I’ve been having a running email conversation with another quilter for the last two days. She started off by asking me how many blocks she would need for a queen size quilt. I replied that I needed to know what size blocks and we’ve been going on ever since. I decided that maybe I should share some of our conversation here, because it might be helpful to others too.
Before you know how many blocks you need you need to know what what size bed you will be putting the quilt on, and how much of it you want covered by this quilt. Do you want to tuck it under the pillows? Do you want it hanging on the floor? Do you just want it to cover the top of your bed?
How big will be blocks be finished, in the quilt? Are you planning on adding any borders, and if yes, how many? Do you want to have sashing between the blocks, and if yes, how wide? Would you like to make a block border, or block sashing? How did you visualize this quilt after you are all done with it?
Standard mattress sizes are - crib 27 X 52, youth 33 X 66, twin 39 X 74, full 54 X 74, queen 60 X 80 and king 78 X 80. This is what size the top of the mattress measures, period!
A comforter usually covers the top, sides and foot of the mattress. You use it with a dust ruffle to pretty up your bed. Sizes for those are - twin 66 X 86, full 76 X 86, queen 86 X 88 and king 102 X 88.
Bedspreads usually fall almost to or all the way to the floor and allow for a pillow tuck. Measurements for those are - twin 80 X 108, full 96 X 108, queen 102 X 118 and king 120 X 118. However, how many pillow that allows for, or what thickness, I can't say. To be safe, you probably should get out the old tape measure and see what measurements you come up with yourself.
Another thing you really need to remember, your quilt top will shrink when it is quilted! Don’t lay the top on your bed and stop sewing because it fits, ask me how I know. I learned that lesson the hard way. If the top just fits perfectly, the quilt will be slightly smaller.