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Thread: fabric for sashing and boarders

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Lincoln, NE
    I am very new at quilting and of course I have many questions, but the one I am concerned about is how do you calculate how much fabric to buy for the sashing and boarders? It may have already been answered on another thread, and maybe I am just too dumb to figure it out. I would appreciate any help that you could give me.

  2. #2
    Super Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    First decide how wide you want the sashing. 2"? 3"?.
    Measure your blocks. Each block will need a sashing on both sides.
    If you have 12 inch finished blocks and you have 20 blocks that means 40, 12.5 strips of which ever width you decided on.
    Lay out your blocks with the space between blocks your sashing width. Youo can do this on paper.
    In this case with 12 inch blocks they would lay out to be 4 in a row and 5 rows.
    Calculate the length of one row for the horizonal strip of sashing.
    In this one you would need 6 strips for the horizonal rows.
    In this case with 2" sashing it would be:
    2 1/4 + 12 +2 +12 + 2 +12 +2 +12 +2 1/4.
    This would give you 58.5 inches but calculate 60" at least.

    Now I take graph paper or regular printing paper and draw a piece of fabric 42' by whatever usually 2 yards (72 inches).
    If you decide on 2 inch sashing add your seam allowance and make it 2.5.
    So I know I need 40 12.5 inch sections of sashing for the sides of all the blocks. Divide 72 by 12.5 = 5.76.
    I know I can get a full 5 strips from each strip 2.5 by 72.
    I need 40 of them so that makes it 8 2.5 inch rows or 20 inches of fabric.

    For the horizonal rows:
    I want them in one piece and they will measure 60" so I need 6 rows.
    6 x 2.5 = 15 inches of that 72" fabric.
    Remember we started with 42 inches so 40 -20 -15 = 5" left.
    Not near enough for any border.

    Buy more fabric for the border.
    Now you need to decide on how wide you want your outer border, 3"?, 4"?
    For this one you calculate the length of the sides of the quilt.
    Then calculate the width of the quilt with that border on. With 3 in border add 7", with 4" border add 9".
    so if the quilt is 60" wide you need to add the width of the side borders to get the overall width of the quilt.
    Again graph it out on paper to see how much fabric you need.

    After you get all this done, I usually wonder if I should use a different size sashing and start all over again, then I lose the paper!
    I'm sure this is as clear as mud.

    I sure hope someone else has an easier less confusing way to do this!
    I'm calculating for 4 different tops right now.
    It's really not as hard as it sounds and it always takes more fabric than you expect so buy extra.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    I still find graph paper still a very valuable tool.

    There is something about drawing designs out that helps me clarify things in my mind.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Lincoln, NE
    Thanks a million for your help. It helps so much. What would I ever do without you wonderful quilters out there?

  5. #5
    Super Member joeyoz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    I cheat. I have a quilters calculator. It can figure it out for me. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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