The Ultimate Guide To Quilt Sizes

Quilt Sizes Chart

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Quilts come in all shapes and sizes. As far as quilts are concerned, there is no “right” size. Some are square, some rectangular, some of mine have accidentally become rhombus in shape. When it comes to size, the only question you should care about is, “What do I want and what am I going to use this for?”

Before getting into too many details, take a look at this quilt sizes chart!

Quilt_Sizes_Infographic

Just because a Crib Quilt is usually 36” x 52” does not mean that you have to make all of your Baby Quilts fit that mold. However, if you are trying to cover a mattress that is a certain size, the dimensions of your quilt will become less loosey goosey and should remain relatively standard.


These sizes are approximate and can vary 4” - 8”. If you have access to the mattress you wish to cover, give it a quick measure so you don’t have to guess. If you are measuring yourself, just remember to add length for the quilt to hang off the edges of the mattress.


Once you have measured and figured out how large your quilt will be, there are a couple more measurements left to make – batting and backing. The size of these two things depends on how you intend this quilt to be quilted. If you will be basting and quilting it yourself, a couple extra inches overhanging for both the batting and the backing on each side is adequate. If you would like a long arm quilter to quilt it for you, 4” overhang for both batting and backing on each side is the standard requirement. If you are new to using a long arm quilter, double check with them.


If you plan to quilt it yourself, you will need to buy batting. You can either buy a large amount and cut it down to the size you need, or you can purchase pre-cut batting which comes in set standard sizes. You will notice that some of the pre-cut batting is either not large enough for proper overhang, or is cutting it really close and not going to give much wiggle room. Personally, I like to buy a large amount of batting and then cut it down to the size I need.


Below you will find a quilt size chart with king size quilt dimensions all the way to baby quilt sizes.

Pre-Cut Batting Sizes

​Standard Quilt Sizes

Baby

30" x 40" (very approximate)

Crib/Toddler

45" x 60"

36" x 52"

Throw/Lap

50" x 65" (very approximate)

Twin

72" x 90"

70" x 90"

Extra Long Twin (eg. dorm bunk)

70" x 95"

Double/Full

81" x 96"

85" x 108"

Queen

90" x 108"

90" x 108"

King

120" x 120"

110" x 108"

California King

106" x 112"

A Quick Quilt History

As a young girl growing up in the US, and the Midwest in particular, I always felt a bit cheated when discussing history and heritage. The first time I was asked, “Where is your family from?” I confidently said, “Duh! America.” (I was 12, so give me a break.) “Yea, but where did they coooome from?” “uh...America?”


In that moment I realized that being “American” wasn’t a very good answer when asked about heritage – because heritage is supposed to be old...and Amrrica ain’t that old. So, being 12, I ran home and asked my mom. Sadly for me, she didn’t have a much better answer. Also to my chagrin that didn’t seem to bug her too much. Having a fairly short attention span, I eventually followed suit and got back to worrying about boys, braces and my fledgling summer tan – you know, important things.

What was that? You wanted a visual? 

Young Suzy Quilts

I thought you would enjoy that 😉

However, the idea that I had no heritage would still resurface occasionally and weigh on my little adolescent heart. It wasn’t until I was 15 and learned to quilt that I began learning about something that was truly American and also truly wonderful! Yes, yes, we here in the US weren’t the first ones to make quilts, BUT we were the first ones to popularize and possibly make patchwork quilts, and that’s quite the historical achievement in my opinion.

Watermelon Throw Quilt Size

​The above quilt is a free pattern found here!


Let’s define a patchwork quilt – quilt tops that are composed of separate blocks or elements sewn together. Originally, these pieces started simply and were the result of a functional approach to saving old scraps of discarded fabric. The evolution of the patchwork quilt began with the first settlers and continued to grow as colonization expanded in the 1800s. Quiltmakers broadened their designs from simple scraps to geometric patterns created through a series of blocks, giving this new type of quilt a distinctly American expression. 


In the 100 years between 1750 and 1850 thousands of quilts were pieced, patched and sewn together. Thankfully for us, some of those quilts are still preserved today. These early quilts provide a glimpse into the history of quilting as well as a story of what life was like during the inception of the United States. The American Quilt: A History of Cloth and Comfort from 1750-1950 by Roderick Kiracofe and Mary Elizabeth Johnson is a great reference.

