Monday, September 16, 2013

Super-Size It! (a tutorial on how to super-size your own quilt)

One great way to make a quilt faster is to increase the size of the individual components.  For example, instead of sewing 2.5 inch squares together, why not sew 5 inch or even 10 inch squares together?  An added bonus?  A quilt made with larger blocks can be quite striking.

The jumbo granny square quilt above was made from 5 inch squares instead of the standard 2.5 inch pieces and measures about 36 x 36 inches.

Cross and Crown - For Sale at Terrain
This amazing quilt measures 62 x 64 inches!  I would love to have something like that on my bed!  It is simply one quilt block that has been super-sized.

Here are a few great super-sized quilt tutorials I have seen out there:
Giant Vintage Star Tutorial
Monster Sized Hexagon Quilt Tutorial
Super Sized Shoo-Fly Quilt Tutorial
Jumbo Tumbler Quilt Tutorial

But say you have a favorite block that you want to super size?  Here is how you do it:

  1. Decide what block you want to super-size
  2. Decide how large you want your quilt to be (be flexible)
  3. Decide how many blocks you want in the finished quilt.  Do you want one huge block?  Four giant blocks or a 2 x 3 layout of 6 blocks?
Say you have a 12 inch block you want to super-size and you want a quilt that is about 74 inches square and you want to make it out of 4 blocks.  That would mean that each block would have to be about 37 inches square.  37 is an awkward number, so lets round down to 36 inches and be content with a 72 inch quilt.

Thankfully, 12 goes into 36 three times.  Our super-sized block is three times larger than the original block.

But how large to cut your pieces?  Can you just multiply everything by 3?  Not quite.  
  1. First, subtract off the seam allowances 
  2. Then multiply by three (or how ever many you need to) and 
  3. Add back on the seam allowances
Square and rectangular pieces will have a seam allowance of .5 inches (.25 for each side) that needs to be subtracted off.

Half square triangles need to have 7/8ths of an inch subtracted off.

So...take each pattern piece, subtract off the seam allowance, multiply by 3 then add the seam allowance back on and complete the block as the pattern instructs.

Need the quilt to be a bit bigger?  You could add some sashing between the block or add a border.

So easy, so fast and so striking!  
A win-win!  
Have you ever super-sized a quilt?


  1. Great post. I really love to super size and have a tutorial in mind to share. Meanwhile, I shared your post on my AQT fb page and will link to your post at some point. I think super-sizing is such a great alternative! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for this! I have been wanting to do a japanese x quilt but have been stifled by anxiety for how much time it would take(impatience)! I think a 4 big blocks or even one humongous block would look great! Hmmmm, time to do some math!