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Thread: Could someone explain something to me, please?

  1. #26
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    hehe. I love reading all these comments. quilting math to me is a "new math" which I can do but give me a math book and I am almost always lost. I can do math but if you ask me how I got there I probably can't tell you. My teachers all hated me in school because I could get the answer just by looking at a problem for a min, but i would never write out how I would get there because it was all done in my head. when I would write it out i would almost always get it wrong but when i didn't i would get it right. go figure.
    my hubby loves math and computers but he wont go anywhere near a sewing machine. I think that he would be fab at it but he wont try. maybe when he is in his 50's. who knows.
    when life gets you down go and talk with a little kid. They will help you work out even the worst problems with their simple logic.

  2. #27
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    One day - maybe - a light will come one - and you'll say - I GET IT!!!

    I've taken math classes - I 'learned' whatever well enough to pass the test at the time - and five years later - THEN I finally UNDERSTOOD it!!!

  3. #28
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by callie8799 View Post
    I have been reading an article about organizing your stash and came across a line that said, basicallly- a finished square is 1/2 inch smaller than the original cut square. So if I have a 4 inch square, taken out of my red box, after sewing it to other squares, it should measure 3 1/2 inches - that is using 1/4 inch seam allowance. The accompanying illustration has the original square attached on all 4 sides.

    ****Why is the finished square only 3.5 inches and not 3 inches if you are sewing all 4 sides using a 1/4 inch seam allowance? After all, you are taking 1/4 inch off all 4 sides and 1/4+1/4+1/4+1/4=1***

    I know math is not my strong suit, but am I that weak in it?

    thank you so much! the things you think about when you have insomnia

    Debbie
    1/4" on the right edge plus 1/4" on the left side equals 1/2"
    1/4" on the top side plus 1/4' on the bottom equals 1/2"

    You're over-thinking. (we've all done it at one time or another!)
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  4. #29
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sahm4605 View Post
    hehe. I love reading all these comments. quilting math to me is a "new math" which I can do but give me a math book and I am almost always lost. I can do math but if you ask me how I got there I probably can't tell you. My teachers all hated me in school because I could get the answer just by looking at a problem for a min, but i would never write out how I would get there because it was all done in my head. when I would write it out i would almost always get it wrong but when i didn't i would get it right. go figure.
    my hubby loves math and computers but he wont go anywhere near a sewing machine. I think that he would be fab at it but he wont try. maybe when he is in his 50's. who knows.
    Oh, you do "guz-in-tas" like my hubby. Goes into!
    Bad Spellers of the World
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  5. #30
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    Come at it from the other way. Your 4" cut square is 4" wide by 4" high...or 8" total if you combine them. If you then subtract the 1" of seam allowances, you get 7". Divide that in half (because it's a square and length and width are the same) and you get a 3" square. Does that help you see it?

    If you consider both directions (length and width) for one element (the seam allowances), you have to do it for the other as well (the square sides).

    I love math--------but I'm going to pretend I didn't see this response. LOL
    Bad Spellers of the World
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  6. #31
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    My XH is a master carpenter and used to go bananas when I talked about having to add "extra" to the measurements for seam allowances. Overlapping joins seldom happen in his world.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  7. #32
    Senior Member QuiltMania's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by callie8799 View Post
    First, thank you for the responses... I'm coming to the conclusion this is something I just need "to do" and not think about. if I need a certain size finished square, I just need to cut the fabric 1/2 inch larger than I need for I am taking a 1/2 inch off the width and length. If I need 1/2 square triangles, I need to add 7/8"... (going to make a cheat sheet at home)...

    but I just can't get my head around the reasoning (tell ya, I'm not good at math reasoning) if I taking a 1/4 inch off each side (1/2 " total for width and 1/2" total for length) that still gives me 1" taken off for seam allowances. why isn't that calculated- for 1/2 off width + 1/2 off length = 1").

    ugh. guess there are some things I will never understand and that's why we have cheat sheets.... but now I know why my current quilt has gotten wonky...

    thank you! :
    It ends up being 1/2 inch because the amount being taken off is in different directions. Think of a capital L. The long arm of the L is in the vertical direction. No matter how much you take off in the vertical direction, it will not affect the short arm of the L which is in the horizontal direction.The same is true for the short arm of the L. No matter how much you take off in the horizontal direction, it will never affect the vertical direction because they are in different directions.