Much has changed in the textiles industry over the last few centuries. The fabrics we use in modern quilts have most definitely evolved, but a lot of the same quilt patterns we now see came from those early quiltmakers. When looking through early traditional quilts, you will see some similarities between now and then and begin to understand how much traditional quilting still influences the designers of today.

Early Quilts: The Medallion

Immigrants to America brought framed medallion style quiltmaking techniques with them. These quilts were popular in the late 18th century. However, quiltmakers in Europe and Britain continued to prefer making these quilts well beyond that time. Medallion quilts have made a modern resurgence – some even playing with A-symetry.

Medallion Quilt

Above is a traditional medallion quilt using Civil War reproduction fabrics.​ In this type of quilt a central block or motif is surrounded by multiple boarders. Below is a medallion quilt I created featuring unicorns, snails, birds and a tiny little 2" princess right in the middle. Check out The Modern Medallion Workbook for beautiful modern medallion patterns!

Unicorn-Medallion-Quilt

Depression Era: A Quilting Revival

Quilting thrived during the Great Depression. Surprisingly, some of the brightest most cheerful quilts came from one of the darkest periods in American history. Quilting was an activity that allowed women to be creative and social while still making something practical for their families.

Quilts from the 1930 are very distinct and recognizable. Small chintzy patterns and delicate florals were mostly printed in pastels. Blocks typically used solid colors as background fabrics – creams, yellows, pinks and light blues. 

1930 Quilt
Traditional 1930 Quilt

Gee's Bend: A Rich Quilting Heritage

Gees-Bend-Quilters

One example of traditional blocks transforming into clean modern design is the quilting of Gee’s Bend. These works of art were created by a group of women who lived in the isolated African-American hamlet of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. The quilting tradition in Gee's Bend went back to the 19th century, when the community was the site of a cotton plantation.

Perhaps influenced in part by patterned African textiles, female slaves pieced together strips of cloth to make bedcovers. Throughout the years and into the 20th century, Gee's Bend women made quilts to keep themselves and their children warm in unheated shacks that lacked running water, telephones and electricity. This amazing tradition still lives on with more than 50 quiltmakers who currently make up the Gee’s Bend Collective.

Gees Bend Quilt

Medallion
Loretta Pettway,
1960
Synthetic Knit and Cotton Sacking Material
87" x 70"

Quilt history

Housetop
Martha Jane Pettway,
1945
Corduroy
72" x 72"

Traditional Gees Bend Quilt

Housetop
Lucy T. Pettway,
1945
Cotton
84" x 69"

Suzy

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34 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide To Quilt Sizes

  1. becky says:

    Nice one! It’s always surprisingly tricky to come by these measurements. Great history too (from an Aussie who really has no clue but I’ll trust ya!)

  2. Sonalee says:

    Lovely article. Loved reading through it …
    I am from India and traditional Indian quilting is a very very old tradition here and different parts of India make distinctly different types of quilts. do let me know if u would like me to write a guest post.

  3. Patricia says:

    Suzy, I just have to tell you that I’m very appreciative of your excellent grammar, punctuation and writing style! It’s downright refreshing… So many blogs have good information and offer wonderful creative ideas, but are so poorly written! (Were you an English major, by any chance?) THANK YOU for writing so beautifully!

    (Oh, and loved your post too……) ????

    • Suzy says:

      What a sweet compliment! Definitely not an English major; just an art major with a deep dread of all writing assignments. I come from a family of writers and spent most of my school days manipulating one family member or another into writing for me. I’ve found that questions like, “If you were to write a 10 page paper on King Henry VIII, how would you begin?…Oh yes, BRILLIANT. Then what would you say? Here are some history books for you to read if you’re not familiar with him. I’ll come back in 30 minutes so we can discuss more.”

      Worked every time. hahaha

      Maybe some of their abilities have finally transferred over through osmosis…I have been spending more time with them lately… 😉

  4. Eve says:

    Thanks for all the great information about quilting. I am a beginner and would like to make a rag quilt for a baby. I would like the quilt to measure 30″ X 40″. I plan to cut 6″ squares, using five different fabrics. I’m having a hard time determining how much fabric I should purchase. Can you help me?

