Making a king-size bed quilt presents unique challenges not confronted when making smaller quilts. The good news is that most anyone can make a king-size quilt with a few insider tips that will get them through the difficulties. This guide does not give step-by-step instructions to make a specific quilt, but elaborates on the steps outlined in a quilt pattern.
Pick a Pattern
Find a king-size pattern online, in a quilt book or in a fabric store. King-size quilts can be anywhere from 96 by 110 inches to 120 by 130 inches or larger. A common size is 114 by 114 inches.
If can't find a king-size quilt design you like, you can enlarge the design of a smaller quilt one of two ways. The easiest method of enlarging a quilt is to simply increase the number of blocks and/or widen the borders.
When increasing a quilt without changing the number of blocks, the size of all the pieces must be increased so the blocks are larger and the borders are wider. It is extremely important when you enlarge a pattern piece you subtract the seam allowance, then enlarge the piece and finally add the seam allowance back on. This way, only the piece size is increased, not the seam allowance. For example, to enlarge a two-inch finished square with 1/2-inch seam allowance by 50%: Subtract 1/2-inch from the cut size of the piece (2 1/2" - 1/2" = 2"), then multiply the finished size of the piece by 1.5 (2" x 1.5 = 3"), and then add the 1/2-inch seam allowance to obtain the cutting size of your enlarged piece (3" + 1/2" = 3 1/2").
For the best wearing quilt, buy quality 100% cotton fabrics. So much time and expense go into making a king-size quilt; you don't want it to wad up into a ball the first time you wash it, all because you skimped on the quality of fabric.
Purchase a batting that is six inches wider and six inches longer than the finished quilt top. If your quilt requires a quilt batting larger than is available commercially, sew smaller batting pieces together.
Backings can be purchased up to 108 inches wide. If using a narrower fabric, 44 inches or 60 inches wide, then piece the lengths together using a seam wide enough to enclose the selvage edges (about 3/4 inch) and then press the seam allowance open.
Stitching patchwork pieces into blocks will use the same basic quilting techniques used in making any size quilt. As the quilt top is assembled, it will become heavy and cumbersome to handle. Use caution when moving the quilt top so it does not rip.
Machine quilting a king-size top using a standard sewing machine will be nearly impossible because all the layers will need to be slid under the presser foot and rolled in the free space between the needle and the sewing machine body. If taking your quilt to a professional long-arm quilter, call ahead and make sure they can handle a quilt with the measurements of your quilt.
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