  8. #33
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    This is waaaay over my head. I'm going to start another thread and explain the problem I'm having that have to do with this exact thing.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    Come at it from the other way. Your 4" cut square is 4" wide by 4" high...or 8" total if you combine them. If you then subtract the 1" of seam allowances, you get 7". Divide that in half (because it's a square and length and width are the same) and you get a 3" square. Does that help you see it?

    If you consider both directions (length and width) for one element (the seam allowances), you have to do it for the other as well (the square sides).
    Obviously from a true mathematician! This explanation makes the most sense of all.

    Sometimes math--an exact science--just does not seem to make sense.....but it always does! (and this opinion is from a severely math challenged English major!)

  10. #35
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    I am not good at math, either, but luckily, I think in pictures. You are only measuring straight across one direction, so you only have to use the 1/4 inch on the east and west sides. Later you can do north and south, but that is a separte function.

    bearisgray, it looks like you should be an engineer.

  11. #36
    Senior Member captlynhall's Avatar
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    I am so happy to see I'm not the only one whose eyes glaze over when it comes to figuring the math of quilt pieces. However, I did 'get it' from the many simple explanations in the thread. Thanks to you all for that. Now I have to think on the 7/8" thing. LOL

  12. #37
    Super Member RkayD's Avatar
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    Math has never been my friend. I lost all hope when the alphabet showed up to join the party. I never got it to make sense..it didn't matter that the letter was a sub for a number..it was all alphabet soup after that. =)
    A bed without a Quilt is like a Sky without Stars..Sew On!

  13. #38
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    The basic concept - for a four-sided figure with 90 degree corners to figure 'finished size' - assuming 1/4 inch seams:

    (Unfinished) Starting width minus 1/2 inch = finished width

    (Unfinished) Starting length minus 1/2 inch = finished length

    The attached drawing might help
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #39
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    Ahhhhh, the lightbulb is glowing now- it does get dim, but I just reread the posts and it gets brighter...
    Madquilter, thank you for the the verbal image of sewing the rectangles to the top then to a side- coupled with explanations and even concrete drawings, provided by other members, I am able to grasp why we only lose 1/2" compared to the 1" I thought we should lose.

    I can not thank each one of you, for I didn't write down all the names who posted, for your contributions and helpfullness- I greatly appreciate it. I appreciate the diagrams, the logical/mathematical explanations, the nods of agreements of those who feel the same why as I do (it sure feels good that I'm not the only one in the boat). Now, I know why I open this message board first....

    wishing y'all peace,
    Deb
    Last edited by callie8799; 05-24-2012 at 05:22 PM. Reason: fingers moved quicker than my brain :p

  15. #40
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    Just don't over-analyze. Just think of your 4" square minus 1/4" on the top= 3 3/4 minus another 1/4" on the bottom - 3 1/2. You now have a rectangle 3 1/2 by 4. OK, you still have to sew the sides. 1/4" off the left side and your rectangle is now 3 3/4 horizontally by 3 1/2 vertically. Sew another 1/4 seam on the right side and your rectangle is now a 3 1/2" square.

  16. #41
    Junior Member eyes's Avatar
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    I ran into the same situation weeks ago and finally gave up trying to do my own thing and got a pattern out to copy. :-(

    I just couldn't figure out what size to cut everything to get the finished size I wanted...talk about being dumb.
    Linda Lee

    "Be the change you want to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

  17. #42
    Senior Member mary705's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by callie8799 View Post
    First, thank you for the responses... I'm coming to the conclusion this is something I just need "to do" and not think about. if I need a certain size finished square, I just need to cut the fabric 1/2 inch larger than I need for I am taking a 1/2 inch off the width and length. If I need 1/2 square triangles, I need to add 7/8"... (going to make a cheat sheet at home)...

