Sunday, September 8, 2013

7 Things I Learned Making a King Size Quilt

Finally got this one finished!  Yeah!  This is a king size quilt 108 x 108.  Possibly a little to long, but nice and wide.  I loaded this on the quilting machine before I finished the bumpers for the crib...agh!  Now I had to finish it because Emma should be coming home soon and she needs her bed.  Do you know how long it takes to quilt a king size quilt?  Especially when you are not doing an all over pattern?  Way Too Long!

Things I learned making this quilt (and don't want to forget...)

1.  This thing is huge.  Think twice before making another one.  (The bad thing is I have one more planned and fabric bought.)

2.  The last and only time I have ever made a king size quilt was 3 and a half years ago when I was pregnant with my 7th child.  This time I was pregnant with #8.  Didn't finish either quilt until after the baby was born. And last time I took the top to the local shop to have it quilted.  Nice but expensive.

3.  Patterns designed for a bed look different on paper than they do on the bed.  See here. Once the top was finished, I changed the bottom of it because I didn't like it on the bed.  I guess I forgot that it hangs down on the three sides and isn't flat.  duh.

4.  I almost cut the quilt top into 4 square lap quilts because I wan't sure I was going to like it.  I would have too but the back was already cut into strips and not big enough for separate quilts.  Pick a pattern that you know you will be happy with for a long time.  Don't try something experimental on your bed!  What are you going to do with a king size quilt you aren't in love with?

3. I love the look of straight line quilting, but hate doing it on my longarm despite the fact that it has horizontal locks.  Getting the quilt to roll even is tricky.  Especially when the quilt is so big.

4. Meandering is my all time favorite go to pattern.  Why?  Because it goes so quickly.  I quilted all the colors in less time than I quilted the white.  One note - don't try to meander when you're tired.  It doesn't look so pretty.

5.  Solid quilts need lots of texture.  I had planned on quilting each color a different way.  Once I quilted the white straight and meandered the blue I was so tired of this quilt and opted for the easy way out.

6.  You can't custom quilt a top in different colors and expect the back of the quilt to look just as good.  I was planning on a 2 sided quilt, but the quilting on the back has ruined, in my opinion, the look of the stripes.  I didn't even bother taking a picture because it is so bad.  If you're going to make a 2 sided quilt, pick one color of thread and an all over quilting pattern!!!

7.  Once you finish the quilt, you now need to make pillow cases and pillows to go with the bed!


  1. Your quilt turned out great! Looks very southwest in colors and style. I buy all different colors of pillow cases when I find them on sale and that saves me from having to make matching cases. I have also found a few at thrift stores. I meander all of my donation quilts and I think they look great. I am too nervous about using more than one color thread on my quilts so they are pretty boring. I will have to get adventurous and try turning on my channel locks to make straight lines. Maybe after a bit you won't think the back of your quilt is horrible.

    I made a quilt kinda like yours, in all solids, and I am not crazy about it and I realized it is just to modern for my tastes.

    Good to hear that Emma is making good progress and will be home soon.

  2. really great quilt.....lovely quilting looks like you make wonderful babies too :)


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