• # Question and Answer Part One

Today, I would like to answer some questions I've received not so long ago.

I have a question. What are the sizes of quilts for a twin, double, queen or king? I am trying to increase the size of a quilt I've started; it is suppose to be 54 inches by 47 inches finished. It is easy to increase the size and I want to make it to fit a double bed. Jackie.
The size of a bed quilt depends on two things: the size of the mattress and the way you are planning to use it. I'll go over the mattress sizes in a bit. Right now, I want to stress the second bit.

When deciding on how you are going to use the quilt, there are generally three possibilities to consider. Your quilt can either just cover the top of the bed, cover the mattress and hang on the sides, or cover both the matters and the pillows.

Now let's look at the standard mattress sizes.

Twin: 39" x 75"
Double: 54" x 75"
Queen: 60" x 80"
King: 78" x 80"

If you want your quilt to hang on the sides and cover the mattress then make sure to measure the height of your mattress and account for it in your calculations. Standard mattresses are about 10" thick. But to be on the safe side, you really should measure it.

Also, don't forget to add about 5% to the specified length of the quilt to account for future shrinkage.

There are no standard metrics for bed quilts, so I'll just quote the numbers I've come across as a reference for comforters.

Twin: 63" x 87"
Double: 78" x 87"
Queen: 84" x 92"
King: 100" x 92"

How do you prevent the curve when strips are cut from fabric? Nelda.
I received a great tip from one subscriber named Tania that answers this question.

Sometimes even though you think your strip is straight even when cut with a rotary cutter, there is a little "dip" in the center. This comes from the fabric not being folded correctly before cutting. The selvage edges should be aligned so that the fabric hangs straight when held up.

Then, if your mat and ruler are not wide enough to accommodate a 24 inch cut, it should be folded again and should match up to the selvage edge perfectly. You can either press with an iron or finger press. The end of your fabric should be straightened before beginning to cut the strips. Line the ruler up at the edge of the folds and trim away the end of the fabrics.

Do not pick up the fabric as this will cause it to shift and the strips will not come out straight. Turn the mat--fabric and all to the opposite direction and begin cutting strips. This should eliminate the "dip" or "curve." It's time consuming, but time spent here making sure the fabric is folded perfectly straight, straightening the end will result in many more good strips and prevent waste.

 Subscriber comments: You should cut with your rotory cutter one direction and when you make the cut for the opposite side cut the opposite direction. This is suppose to eleminate the curve happening. Wanda
 Subscriber comments: Few tips for you to prevent the curve when strips are cut from fabric. 1-Be sure fabric is folded straight-no "waves" along fold. 2-Use rotary cutting mat on "solid surface" that has no give to it. Do not use "cardtable style" tables as this type tabletop will give. 3-Put nonslip backing on the ruler-either solid or strips to allow "see-thru". 4-Do not cut past the hand that is holding the ruler-keep moving the "holding" hand up as you cut, without picking up the cutter. Scoot the hand up, cut up to it, scoot, cut, etc. Gillmore
 Subscriber comments: When sewing strips together alternate where you start your stitching. Example: row one start stitching from the left side or (right side facing down), row two start your stitching from the right or (right side facing up) By alternating the rows it will minimize any curving caused by pulling the fabric while stitching (some people do have this tendency) The best thing to do is stitch slower and let the machine feed the material, don't pull it through, just guide it with your fingers. Deborah
How does a bolt of fabric become a flat fold? Are the flat folds a cheaper type of fabric? Thanks. Linda.
I believe, fabric that failed quality control at the mill is distributed as flat folds. It is usually cheaper than the fabric of the same kind that has passed all inspections. But it does not mean that such fabric is necessarily bad or unusable for quilting purposes. Just check it thoroughly before you buy to make sure it's good enough for you, and you'll end up with a better deal on pretty much the same fabric.

Could you please address how to use and mark stencils when marking quilt borders. Specifically, how to place them so that the design is spaced evenly and balanced. Thanks for your consideration. Rose.
As far as marking, you can use talcum or chalk powder. I don't have any references that I could include here, but there are chalk bags used for this purpose. I also want to note that it might get dusty, and not all that good for the machine. Some people also talk about using hairspray to do the marking, but I never tried it, so if anyone has, please let me know how it went.

As far as making the marks evenly placed, it really depends on the the shapes you are making (letters or some figures) and on the structure of the stencils (one piece for one shape vs. many shapes inside one piece).

 Subscriber comments: I have found that marking with stencils works well with the ounce on, iron off marking powder. I used it with a class of 20 high school students and they had no trouble with it. Susan
 Subscriber comments: If you find the middle the border and lay the middle of border pattern on this point then you should be able to continue from each side marking your pattern that way. Vickie
 Subscriber comments: I would find the center of one side & the center of the design on the stencil & starting at the center, work out from there. It may not end up the same on the corners, but you can usually 'fudge' them a little. Then do each side like that until you're satisfied. I just mark them with a disappearing marker. It usually stays long enough to sew a side. Sam
 Subscriber comments: Use hairspray on the back of a stencil to help it stay in place while making your marks, or use small pieces of double stick tape. Sonia
Rose (and everyone else reading it), let me know more details on what you are trying to do, and I'll cover using stencils in more detail in the future.