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Thread: Need help figuring size of blocks.

  1. #1
    Super Member joanelizbay's Avatar
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    Need help figuring size of blocks.

    Im making a Civil War quilt with reproduction fabric. Right now with the outside border its 82 inches x 52 inches. I am going to put another border on it maybe 8 or more blocks of various colored fabric. My problem is I dont know how to figure out how to cut each piece of fabric (including 1/4" seam) so that they are all the same size. Does anyone have any idea how to figure out what size each block should be?
    Thanks so much! Joan
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  2. #2
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    I wish I could help, but I don't have a clue. I will be watching this so that maybe I can learn how.

    Dina

  3. #3
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    need a bit more information. your post sounds like you have a border on and want to add another row on the outside of blocks. Is this right. or are you adding another row of blocks and then a border. Not sure just what you mean in your post. Is there a picture or pattern that we might look at to give you more informed advice

  4. #4
    Super Member kristakz's Avatar
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    I assume you want to add some blocks around the 82x52 quilt you have right now. It sounds like you want rectangles along each edge, from various fabrics. You need to figure out how wide you want that border to be, and I can't help there. But to figure out the length of each rectangle, I would do this:

    Take the quilt length (82") and divide by 8 - that's 10 1/4" each (finished) for 8 blocks. So cut 10 3/4" x whatever width you wanted, plus 1/2" (so if you want a 4" border, cut 10 3/4" x 4 1/2" rectangles). For the width of the quilt, 52 divided by 8 gives you 6 1/2" (finished). So cut 7" blocks (by 4 1/2" in my example, or whatever your width is). Then you will also need 4 square for the corners - 4 1/2" square, if you are using my example 4" border.

    If you want the size of the blocks to be the same top and sides, it's a bit more complex. 10 1/4" blocks (finished) would be 8 blocks for each long edge, and about 5 blocks for each short edge. You'd have to fudge 3/4" on the short edges to make it fit. I'd probably add 1/4" to 3 of the side blocks ( on each side) - it would never be noticed. That still needs squares for each corner.

    Now, another option I just came up with - use the 8 blocks on the long edges. Then, the short edges are now that much longer (by the width of the border you just added). If the short edges end at 61 1/2", things work out nicely. You need 6 blocks for each short edge. To make this size happen, your finished border width is 61.5-52=9.5/2=4.75".

    So cut your border blocks 10 3/4" x 5 1/4". You need 8 for each long edge and 6 for each short edge - total of 28 blocks.
    Last edited by kristakz; 07-07-2012 at 05:50 PM.

  5. #5
    Super Member joanelizbay's Avatar
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    That makes a LOT of sense Krista! I should have posted a picture so you could see what Ive done so far. I need it to fit a queen size bed and while its long enough its not quite wide enough. In the pattern Im semi following it has 6" inch squares around the entire quilt with 4 confederate flag blocks on each corner but my quilt is a little different in size and design so I was having troube figuring out what size to make the blocks. I got the pattern from Windham Fabrics on line, Dixie 1861-1865 but I had both panels and used them instead of just one panel.
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  6. #6
    Super Member kristakz's Avatar
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    I see now. Are you planning to add just to the sides? If the pic is the quilt on top of a queen size bed, you probably want bigger borders then the 4 3/4" I came up with. You could probably add 10" to each side, depending how much drape you want. But solid 10 1/4" blocks seems like it might be too much (how big are the star blocks?). You could do 2 rows of 5 1/8" blocks (cut at 5 5/8") on each side if you wanted smaller blocks (basically, make each 10 1/4" block a 4-patch). Unfortunately, I can't get any other multiple to work out evenly.

    Good luck. The quilt is lovely so far. I like the way you used both panels.

  7. #7
    Super Member joanelizbay's Avatar
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    Each of the star blocks is 6 1/2. The corner blocks are maps of Gettysburg and other battle sites. Im thinking I want to put a border all the way around it as top/bottom doesnt hang as far over as I would like. It covers the top of my queen size bed but I want it to drape over more. I have tons of scrap fabric so Im going to try the 10 3/4 blocks out of scrap material and see if that works. If not I can always use the blocks in a scrap quilt! Thank you so much for your help. Ive never been good at math with figuring blocks. I can divide the total edge by a number but then figuring in the 1/4" seam allowance on each side of each block confuses me! Thanks again!!!
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