystifies them! They stand and stare at it, wondering what to do. So, sew that excess into your pockets so they don’t have to deal with it. (I’ll show you how to deal with that excess at the bottom in another step.) Another tip for you is that if you are CERTAIN that your child’s bed will ALWAYS be against a wall, like in a set of bunks, you might position the quilt off-center so that the side of the quilt that shows when the bed is made is shorter and doesn’t hang down a great deal….or excessively. This will be fine and in the end, once your pockets are sewn, it will ensure that the easily made bed will have a quilt that doesn’t hang down, infringing on another bunk’s space. IF….you do this….consider purchasing a quilt that DOES NOT have a definite middle, or it will look wonky when you’re done.
2) Gather the material that forms the corner. Pull it out to the side as an extension of the end of the bed, so that it is 90 degrees from the long side of the bed. Pinch the corner together and crease it with your fingers.
3) Start pinning – I pin while the quilt is on the bed so I can get the fit right, but be careful that you don’t pin sheets to the underside of the quilt. I was fortunate that this quilt had helpful lines to keep my pins straight, but this isn’t necessary and not all of my quilts had this! Just try to pin in a straight line down. You want to pin snugly against the mattress, but you don’t want it to be super tight either. This really doesn’t have to be too exact. Just snug.
4) Pin all the way to the bottom in a straight-ish line. Pin both sides and CAREFULLY remove the quilt from the bed, with pins intact, and head to your sewing machine….
6) When you’re done, you should have a simple, straight line sewn where your pins were. You can see my line just to the left of the ruler in this picture below. Notice that my edges don’t meet – that’s because I pulled my quilt down rather far at the bottom of the bed when I positioned it so that I wouldn’t have that extra overhang at the top of the bed when the bed was made – remember?
8) Tuck the excess under the bed. It stays – it really does!!! Wanna know why? Because the quilt doesn’t shift around that much….because you’ve just spent 10 minutes sewing AMAZING POCKETS onto the ends of your quilt!
NEXT….TUG THE OTHER CORNER OF THE SHEET….
Now the beauty of this corner pocket reveals itself….
NOW….GRAB A CORNER OF THE QUILT AND GIVE IT A GOOD PULL UNTIL THE MIDDLE OF THE QUILT IS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BED….
FINALLY….GO TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BED (translation for all little boys: fling yourself over the bed like a circus performer) AND GIVE THE OTHER CORNER A LITTLE TUG TO STRAIGHTEN OUT THE QUILT!
Here are the other boxed corner pockets I’ve sewn for the other kids beds in our home:
How’s that for a super simple project without a lot of time spent or skill required? Fabulously simple! Happy sewing!