Ice Cream Soda Quilt - Small vs Large Version

The new, upsized Ice Cream Soda quilt is now in store! Wondering which size is the best fit for you? I've made this handy comparison guide to help you decide!

basting Ice Cream Soda quilt

Choosing Your Ice Cream Soda Quilt Size

Having options can be a real blessing. We get to choose which quilt we'd prefer to make, which suits our purpose better (lap quilt or twin?), and which block will look better with our fabric. 


I'm also the first to admit though, that sometimes having choices stops me from choosing at all! Did you know that studies show that the more options we have, the less happy we are with any of them? We become more concerned that we might not be making the right choice, and we're less certain when we finally make it. 


Well, the last thing I want to do is add to the burden of the thousands of decisions you need to make on any given day! Let me take some of the uncertainty out of it and lay your options out clearly below. 


And keep in mind, both Ice Cream Soda quilts are beautiful, both are fun, both make lovely use of your treasured fabric!

small Ice Cream Soda quilt details
large Ice Cream Soda quilt details

Choosing the Purpose of Your Ice Cream Soda Quilt

At 58" square, the small Ice Cream Soda Quilt makes a lovely lap quilt. Whereas the large version, if you add the border, makes a great single bed (twin) quilt. 


If you're just making for fun and colour, the finished size may not matter, but if you'd like your quilt to finish on a bed, choose the large version. 

both sizes of Ice Cream Soda basted

Choosing Fabric for Your Ice Cream Soda Quilt

In the small version: The small Ice Cream Soda Quilt block is perfect for using up scraps and 2 ½" strips. The small pieces work great with small florals and basics, and suit fussy cutting if you're going to use bigger prints. (Note! If you want to fussy cut, you'll need to make sure you have (6) repeats of the print for the whole block.)


In the large version: The stand out difference with the large Ice Cream Soda Quilt is the crowns. They're big! They give you the option of using bigger prints without fussy cutting as it doesn't look as messy. I managed to cut the crowns for one of my pink blocks (pictured below) with a fat 16th, but it took some wrangling! That makes this size better suited to fat quarters from your stash or new fabric. You won't need the whole piece for a block, but it will give you options for where to cut from the fabric. 


In the photo above, I used the same print (in different colour ways) for each shape from Anna Maria Horner's Our Fair Home collection. I hope it helps you get a sense of the size difference!


For additional help with choosing fabric for EPP, I've written a blog post all about it here.

how to cut Ice Cream Soda pieces from strips
large block Ice Cream Soda Quilt

How long will each Ice Cream Soda quilt take?

I didn't experience a noticeable difference in stitching time while making the parts of my Ice Cream Soda quilts. For both sizes, AFTER basting the shapes, the blocks took me around 1 - 1 ½ hours to stitch. For both sizes, the rows took around 1 ½ - 2 hours to sew to each other. 


Note! These times are usually measured when I'm focused. They don't include interruptions, watching TV, or taking breaks! 


The difference comes with the number of blocks and rows. 

  • In the small quilt, there are 68 blocks, 8 half blocks, and 9 rows
  • In the large quilt, there are 46 blocks, 6 half blocks, and 7 rows. 

So while the larger block version finishes at a bigger overall size, it can end up slightly quicker to sew. The blocks are bigger and have longer seams, but they take up more room in the quilt. Also, the rows are longer, but there's less adjusting the pieces to sew around corners, and less rows altogether.


The way you approach your fabric choices will have a much bigger impact on how long your quilt takes. And don't forget, it's not a race! You're allowed to take a few years to make a quilt you'll treasure forever. 

Ice Cream Soda paper comparison

Small vs Large - How It Feels to Sew Ice Cream Soda Quilt

How a quilt feels in my hands is usually a big deciding factor for me. After all, that's going to be a large part of my experience! I have small hands and I always find working with small pieces and blocks easier than larger pieces. 


In the photo below, I'm holding a small Ice Cream Soda Quilt block as I would if I were about to sew from the corner of the pink and yellow seam near my finger tip. This is the position I find comfortable when sewing the outer round, and the bock fits neatly in the crevice of my hand. A 7" block suits me perfectly! With the larger block, I had to swivel and wrangle a little more. 


Other people make choices based on size due to their preferences with basting. Larger pieces are much easier to glue baste. Smaller pieces are much easier to thread baste. 

how to sew Ice Cream Soda

The Overall Effect

The final thing to weigh up is the overall effect of the pattern in big and small. The small Ice Cream Soda Quilt has more blocks because it fits more of the pattern in a similar space. In many cases, I prefer the look of the finished quilt when there are more, smaller blocks in it because I like the movement created by the greater variation in print and value. But, if you find yourself drawn to quilts with big, dramatic blocks, choose the larger.


One last thing to weigh up - the small Ice Cream Soda Quilt is square, so either way can be up! With the large version, I've finished it in a rectangular shape, which makes the ‘top’ set for you. It should be noted though, that when you're snuggling a quilt, you generally don't care which way is up!


Here's a comparison of the layouts below. Note, they aren't to scale here. The large block version finishes bigger. This is just to give you a sense of the overall pattern.

small Ice Cream Soda quilt mockup
large Ice Cream Soda quilt mockup

Make your Ice Cream Soda Quilt decision with confidence!

I hope that helps you make a confident decision about which Ice Cream Soda Quilt to make. If you're still uncertain, use the coin toss trick! Toss a coin and let it choose. If you're happy with the outcome, go with that. If you're not, you'll know that you were actually leaning more towards the other in the first place. ;D


And remember that no matter which size you choose, Ice Cream Soda Quilt is for slowing down, tuning into the colours and prints you're using, and carving out space for more joy and creative time.  


Hit the button below to buy everything you need for your Ice Cream Soda quilt now!


5 comments


  • Tales of Cloth

    Hi Kim,

    You should have received the updated version of the pattern automatically, but if you haven’t contact us and we’ll get it to you.


  • Tales of Cloth

    Hi Kate,

    Great question! The version being pin basted in the photo is the original, smaller version of the Ice Cream Soda. Hope that helps!


  • Kim

    I have the pattern already from the smaller size. Would I need another pattern for the large version? It seems like I should be ok using the pattern I have as a guide but I want to be sure. Thanks!


  • Kate

    Which size block—7” or 10” —was used to make the quilt being pin basted in the photo of the finished quilt top above?


  • michele

    Your comparison with photos of the paper pieces and the two finished blocks from the same fabric designs really helped me see the difference. I would not have thought there would have been that much difference between the small and the large but there really is. I feel like Goldilocks visiting the Three Bears and now I’m wondering if you will come out with a medium size (just kidding!)


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