    • Suzy says:

      I would suggest buying a charm pack – which is a pre-cut bundle of 5″ squares. That way you get all of your fabric in one purchase and you don’t have to cut anything. To make a 31.5″ x 40.5″ quilt you would need 7 squares across and 9 squares down for a total of 63 squares. (I’m calculating the squares at 4.5″ because of the 1/4″ seam allowance on all sides.) Good luck!

      • Julie says:

        Suzy – Your suggestion to Eve is off by a bit. Your math forgot to include seam allowances if using a charm pack. With a rag quilt, Eve needs to use 1/2 inch seam allowances, which would mean that a 5″ square would finish at 4″, so a 6 squares across would be 24″ wide and 8 squares down would be 32″ long. To make the quilt finish at 30″ X 40″ with 5″ cut squares, Eve would need 7.5 squares (round up to 8) across by 10 down. If she truly wants to cut 6″ squares so they finish at 5″, then your original suggestion of 6 squares across by 8 squares down would be accurate.

  5. Mommy @ Bebewellness says:

    Nice photos Suzy! I have been looking for a chart on the sizes of quilts for a long time. I really like what you have done. I am from India and traditional Indian quilting is a very very old tradition here and different parts of India make distinctly different types of quilts..

  6. Diane says:

    Very well written. I, too, enjoyed reading something literate (as well as interesting). Good use of photographs to illustrate your points, too. I hope your blog is monetized. You deserve to be paid for your hard work. Great job. Diane

  7. Heidi says:

    I look quite often as to quilt sizes, but the problem I have is I have a California king bed and I have never found quilt patterns for that size of bed (maybe Cal King is just a west coast thing!). Do you know if there is a “rule of thumb” to convert king size quilt patterns into Cal King size? Thank you!

    • Suzy says:

      I believe the California King is just a 1/4 yd. more narrow and a 1/4 yd. longer than a regular King. As long as the king-sized quilt pattern allows you to have enough overhang around the sides, you don’t need to do any conversions. If it were me, I’d make a king quilt and add a small border if it wasn’t looking long enough. Or you could just pull it down a few inches and throw some pillows at the top of the bed 🙂

    • Suzy says:

      Are you looking for an extra long twin size quilt pattern? If so, and since that is not a typical quilt size found in patterns, I would suggest using the dimensions found in this blog post and altering a quilt pattern to fit. A simple way to do that is using a pattern that uses the same block as a repeat – eg. Kris Kross, Over The Hills or Propeller

      I wouldn’t worry about the quilt being a little longer than the dimensions given, it’s always nice to fold the top down a bit to show off the backing. Good luck and happy sewing! xo

  8. Anita Lenoir says:

    I made my husband a couch quilt which is a big hit. I’d like to make one for myself, using my t-shirts. It’s challenging in that there are no measurements for a couch quilt. I’ll start by cutting out my t-shirts and backing them to make them more sturdy.

    • Suzy says:

      That really depends on how many squares you would like to cut – the larger the squares, the fewer to cut and sew. When calculating your quilt math, just remember to add a 1/4″ seam allowance on all sides of each fabric square.

  9. Linda Wingfield says:

    Suzy, I am a beginner in quilt making and I would like to make my own binding with the 2″ binder tool. How wide do you start with the fabric? Thanks, Linda

  10. Linda Wingfield says:

    I am asking for any advice on a quilting machine I can get. I am fairly new to quilting but would like to quilt my own. I am not interested in having a long arm as mt space is really limited. But I do not know how to investigate other options. I would really appreciate any advice or suggestions I can get. Thanks, Linda

    • Suzy says:

      A lot of domestic sewing machines have an extra long throat space and really great quilting stitch options. I recently switched from a Janome 7700 Memory Craft to a Bernina B770. Both are great machines, but what I like better about my Bernina is the BSR – Bernina stitch regulator. This amazing free motion feature regulates tension and stitch width with such amazing accuracy, you can feel like a free-motion pro without really being one. 😉

      I wrote an article last year about buying a sewing machine that’s right for you and your budget. You may want to check it out – http://suzyquilts.com/quilting-sewing-machines-one-best-budget/

      Let me know if you have any more questions and feel free to email – suzy@suzyquilts.com

  11. Mark says:

    Very useful information, many thanks for sharing….!
    Love the quilts, btw – fabulous….😊
    Greetings from Wales, U.K.
    xx

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