Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Part One: Getting Started

So you want to make a quilt. What for? A bed? A cot? Your bed? Your cot? If you have a purpose is mind then the first thing you need to work out is what size it should be. The easiest solution is to just measure where you want it. Measure your mattress then ask yourself:

Will the quilt just fit the top of the bed?
Will it hang over and by how much?
Will the quilt have to cover pillows at the top?

There are two confusing things to know here though.

1. The weird thing about quilting is that it's all measured in yards and inches. You might find this annoying, you might live your life in cm and insist on that, but once I changed over I never looked back. It's all sold in yards, it's all talked about in yards, nearly every pattern is in yards so it can often be easy just to cave in and embrace the inch.

2. The internet is full of sizes and they're usually all different, even the terminology differs. A kingsize bed in the UK is a Queen in the US. Wiki will give you basic mattress dimensions across the board which are pretty standard, apart from slight variations depending on your geographical location.

Mattress sizes (so just covering the top)
Single/Twin 36 x 75"
Double/Full 54 x 75"
King/Queen(USA) 54 x 75"
Super King/King(USA) 76 x 80"

Me? I have just measured my king size bed. It's 60" across the mattress, then there's a 12' drop on either side to cover the depth of the mattress. If I wanted a pretty quilt covering my mattress I would probably round it off to 80" wide. I might decide it's going to be square so that way length is of no importance. Right, that'd be me done.

I wouldn't really suggest your first quilt is a huge one as it just takes longer than a small cot quilt. That's why I make so many baby quilts. They are so quick and easy that you don't end up getting bored of them. Cot sizes are all different. I often just guess mine as unless you know the cot you're never going to get it right and they probably use sleep bags anyway so it's all redundant. If it looks bigger than the baby then you're onto a winner!

Here are some sites which give you a range of dimensions

Crib - 50" x 53"
Single - 75" x 98"
Double - 83" x 106"
Queen - 90" x 106"
King - 107" x 108"

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