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Thread: Formula To Figure How Much Fabric Is Needed? (rag quilt)

  1. #1
    EmsMom's Avatar
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    Newbie back again with more questions. (this is my first quilt) I just realized that my rag quilt is going to be rather tiny for my 10 year old who is 5'5" tall.

    I had bought two "kits" which have 42, 6.5" blocks each. I bought two kits thinking I would use one for the front and one for the back. Now, I am afraid it will be way too small. :oops:

    So, I am thinking I will just use the two kits for a total of 84, 6.5" blocks for the front - BUT now I need backing. Is there a formula somewhere that explains how much fabric one would need for 84, 6.5" blocks? (math unfortunately is not my strong suit)

    I will post a pic of the fabrics for the top -- I am thinking for the back maybe a pink/white polka dot??? Or maybe even pink/black polka dot???

    THANKS so much for your help again!!
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  2. #2
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    If I calculate correctly you can get 6 squares out of a 6.5" strip, so you would need 14 strips which equal 91", so a minimum of 2 2/3 yards if your fabric is 42" wide.

  3. #3
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    go to fabricdeli.com this might help you some. Just read on down the page, if it doesn;t help we will go amother way or just yell for help like you did.

  4. #4
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    So, it sound like you are attempting to make a quilt without any pattern. It is hard to determine fabric needs without having the finished size of the quilt. If your "unfinished" blocks are 6 1/2" than you finished blocks will be 6".

    You can take pieces of 6" square paper & lay them out to get the dimensions of the quilt you would like to end up with. Once you determine the size of the quilt top, you can then calculate how much you need for backing.

    Do you want to have an outer border? If no outer border, just add 1/2" to width & add 1/2" to length. Also, I cut my backing pretty close, but if you are a new quilter, you might want to add an additional couple inches to the backing piece.

  5. #5
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnajean
    So, it sound like you are attempting to make a quilt without any pattern. It is hard to determine fabric needs without having the finished size of the quilt. If your "unfinished" blocks are 4 1/2" than you finished blocks will be 4".

    You can take pieces of 4" square paper & lay them out to get the dimensions of the quilt you would like to end up with. Once you determine the size of the quilt top, you can then calculate how much you need for backing.

    Do you want to have an outer border? If no outer border, just add 1/2" to width & add 1/2" to length. Also, I cut my backing pretty close, but if you are a new quilter, you might want to add an additional couple inches to the backing piece.
    She will need 84, 6.5" squares for the back. The same amount as she has for the front.

  6. #6
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    84 blocks/units -

    possible layouts - 9x9 - which would use 81 blocks -

    if your blocks will be 5.5 inches finished size (1/2 inch seam allowances) - that will be approximately 49.5 x 49.5 inches finished (think 50 x 50 because the outside fringe/rag will probably lay kind of flat)

    Another layout - 8 blocks wide by 10 blocks long - would use 80 blocks/square/units

    5.5 inch "finished" size - this would end up being approximately 44 inches wide by 55 inches long.

    Your daughter is 65 inches long/tall.

  7. #7
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    If this is a true rag quilt, and the blocks are 6 1/2", your finished block would be 5 1/2" as you typically use a 1/2" seam allowance.

    Are you planning on ragging the seams? If so, these measurements will need to be recalculated :wink:

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    If this is a true rag quilt, and the blocks are 6 1/2", your finished block would be 5 1/2" as you typically use a 1/2" seam allowance.

    Are you planning on ragging the seams? If so, these measurements will need to be recalculated :wink:
    Which ones?

  9. #9
    EmsMom's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for all the helpful information and responses!!

  10. #10
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    I also need came up with 14 strips - Six 6.5 squares per strip x 14 strips = 84 squares

    Theoretically, 91 inches should be "enough" but I would buy at least 100 inches (another 1/4 yard) for wiggle room.

    99 inches = 2-3/4 yard

  11. #11
    EmsMom's Avatar
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    Thanks!

  12. #12
    Senior Member LovinMySoldier's Avatar
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    Good luck. I like the idea of black with pink polka dots for the back. The contrasting color on the back really pops when it is brought to the front and ragged. The fabric you have thus far is very pretty.

  13. #13
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    Hello sweetie,

    I'm making one of these for my grandaughter. Here's what you do.
    First decide how wide and how long you want it to be. You are working with 6 1/2" blocks and once sewn THEY BECOME 5 1//2" blocks because you want to have a 1/2" seam allowance on each side for fraying. I would suggest that you put blocks of flannel in between, like a sandwich to give it more warmth, softness and durability. You could also put flannel on the back also and you would have a really sweet quilt. You could use pink and white flannel for the back which would look real cute with your fabric.

    Any way, 10 blocks across would be 55 "
    13 blocks down would be 71-1/2 "

    You need 130 block for the top, 130 for middle, 130 for back

    Don't let that overwhelm you because you will be using three at a time. You daughter can help you layer them for sewing. If you have someone doing that it will go fast. Good luck.

    If I can be of any help, let me know.

    Cheryl

  14. #14
    EmsMom's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone!

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