It’s easy to get started as a new quilter!
That’s why, at Runaway Quilting, we created “The Ultimate Guide to Quilting for Beginners.” If you’re just beginning with quilting—or you know someone who is—download this helpful guide for free.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- Which four things you need to get started
- How to size your quilt
- What you need to know about quilt batting so your quilt turns out perfectly, and more
And here’s one more reason to download your copy of “The Ultimate Guide to Quilting for Beginners”: inside you’ll find a coupon for 5% off your purchase!
Download your copy today by clicking “Send me my Ultimate Guide”. You’ll learn every beginner needs to know—and you’ll get 5% off your order. Grab your copy today.
It's important to have a good grasp on quilt sizes if you plan to pursue the hobby of quilt-making.
While quilting isn't an exact science in any way, and it leaves lots of room for the artist's interpretation, you'll still want your finished quilt to fit your bed, your grandson's crib or that space on the wall that's just itching for a handcrafted textile.
Familiarizing yourself with common measurements is a solid first step for anyone who plans to make quilts. The following quilt sizes are suggested by BCQuilter's Weblog.
Popular Quilt Sizes
- Baby — Baby quilts are typically square in shape and range from 36 inches / 91cm by 36 inches / 91cm, up to 52 inches / 132cm by 52 inches / 132cm. Either one, or any measurement in between, will be big enough to keep baby snugly warm on even the coldest winter day.
- Crib — Crib quilts typically measure between 30 inches / 76 cm by 46 inches / 117cm and 36 inches /91cm by 50 inches / 127cm. They're rectangular in shape and will fit most crib mattresses when made to fall within these measurements.
- Toddler Bed — Quilts for toddler beds are rectangular and should measure about 46 inches / 117cm by 70 / 178cm inches to fit a standard-size toddler mattress.
- Lap — Lap quilts can be square or rectangular, depending how you decide to make them. There's a lot of leeway where lap quilts are concerned, and you can make yours in nearly any size you choose. A good place to start is around 52 inches / 132 cm by 52 inches / 132cm, up to 52 inches / 132cm by 78 inches / 198cm. It all depends on whether you just want a light coverlet to go over your lap or if you plan to snuggle up with a favorite someone on the couch.
- Twin — A twin-size quilt usually begins around 64 inches / 163cm by 86 inches / 218cm, but measurements can go as high as 72 inches / 183cm by 96 inches / 244cm if you want a nice drape over the sides of the bed.
- Full — A good place to start for a full-size quilt is 70 inches / 178cm by 88 inches / 224cm or 88 inches / 224cm by 100 inches / 254cm. Again, it just depends on the drape.
- Queen — Queen-size quilts usually measure around 99 inches / 252cm by 108 inches / 274cm.
- King — For your king-size bed, you'll want a coverlet that measures at least 108 inches / 274cm by 108 inches / 274cm for nice coverage all around.
Depending upon where you look on the internet for standard quilt sizes, you're going to find quite a bit of variation. The measurements listed here tend to be generous to allow the quilt to drape nicely over all sides of the bed. But smaller quilts are fine too.
For the best fit, break out the tape measure and take the exact measurements of the bed you're trying to dress and then allow extra inches for overhang on all sides. Crazy Mom Quilts has a great tutorial for learning exactly how to measure your bed. If you want your quilt to cover and tuck beneath your pillows, you'll want to allow for that as well.
Quilt sizes for table runners, place mats or wall hangings
Of course, not every quilting project starts out to fill a bed. And if you're just looking to create handcrafted accessories for home — items like table runners, place mats or wall hangings— here are a few loose guidelines out there to help you manage quilt sizes.
- Wall Hangings — Wall hangings really have no hard and fast rules that apply. The smartest approach is to measure the space you want the textile to cover and go from there.
- Table Runners — The average size of a typical table runner is 12 inches / 30cm by 40 inches / 102cm.
- Place Mats — Your quilted place mats should measure roughly 11 inches / 28cm by 15 inches /38cm.
What size will you make your quilt?
Quilt sizes matter, but only because you want your finished quilt to fit your bed, table or that big white space on your wall. Other than that, sizing is up to your interpretation. As the quilt maker, you're the artist and it's your vision that's being realized. Don't be afraid to make your quilt whatever size you want if it will give your project that little extra punch of individuality.
Looking for an easy way to remember quilt sizes? Download Runaway Quilting’s free printable guide, the Ultimate Guide to Quilt Sizes—featuring both imperial and metric sizes.
You can't really appreciate the value of a good tool until you've tried to complete the job without it. The right tools make every project easier, and when it's time to get down to quilting, crafting and sewing, Runaway Quilting carries the best fabrics, needles and sewing notions in Canada, all at reasonable prices you can afford.
You're going to fall in love with quilting all over again when you get a good look at all the specialty tools and supplies we carry to simplify your life. Runaway Quilting: your source for quilting supplies in Canada.
