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Thread: How to guesstimate yardage?

  1. #1
    Super Member jillmc's Avatar
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    How to guesstimate yardage?

    I now have the Deb Tucker ruler that you recommended, and made a few practice blocks...after watching her video, I found it pretty easy to do. Thanks for the info!
    I need to find background fabric online-no local quilt shops, and my vision limits my driving. I am notorious for not ordering enough fabric, and then scrambling to find more. I plan to use a white batik for the background ( the white row of blocks in the quilt are actually shades of tan/taupe). I don’t want to over buy...thinking 3 yards? And boy, white fabrics online are difficult!
    Quilt will be 48x66 (diamond blocks are 3x6) before borders. The greens may be small Honu turtle appliqués.
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  2. #2
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    You might consider drawing out the shapes you need (including seam allowances) on graph paper - and then count how many pieces you will need. Remember to allow for how you plan to lay out the pieces (grainlines). I would "assume" that a "yard of usable fabric" would equal approximately (36 x 40) square inches.

    That's a bit tedious - but might work if you want to cut it close.

    I would probably buy at least four yards. But- when I can - I would rather have a half yard left over than be two inches short. I also tend to make cutting errors or change my mind - so I sometimes have "waste". I also wash fabrics before cutting. Batiks usually have less shrinkage than other "quilting cottons" - but I am firmly entrenched in the "I want to wash the fabric before I cut it" camp.

    I also usually cut so that the grainlines of the pieces will be perpendicular and parallel with the outside edges. Some people say grainlines do not matter when making a quilt - they do to me. That also tends to use more fabric than just laying out the pieces "however".

    There will be more/other opinions.

    Just a note/reminder - that the smaller the pieces - the more that gets "used up" in seam allowances.

    Examples:

    A "finished" 8 inch square is cut at 8.5 square inches.
    72.25 - 64 = 8.25 inches of that square will be hidden in the back in a seam allowance.

    11.4 % of the cut square will go into the seam allowances.


    A "finished" 1 inch square will be cut at 1.5 inches

    2.25 cut size (square inches) - 1 inch finished size = 1.25 square inches goes into the seam allowances and is om the back

    So - the seam allowances take up more than 55 percent of the total cut square.

  3. #3
    Super Member jillmc's Avatar
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    Wow....thank you Bear! That’s a lot to ponder. I will probably order 4 yards....it will be a basic neutral color, and I will be able to use extra later. I am really trying to sew from my stash this year, but this project renewed my quilting pleasure!

  4. #4
    Junior Member IrishMom's Avatar
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    I agree with Bears assessment....But i really wanted to say gorgeous fabric and design! I can't wait to see your quilt take shape, it's going to be awesome!

  5. #5
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    When DH and are "guesstimating" things -

    He tends to figure skimpily (as in not allowing enough!!!!!! )
    and I tend to figure "generously" -

    If we took an average of our two guesstimates, we would probably get it about right. (But I think i am more right than he is more of the time. )

    So you might want to take that into consideration.

  6. #6
    Super Member jillmc's Avatar
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    Just had a lightbulb moment.... I have lots of white on white fabrics that are not batiks....time to shop my stash and maybe use several different whites! ��

  7. #7
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I did a quick work-up in EQ, and it estimates that you will only need 2 yards of the light color. EQ estimates are usually on the high side. I like your idea of using several different WOW fabrics.

  8. #8
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    Gorgeous fabric and design. If you can find a similar colored pattern with the same blocks sizes use that for yardage. I would use the same white fabric throughout the quilt. It is the one constant color to unite all the other fabric colors.

  9. #9
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    Will you be making the borders in white? or colors?

  10. #10
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    If you cut fabrics Wof=Width of fabric 2 sides will be straight grain. Give a little tug if it doesn't stretch at all it will be straight grain. I cut all of my fabrics width of fabric. I have made about 400 quilts.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  11. #11
    Super Member jillmc's Avatar
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    Thank you, Dunster! I will probably go with my stash and use WOW....

    Not sure about borders, but most likely not white, Bear.

  12. #12
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    In my opinion it’s always better to overestimate - trying to find additional fabric after starting is too stressful for me.

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