What is the Size of a Lap Quilt? (Size and Dimensions of a Lap Blanket) Update 05/2022

Consider a lap quilt if you’re seeking for something to snuggle under. Lap quilts are the ideal method to get through the colder months because they are soft, cozy, and fantastic for chilly nights. Best of all, making one requires very little time and only a little know-how.

What Is A Lap Quilt?

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Before we go into the details of how to make a lap quilt, let’s clarify what precisely a lap quilt is.

Simply described, a lap quilt is a quilt made to cover a person’s lap or legs, as the name implies. Lap quilts are often smaller than throw quilts because to the tiny area they are supposed to cover, though the final size and pattern can vary greatly.

The sort of fabric used in a lap quilt, like its size and style, can be… well, pretty much anything. Most quilters prefer washable fabric since it is easier to maintain, but the final decision will be based on the maker’s and receiver’s personal tastes.

How Is A Lap Quilt Made?

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We now have a better understanding of what a lap quilt is and how to make one. The lap quilting method can be defined as the practice of stitching individual blocks together first, before combining the sections to produce a quilt.

The smaller sections are usually held in place with a lap quilling frame (a small, rectangular frame that sits in the lap and holds the quilt tightly in place) or a hoop (similar to a quilting frame in function, but held in the hand and available in a wide range of sizes), though some quilters prefer to simply hold them in their hands as they work on them.

How Big Should A Lap Quilt Be?

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It’s a given that lap quilts are little. It’s not as simple as providing a list of measurements to determine how “petite” someone is.

While a lap quilt is usually smaller than a throw quilt, the final size will depend on the needs of the individual for whom it is meant. Quilts created to rest on someone’s knees while they sit and read, for example, will be smaller and less bulky than quilts designed for wheelchair users (though the quilter in this case should be careful not to make the quilt so enormous that it gets in the way of the wheelchair’s wheels).

Sizes do, can, and will vary; but, a “normal” lap quilt will measure between 36 and 48 inches long on each side.

The Best Lap Quilt Size For Wheelchairs

There are a few things to keep in mind when designing a lap quilt for a wheelchair user. First and foremost, the quilt must be large enough to give warmth. Second, it should be large enough to cover the legs but not so huge that it gets stuck in the chair’s wheels.

Although needs vary, a lap quilt for wheelchair users should be 34 by 44 inches in size.

The Best Lap Quilt Size For Nursing Homes

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If you’re sewing a lap quilt for someone in a nursing home, think about how the quilt will be used and who will use it. If it’s for a wheelchair user, a lap quilt of approximately 34 by 44 inches will suffice. A larger quilt, such as 50-by-60-inch or 60-by-70-inch, may be preferable for usage on a bed.

Consider the needs of the quilt’s intended recipient if you know who it will be. If you’re donating quilts to a nursing home without knowing where they’ll end up, it’s a good idea to chat with the facility first. They should be able to tell you what types of quilts they’re in desperate need of, which you can use to guide your dimensions.

Another important factor to consider when sewing quilts for nursing homes is the batting and fabric you use. Because everything in nursing homes is washed at the same high temperature, choose a washable material that can endure high temperatures.

What Shape Should A Lap Quilt Be?

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We already know that lap quilts come in a variety of sizes, but did you realize that their shape can also vary?

While most people imagine lap quilts as square or rectangular, they can also be round or irregular.

When it comes to lap quilts, there are no hard and fast rules in terms of size, style, shape, or fabric. Everything boils down to the end-requirements user’s and the quilter’s tastes in the end.

What Size Squares Should I Use For A Lap Quilt?

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There are no hard and fast guidelines for determining the size of the squares (also known as blocks) in a lap quilt. Larger squares are usually easier for beginners to deal with (which come with the added satisfaction of growing the quilt that much quicker). Smaller squares, on the other hand, may appeal to more experienced sewers.

Of course, the complexity of the pattern has a role, with some patterns requiring very particular sizes. If you’re sewing without a pattern, a decent rule of thumb is to use 5-by-5-inch squares if you’re a beginner and 3.5-by-3.5-inch squares if you’re an expert.

Top Tip: Whatever size square you choose, cut out a square that is slightly larger than the finished size to allow for a seam allowance. A quarter inch seam allowance on either side is a decent rule of thumb. If you want 5-by-5-inch squares, for example, the squares you cut out should be 5.5-by-5.5-inch.

How Many Squares Do I Need For A Lap Quilt?

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Calculating the number of squares required for a quilt can be difficult. Fortunately, there is a simple computation that will provide you with the exact number you require in a matter of seconds.

Simply divide your quilt dimension by the finished square size to determine how many squares will go into each row. So, if you’re sewing a 65-inch-wide quilt using 4-inch squares, multiply 65 by 4 to get 16.25. Simply round up to the nearest whole number if you end up with an uneven number (as in this case).

