02 December, 2014

The Need for Bigger Quilts


#gokingorgohome

That's the hashtag I've been using on Instagram whenever someone asks if they should make a quilt bigger or not. I always default to go bigger.

Frankly, that's a bit of a problem. Sometimes I start quilts just to play, to try a technique. There is no good reason to make it a queen sized bit of play. Well, other than then it would be big enough to put on a bed instead of just over legs on the couch. But if I'm just trying something out why do I insist on making it so big? This MAY have something to do with having over 40 quilts under construction...



Take these blocks for example. They finish at 10''. I'd always pictured that I would make 49 of them, to make a 70'' square quilt. But now? I think I might have to go up to 64 or even 81 blocks. Looks like I have a lot more sewing to go as I only have 28 of them so far.

Much like some people find it tremendously difficult to work on more than one quilt at a time, I have a very hard time making a small quilt. Since I said that last week I've been thinking about why that is the case.

I don't know why, it's just what I do. Possible reasons:

... bigger quilts are more functional.
... there aren't as many babies being born in my circle. Although, I think that isn't the case over the next few months.
... I'm a sucker for punishment.
... while I love hand binding, doing so on a small quilt feels silly.
... most of my ideas need to be big to be truly expressed.
... small quilts feel like a cop out on making.

What about you? What size do you tend to make? I'm not judging anyone else's choices, just trying to figure out my own crazy logic.

Lately I've been thinking of even bigger quilts. For my newsletter someone asked me the question about deciding what to make. In my answer I mentioned the need to make bigger quilts. I've noticed that many of my recent finishes fall into the twin/lap world. If they are square they tend to be 70''-76'' finished.

But, we just bought the kids beds for the first time and they all got double beds. Those 76'' square quilts don't quite have enough overhang for my liking. The kids are happy, but I want to see less of their sheets when the bed gets made. (Yes, I am that anal.) So now my brain is automatically going to 80'' square at a minimum.

What's a girl to do? Make more blocks. Make bigger blocks.

17 comments:

Becky (My Fabric Obsession) said...

Haha! I do this too. I feel the need to make bigger quilts because the use for them is on people's beds. I already have enough 'couch quilts'. As if you could? Lately I've been forcing myself to work smaller and what I've found is that I'm giving away the smaller quilts. Spread the love, make small! :)

What Comes Next? said...

I've made a lot of small - baby sized quilts that I give away. They are a good size to get some real practice on my freemotion quilting, but are quick to do and always appreciated. Lately, however, I seem to be making more and more larger quilts, although they aren't necessarily getting finished... I think I fall into the "Sucker for punishment" category!

Sewing In CT said...

My quilts are usually at least queen sized. Lap quilts are nice but are not really big enough to cuddle up in and read on the couch. I give some away, but my husband insists each is his favorite and won't let me give away most. :) There are 4 on my bed now.

Shannon said...

Seeing the sheets and legs of the bed drives me mad too - would a quilted bedskirt bridge the gap while you bang out some jumbo quilts?

Andrea R said...

I make a lot of baby / lap quilts. That's big enough for me to get bored, it seems. Or I run out fo fabric from my mishmash stash.

trying to go bigger though.

Diane said...

I keep going big too. I think I make queen, but I like a bit overhang, so really I make king quilts for our queen bed. When I make a lap quilt, it is what I call a generous lap quilt. You've got to be able to cuddle up.

DianeY said...

The smallest size I typically make is single bed size with a generous overhang. I have no need for lap quilts-it's too hot where I live!I have made a couple as gifts, but I feel larger ones give a whole lot more flexibility

kelly lautenbach said...

I find a really great store bought neutral quilt (say from pottery barn or the like) gives me a good background for a beautiful smaller quilt. I get to try lots of different things and they get used as accents in many bedrooms (and other rooms) :)

Staci said...

Quilts here have been getting larger and larger. Most of the quilts I made this year were around 80 x 80 this year. Also made the largest quilt I've ever made at 86 x 86.

I must have needed some kind of break from big quilts though, since I joined on ongoing mini quilt swap where I'm working tiny!

While the mini's are some kind of comic relief, I don't see my trend of big quilts going away. Most that are in the planning stages are biggies!

Lauren said...

I quilt for the experience (and "free" gifts) so my quilts finish whatever size they are when the fabric and enthusiasm runs out. Apparently I have the attention span of a salamander, because mine tend to top out at 120cm square. Increasingly I find myself gravitating to the quilting rather than the piecing, and that size seems to scratch the pattern-testing itch. I just scored a crib side as a quilt ladder to make it look like I MEANT to have 47 baby quilts hanging around.

patty a. said...

I also have a hard time making small quilts. The last one I just finished turned out to be 91" x 115" and took 22.5 miles - yes, miles! - of thread to quilt it. The biggest quilt I have made to date was 96" x 120" and I free motion machine quilted it on my home sewing machine. I make quite a few baby quilts and they are even big!

Christina // Sometimes Crafter said...

I am a smaller quilt maker. I really don't like to go bigger than a twin. I find that I mostly cuddle under my quilts on the couch, so when they get to be twin size they are really a bit too big. Since i'm a "put it away when done" kind of person, folding bigger quilts is soooo much work. ;) I actually found that my favorite quilt, which is about twin size, fits perfectly across the lower 2/3 of my king size bed, so i'm happy with that. My husband is usually hot at night, so I pretty much sleep with a quilt on just me, so a lap size is just perfect as well. I think the smaller size also has to do with wanting to get it done - smaller means I get to use/gift/finish it up faster. I like that instant gratification since I get so little time at the sewing machine. Perhaps one day I will make an actual king sized quilt. :)

Nicolette Mathee said...

I make 90" square for my double beds and a very generous overhang size for single bed, lapquilts a like 70 x 85" as we are not small people around here, have made 3 baby quilts of 40 x 50"

Josie McRazie said...

Unless I'm making a baby gift I normally go at LEAST a full size!! I want my quilts used!! My Honeyman is 6 foot tall and if he's gonna cuddle under one it HAS to be long!! And many at one time...I call that quilting with ADHD!! I'm right there with ya on that one!! LOL

Anonymous said...

My husband is 6'4" and we have 5 children that are all tall. Nothing worse than lying on the couch to take a nap and having to choose which to cover, your shoulders or your feet. Usually it's not that much more work to just make it BIG!

RockinHairBabe said...

I do this too! I cannot simply make a baby quilt even it turns into a twin! I love to snuggle up with large quilts so that may be my issue that or I am so afraid it will be to small and not used?? I really don't know either! I always say go big or go home. My girlfriends make lots of lap quilts. I cannot seem to make square quilts either it feels wrong. Troubles!

Susan Melvin said...

I am with you. I have trouble doing small quilts. I do admit to doing lap quilts or baby quilts. I am hesitant to commit to a queen size. I really need to try and work on both sides either the small ones or a queen.