How Long Does it Take to Make a Quilt? (Hand/Sewing Machine)

Quiltmaking can be incredibly satisfying (not to mention relaxing) but unless you’ve been blessed with the fastest fingers in the west, they can be time-consuming.

Before you begin your first project, it’s a good idea to set your expectations around how long it’s likely to take. Here, we take a look at the average length of time you can expect to devote to your quilt from start to finish.

How long does it take to make a quilt? A baby quilt may take you a mere 12 hours to make from start to finish, while a queen-sized quilt could take as many as 8 weeks or more. A twin-sized quilt could be done in just 2 weeks or less (depending on pattern), while a hand appliqued, king size quilt could take up to a year.

How Long Does it Take to Make a Quilt by Hand?


The length of time it takes to make a quilt by hand really depends on so many factors, it would be impossible to put an exact figure on it. Some people can whip up a quilt faster than they can a casserole, others can expect several months (or even longer) before they see the results of their labor.

If you work full time, have kids and an active social life, you may find it takes you far longer to finish a quilt than it does someone who can dedicate several hours a day to the process.

Size is obviously a huge consideration as well: a baby quilt may take you a mere 12 hours to make from start to finish, while a queen-sized quilt could take as many as 8 weeks or more. A twin-sized quilt could be done in just 2 weeks or less (depending on pattern), while a hand appliqued, king size quilt could take up to a year.

As with all things, patience and perseverance is the key- even if the quilt takes you slightly longer to make than expected, you can be sure the results will be worth it!

How Long Does it Take to Make a Quilt With a Sewing Machine?


Making a quilt with the help of a trusty sewing machine is unquestionably a far quicker process than making one by hand. However, the process can be daunting, and it’s recommended you have several years of sewing under your belt before you even attempt the tricky business of machine quilting.

Again, just how long it will take to quilt with a sewing machine will depend on the quilt pattern in question, your skill level, and the quilting technique you choose to use. Straight line quilting is generally considered the easiest and most consistent form of machine quilting, and, as an added bonus, it’s one of the quickest techniques too.

Time Saving Tips for Machine Quilting

If time is a constraint, there’s a few handy tips and tricks to speed up the process:

  • Keep your machine in good order. It may seem a no-brainer, but if you want to avoid having to waste time re-stitching seams because of a skipping needle, or picking lint from a seam, make sure you give the machine a thorough clean before starting your project.
  • Set out your workspace wisely. Corner off a working triangle, with one area for the machine, another for pressing, and another for work. This will make sure that everything you need is within striking distance.
  • For piecing, use a neutral thread that works on all fabrics. This will save you from having to continuously change thread.

How Long Does it Take to Quilt With a Longarm?

If you have a longarm, you’re in luck. As well as giving you that sense of “ownership’ over a completed quilt, it will also make the process far simpler and, just as importantly, much quicker. Denser designs do, of course, take much longer to complete than a simple open pattern, but there’s an easy way to calculate just how long you can expect a quilt to take:

  • Complete a single repeat of your design. Once you know how long it takes, simply multiply that number by the number of rows in that design you need to complete the quilt.

So, for example, if you’re making a queen size quilt of 100”x100”, and your pantograph is 10 inches tall, you can assume you’ll need 10 rows of your pantograph to complete the quilt. If it takes you 30 minutes to make a single repeat of the design, then multiply that figure by ten to come up with the overall time it will take to sew the quilt.

However, don’t forget that it takes more than simply sewing to finish a quilt. As well as the time actually spent on quilting, allow around 2 hours for “prep” work like:

  • Design planning.
  • Thread trimming.
  • ​Patching and repair.
  • ​Backing and batting preparation.
  • Bobbin winding.

How Long Does it Take to Quilt a Blanket?

How long is a piece of string? Making a quilt that can be used as a blanket requires you follow a specific process, but the variations in design, size, and complexity can turn what might be a 2-day process for some into a three-year adventure for others.

Expect to take around a week for a baby blanket (providing you spend 2-3 hours on it per day) and upwards of several months for a larger one.

How Long Does it Take to Hand Quilt a Queen Size Quilt?


Queen size quilts can be beautiful, but given their size, expect to devote a lot of time to their making. Let’s assume you’re a reasonably proficient quilter, and you’re sticking to a design that’s not overly completed. Presuming you don’t have too many breaks, you can expect to take around 785 hours to complete a queen size quilt from start to finish.

How Long Can a Quilt Last?

As we’ve seen, making a quilt can be a time-consuming business. The good news is that it’s a more than worthwhile endeavor. Not only will you be left with a beautiful quilt at the end of it, but you’ll also have something that will last upwards of 20 years- providing you give it the tender loving care it deserves, of course.

Proper care and storage are vital in maintaining the condition of your quilt. Keep it in pristine condition with these key tips:

  • Never dry clean a quilt as the harsh chemicals can cause damage to the delicate fabric.
  • Avoid excessive cleaning – unless the quilt is particularly grubby, a quick vacuum should be enough to refresh it. Alternatively, you can use the “air fluff” setting on the dryer to give it a good airing.
  • ​Store in a cotton sheet or acid-free tissue paper.
  • Refold often while in storage to prevent permanent creases.

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