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How To Make A Bed Quilt

If you’re reading this, then you’re probably wondering how to make a bed quilt.

Well, just like making any quilt, there are specific steps that you have to follow to make sure it’s done correctly. Following these steps can be tedious, but they are necessary to sew the perfect bed quilt.

Here are all the steps you need to follow to make your bed quilt.

Measure Your Quilt Top and Drop

The first step is to get the measurements of your mattress where you’re going to put your bed quilt.

Luckily, there are standard measurements for different mattresses.

  • For a crib, the measurements are 23″ by 46″ 
  • For a twin mattress, the measurements are 39″ by 75″ 
  • For a double mattress, the measurements are 54″ by 75″
  • For a queen mattress, the measurements are 60″ by 80″ 
  • For a king mattress, the measurements are 78″ by 80″ 
  • For a California king mattress, the measurements are 72″ by 84″

Next, you’ll want to measure the “drop”.

But what exactly is the “drop”?

The drop is how much of the quilt you want to hang over the sides and the foot of the mattress. If you’re quilting a comforter, you can measure the drop by measuring the depth of the mattress.

Then you can add about 3” to the cover where the mattress meets the box spring. A good example, for a mattress with a depth of 10”, you would have a drop of 13”.

For the drop of a quilted bedspread, you would measure from the edge of the mattress to the floor.

Measuring The Width

Once you’ve measured the mattress and your drop, you can start to figure out the width of the bed quilt.

You can do this by doubling the drop and adding it to the width of the mattress. This is necessary for the quilt to hang equally on either side of the mattress.

So let’s say that you’re making a quilt for a queen-size mattress. The standard width is 60” (152.5 cm).

To this, you would add the drop of one side (for example, 13” or 33.02 cm) and the drop for the other side (another 13” or 33.02 cm). This should lead to a total quilt width of 86” (218.44 cm).

Time To Measure The Length

At last, you can measure the length of your bed quilt.

Just like measuring the width, you add the drop to the length of your mattress. You don’t need any extra measurements if you’re planning to have your pillows on top of your quilt.

An example of this would be with a queen-size mattress measuring 80” would have a 13” drop, which gives you a total of 93”. This is the same if you’re going to use decorative pillow covers.

On the other hand, if you want to include a pillow tuck, it’s recommended that you add an extra 12” to 16”. This will all depend on the height of your pillow and how deep you tuck.

If you’ve got a queen-size mattress with a 25” drop and a pillow tuck of 14”, it will make your quilt measure about 119”.It’s a different story if you’re making a quilt for a present for someone, and you don’t know the measurements.

In this case, it’s best just to make a comforter quilt instead of a spread. All you need to do is get pre-cut comforter batts for the standard mattress size.

Then you can make the top of the quilt 6” smaller than the length and width of the batting sold for that bed.

Check The Size Of Your Batting

To figure out how much batting you will depend on a few things.

If you’re using a long-arm machine to make your quilt, you’ll need extra batting and backing. If you’re going to a long-arm quilter, you should check how much extra batting and backing they like to work with.

Always make sure that you’re both clear on the measurements that they give you. Also, make sure that the number they give is the TOTAL extra batting & batting that you should purchase.

For example, if they said 6”, it could mean 3” for the top side and 3” for the bottom side. Or the quilter could mean the extra inches they need on each side.

For example, the quilter could mean 6” for the top and 6” for the bottom. This means it would be 12” extra inches.

If you want to cut out the middle man, you can always purchase your batting from the quilter. They will normally cut a piece to suit your quilting needs.

Using A Quilting Frame

When making a bed quilt, you have the option of using a quilting frame.

Quilting frames are enormous machines that help you keep your quilt rigid while you work on it. Whether you’ve decided to make your bed quilt manually or use a machine, you will be able to use a quilting frame.

They are easy to put together without the need for tools. With quilting frames, you will be able to adjust the height and tilt to suit your needs while sewing your bed quilt.

Remember when you’re using a quilting frame to check the manufacturer's instructions to see how much extra batting you need. If you’re going to use a hoop, you can usually get away with an additional 2” or 3” of batting on both sides and all the ends.

How To Buy Your Batting

If you decide to buy your batting for your bed quilt, you might want to do your homework.

This can be quite a complicated process if you don’t know what you’re looking for. The first thing to consider is what you need for your quilt.

Will you need one of the commonly found pre-cut batt sizes?

These sizes include:

  • For a crib, the measurements are 45″ by 60″ (115 cm x 153 cm) 
  • For a twin mattress, the measurements are 72″ by 90″ (183 cm x 229 cm)
  • For a double mattress, the measurements are 81″ by 96″ (206 cm x 244 cm) 
  • For a queen mattress, the measurements are 90″ by 108″ (229 cm x 278 cm) 
  • For a king mattress, the measurements are 120″ by 120″ (305 cm x 305 cm)

Certain sizes are easier to find than others. They can also be found in different types of batts that are made from materials.

These usually include the pre-cut crib-size and queen-size batts. The king-size and double-size pre-cuts are easy to find.

Unfortunately, they might not be found in as many materials as the other sizes. Also, the twin-size pre-cuts are also harder to find, no matter the top of the batt or the material.

If you’re struggling to find what you’re looking for, don’t worry. You can always visit your local quilt shop and purchase the size you need from batting big rolls.

Just make sure that you check the batt role has the width that you need. More often than not, the batting is folded in half before it’s wrapped on the roll.

So, it could end up being twice the width that you need. There’s nothing worse than leaving the store with batting that’s too big or, even worse, too SMALL.

Suppose you’re making a bed quilt that does not fit in with the usual measurements. An excellent example of this, is that plenty of quilt spreads don’t work with pre-cut batts.

This is because they measure to go with comforters instead of spreads.

Measuring Your Backing

When making your backing, you should make it about 1” or 2” bigger on all sides.

It’s a great way to make sure that you have some room for adjustment when you need to line up your batting and top with the backing. Then, when you’re done sewing your bed quilt, you can trim the extra batting.

All that’s left is to add the scraps of backing to your scrap pile. Don’t worry. It won’t go to waste.

You can always use the scraps to sew a scrap quilt.

Keeping Your Quilt Clean

After measuring and patching together your bed quilt, you’ll want to keep it clean.

If you used silk or velvet for your quilt or comforter, you shouldn’t even consider washing it. Unless you used wool for batting or for covering, and it’s marked as washable.

If you used a clean patchwork for your bed quilt, then it’s best to follow the washing instructions for the most fragile material used in your quilt.

So, What’s Next?

As you can see, there is a lot of measuring that needs to be done when you’re making your bed quilt. But it will all be worth it because, as they say, “measure several times, cut once.” Then, all that’s left is to simply enjoy your newly sewn quilt with a cup of coffee and maybe even a good book.

If you are still uncertain about the size quilt you need, have a look at our basic quilt size chart page to help you visualize the different sizes of quilts.

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