Thoughts On Wall Quilt Sizes

American Quilters Society (AQS) recently issued their new rules, which includes sizes by category, for their 2017 shows.  Regardless of whether they are made for shows, size of quilts meant for display on a wall is an important topic to me.  I would particularly appreciate comments back so we can actually have a dialogue about this.

Why is this important? There are a number of reasons:

  • They have to fit on the wall of people’s homes and businesses if they are ever going to be anything other than a flash in the pan for showing at quilt shows. I want to sell or give away to family and friends many of my quilts after they have been through their show season, so having them sized for people’s homes and businesses is an important issue.
  • I know from my own work that the size is often not a big factor in how difficult, how high the technique, how long a quilt takes to make.  Indeed, some of the smaller ones have been the hardest things I have made.
  • I believe that is true that a large quilt can have a bigger impact when displayed at a show among a lot of other quilts.
  • Larger quilts are more likely to be traditional and are intended to fit on a bed, although show quilts may not be.
  • Many quilters, including myself, have difficulties that make creating a large sized quilt nearly impossible.
  • Some shows do not award Best of Show (BOS) ribbons to “small” wall quilts.  Some of these can be as big as 59 inches in both directions, which is a large size for home displays and still are considered “small”.  In these cases, even if they have special prizes for exceptional small wall sized quilts, the financial awards for AQS, at least, are about half the BOS award.

Oddly AQS has a gap between their miniature quilt, which is 24 inches by 24 inches maximum and their small wall quilt, which is 30 inches by 30 inches.  They don’t have a square inch requirement, so if your quilt is 27″ x 37″, for instance, they cannot be entered in many of their shows despite the fact they are larger by square inches for the small wall quilt.  My Canterbury Knight quilt is 27 x 37 and could never be entered into Paducah, for instance.  Houston IQA is more inclusive.

Sew what do I find the ideal size for me to work in?  I like to make quilts smaller than about 48 x 48 and larger than 30 x 30.  The main reason for that is that my son Ken’s space for photographing my show quilts is 48 x 48, and it’s a really nice size to work in and the AQS 30 x 30 cutoff.  Also, I think it can fit on a normal home wall better than anything bigger.  while I may make a very small quilt, I am not a miniature show quilter.  That is a whole different set of techniques and design and it is not something I wish to get into.

Even for charity quilts a smaller quilt can be good.  I once did a survey for my church to find out what an ideal size would be that would serve as a wheelchair quilt, a crib quilt, or a lap quilt, and found to my surprise that the oft touted 36 inches width is sometimes frustrating to people who find it too narrow.  So after the survey I found that 40 to 45 inches wide and 45 to 50 inches long makes a very appreciated quilt size that can function for wheelchairs, children’s quilts,  and lap quilts.  Here’s my little guide I wrote up for the church, if you are interested.  It has several easy and quick simple patterns and other information:

Quilt Making for OSWLC needlework group

Sew happy everyone.  I would love to hear from you to tell me what your favorite sizes are for quilt making and what you think about sizes for quilts designed for the walls of homes and businesses?

 

A horse for applique and thread painting…and a request for feedback

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Hi everyone.  I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful and full of love and happiness.  For some time I have been working on an idea that I think may be something I could use for sale in my little shop.  In order to test this idea, I am providing a pdf file of a horse applique with instructions for printing it on fabric for use as an applique and the adding of thread work as a present for you.  If you would like to download this and try it for yourself without obligation, be my guest.

It would be great, however, if you would provide me with some feedback on your thoughts about this…how this worked for you and what kind of appliques you would like to see provided in this way, for instance…that would be greatly appreciated.  I am thinking of charging about $3 to 5 per pdf file, which includes the instructions, the schematic, the print file, and a pattern for the thread work as you will see in this pdf.  So here you are…what do you think?  Feedback please even if you don’t actually use it.

Instructions for Use of Downloadable Applique Images with thread objects

Sew happy everyone!

 

A Small Storm at Sea Quilt Pattern

small storm

I have been working on how to produce a pattern for other quilters using Electric Quilt 7.  It isn’t very hard in case you want to do this too.  You make your pattern, then set your printer for the pdf instead of the printer and print it.  Be sure to check the print preview before you do this, because you can’t go back and edit it if something is wrong.

For those of you who are interested I made a small storm-at-sea foundation piecing pattern and stored them as three pdf files you can download from the files below and use if you want.  In the future I plan on making some small wall hanging quilts that I draw myself, so I really wanted to try this out to see if it works for people.  If you print off the foundation pattern onto foundation paper of some sort, be sure to set your printer for actual size rather than fit to page.  This little foundation pattern makes 7 inch blocks when completed.  Then, for the quilt shown, cut four border pieces 4 inches wide x 28.5 for a 3.5 inch border and cut four 4 inch squares for the 3.5 inch corner blocks.  You can always adjust the size by adding more blocks and increasing the borders.

Please refer back to my blog about foundation piecing here for what I have found as important for good success.  I also found that for the 7 inch block, cutting 3 inch strips from which to cut blocks and triangles for the foundation pieces of the four colors helps a lot. The cool thing about foundation piecing is if your 3 inch strip is actually a little uneven or a little bigger or smaller than the three inches it is ok.  You cut them down anyway after stitching.

Storm at sea small quilt

storm at sea small quilt yardage  You probably need a little more yardage than this says you do.  This was figured by EQ7 for precise cutting and piecing, and I use larger pieces for foundation piecing.

7 inch storm at sea foundation piecing

This may seem odd to those of you who know my work as an art quilter but may not have been reading my past blogs.  I am making a new quilt in the “Waiting…” series, which will eventually be mostly a pictorial quilt, but has a big wave made from this traditional storm at sea pattern that merges into a pictorial ocean.  This is from Electric Quilt 7, but I did some adjusting and chose the fabrics for this.  If you have EQ7, you can make your own, but when you print the foundation pattern be sure to move the segments that are divided by the pages onto the second page before printing.  You can do that in print preview.

Sew happy everyone!  Try making at least one storm at sea foundation pieced block.