From fat quarters to yard goods, Runaway Quilting is your source for all things fabric. Visit us for the widest selection of prints and solids, fleece, quilted and unquilted panels designed to fit every project. Whether your latest effort involves piecing a king-size quilt or stitching together a few throw pillows for the college dorm, we have all the latest flannels, batiks, basic and retro-look fabrics from all your favorite designers.
Regardless of project, Runaway Quilting has the thread to tie it all together. Cotton, poly, silk, heavy-duty, metallic and wool - if you need it, we have it. All at prices to fit every budget. Get the right thread for your sewing machine, your long-arm quilting machine or your serger in every color of the rainbow as well as neutral, white and black. Need to sew on a button or put a quick stitch in a skirt seam? We have just the thread to do it.
You'll find low-loft, high-loft and every batting in between when you use Runaway Quilting as your source to supply all your quilting and crafting needs. We carry all your old favorite cotton/poly blends, as well as today's eco-friendly bamboo and wool quilt battings. When you need to match the filling to the project, trust us to have it in stock. Never worry about bearding again when you shop our comprehensive collection of quilt battings.
Your project is only ever as easy as the tools you use to complete it, and needles are a biggie. You need replacement needles for your sewing machine, betweens for your quilting sessions, and embroidery, upholstery and beading needles for your arts and crafts. Get the right needle for the job when you shop Runaway Quilting for all your needles and sewing notions.
Everyone who sews needs a reliable assortment of shears, and you can trust us to carry the best selection in town. Choose from pinking shears, embroidery scissors and all-purpose implements that cut everything from fabric to aluminum cans to help you complete even the most difficult task. You need sharp shears, and we have them, including scissors for paper and crafting.
Rotary Cutters, Self-Healing Mats and Straight-Edge Rulers
No quilter's cubby is complete without a quality rotary cutter, self-healing mat and straight-edge ruler. Get the most precise cuts in the least amount of time when you shop Runaway Quilting for the best in rotary cutting supplies. You'll find mats in all shapes and sizes, replacement blades, and the perfect straight-edge to fit your space. Even the coziest craft room can have a cutting mat when there's every size from which to choose.
You can't quilt without the necessary tools, and this means stocking up on thimbles and straight pins. Find the sizes you need in the materials you prefer, from leather, plastic and aluminum thimbles to pins of every size, Runaway Quilting is your source for the largest to the smallest quilting necessities.
Cut a straight line, take the necessary measurements and make all your sewing projects a joy to complete when you purchase rulers and tape measures designed specifically with quilting and crafting in mind. Easy to use, easy to store, our measuring implements make fast work of every project that requires a precision eye.
Measure twice, cut once, and that new quilt will be completed in no time with all the points perfectly aligned. When you need to mark on fabric, paper, carbon or more, Runaway Quilting has the right implement to do it. Never guess at a measurement again when it's clearly marked using the exact tool for the purpose.
Ask any quilter what he or she needs more of, and you'll get the same answer every time - storage. You need a convenient place to keep fabrics, thread, ribbon and cutting accessories safe and out of the way, and that means cubbies, trays, tables and more. Runaway Quilting has ideal storage solutions for every craft room. See our innovative offerings today.
Need quilting supplies? Trust Runaway Quilting
Don't struggle through your latest project without the tools you need to make life easier. Let us provide everything you need—let Runaway Quilting be your quilt supplies source for all things crafty in Canada.
Since the 1700s, quilters have been turning old clothes and leftover fabric scraps into quilts — rag quilts, more specifically.
Rag quilts differ from traditional pieced quilts in a number of ways:
- They highlight the raw edges of the fabric.
- They're typically composed of simple squares instead of triangles and more intricate designs.
- And they often use non-traditional fabrics such as denim or flannel. Rag quilts come together quickly as well.
The best part about rag quilts? With some determination, you can complete a rag quilt over the course of just one weekend.
Quilted piece by piece
Unlike most traditional quilts, the rag quilt is constructed of small squares that have each been quilted. Most squares are made up of three separate pieces — the backing, the batting and the top. Individual pieces are pinned together, and then quilted either by machine or by hand. Only afterward are they stitched together to form the quilt top.
Raw edges to the front
And while no quilter anywhere would normally turn his or her raw edges to the front, the rag quilter does exactly that. If you're new to the art of quilt-making, there's a great tutorial on simple machine quilting found on Generations Quilt Patterns. It will help get you started with solid information on the different parts of your machine, as well as the basic technique. Because you're quilting small, individual squares, one at a time, quilting a rag quilt is fast and easy.
Low-loft batting or bust
Your rag quilt needs a low-loft batting. That is, if you choose to use batting at all—some quilters forego the batting in a rag quilt and use heavier fabrics instead.
You could cut up all your family's outgrown denim jeans, for instance, and back them with flannel. This type of rag quilt is heavy enough on its own that it doesn't necessarily need to use a batting.