    but I just can't get my head around the reasoning (tell ya, I'm not good at math reasoning) if I taking a 1/4 inch off each side (1/2 " total for width and 1/2" total for length) that still gives me 1" taken off for seam allowances. why isn't that calculated- for 1/2 off width + 1/2 off length = 1").

    ugh. guess there are some things I will never understand and that's why we have cheat sheets.... but now I know why my current quilt has gotten wonky...

    thank you! :

    Here is a lonk to a great site for the charts, plus other free patterns:
    http://www.victorianaquiltdesigns.co...rts/Charts.htm

  18. #43
    Senior Member w7sue's Avatar
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    I am definitely a "visual" person. I do, however, add more than 7/8" when cutting squares to make 1/2 square triangles - I like being able to trim them to the correct size. I like knowing they will be exactly the size I want them to be and being able to trim them allows me that. I have had to "tug" on too many to make them fit - I guess that means I need to do a better job at sewing an accurate stitching line, but it is easier to trim them afterwards.

  19. #44
    Super Member Marysewfun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by w7sue View Post
    I am definitely a "visual" person. I do, however, add more than 7/8" when cutting squares to make 1/2 square triangles - I like being able to trim them to the correct size. I like knowing they will be exactly the size I want them to be and being able to trim them allows me that. I have had to "tug" on too many to make them fit - I guess that means I need to do a better job at sewing an accurate stitching line, but it is easier to trim them afterwards.
    I fall into your class - though I have grabbed a paper towel to use to figure something out (instead of fabric) - it happened to be at hand! :-)
    Marysewfun
    Have a great day!

  20. #45
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    The teacher and best student tried their darnest to teach me geometry and teacher finally gave me a D
    to get rid of me....lol When we had Trudy Hughes for a speaker, she said "You use Geometry in quiltmaking"
    I am so glad someone else does the math. There were some ladies at a LQS and were having trouble
    getting their points nice....and I told them that what I do is add 1/8th of an inch to the measurement that
    calls for 4 7/8" and cut a 5 inch square to make half square triangles and that gives me a litte room for
    error in sewing...and then cut the square the right size; she said can I share that with some friends?
    and I said ofcourse...lol I told friends the same thing when they were having trouble with HST.
    the rule is add 7/8 to measurement for HST and 1 1/4" to make quarter square triangles.
    Hope this helps. Also told that top student, he should have taught me quilting along with geometry...
    and he laughed, when we had our 30th class reunion.

  21. #46
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    Debbie,
    It's great that you asked for help on this forum. I have learned so much here. I wondered the same question and had it explained to me by an older neighbor lady, so no question is too dumb to ask!

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by callie8799 View Post
    First, thank you for the responses... I'm coming to the conclusion this is something I just need "to do" and not think about. if I need a certain size finished square, I just need to cut the fabric 1/2 inch larger than I need for I am taking a 1/2 inch off the width and length. If I need 1/2 square triangles, I need to add 7/8"... (going to make a cheat sheet at home)...

    but I just can't get my head around the reasoning (tell ya, I'm not good at math reasoning) if I taking a 1/4 inch off each side (1/2 " total for width and 1/2" total for length) that still gives me 1" taken off for seam allowances. why isn't that calculated- for 1/2 off width + 1/2 off length = 1").

    ugh. guess there are some things I will never understand and that's why we have cheat sheets.... but now I know why my current quilt has gotten wonky...

    thank you! :
    If you were trying to find the area of the square or the perimeter then your reasoning would hold more water, but for figuring the length and width the 1/2" addition is the correct amount to add.
    I own a quilt shop and it is amazing how much better my math has gotten since I am using it more. The more you use your math skills the better you will become. Figuring the block sizes actually gives you a visual and becomes easier to learn.
    OzarksGma

  23. #48
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    I also cut my HST squares about 1" larger and trim them down. It's a bit of extra cutting but imho worth the effort.

    The other day I watched a Youtube clip on the wonder ruler. You use it to measure two strips and sew them into a tube. Then you cut the HSTs from the tube. No need to trim any ears either BUT the edges are on the bias which requires gentle handling.

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