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How many do I need?

How many do I need?

Old 05-02-2012, 06:49 PM
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Default How many do I need?

I would like to know if there is a way to know how many charm packs or jelly rolls or layer cakes I need to order to have enough for a king size quilt. I know is has a lot to do with the pattern and maybe I should be able to figure it out, but my brain doesn't work like that!
Any help out there!
i just started learning about quilting and I love it, but I don't know how many charm packs to get, or jelly rolls.....
Thanks for any help you can give me.
Jeanne
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:53 PM
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Well, I would say that it does really depend on the pattern. My experience has been that it usually takes 2 charm packs (plus other fabric) for a lap-sized quilt so maybe triple that? I'm not for sure. Do you have a pattern in mind?
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:22 PM
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I have trouble figuring out stuff like that too. Here's how I would start out estimating. Take the size of the king-sized quilt and figure out how many 4.5" squares it would take to make. My guess is that it will take a *lot* of charm packs, but let's work it out.

Here is a website that helps you decide on the size of your quilt:
http://www.amishcountrylanes.com/Pages/QuiltSize.shtml

I will arbitrarily figure 105" x 105" (although I think a lot of king quilts are made more like 110" square to allow for some shrinkage). 105 divided by 4.5" (the finished size of a 5" charm after seams) = (get out trusty calculator) 23. So it takes 23 charms to go across in one row. To cover the whole bed, it will take 23x23 = 529 charms.

How many charms are in a charm pack? I don't know, because I never buy fabric that way. Seems to me it would be a lot cheaper to buy yardage and cut your own 5" squares. Let's figure out how many 5" squares you can cut from one yard of fabric. Fabric has about 40" of useable width. That means if you cut a 5" strip, you can subcut 8 charms from one strip. One yard of fabric has 36", so you can cut about 7 strips from a yard. 7 strips of 8 = 56 charms per yard of fabric. So, roughly speaking, it would require about 9.5 yards of fabric to cut enough 5" charms to make a king-size quilt.

The pattern you choose makes a huge difference. For example, you could use a couple of charm packs to make a center and then add huge borders. That would require less total yardage because less fabric would be taken up in seams. However, if you chose a pattern that was all triangles made out of the charm squares, the quilt would require more total yardage because there are so many additional seams in the pattern.

Hope this hasn't bored you! I had *just* finished calculating how much fabric I need to buy for sashing a quilt when I ran across your question, so I guess I was in a mathematical mindset. (I just hope I calculated the sashing requirement correctly!!! )
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:23 PM
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I think their suggestions a very valid. Pick a pattern using charm packs and jelly rolls. There are a lot of them available. Then you will have some help in calculating what you need. I saw one post here where they talked about mixing ones that have pinked edges with those that do not. The suggestion was to put the ones without on the bottom when you sew and match the tips to the straight edge.
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:20 PM
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thank you all so much!! That really helps me out. I don't really have any patterns. I have made five quilts since I became addicted to this craft!! Each has been trying things I've seen on YouTube. I'm not much of a "recipe" follower anyway, I just try different configurations.
thanks you all so much.
Jeanne
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:25 AM
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This chart from Moda Bakeshop might help you figure it out.

http://www.unitednotions.com/measure...ting-chart.pdf
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:49 AM
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Thanks for the question and the link. Very useful information!
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeanne quilt View Post
I would like to know if there is a way to know how many charm packs or jelly rolls or layer cakes I need to order to have enough for a king size quilt. I know is has a lot to do with the pattern and maybe I should be able to figure it out, but my brain doesn't work like that!
Any help out there!
i just started learning about quilting and I love it, but I don't know how many charm packs to get, or jelly rolls.....
Thanks for any help you can give me.
Jeanne
Hi, Jeanne,
I've never purchased precuts, but if I did, I would ask the quilt store my question. My fabric store is wonderful about answering questions and helping me out. I always buy my batting and backing from them and they always tell me how much I need. I always round up for some wiggle room, and that's always what I have left over (this is one way to build a stash)!! I don't know how to do "quilt-math" and they're very good at it. On the other hand, I've been to other fabric stores that just don't have the time or customer service for that kind of thing, and well.. I don't shop there.
Cutting is the worst worst worst part of quilting to me. I'm in love with the idea of using pre-cuts, but can't justify their cost. I check out http://www.missouriquiltco.com/deal-a-day every morning, but haven't purchased anything yet. The price is usually good, but shipping bumps it up a lot.
I would also recommend working on something smaller to get your feet wet since you are new. A king can be hard to learn on and expensive to mess up on.

Good luck and welcome to the wonderful world of quilts!
Ashley in TN
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:29 AM
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I am in the process of making a queen size (plus +) as I want it wide enough to reach the floor. I used 5 Bali Pops in it and have a few pieces left over. I think these Bali Pops had 40 strips at 2 " in them, and I will not be adding a border. It is a basic 4 patch with a frame around it, so not much waste in fabric.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:23 AM
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Golly, I think I am the only person out here who only uses a pattern. I have never made a quilt without a pattern. I am too scared to try to make one on my own. I make my own backing and add details to it to make it kind of funky, but that's as far as I go. And here's a newbie who hasn't used a pattern once. What's wrong with me?
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