The Free Motion Quilting Project: The King Sized Fiasco

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The King Sized Fiasco

I'll admit to many personal weaknesses (pretty fabric, bright colors, shiny thread - all typical quilter obsessions), but one of the worst that gets me into WAY too much trouble is my love for furniture.

And it's not any old furniture, it's gorgeous antiques and second hand finds. Finding a good deal on an awesome piece just makes me happy, happy, happy.

Recently I stopped into my favorite consignment store in Shelby, Ditto Consignment, and happened to glance at a bed frame just as I was walking out of the store.

The beautiful turned posts caught my eye and I couldn't stop thinking about it. The store owner said it was a Queen sized bed, which is what I've been wanting for awhile.

So I slept on it, went back the next day and checked out the price tag. Definite bargain! Sold!

Coming home, I convinced Josh it was a great buy, that we definitely needed a new bed, and that it was absolutely something I couldn't live without.

So this morning we're suitably excited as the bed is delivered. We collapse our old bed and move the new frame in the room.

Already we're seeing a few problems. Our master bedroom is fairly small and we have to move virtually all of our furniture out to fit the new bed frame in. But I don't start thinking anything is weird...yet...

Off we pop to drop James off a preschool and commence mattress shopping. Immediately we find a great, soft, comfortable mattress, order one in Queen size and schedule to have it delivered as soon as possible.

Less than an hour later, two guys show up and bring in the box springs. That's when we get the very unwelcome news:

This absolutely awesome bargain bed that I definitely can't live without is not, in fact, a queen.

It is a KING! Dum....Dum...Dummmmmm!

So what is the point of sharing this entire weird story with all of you?

Well, so far I've made a whole lot of baby quilts, a handful of full sized quilts, and one queen.

I have never, ever even considered tackling the monster that is a King Sized Quilt.

But repeatedly I've said that this IS POSSIBLE even on a domestic sewing machine. I truly believe this, even though I've never actually done it.

It looks like I'll finally have to test that King sized statement in real life!

Wish me luck! This experience has definitely taught me to carry a tape measure and never buy on impulse.

But really, this surprise could have been much worse and much more expensive, and it's been loads of fun dealing with all the resultant complications.

So I'm off to start planning my very first King sized quilt.

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day

P.S - To everyone wondering about the mattress switch out, we were lucky enough to have picked an awesome furniture store with terrific customer service.

They very quickly swapped out the Queen for a King and in less than an hour had the correct mattresses back and all I had to do was pay the balance.

The store was Cummings Furniture, and we will definitely be buying from them again!


  1. FEAR NOT. You have much more experience quilting than I do, and I did a king-sized quilt for my parents on my regular old Singer domestic machine. It was a lot of shoving and mashing, but I did it.

  2. You most certainly CAN quilt a king sized quilt. I quilted one while 8mos pregnant with my 3rd and largest baby.....

    and all on an OLD OLD OLD domestic sewing machine

    (I just quilted small sections at a time)

  3. Well at least you have a beautiful bed that you can pass along to your children! I take it the mattress people took the mattress back and replaced it with a king? Have fun coming up with a design!

  4. It *can* be done. See the king-sized quilt I did in this post. And here is a tutorial on how I did it. BTW, I have and older Bernina 1080.

  5. Well its a TOTALLY GORGEOUS bed, so any problems with the King sized quilt should be worth it! The bed and quilt together will be a whopping heirloom!

  6. It's a beautiful bed-you might need a BIGGER bedroom and then a longarm to quilt the king-sized quilt!!!Sounds like something I would do!!LOL

  7. Leah, you do realise that you will be rolling around trying to find each other in such a large bed!!!!!
    It all adds to the fun.
    Happy quilting.


  8. Yes you can do a king-sized quilt on a home machine! I've done many - most on a Singer 301. I don't bother with the meticulous rolling up of the sides of the quilt or anything, and I don't use clips or rubber bands. I just bunch it all up and it works just fine. :)
    Good luck!

  9. Yes you can! I've done many on my grandmother's Singer 301. I don't use any of those clips or rolling techniques, I just bunch it up and start sewing.
    Having a flush sewing surface is the most important thing (a cabinet or a hole in an old table).
    Good luck!