If you do decide to fill your quilt, however, use a quilt batting that's low-loft, and cut it at least 1 1/2 inches / 4cm smaller than your quilt blocks. You'll have a lot of thicknesses to sew through as you stitch your blocks together. And unless you're a professional with tons of experience, a high-loft batting in this project is only going to make your life miserable.
Find out more about the types of quilt batting available on our post here.
Assembled with love
When it's time to pull your rag quilt together, you’ll experience the satisfaction that comes from making your first, super-easy quilt or coverlet.
Simply assemble all your pre-quilted squares, pin them together two at a time with the raw edges together, and stitch. Your finished seams will face the back; raw seams will face the front.
Wash your creation afterward to start the fraying process. (Frayed rag quilts are happy rag quilts.)
For more detailed instructions on how to assemble and stitch a rag quilt (using fleece in this case), visit FleeceFun.com.
Get started making your own rag quilts
There's hardly an easier quilt out there for beginning quilters to try than the rag quilt. And the more you launder and love this creation, the better it looks. As the edges fray, they create fun and fuzzy borders around each square. There are no fussy points to match up, no intricate sashing to sew. Simply assemble your squares and go. You're going to love the look and feel of your new rag quilt, and so is the loved one who's lucky enough to receive it.
For more on rag quilts, there's a perfect introduction to rag quilting on The Educational Value of Quilting website.
Once you’ve learned about this non-traditional method of quilt-making, though, make sure to come back to Runaway Quilting for all your supplies.
Ready to get started? Runaway Quilting has everything you need
Need quilting supplies or notions to make your rag quilt? You’re in the right place.
If you’ve recently attended a quilting show or seen examples of lovely quilts online, you might be inspired to pick up this creative and useful hobby.
Of course, people make quilts to use as blankets, but quilters also make other useful items and even works of decorative art.
At Runaway Quilting, Canada’s online fabric store, we hope to help people at every stage of their quilting adventure. Most people are surprised when we demonstrate how easy it is to get started as a new quilter.
How to Get Started Quilting in Four Easy Steps
Most quilters end up collecting a lot of quilting supplies and fabric. However, you shouldn't get intimidated by the organized and well-stocked craft room of friends who might have enjoyed this hobby for years. You can simply follow these basic steps to begin producing your own beautiful quilts.
Here's a quick list of some basic things you need to acquire.
The exact supplies that you need might depend upon your project. However, this list of basic supplies describes the things that you’re likely to want or need:
- Self-healing cutting mat: These mats aren't absolutely necessary. You can cut on a table or even the floor. However, most experienced quilters end up buying one eventually, so you might as well save yourself some trouble.
- Transparent ruler: This is one tool that you will probably find indispensable, and you may end up purchasing a few of them in different shapes and sizes as you progress. You might start with a ruler that measures 6" / 15cm by 24" / 60cm and is made out of sturdy acrylic.
- Rotary cutter: This tool saves wear on hands, make more accurate cuts, and speeds up the process. You may want to have an old-fashioned fabric shears on hand too, but you'll probably be happy to rely on a rotary cutter most of the time.
- Seam ripper: Even the most seasoned quilters need to redo seams from time to time. You can expect to use one of these. This tool is safer and quicker to use than scissors.
- Thread: You might as well stock up thread too. You'll probably end up using white thread a lot, but you may want to select thread that matches or contrasts with the fabric you intend to use.
- Fabric: Of course, picking out fabric is the best part of quilting of many quilters. You can find a large selection of different colors, textures, and patterns at an online fabric store like ours.
2. A Sewing Machine
Some quilters enjoy sewing by hand just like their great-grandmothers did. In that case, you might just need needles and a quilter's hoop. However, most contemporary quilters rely upon sewing machines.
The good news is that you don't need a machine with dozens of fancy stitches. Most quilting requires a straight stitch, but a zigzag stitch might come in handy sometimes. If you only intend to use the machine for quilts, you might consider a quality machine with basic functions. If you plan to use your sewing machine for other projects, do some more careful shopping.
3. Some Quilting Lessons
You may already have a few friends who have offered to help you learn to quilt or access to a local class. Great!
If not, don’t worry. These days, you don't even need to leave home to master this craft. You can find countless quilting tutorials online and books in your local library. If you're a visual learner, you may prefer to find some excellent quilting tutorial videos on sites like YouTube.
Remember—if there's a step in a pattern that you aren't sure of, you can certainly find a resource to help you learn what to do.
Once you get the hang of quilting, you might begin to develop your own creative patterns. At first, however, you'll be better off by following other people's well-tested instructions.
Of course, you can find premium patterns in an online fabric store like Runaway Quilting.
As a beginner, start with a pattern that's marked as quick and easy. You'll enjoy the sense of satisfaction you get from finishing your first project, and be ready to move on to more complex projects in no time at all.
Get Started With Your Quilting Hobby Today
You can produce beautiful quilts without making a large investment. Even a sewing machine won’t cost too much if you stick with a fairly basic one.
Looking for help? As Canada's online fabric store, we love to help introduce new people to this popular hobby at Runaway Quilting. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, ask us!