Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Joining forces...

Last week our local High School FFA ("Future Farmers of America") kids held their annual "Service Week".  Their goal was to tie 25 twin-size quilts and donate them to a homeless shelter, The Road Home.   
This is the third year that the FFA has asked our local quilt guild to assist them in preparing quilts for the kids to tie.  These quilts are usually pre-bound with an "Envelope" Finish (<< instructions here), so all the kids have to do is quilt them together with yarn ties, and they're done in no time!
Here's how the Heber Valley Quilters and Wasatch County High School
joined forces to "GITTERDONE"
Gather a bunch of kids together, and decide on a worthwhile service project.

Have the kids collect supplies: fabric or quilt tops, batting, backing, yarn or crochet thread for tying, long needles, and maybe some rubber balloons to help grip the needles, and set up 3 to 6 quilt frames.  

Pass out quilt kits to local guild members to put together and envelope-finish to prepare for tying.

Have the kids tack the pre-bound/envelope finished quilts to the frames, then stitch through the layers with the yarn, tie into knots, and clip the threads.  Pull the tacks out, and the quilt is done!

When the kids run out of projects on the first day (!!), scramble and gather more fabric, quilt tops (UFOs), backing, batting, and supplies for more twin-size quilts! 

Now when these other quilts are tied, they'll still need to be bound! And sometimes... you just need to gitterdone. 

Here's how I Self-Bind a quilt:

Step 1)  Trim the batting even with the quilt top, and trim the backing so it's at least 1-1/4" wider. 

Step 2)  Double-fold the backing over the front of the quilt and stitch (I use a serpentine or mending stitch); miter the corners. 

I don't use this technique very often - I prefer a double-fold French binding for better durability - but there are times when a self-binding is just the ticket.

The FFA kids ended up with around 35 finished quilts to donate to the homeless shelter.  Making a difference, one stitch at a time. 



  1. What a great service project. A great sense of accomplishment for the teens.

  2. How do you get such a tidy knot and four tails. I know you must double the yarn in the needle but the knot doesn't look chunky. Is there a trick or is it a thinner yarn?

    1. Kathy, I think it was regular 3-ply yarn. Ideally, the knots can be checked and tightened up if necessary, and the tails clipped evenly.

      If you are concerned about knots, sometimes I just take two stitches very close together instead of tying knots. Sometimes I use crochet thread, and sometimes I use a satin stitch on the sewing machine instead of tying.

  3. Hubby's grandmother did all her quilt bindings that way.

  4. That is such a wonderful and worthwhile cause for the kids.

  5. Great project. And some of those kids are gonna remember how fun it was and may start quilitng later in life because of this very project.


So happy you stopped by for a visit! Thank you!