This quilt started as a dare between Jason and I. It went a little something like this:
Jason: Do people even make quilts bigger than a throw size anymore?
Me: Yes! People do it all the time!
Jason: But you’ve never made one.
Me: Challenge Accepted.
I chose to go with Lo & Behold Stitchery’s Celtic Crossing pattern, it is one I’ve used time and time again and love for its simplicity and ease. Although written as an ombre pattern, I chose to keep my fabrics random. I tried an ombre layout and felt that for a bed, an ombre gradient wouldn’t look as pleasing as a randomized arrangement. All fabrics were pulled from stash and were a motley collection of vintage, garage sale finds, solids, chambray, and modern.
The pattern isn’t written for any sizes bigger than throw, but it is super simple to scale it up by simply making more blocks. Since I pulled from stash and went scrappy, I didn’t worry too much about fabric requirements. For example, I think there’s only one dark blue floral block in here and about 5 of the Dear Stella hearts, but that’s what makes it unique and fun!
My finished quilt had 41 solid blocks with 9-patch blocks in-between them. The rows alternate between 5 solid blocks and 4 solid blocks for a total of 9 rows. When cutting my fabrics, I cut (4) small squares for the 9-patch blocks for each large square (aka solid block) I cut. I spread my cut squares down on the floor and decided on a layout, then sewed the 9-patches together. I added an additional 3″ (finished) border all the way around the quilt. I think without the added border, the quilt wouldn’t have been long enough for a bed.
I backed it in a duvet cover from Ikea, which is a super soft woven. I talk all about backing quilts with sheets here. The huge benefit for this quilt was not having to piece a back! Huzzah!
To be honest, I’ve had the top done forever, and I procrastinated on basting and quilting it because I had never quilted anything this big before. I originally thought about machine quilting it, just to finish it and get it out of my sewing room, but deep down I knew that this rustic color palette was going to shine with simple hand-quilting. I’m also in a season of life when I’m forcing myself to slow down and enjoy the process, and hand-quilting ticked all of those boxes. Find tips for hand quilting here.
My quilt clocks in at 93″ square and is a perfect fit on this double bed. In honesty, its a TAD long on the sides for a double bed, but I love that it provides more quilt to snuggle with when actually sleeping. I also recently brought it over to my mom’s house and tried it on her queen bed, and it looked to be about the right size. (Side note, she then tried to convince me to leave the quilt there with her. Ha!)
When it was time for binding, I pulled out an assortment of blues and my favorite binding-picker, Jason. I also had my bin of solids, which I was rifling though. He pointed to a fabric in the bin and said “that one.” (Kona Cedar). I was skeptical at first, I was planning on a mellow blue! But his arguments in favor won me over and honestly it was the perfect choice.
Of course, in true Eliane fashion, I ran out of binding 2″ from the edge. I didn’t really feel like cutting an entire other strip of Kona Cedar, and I have this thing about having binding seams close together. (The “thing” being, I really hate the look and feel). So instead, I used a small piece of the backing fabric to make up the difference. I love the unexpectedness and scrappiness it lends. It is amazing how a small detail can bring so much! I used my favorite big-stitch hand binding method to attach the binding to the back of the quilt.
Honestly, I was really intimidated to make a quilt this size, but it wasn’t as scary as I expected. Sewing the rows together was a bit heavy for my machine but still very doable. If you want to dip your toes into bed-sizes, I recommend starting with a quilt with bigger blocks. Big blocks means less seams, which just makes everything a lot more manageable.
I had also never slept under a quilt until I made this one, and it is admittedly different than the fluffy down duvets I’m used to. But I’ve found that I get better sleep, since the layers breathe much better than its heavy counterparts. This room has become a favorite nap-space for the whole family. (It is our spare bedroom).
Any tips for sewing bed sized quilts? Write them in the comments!