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Quilting requires exact plotting to get the perfectly sized project. A proper plan allows you to get all the necessary materials and estimate how long the quilt might take to complete. So how many 5x5 squares are needed to make a quilt? We've done the research and have some great information for you.
For a standard queen-size quilt (84"x92"), you would need about 323 5"x5" squares to create the entire quilt. These measurements wouldn't account for much shrinkage and would give you a 12" drop on a stanvdard queen-sized mattress. The number of 5"x5" square will, of course, vary depending on what size quilt you wish to make.
Now that you have an estimate on how many 5"x5" squares are needed for an average-sized quilt, let's discuss the different sizes of quilts you might wish to make and what can affect the number of squares needed for each. We'll answer some additional questions you might have as well. Keep reading!
Standard quilt sizes
There really are no standard measurements for quilts. One of the great things about quilting is that you can make the piece custom to fit whatever you need. That being said, different types of blankets do come in standard sizes, but they don't have to be exact. We'll go over any standard measurements and advise how many 5"x5" squares are needed for each.
Are you looking for some information on how long it might take to make a quilt? Check out our article about just that!
How to Determine Number of Squares for Quilt Size
Some fancier quilts are made up of different shapes and sizes of blocks and can be trickier to tally the total number of pieces needed. However, a traditional quilt is made up of square, equally-sized blocks. These are the easiest to work with and plan for.
To figure how many squares will be needed, you'll need to know the length and width of each square you're planning on using as well as the desired length and width of the finished quilt. You then divide the length of the blanket by the length of the square. Then divide the width of the blanket by the width of the square. Round up to get whole numbers on each. Then multiply the two quotients together to get the total number of squares needed.
For example: If your squares are 5"x5" and your finished product needs to be 84"x92" inches, you'll want to divide both 84 and 92 by five (84/5 = 16.8 and 92/5 = 18.4). You'll want to round up to the closest whole number, so you have 17 and 19. Then to figure the number of squares needed, you multiply 17 by 19 and get 323!
Different quilt measurements
We all know mattresses come in many different sizes. How big should a quilt be to use on those beds? Let's go over the common sizes and how many 5"x5" squares are needed for each.
Most baby quilts are about 28"x34" or 30"x30" if you'd like to make it perfectly square. For a 28"x34" baby quilt, you'd need about 42, 5"x5" squares to complete the project. For a 30"x30", the project would only require about 36 squares.
A throw blanket looks nice across the back of the sofa and allows you to get nice and cozy while binge-watching your favorite TV show. A standard throw blanket measures at about 50"x60" but can be slightly larger if desired. For a 50"x60" throw blanket, you'd need about 120, 5"x5" squares to complete your quilt.
Measurements for quilts intended for beds can vary greatly depending on the drop length you want around the edges. Not only do you want to consider drop, but also consider whether or not you want to tuck the quilt under the pillows. All these things must be taken into account when measuring.
For a twin bed, 63"x92" is standard if you'd like about a 12" drop. To make a quilt of this size, you'd use about 221 squares measuring 5"x5". If you want to tuck the quilt under the pillows, you have the option to add about 10" to the length, in which case you'd need 273 squares.
The standard size of a blanket to cover a full-sized bed is 78"x87" and up. You'd need a minimum of 288, 5"x5" squares to create this quilt. Plan more squares if you'd like to tuck it under the pillows or want more than a 12" drop off the sides of the mattress.
We've mentioned the standard size for a queen-sized quilt above. The measurement of 84"x92" is excellent for an average-sized quilt. However, if you're placing this on a bed and want to do a pillow tuck, making the quilt 84"x102" allows you to do that. To create that extra length, you'd need a total of 357, 5"x5" squares to finish the project. Both these measurements allow for a 12" drop.
A king-sized quilt with a 12" drop needs to measure about 102"x92", which means a total of 399, 5"x5" squares are necessary to make it. Keep in mind a California King is several inches longer than a standard king-sized bed, so make sure you know which you're dealing with before making the quilt. It never hurts to measure!
Measuring for Shrinkage
Earlier, we mentioned quilt shrinkage. It's important to note if you're making something like a rag quilt, where large, obvious, exposed seams are visible, you'll need to incorporate more squares to account for the extra fabric used in the seams. Additionally, if you have a lot of intricate needlework, this can cause the fabric to shrink in on itself a bit. Because of this, it's always good to plan on some extra squares for these projects.
What size should my quilt squares be?
The size of your quilt squares depends on your project. The larger the squares, the less work it takes to sew the body of the quilt together. Many quilt shops sell packs with pre-cut squares that make it much easier to create your project. These generally come as 10"x10", 5"x5", or 2.5"x2.5". The smaller squares are great for baby quilts or throws, while the larger ones work well for big projects, such as queen or king-sized quilts.
What size quilt does a charm pack make?
Most charm packs come with about 42 pieces. A charm is a 5"x5" square piece of fabric. Using the entire packet could make a nice-sized baby quilt measuring 30"x35".
How many squares in a jelly roll?
A jelly roll, in the quilting world, is a pack of fabric strips. They are 2.5" wide and generally 44" to 45" long. Most jelly rolls come with about 40 strips of fabric. Jelly rolls are a great way of getting a variety of fabrics to use in a quilt and can be sewn together in a variety of ways, either in strips or cut into smaller squares.
What size quilt will two jelly rolls make?
Two jelly rolls can create a quilt that is approximately 64"x88", which would work almost perfectly on a twin-sized bed, leaving a 12" drop.
Knowing how many 5"x5" squares are needed for your project ensures you're not left with an unfinished quilt. Plan for error, shrinkage, or possible mistakes. If you're worried about having too much material, keep in mind you can always save the surplus for your next patchwork quilt. Happy crafting!
Wondering what the best quilting fabric might be? Check out our post about that: 5 Best Quality Quilting Fabrics.