Tuesday, May 3, 2011

fourth post on designing a quilt

Here is where I went to scribbling, comparing between what EQ6 printed out and my humble math skills. We got about the same answers. They were a little more generous than I was so I used their numbers.

If you enlarge the above photo you will notice I went through and marked where each solid block was in the pen-n-pencil drawing. That helped me keep track of the pattern I wanted to build.

I need 88 4 1/2" solid pink blocks. So how much fabric am I going to need? My finished size of block is 4". I will need to add 1/4" seam allowance on each side, so my block ends up 4 1/2" square. Divide the width of you fabric by 4.5 to get the number of blocks you can get out of a strip. I always use 40" for the width of the fabric because fabric varies from 40 to 45-inches wide. I want to have more than enough fabric in case I change my mind about how I want to use a piece of fabric. (Yes I do that, a lot!) So any way 4.5 divided in to 40 equals 8 and some change. Now divide 8 into 88 and that tells you, you will need 11 strips 4.5-inches deep. Multiply 11 by 4.5 and you have 49.5-inches of fabric. You also need 16 solid pink right triangles. Add 7/8" to the finished block size and that will give you the size of block you will need. In this case a 4 7/8" block will give you 2 right triangles when you cut the block in two. Once again divide 4.875 into 40 which equals 8 and some change. Since each block will give you 2 and I need 16 one strip 4 7/8" wide will do the trick. Add the two quantities together and you have the yardage you need for each fabric you will be using. Or you can buy a special calculator to do the math and I'm sure there is a computer program out there that will do the math also. The All-in-One Quilter's Reference Tool has the charts and explains the 'Magic Cutting Numbers'.

So what did EQ6 and my math skills come up with for fabric requirements?
104 pieces at 1 3/4 yards of pink solid
108 pieces at 1 7/8 yards of pink gingham
58 pieces at 1/8 yard or a fat quarter for the cornerstones (EDIT: Fuzzy math skills at work here, a fat quarter is twice the fabric as an eighth .)
96 pieces of sashing at 1 yard
4 pieces of border one or the most inside at 1/2 yard
4 pieces of border two at 3/4 yard
4 pieces of border three at 1 yard

EQ6 notes the fabric estimates for the borders are for pieced borders. Here another choice! Do you or do you not piece the borders? The answer 'it depends'! Borders that are not pieced look really nice and are easier to hand quilt but you have to buy fabric in the length of the border and understand you will have a big chunk left over. Border #3 needs a piece 90" long or 2 1/2 yards. Then you will cut off two strips 3 1/2" or 4 1/2" wide and then two strips 63" long same width. If you are into stash enhancement no big deal. If you are on a budget could be.

Here are some of the fabrics I picked out to use. This is what looked good to me at the time. As I continue to look at the fabrics and build the quilt I may change my mind as to placement or find something else that inspires me.

I was trying out two different fabrics for the cornerstones. I liked the very dark purple on the left the best. I was looking at the cornerstones and border #1 being the same fabric but I don't have enough of the purple and the black floral is questionable. So I am going to use both.

I am playing with borders and the fabric for the binding.

I will probably go with the lighter green. However I did find a 1/2" pink gingham that I am also contemplating. We'll see, I don't usually look for binding until the whole quilt is put together.

To figure how much binding I will need I measure the perimeter of the quilt and multiply that by the width of the binding and that gives me the square inches of fabric I need. Then I divide that by 40" to give me the length of the fabric I need. This is also helpful when you have scraps and fat quarters, if you know your square inches you need for your binding, you can figure the square inches of the pieces you have and find out if you will have enough fabric. Always add some to your guess estimate of fabric you have for seams.

This is the fabric I cannibalized from Mother's stack of blocks. Did you know that there are at least a half-dozen different shades of pink not to mention sizes of gingham?

I was short solid pink blocks in the color I wanted to use. So I went through the solid pink I have from her stash and found a piece. This is all I have leftover. That was too close for comfort! The quilting muses must have been smiling on me when I pick that shade of pink to use.

These are the blocks completed and ready to go.

This is the fabric I choose for the backing. I will need 5 1/4 yards with a center seam and leftovers. If you are going to hand quilt I recommend you look at getting special fabric for backing in widths up to 110". It saves a lot of wear-n-tear on your fingers.

Using my 'design bed' with a sheet laid on it to transport my layout. I arranged the blocks in a way that looked good to me. Folded it up and brought it into my sewing room to get started.

And a piece of eye candy! I have finished the first corner. I like how it looks. I will be tweaking the construction as I am trying something new and I let you know how it worked out.

Now for some recommended read:

The Quilting Coach
Good info but be forewarned if you subscribe you will get 2 or 3 e-mails a day.
About.com Quilting
Ludlow Quilt and Sew She has some great videos for the beginning quilter.
Crazy Shortcut Quilts I really love her videos.
Quilt University Great place to take classes and I loved their sample class 'Border Crossings'.

Plus 2,670,000 results if you type into Google Search “free tutorials for quilting”. Happy reading! (Insert maniacal laugh!)

Have a good day!



  1. Judy, I just love all of your info on quilting. And your quilts are beautiful!

  2. Thank-you! I've been eying your glass designs and thinking what wonderful quilt blocks they would be! LOL

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


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