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queen sized bed
finished quilt
shapes and sizes
Standard Quilt Sizes
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You have decided to learn how to quilt.  You have chosen some patterns, gathered your equipment and supplies, chosen a learning method (quilt class, beginner quilting books, etc.) and set aside some space.  Now what?  A common question for many new quilters is “how big should my finished product be?”  While there are really no standard quilt sizes, there are some parameters that should serve as a general guideline depending on the type of project you are working on.  However, your quilt size is heavily dependent on several other factors so the focus should not be strictly on the numbers.

To give you a general idea, we will discuss several general quilt descriptions and their typical measurements.  A baby quilt is generally sized to fit into a standard crib and an average size is 36” x 54”.  For a twin bed, a typical quilt size might be around 54”x90” while a double bed sized quilt could average 72”x90”.  An average queen-sized bed will take a quilt measuring around 90”x108” while a king-sized bed may average 108”x108” in size.  For machine quilters or those who will utilize long arm quilting services, batting will measure at least 4” larger on all sizes to provide adequate room for the machine.

As mentioned before, the numbers mentioned should not be the strict focus in determining your quilt size.  There are several considerations that need to be accounted for in your final analysis.  First, mattresses come in all shapes and sizes.  You will need to determine how much you would like the quilt to hang over on the sides and factor this number in.  Of course, deep pillow top mattresses will affect this measurement greatly as will any centered design that you would like to show on the top of the bed.  A second consideration that will affect the size of your finished quilt is the “pillow tuck” as you will need to add to the length if the desire is to tuck the quilt under the pillow before covering.  Finally, quilting density will affect the size of your quilt.  A loose, meandering quilting design will not affect the size you have chosen very much but a very densely quilted pattern shrinks the entire quilt and must be accounted for. 

Once you have your dimensions figured out, the next step will be to determine the amount of quilt fabric you need to create the appropriate quilt size you have selected.  This is truly the fun part as you mix and match fabrics to create your color palette.  Play around with color, texture and dimensions to create visual interest.  There are many tools and calculators to aid your purchase of the appropriate amount of fabric needed.

In closing, there is no wrong size for your quilting project.  Although there are “standard” quilt sizes, you have the freedom to create the size that is needed for your custom quilt.  In the end, regardless of the size, you or the recipient of your gift will love this one-of-a-kind handmade quilt made in the specific size needed.


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