Divide that figure by the number of blocks in your columns. To return to our previous example, multiply 12 by 17 to get the total number of blocks required.

If you’d rather have someone else perform the math for you (and who wouldn’t? ), there are plenty of calculators available online that can help. If you’re not sure where to begin, try out some of these useful websites:

http://www.quiltersparadiseesc.com/Calculators.php

https://www.generations-quilt-patterns.com/magic-number.html

https://www.superiorthreads.com/education/homemade-quilt-blocks

https://www.cddesigns.com/PaperPiecing/number.html

How Much Fabric Do I Need For A Lap Quilt?

No one is going to claim that figuring out how much fabric you’ll need to produce a lap quilt is one of the most simple tasks on the planet. Fortunately, this is the last bit of arithmetic you’ll have to do before moving on to the fun stuff.

Step 1

Remove the unusable edge from your fabric’s width measurement.

Step 2

Determine the size of your blocks (remembering to allow an additional quarter inch seam allowance on each side).

Step 3

Subtract the width of your cloth from the cut block size (I, e. the finished block size plus seam allowance).

Step 4

Divide the total number of blocks required by the number of blocks that can fit inside the width of the cloth. If you come up with an odd number, round it up to the next whole number. This will determine how many fabric strips you’ll need.

Step 5

Multiply the number of strips required by the block’s width. The total amount of fabric you’ll need will be the number you come up with.

How To Choose the Right Batting For A Lap Quilt

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Aside from cloth, quilt batting is the most important component of a lap quilt (and the one that determines its thickness and softness). Quilt batting is available in a variety of varieties (more on that later), each with varying levels of breathability, comfort, and warmth.

For those unfamiliar with quilting (and, by extension, the name “batting”), batting is the quilt’s center layer, which, while not visible, determines how the finished quilt will look, feel, and drape.

Half the battle is won if the batting order is correct. If you get it wrong, no matter how beautiful your pattern or how delicate your stitching is, your quilt will never reach its full potential.

It’s good exploring and understanding a little more about the numerous possibilities available before deciding on the best style of battling for your quilt:

Types of Quilt Batting

  • Cotton batting: cotton batting is a good choice if you want a soft texture and optimum comfort. It has excellent breathability thanks to its all-natural fibers and is machine washable, making it one of the most practical quilting fabrics (although do bear in mind that cotton has a tendency to shrink within the quilt, which sometimes results in a slightly crinkly appearance to the finished article).
  • Polyester batting: Polyester batting makes up for its lack of breathability with its other properties. It not only holds its shape well and adds warmth without adding weight, but it also resists mold and mildew. Most polyester battings are 10 oz (1 inch thick), 6 oz (1/2 inch thick), 8 oz (3/4 inch thick), and 4 oz (3/8 inch thick). Polyester is a good choice if you want to use any unique quilting techniques that require a batting that will keep its shape.
  • Wool batting: If you’re looking for an all-natural option that’s lightweight, warm, springy, crease-resistant, and simple to work with, wool batting is the way to go. The average thickness for most varieties is 12″. Wool batting is an excellent choice for quilts that will be folded and stored for an extended period of time since it has no memory: even when tightly wrapped, it will never retain any lines or wrinkles.
  • Cotton/poly blends: Cotton/poly batting is made up of 80% cotton and 20% polyester, making it an excellent choice for those wishing to combine the benefits of cotton batting with the durability and lightness of polyester.
  • Bamboo batting offers outstanding breathability and a soft, lightweight feel thanks to its all-natural combination of 50 percent bamboo and 50 percent cotton. It also has the added benefit of being safe to throw in the washing machine.
  • Bound batting is bonded together on both sides with an adhesive to prevent the batting fibers from “bearding” (or in other words, push through the fabric).
  • Fusible batting is made out of a special form of fusible web that allows you to baste layers together. It’s a popular choice among quilters because it’s simple to use and useful.
  • Needle punch batting: needle punch batting is felted together mechanically with needles to create a dense, solid cloth that makes a sturdy, durable quilt backing due to its better insulating capabilities.

Batting Ratings

It’s worth paying great attention to the sort of batting you use because it will impact the final look and feel of your quilt.

All battings have a rating that tells you how tight you should quilt your lines to keep the batting from slipping around in the quilt. Choose carefully because this will determine how much work you need to put into the quilt.

If you want to make a speedy quilt, choose batting with a high batting grade (which will mean less overall quilting). A lower batting average is also appropriate when creating a labor of love.

Hopefully, today’s post has given you enough inspiration to make your own lap quilt. Please feel free to share this page with any other would-be quilters who could benefit from some helpful hints.

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