Biggest quilt in the world!

As whoever happens to be noticing this blog has noticed, I have been remiss in posting habitually, which is a personal loss since having this record of my quilting life is fun. One reason for that is, I am still working on the same quilt I’ve been working on since last September!

That’s right… the ties quilt. Which I also wrote about here.

One reason is that the quilt was quite large, there were lots of moving parts, and in general it has been a monster to produce. In fact, have been meaning to write a post on what it has meant to stabilize the many different sorts of fabric that makes up ties – and how they must be stabilized in order to do well in quilting – but it’s too daunting and I still have too much to quilt.

By Flying Puffin CC BY-SA 2.0,

 And even before this most recent oversized quilting project, I had spent the previous few months before that finishing the infamous child clothing quilt project, which was huge. Remarkably large for a quilt meant to live in someone’s house and not for a village to live underneath it. I mean, it was REALLY mammoth. As in, REALLY mammoth.

As in, no doubt an actual mammoth could’ve covered himself with this sucker, and there still would’ve been quilt left over.

It set me to thinking: what is the biggest quilt in the world, anyhow?

The obvious response to this question comes to us via the Guinness Book of World Records, which states that the winner spanned over 5 acres and came our way via Portmroe

The world’s largest patchwork quilt measured 25,100 sq. m (270,174 sq.ft) and is called Manta da Cultura (Patchwork for Culture). The project was carried out by Realizar – Eventos Especiais, Lda of Parque da Cidade, Porto, Portugal and completed on 18 June 2000. It measured 200m by 170 m.

I sadly could not find an image to accompany that frightening-sounding quilt, but I found other contenders for hugeness. Here’s one (actually an afghan, from the looks of it) from Japan:

crochet blanket measuring 464 sq. meters created for victims of the
2011 earthquake and tsunami at the initiative of a German knitter has
been recognized as the world’s largest by Guinness World Records.

a bid to provide warmth and comfort to people affected by the natural
disasters in the Tohoku region, Bernd Kestler asked people over the
Internet and by other means in April 2012 to send crochet squares 20 cm
in size. Kestler eventually collected more than 11,000 pieces. (Japan Times)


I also ran into a brave group from Australia which has been striving to bring the largest hexagon quilt into being since approximately 2009 (as of 2015, they are still at it)

Antler, North Dakota held a record for largest historical quilt in 1988. The poor dear thing apparently has no home. It was unclear to me whether they still hold the record, but I found the photo fetching enough to post it here:

Leona explains that the quilt was stitched together in 1988 as a private project to celebrate North Dakota’s 100th anniversary of statehood. We take a walk out to the garage to see it. The randomly-folded, tightly-packed mass fills Leona’s extended Econoline van to the roof — a shapeless, tussocky 800 lb. blob resembling a giant wad of used gum. There is barely enough room inside for a driver and Leona is loath to open the van’s rear doors, knowing from experience that she may not be able to close them again. But we offer to help repack the quilt, and thus are allowed to touch North Dakota’s best-kept tourism secret. It is a bittersweet victory.
The quilt covers 11,390 square feet, a faithful reproduction of the state of North Dakota with every county a different color. Volunteers from 53 North Dakota counties helped stitch the quilt. It was the largest in the world until the AIDS quilt came along; now it’s known as the world’s largest historical quilt. But that doesn’t detract from its largeness, even in a state where vast expanses are taken for granted. Why then, with so much empty space available, doesn’t North Dakota display it?
North Dakota’s official position, as told to us by a North Dakota official, is as woodenheaded as it is contrite: “She should’ve asked us before she made it that big.”

– See more at:

Speaking of the AIDS quilt, a memorial to oversized fabric art would not be complete without a contemplation of the AIDS quilt:

 The AIDS Memorial Quilt was the first of its kind as a continually growing monument created piecemeal by thousands of individuals, and today it constitutes the largest piece of community folk art in the world.[17] It was seemingly inevitable that The Quilt be followed by a variety of memorials and awareness projects, both AIDS-related and otherwise, that have been inspired by and modeled after The AIDS Memorial Quilt and its caretaker The NAMES Project Foundation. (wikipedia)

There was, of course, the 9/11 Quilt. I wrote about how I contributed a block to this giant project that meant to commemorate the lives lost on that terrible day. But here is more about that project:

 Traditionally, quilting has often been a communal activity, and America’s 9/11 Memorial Quilts Project is no exception; it represents a joining together of people across America from diverse backgrounds for the common purpose of paying tribute to the victims and heroes of 9/11. On September 9, 2006, the Victims’ Quilt was dedicated to the 9/11 families and accepted on their behalf by Bill Doyle, father of victim Joseph Doyle. In turn, Bill Doyle presented the quilt in the name of all 9/11 families to the Memorial Museum. (911

And a few years ago, some folks in Switzerland decided to create the biggest picnic blanket in the world:

The blanket is the vision of brothers Frank and Patrik Riklin, who started collecting reclaimed red-and-white textiles like blankets, curtains, and towels in 2012. The fabrics are sewn into 15-by-15-foot modules which are attached to the larger blanket using velcro. Each summer, the blanket is unpacked from storage and assembled with the help of volunteers.

Aerial photos by Helikopter-Service Triet AG

While researching this article, I did come across the fun and fascinating concept of yarn bombing, and do show here a lovely specimen from Helsinki, Finland:

All of this makes me think I have not yet reached the absolute heights I personally could reach, as a quilter, in terms of sheer size. These previous examples give me much to aspire to.


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