  10. My first quilt was made for a king sized bed on a 1919 Domestic treadle; I didn't machine quilt it, I tied it.

    It was not a very good quilt. It had several weights of fabrics, from voile to duck, and the backing was a king size blanket.

  11. Just give yourself...rather your shoulders...lots of breaks while you work on a king size quilt! It took me two years to piece and quilt my king size log cabin (1-1/4 inch strips...what was I thinking!)

  12. It's a beautiful bed, and it's true you can barely find each other in a king size bed. Good luck on the quilt. I find that even the piecing is a pain.

  13. It's easy to do a king sized quilt on a home machine if you plan it using a quilt-as-you-go. For a top that doesn't lend itself to being pieced together in sections, just cut the batt up in thirds. Quilt the center, attach the side, quilt that, attach the other side, quilt that.

    While you can do the king sized quilt, I find anything larger than a full sized EXHAUSTING, so either break it up to only an hour a day or cut the batt up.

  14. Leah, this is a gorgeous bed. Here's a thought. Until you get that king size quilt done you could use a pretty Matelassé bedspread and lay your quilts across the foot of the bed. No regrets. :-D

  15. Kim actually has a great idea. I have found that quilts sometimes look better when you display them on a neutral background.. You don't HAVE to make a King sized quilt. Just make a bed topper to lay over the end of your bed! Can't wait to see what you decide to do . I also think Stephanies ideas is great. Marty Mitchell has a great book on alternative ways to quilt huge quilts.

  16. YES you CAN quilt a kingsize on your machine--I have a PQ1500s (which is just the same size as your Juki) & I have quilted 3 kingsize on it, I just finished a BIG kingsize 2 days ago---although it did take awhile to get it done, as you have said--push & squish it'll fit.
    Good luck & thats a really BEAUTIFU bed.

  17. You may want to consider Marti Michell'S Book on Machine Quilting In Sections

  18. The bed is absolutely beautiful. I hope you think it is worth what you went through to get it and get it set up.
    I am sure a king size quilt will be no problem for you to quilt.

  19. LOL! So funny! The exact same thing happened to me..only Mine was a four poster in iron and oak, we thought it was a double...but turned out to be a queen! Had to have it though (I am sure you know that feeling)
    Good luck with your beautiful new bed!

  20. Good luck! I quilted (admittedly very simply, it was a while ago) a king size quilt on my standard domestic Pfaff without trouble, as well as several queens. And I've just completed quiltng a queen size quilt on my larger (10in but still domestic Pfaff) - it was an absolute breeze. But what I really want to know is - were you aboe to exchange your mattress for a king-size one???

  21. It is a gorgeous bed. Don't forget to make a canopy too. :)

  22. You will sleep on this like you never slept before - because there is no awareness of the movement from your hubby... I love my king bed, but like you, I'm not looking forward to making a king quilt -- and I have a longarm!

  23. It's been said 22 times already, but I'm saying it again. A king Quilt on a standard sewing machine is possible.

    Brace yourself for a horror, I made and quilted a king on a standard sewing machine with a 6 1/2" throat!!! No kidding. Joy of joys that's the backup machine now.

    And your new bed is a real BEAUTY!

  24. It's absolutely GORGEOUS! No wonder you had to have it! The quilt cannot help but make itself!

  25. Not a problem. King sized is all I make! It's all about pooling the fabric around the needle area. I don't roll my quilts as some people suggest. I find that's more trouble than it's worth under the arm. I just pool and it works fine. Definitely post a picture once you complete one. And don't fear - it's not that difficult and an expert like you.

  26. I have done the king size quilt alkso n a domestic machine. But I find doing the quilt in sections and sewing the sections together like Marti Michell does is a better option. Her book "Machine Quilting in Sections" shows how to do it with little or no pain involved. Chris

  27. i am thinking of doing the same thing...because ive had a king and will the bed!

  28. O my; what a story! But you can do it. If I can quilt a king sized quilt on my home machine, I KNOW you can--you are WAY better than me!!! We'll be waiting for updates to this story, of course...

  29. Yep you can do it!
    Don't try any fancy tricks like rolling it up either. Just scrunch and shove.
    I did a few in my DSM days before the longarm and they are certainly do-able.
    The biggest one was (115x120") almost entirely mini stippled, took over 3500M of thread just to quilt it and I was 6 months preggers at the time.
    Don't let anyone tell ya it can't be done!


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