Hi, Welcome from VA.Originally Posted by STRANGARITCH
I encourage you to buy a pad of 4-squares-to-the-inch graph paper (often called "quad-rule), a small box of colored pencils, a regular pencil with good eraser, and a 6" ruler.
1. Draw out the squares to the actual size.....you will use 16x16 little sqs. per 4" block.
2. Then add ONE little square on all sides to represent your seam allowance, shown in lighter gray.
3. Now measure the square you've drawn with the seam allowance added. It will measure 4.5" and this is the size you will cut each of your blocks (as you mentioned in your post.)
Doing this gives you a better visual of the cut size, the finished size, and how/where you need to add seam allowances.
1. Now, use one or two little squares on your graph paper to represent the 4" finished block (instead of 4). Just for sake of argument, make your paper quilt be 8 blocks across and 10 blocks down.
2. Color in the blocks as you would like the quilt to be.
3. Count how many blocks ACROSS you have drawn; then multiply that by how many blocks DOWN. This will tell you how many blocks you will need to cut to make your quilt.
4. If you will multiply the number of blocks across by the size of your finished block, you will know how wide your quilt will be.
And do the same for the length.
If you get familiar with drawing your patterns out on graph paper, you will find that you can make almost any quilt you see that uses squares, rectangles, and half-square triangles, without having to buy a pattern. And you can learn to adjust it to any size you want to make your quilt.
Using graph paper also allows you to decide how you want to color your quilt - what fabrics you want to use. And it's a great way to design borders and sashings.
Yes, there are expensive quilt designing programs out there, but as a beginner you would be well served to learn to draw your own on paper first. I am SO grateful I learned to quilt this way nearly 30 years ago; I never buy a pattern -- which frees up more funds for fabrics!
Jan in VA
block drawn with seam allowance shown in lighter gray outside the first block.