Lap quilts are probably the most underappreciated quilts in the quilt sizing chart.
They aren’t quite as small as a baby quilt but also aren’t quite as large as a throw.
So what exactly is a “lap quilt”?
That is precisely what we are going to discuss today.
I’ll go over the different uses of the lap quilt and then show you some gorgeous patterns to inspire you to create your own.
What Are Lap Quilts?
This may surprise you but, a lap quilt is…a quilt for your lap! Crazy, right? Jokes aside, lap quilts can supply such warmth and comfort to those who need it most.
You can make one to fit perfectly on a wheelchair or recliner to keep a loved one’s legs warm or to keep them warm while they sit through different treatments in the hospital.
Some may use “lap” and “throw” interchangeably, but I would define lap quilts as a bit more narrow than throw quilts (around 40”-45”) and not quite as long (around 50”-60”.) They cover the lap and legs of the recipient who may need a little extra warmth and comfort.
I’ve made a few lap quilts over the years, and they are cherished and loved by those who use them.
15 Gorgeous Lap Quilt Patterns to Try
Now that we know a bit more about lap quilts, let’s look at some easy lap quilt patterns, shall we? I’ve also gathered up several free lap quilt patterns for beginners, so if you have never made a quilt before or are still a beginner, these free lap quilt patterns will be perfect for you.
Here is a fantastic example of a beginner lap quilt — and the best part? It’s free! This pattern allows the selected fabrics to shine and has a straightforward layout, perfect for your first quilt or if you need to make a lap quilt in a hurry. The finished size is 40”x52”.
Another free pattern, the Four Patch Spin is a modern classic. This pattern will show you how to construct a 40”x56” quilt. Similar to the Brick pattern, this design shows off the beautiful fabrics you have chosen.
This pattern offers three different sizes: baby, lap, and twin. I would suggest making the baby size (54”x54”) for a lap quilt. The dimensions for the “lap” size are probably too large for a wheelchair at 60”x70”.
Check out those gorgeous curves! The designer of this pattern wrote it to show you how to create this quilt top using the quilt-as-you-go method. The pattern offers five different sizes, including a lap quilt size.
Trip Around the World is another beginner-friendly pattern using the same size square for the entire quilt top. The finished quilt will measure 42”x50”.
Wow, this pattern is jaw-droppingly beautiful! The designer has written the pattern to offer six different sizes, including lap and throw-sized quilts. They give detailed instructions and illustrations to help you create this quilt.
This fun yet simple design is a beautiful option for beginners. The final quilt size will be 50”x60” if you follow this free pattern precisely. It may be a smidge too large for a lap quilt, but you can easily leave out one column from the pattern to make a more narrow lap quilt.
This sweet pattern comes in 3 different sizes: baby, lap, and bed. The lap size will measure 44 ½”x56 ½”. The pattern designer made sure to create this design with beginner quilters in mind. She gives detailed instructions and fabric suggestions using precut fabrics.
This modern quilt pattern will make a gorgeous and cherished lap quilt. There are five size options in this pattern, and I suggest using the crib size (44”x62”) for a lap quilt.
A beautiful modern take on a star quilt, this pattern is sure to “wow” everyone that sees it. The finished quilt will be a 53” square. It may be too large for a wheelchair but perfect for snuggling under in a chair or couch.
This pattern may look more complicated than others, but it only used two different blocks to create this unique design. The pattern provides detailed instructions on how to make this quilt top from start to finish. Quilt size: 40”x56”.
This pattern uses simple blocks to make this eye-catching moth. The final quilt measures 52”x52”. Using your creativity, choose colors that will make your moth pop! This pattern suits a child or adult.
For all those true animal lovers out there, the Wonderful Woodland pattern is sure to excite adults and children alike. This pattern shows you how to construct this lovely quilt top which measures 44”x60”.
Modern and striking, the Wild Blossoms pattern is a wonderful option if you or your loved one wants something less traditional. This pattern gives instructions for you to create a 45”x48” quilt top and also has instructions for twin and queen size options.
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Gingham is a timeless design, and what better way to celebrate it than through a quilt? This pattern is technically a “baby quilt pattern,” but the dimensions (40 ½”x50 ½”) are an ideal size for a lap quilt. This gingham quilt pattern is a free downloadable PDF.
Weren’t these patterns fun? I love the idea and the act of creating something special for someone, especially when it may be for a period in their life that they need that extra comfort and love.
Lap quilts are wonderfully versatile projects that the recipient can cherish for years. I hope this list has given you some great ideas for your own lap quilt projects. Quilts truly are the perfect representation of the gift of love.
About the author: Miriam Ronne is a lover of all things quilting and sewing. She is a self-taught quilter and is constantly learning and broadening her skill set to create one-of-a-kind quilts! When she's not behind her sewing machine you can find her playing with her fur babies or trying her hand at other crafty things.