August is here—and I’m already ashamed that I haven’t yet started a Christmas Quilt, or my nephew’s quilt for his birthday (in October!). Somehow, these big events that come around every year surprise us. We then find ourselves up until all hours of the night sewing, ripping out, and mumbling a few select words. Then off to the longarmers to beg a rush job on this particular project! I always think that I’m going to be right on schedule with my projects, but then life gets in the way—every time! Today I’d like to share a few tips with you on when to start quilting and sewing projects so that you meet your deadlines!
Unfortunately, I can’t quite answer the question “how long does it take to make a quilt?” That’s like asking me how long a string is. The time it takes to make a quilt totally depends on the pattern you’ve chosen, your skill level, the number of pieces cut, and the size of the quilt. Baby quilts usually only take a few hours, while a king sized quilt with small pieces might take 40-60 hours. It’s really hard to say—always make sure to keep in mind all of these factors before starting your quilt. If you’ve left yourself 2 weeks to get a king sized quilt done for a wedding, maybe opt for a super-modern, large block pattern that will go quickly!
What I can say is that you should always leave ample time for your project to be sewn and longarmed. If you have a longarmer that you use every time, keep note of how long they typically take to quilt your project. I would always suggest to leave yourself 1 month for binding (so that it’s not a hand sewing marathon of thimbles and bleeding fingers), 2-3 months for your longarmer (or the average wait time that you have experienced), and 2-3 months for piecing the top. These generous numbers will ensure that your quilt is finished on time, if not early! So, if your nephew’s birthday is in October, you should be choosing fabrics and a pattern in April or May (not August).
But what about those holiday quilts? When do I start my Christmas quilt or the quilt I’ve had my eye on for Spring? Here’s a helpful guide on when to start seasonal quilts and projects:
I’m sure you’ve noticed that Christmas fabrics seem to make their emergence in late June and July, right? Many fabric designers release their seasonal fabrics about 6 months prior to the season itself, so the schedule above is good for making seasonal and gift projects on time and getting the latest fabrics!
I hope that this schedule will help you accomplish all that you’ve hoped to create this year! Do you have a miracle story about a time when you left your projects until the last minute and pulled it off?! I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!