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Thread: Figuring yardage

  1. #1
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    Figuring yardage

    I'm quite new at quilting, and am finding quilts that I would like to try, but they don't list yardage. I have block size and HST size, but am at a loss as to where to go from here. (Gotta tell you, math was never my strong suit!) How do you experienced quilters figure out how much fabric to buy? BTW, my block size is 16", with 4" HST's throughout, with 4 different colors, 12 of one, 10 of one, 8 of one, amd only 2 of the last one. Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Are you sure it doesn't tell you the yardage needed on the back of the pattern or in the book? Or is it online?
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
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  3. #3
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I would have no idea how much yardage you'd need. I'm horrible at math, also. Maybe go to a quilt shop and ask for help.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  4. #4
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    This is a really simple, easy to use, yardage calculator. No math necessary.
    http://vrya.net/quilt/classic.php

    ps, if your plugged in measurements are right, the calculator is extremely accurate. Honest.
    Last edited by ghostrider; 08-01-2012 at 01:29 PM.
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  5. #5
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    is it a commercial pattern? i've never run across one that did not have a material list???
    there are books available that tell you things like how many squares you can cut from a fq or yard of fabric- i would check the tutorials list & see what you can find- but look over that pattern again- somewhere it has to tell you what materials you need- which will tell you how much of each-
    you can get 12 (5") squares from a fq.--3 across- 4 down= 18"x21"
    you can get 56 (5") squares from a yard (36"= 7 (5") squares x 42"= 8 (5") squares = 7x8=56
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  6. #6
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    I have a reference guide that I use a lot. The Quilters Pocket Reference Guide, by Peggy Scholley. Lots of good info in it for many situations. Like what size a twin mattress is and if you have a quilt that has sides on it and or bottom, what the dimensions would be. Yardage for different blocks, etc.

  7. #7
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    For me, I can't quilt without the math. I'll be happy to walk you through the math, but I don't have enough information for the entire quilt.

    1 - how many blocks are you going to make for your quilt?
    2 - will there be sashing, cornerstones, borders? If so, how big?

    There may be more pieces needed, but I'll get you started.

    There are many ways to make HST. The one with the least waste says add 7/8" to your finished square to find out the size of square to cut. Draw a line down the center and sew 1/4" on either side of the line. However, I round up to the full inch for three reasons:

    #1 - if I only cut my square 4 7/8" my finished HST will not be correct -- I have yet to sew that perfect 1/4" seam or more importantly cut a perfect 4 7/8" square.
    #2 - it is so much easier to cut a 5" square - the waste is minimal when compared to my frustration of working with 4 7/8" square
    #3 - the math is so much easier with 5".

    You'll need 1 - 5" square for every 2 HST - 2 HST make one pieced square.

    6 squares of the first color, 5 of the 2nd color, 4 of the third color and 1 of the last color.

    Name:  HST.JPG
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    So, if you are making a quilt which has 12 blocks and no sashing, you then multiple the # of squares needed by 12.

    6 x 12 = 72 - color 1
    5 x 12 = 60 - color 2
    4 x 12 = 48 - color 3
    1 x 12 = 12 - color 4

    Since yardage varies widely, and I've seen some really wide selvages, I figure my yardage on 40" of usable fabric. I'd rather have too much than not enough.

    So, you can cut 8 - 5" squares from 40" ( 40/5 = 8)

    The next step is to determine how many strips you need.
    Color 1 the math is 72 squares / 8 per strip = 9 strips
    9 strips * 5" = 45" with no extra

    Color 2 = 60 squares / 8 per strip = 7.5 strips -- you have to round up
    8 strips * 5" = 40"

    Color 3 = 48 squares / 8 per strip = 6 strips
    6 strips * 5" = 30"

    Color 4 = 12 squares / 8 per strips = 1.5 strips - round up
    2 strips * 5" = 10"

    The amounts are the bare minimum I would buy.

    Hope this helps. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

  8. #8
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Thats where my handy dandy quilters calculator comes in handy, well worth the 20 bucks at joanns

  9. #9
    Senior Member Swan Song's Avatar
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    I love my Quilter's FabriCalc also! One of the best gifts I have ever gottten. If you don't have one put it on your Christmas list Back on topic, I have never seen a pattern that didn't give you yardage. Maybe if you tell us what the pattern is one of us may have it and can help.
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  10. #10
    QKO
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    Super Member QKO's Avatar
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    I have a quilters Fabricalc also, and it works great with a small learning curve.

    However, I find myself more and more using instead a free Android App from Robert Kaufman fabrics, that I installed on my android smartphone. It doesn't do everything that the dedicated calculator does, but does most of the commonly used functions.

    The app is free from the android store and is called QuiltCalc. I don't know if there's a Ipad version of it, but I wouldn't doubt that there is.

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