My husband and I bought a new queen sized bed for the downstairs bedroom a week ago. I spread my Batik Flower Garden Quilt out on it and discovered something that I had already suspected. We’re gonna need a bigger quilt top!


The photo above shows what the quilt top looked like at the mattress store just before I headed off to the First Slow Stitching Movement Getaway. Since that shot was taken I have added two more borders of burgundy hexagons. The top was looking as if it had enough overhang when I placed it on my queen sized bed in the upstairs bedroom, Therefore, I was getting ready to move forward with basting. However, on the downstairs bed the quilt top just barely made it to the division between the mattress and the boxspring. Here’s why…



The mattress upstairs is 8 inches thick, and the mattress downstairs is 11 inches thick. Each mattress has a correspondingly thicker or thinner boxspring. So both beds achieve the same height. I have to say that I actually prefer the upstairs configuration better for quilt display. The downstairs configuration is going to require that I add at least three more inches to the the left, right, and bottom sides of the quilt top.

We are talking about quite a bit of extra work, but I intend to do it because I have invested a great deal of time into this quilt already. Plus I will be investing a great deal more before I am done. I am planning to do some rather dense hand quilting to make this quilt into a real showpiece. I want this to be the one that the heirs fight over.

While I am planning to learn how to machine quilt soon on my Janome Skyline S5, I am committed to doing this quilt entirely by hand, all but the application of the binding to the front.

Here I am adding some burgundy hexagons in bed…

Below is a photo showing one of the sides of the quilt top. You can see that the area closest to the edge is nothing but solid burgundy hexagons. That could just as easily have been achieved by cutting widths of solid fabric and sewing them to the top. I think that going to the trouble of adding this width with hexagons adds integrity to the process.

It also makes the final hundred or more hours of stitching into quite a meditative act… nothing to think about here… Just stitching, folks.

This mattress revelation does raise the question of how large one should make a quilt. If you are making a quilt without knowing who it is for you can’t know how thick the mattress will be where it will eventually reside. If you do know who you are making it for you should certainly ask them to measure their mattress and find out whether they require it to cover the gap between the mattress and the boxspring.