How big is that quilt?

I am often asked “How do you know what size quilt to make?”

The most logical next question for me is “Where and/or how do you plan on using the quilt?”

For me, I go with the pattern directions. The pattern maker has already done the math! See my previous posts on “Let’s Write a Pattern.”

I keep cheat sheets on ideal quilt measurements. The one I can put my hands on have, however, doesn’t list “lap quilts” which are very common and, let’s face it, all laps are not the same! So I, of course, Googled it and found several charts and photos of lovely quilts (which only distracted me for 20 minutes, or so…ahem!!) Anyhow, I stumbled upon BCQuilter’s weblog which had answered this question and included some other sizes I hadn’t thought of. Does anyone still have a waterbed?! No problem…there is a quilt size for that, too!!

(Don’t you love those math loving folks who figure this stuff out for the rest of us?!) 🙂

Here is the link to her blog if you’d like to check it out!

PLACEMATS – 11″-12″ wide by 15″-18″ length or 29cm – 31cm by 38cm – 46cm

MINIATURE – less than 36″ square or 91 cm square

TABLE TOPPER or RUNNER – decorate your table with a table topper or a table runner. Depending on the size and shape of your table, you can determine the dimensions you require.

  • Square table topper: 36” X 36” or 91cm x 91 cm. Turn the quilt so the corners are pointing to the sides of the table. The table topper can be placed on any table.
  • Table Runner: 12″-18” x 40″-72” or 31cm-46cm x 102cm-183cm. Make a table runner to lay down the centre of a dining table. Lengthen the table runner for longer tables.

WALL HANGING – any size can qualify for a wall hanging. Be sure to measure the space you want to hang, to be sure it fits. Another thing to consider, the larger the quilt, the heavier it will be, requiring extra support.

BABY – between 36″ X 36″ and 52″ X 52″ or 91cm x 91cm and 132cm x 132cm. This size can depend on whether the quilt will be used in a crib.

CRIB – between 30″x 46″ and 36″ x 50″ or 76cm x 117cm and 91cm x 127cm. If you are making this sized quilt as a gift, see if you can get the measurements… each manufacturer has their own sizes… and crib mattresses are different sizes too.

COT – between 58″ x 90″ and 72″ x 108″ or 147cm x 229cm and 183cm x 274cm.

TODDLER – 46″ x 70″ or 117cm x 178cm for a quilt. A toddler bed most often uses a crib mattress, however not always, so it is best to measure first.

BUNK – between 66″ x 89″ and 74″ x 103″ or 168cm x 226cm and 188cm x 262cm .

WHEELCHAIR LAP QUILT – 36″ x 36″ to 38″ x 47″ or 91cm x 91cm to 97cm x 119cm – adding ties is sometimes a good idea, so they don’t slip off.

LAP – between 52″ – 68″ or 132cm x 173cm wide and the length can be from about 52″ – 78″ or 132cm x 198cm. Although a lap quilt can be any size. A quilt that a child will want to bring along could be as small as 36″x36″ or 91cm x 91cm. A lap quilt that is 42″x 60″ 107cm x 152cm is great for cuddling up on the couch with.

TWIN – between 64″ – 72″ or  163cm x 183cm wide and the length can be from about 86″ – 96″ or 218cm x 244cm.

FULL – between 70″ – 88″ or 178cm x 224cm wide and the length can be from about 88″ – 100″  or 224cm x 254cm.

QUEEN – between 88″ – 99″ or 224cm x 251cm wide and the length can be from about 94″ – 108″ or 239cm x 274cm.

QUEEN WATERBED – 76″ x 104″ or 193cm x 264cm.

KING – between 94″ – 108″ or 239cm x 274cm wide and the length can be from about the same, 94″ – 108″ or 239cm x 274cm.

CALIFORNIA KING – between 98″ x 100″ or 249cm x 254cm and 114″ x 117″ or 290cm x 297cm.

KING WATERBED – 88″ x 94″ or 224cm x 239cm.

Perhaps you would prefer to custom size a quilt for a specific bed. How to determine the size of quilt:

  • measure the mattress, length and width, and depth (most mattresses measure 8″-12″ or 20cm – 30cm, but the newer deeper ones can measure up to 20″ or 50 cm).
  • add to each measurement the amount of drop you’d like down the side of the bed (to the floor? to the bottom of the top mattress? to the bottom of the box spring?)
  • remember to add a pillow tuck (this may depend on the depth of the pillows, and how much of a pillow tuck), if you want a portion of the quilt to tuck under the pillows, and then carry on over top of the pillows.

Depending on the quilt pattern you are using… your borders could be the drop… for example, if you want a 12″ or 30cm  drop… add a 12″ or 30cm border to your quilt top. You may need to adjust your borders depending on your quilt design. A central medallion will need careful consideration.

Thank you, BCQuilter!! I really love that we have so many options!!

I finished this quilt yesterday! The pattern is available here for FREE from Moda and called “Sultry”. I have made at least 4 quilts using this pattern! The pattern directions says it will finish 65″ x 70″ or almost a twin size – it’s a bit short in the length. Because I don’t always follow directions well, nor do I sew perfectly, mine finished 66″ x 66″…close enough!

In this photo, the quilt is on a queen size bed…so I think it could be used as an extra bit of comfort on a twin bed quite nicely.

Island Splash Mar2016.JPG

“Island Splash”

But it is a perfect lap quilt! Here it is draped on a loveseat…perfect for snuggling while watching a movie or sharing a glass of wine!


I hope these measurements help you…but as always, these are just guidelines.

Now, go make something beautiful!!



8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bonnie Davis
    Mar 23, 2016 @ 11:12:17

    Thank you for this info! And I love that quilt! It is beautiful!!

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Texas Quilting
    Mar 23, 2016 @ 14:32:31

    Beautiful quilt – I especially like the color of the border!

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Deb
    Mar 24, 2016 @ 08:45:39

    What a convenient piece of info. I have searched repeatedly for the size information. Glad to have it consolidated. Now, to put it where I can remember to find it next time!! Much appreciation.

    Liked by 1 person


    • Tracy
      Mar 24, 2016 @ 09:21:43

      You are very welcome! There are lots of charts & cheat sheets if you Google or Pinterest. I liked this one in particular for the ranges within almost each size and for some I had never thought of such as bunk beds! Happy stitching!



  4. BCQuilter
    Mar 26, 2016 @ 11:32:38

    I am so pleased my write up was helpful. I needed a goto place, when I needed measurements. .

    Liked by 1 person


    • Tracy
      Mar 26, 2016 @ 12:19:17

      Thank you for the original post! I know I can’t keep all these measurements in my head! I am a firm believer in whatever cheat sheet works and then find 2 or 3 more as backup!! Aloha & Happy stitching!



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