What Size Is The Quilt? - Part 1!
I find it interesting when quilters call or email requesting the price for longarming a quilt. Upon further questioning it often turns out that the quilter has no idea what size their quilt is.
They usually depend upon the quilt size as printed on the pattern, but this is usually wrong. There are two major reasons for that lack of information. They will be discussed in this and a following email.
When The Quilt Size Is Unknown
As it turns out, most of those who know their quilt size in the aforementioned group are incorrect, because they are using the size of the quilt listed on their pattern and not the actual size of their finished quilt. Most would expect that those two measurement would be the same. However, they are usually different, and sometimes quite different.
That seems to be preposterous at first glance. But, there are two main reasons that the sizes differ:
- Variations in seam allowances; and,
- Modifications made "on the fly" by the quilter.
Variations In Seam Allowances
Forever In Stitches has stitched 10,000 quilts for customers. "Quarter inch seams" range from 1/2" to none [a hole with no seam]. In other words, some people don't care about the size of a quarter inch seam. No wonder the quilts come out being a different size than the pattern shows.
Additionally, when we had our training center I was surprised that people would lug in their own sewing machines instead of using ours. I quickly found out that different sewing machines have different 1/4" feet and that aligning stitches can be different from machine to machine.
It might sound silly to complain about seam allowances, but when you consider the number of seams in a quilt, it adds up. For example if a seam is sewn at 3/8" [or 1/8" larger than normal] and there are sixteen seams from side to side then we have a 2" difference! [16 seams x 1/8" per seam = 16/8" = 2"]