Make a Bed Size Quilt with Christopher Thompson - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Make a Bed Size Quilt with Christopher Thompson

Welcome, once again, to the Quilt Goals 2023 challenge! It’s that time again when we pick up our needles and 2023 quilting dreams. Are you ready?

Hi there, it’s Christopher from The Tattooed Quilter.

We’re nearly four months away from a new year, can you believe it? Before I get wrapped up in the holiday season, I’m taking some time to reflect on my personal, career, and maker goals, including sharing this project I created for the 2023 Quilt Goal Challenge by Fat Quarter Shop.

Mini quilts have been the anchor of The Tattooed Quilter for various reasons. Living in tiny New York City apartments, space is a premium. Mini quilts are made with less fabric and are easy to store away. They also give me the freedom to explore various techniques without a huge commitment. Mini quilts can easily be finished on a weekend, which is great because I’m easily distracted by new patterns and fabric.

The goal was to make a full-size quilt, but I didn’t quite make it – and that’s okay!

I started by building a neutral palette of Confetti Cotton Solids (Riley White, Beach, Licorice) and Natural Linen from Riley Blake Designs. There are many improvisation quilt tutorials across the internet, including strip quilts like this one.

I determined the finished block size and cut the strips in various widths. The goal of improvisation quilts is to throw caution out the door! Nevertheless, I created a repeating pattern for each row.

I listened to podcasts and 90’s dance music while sewing the blocks and quilt top together. It felt good not to worry about perfect quarter-inch seams.

My husband Jack and I shifted the dining room table and chairs into the living room, creating a barrier to keep away our two dogs. Using painter’s tape, we secured the backing to the floor and created the “sandwich” with the batting and quilt top. With spray baste in hand, we successfully secured all three layers. Whew!

Instead of sending this to a professional quilter, I did it myself. I used painter’s tape, a digital walking foot, Aurifil thread, and the built-in serpentine stitch from my sewing machine. Going slowly and using my weak arm muscles, I attacked the quilting (Hot tip: stop after two rows and remove the painter’s tape). Let’s say I need to buy another roll of painter’s tape! You can find my painter’s tape tutorial on Fat Quarter Shop’s YouTube channel.

Additional blocks or borders could easily make this a full-size quilt. I could have pushed myself to add more, but I’ve learned that often ends in frustration and disappointment. A good friend recently shared that you should spend as much time celebrating your accomplishments as you do on negative and destructive feelings.

The journey of making this quilt rekindled my love of improvisation (or improv) quilts. I also enjoyed being pushed out of my comfort zone.

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Each month on the blog a different quilter is sharing part of their journey with us to achieve their quilt goal. Be sure to follow them for inspiration and check back on the blog the 4th Thursday of each month to see their projects and keep up with the fun with #QuiltGoals2023 on Instagram.

February 23: Pat Sloan (@QuilterPatSloan) is sewing Tula Pink’s Butterfly Quilt.
March 23: Melissa Corry (@HappyQuiltingMC) will sew a duffle bag.
April 27: Sherri McConnell (@aQuiltingLife) will make an orange peel project.
May 25: Jemima Flendt (@TiedWithARibbon) plans to teach a friend to quilt.
June 22: Robin Pickens (@RobinPickens) will try her hand at cross stitching.
July 27: Wendy Chow (@the.WeekendQuilter) will make a quilt-as-you-go project.
August 24: Christopher Thompson (@the_tattooed_quilter) will make a bed-sized quilt.
September 28: Shereece Nicole (@SewHookedOnTreasures) has set her sights on a t-shirt quilt.
October 26: I’m going to sew a clamshell quilt!

Are you working on your Quilt Goals this year? How is your progress so far? Leave a comment below and let us know how it’s going. You can also share your updates with #QuiltGoals2023 on Instagram.

Stay connected to Fat Quarter Shop!


  1. I have just made a monochromatic basket weave quilt with an injection of lime figures occasionally. You may have convinced me to again use the serpentine stitch as my quilting. So effective on your quilt. Thank you hugs WAH in Oz.x

  2. I love your bed frame/quilt hanger/clamp system! What a great way to enjoy your quilts! Thanks for reminding me to take my own challenge (which I’ve been avoiding), and get started on the modern quilt my son is waiting for.

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