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Thread: Can patterns sizes for blocks be reduced?

  1. #1
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    Can patterns sizes for blocks be reduced?

    Hello all. I am new on the board and a beginning quilter. I have made quilts before but its been YEARS. I am still working on building my stash, but already have a quilt I want to make for DH. As I was looking at my stash, and the quilt pattern pieces, I began to wonder.

    The quilt pattern consists of two pieces. A triangle and then a rectangle which will be cut in half diagonally. Some of the fabrics that I really, really want to use are too small for the triangle so the question. Can the pattern pieces be reduced in size and still work? I know that will require more sewing and piecing but as I have only done squares and small strips sets, I thought it best to ask the experts.

    If you have any questions, let me know. I am off to work and will check in when I get home. Have a great day.

  2. #2
    Senior Member GammaLou's Avatar
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    I think if you keep the relationship the same you are okay. Just determine the size you want and add 1/4" seam allowance all around. You should be just fine. Try one block to ensure it is a size you like then go for it.

  3. #3
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    A quilter's proportional scale may help: http://www.goldenthreads.com/shop/pr...rtional-scale/

    I bought one at Paducah one year in the Golden Threads booth. It has really saved me a lot of math work.
    Got fabric?

  4. #4
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Yes, you can reduce the size, but be careful with the seam allowance. In general, you remove the seam allowance, resize the piece, then add the seam allowance back on.
    For instance: If the pattern tells you to cut a 5" square, and you want to make it twice as big, you would remove the seam allowance by taking 1/4" off all the way around, so that would reduce it to a 4.5" square. Double it, giving you a 9 inch square then add the seam allowance back on resulting in a 9.5" square.
    After having said all that, triangles are really, really, really tricky. What you are describing sounds kind of like a squared triangle block. I would just skip the calculations and get a tri recs tool. Here's a video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CT7g1NXrL4
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  5. #5
    Super Member dunster's Avatar
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    Blocks can be drafted in any size, from very small to huge, but the measurements for cutting will be very difficult for some sizes - maybe 2 7/23" for instance (just made that up). Most blocks fall naturally into division by 2, 3, or 4. Look at the block's structure and see. Many are naturally made up of smaller pieces that fall into a 4-patch, or 9-patch grid. If the block is originally 12", and if it falls into a 9-patch grid, then each of those patches in the 9-patch measures 4" square. If you change each of those patches to 3" square, the finished block will be 9"; if you change each to 2" square the finished block will be 6". Get the idea? All these measurements are done with the finished size of the block components, so to get cutting size you have to add the appropriate amount (.5" to squares and rectangles, 7/8" to HST's, 1.25" to QST's, etc.) If you're brand new at this you will definitely want to draft it out and make a practice block. After you have been doing that for a while it will be second nature. If you happen to have EQ7 it will do all the work for you.

  6. #6
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Of course you can reduce the pattern. It is easiest if the finished sizes of the blocks are easily divisible by whatever number you choose.

    If you do a quick search on the net you might even find the block in a smaller size.

    The cheapest way is to use regular old 4 squares to the inch grid style paper and then draw in the pattern using the finished size of each block. You really have to think a bit with this. Like Paper Princess says, remember to add the seam allowances.

    Another way is to draw out the pattern and then copy with reducing it til you get what you want.

    Then what I consider the easiest way is to find a friend with EQ and let them do it for you. Or treat yourself and buy EQ and do it yourself.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  7. #7
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    You can make any block any size you want.

    If you can not find it on the net or do not have access to EQ, the easiest way would be to pick up some graph paper and draw the actual block the size you want it be when it is finished - then cut out the individual pieces and redraw each piece and then add the 1/4 inch seam allowance all around the piece.

    I think this is the block that you are talking about - This one is paperpieced. but it will give you another option of how to do it.

    http://www.arianequilts.com/2011/08/...-tutorial.html
    Betty

    A quilt will warm your body and comfort your soul.

    http://notesfrommoosehaven.blogspot.com

  8. #8
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    eparys, that is almost the block with a couple differences. I don't know if I am allowed to mention the name as it is a new one in a magazine I bought, and I have only seen a couple pictures of it on the 'net.

    I knew that triangles would be harder. I have always avoided them, but going by the assembly directions, I should be able to do it. I am definitely going to do 'practice' blocks.

    Thank you all for the tips and suggestions. Many people are right when they say this is the place to be.

  9. #9
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    this will not work for your rectangles, but I haven't seen anyone mention the quilter's magic number - 1.414 - to use in resizing an equilateral triangle - meaning a triangle that has two sides equal. The link below takes you to a Martingale blog where they describe it more fully, but, basically, if you want to resize a triangle with two equal sides, determine the length of the short/equal sides of the triangle then multiply that number by 1.414 to get the length of the third side. You'll have to round some numbers off so do them to the nearest eighth of an inch. Check out the link - It's a number worth remembering.
    http://blog.shopmartingale.com/quilt...ing-triangles/
    Kate

  10. #10
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koigirl View Post
    Hello all. I am new on the board and a beginning quilter. I have made quilts before but its been YEARS. I am still working on building my stash, but already have a quilt I want to make for DH. As I was looking at my stash, and the quilt pattern pieces, I began to wonder.

    The quilt pattern consists of two pieces. A triangle and then a rectangle which will be cut in half diagonally. Some of the fabrics that I really, really want to use are too small for the triangle so the question. Can the pattern pieces be reduced in size and still work? I know that will require more sewing and piecing but as I have only done squares and small strips sets, I thought it best to ask the experts.

    If you have any questions, let me know. I am off to work and will check in when I get home. Have a great day.
    You can resize almost any block. You could, for instance, make 4 small blocks whose finished sizes equal 3", join them into a square and mix with 6" finished blocks. (2 to 4, 4 to 8, 5 to 10)
    Bad Spellers of the World
    U N T I E

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