Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Newbie feeling very stupid

  1. #1
    missmabeliowa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    24
    I must have close to 50 books and not one of them tell me what I want to know. Every quilt pattern is preplanned or says "after cutting the strips, sew together..."
    THAT'S what I want to know, how do I figure out how many strips of each color do I cut to get the desired number of sets to cut into segments to cut and sew together to get the number of needed blocks? Is there a book out there somewhere that EXPLAINS how to do calculations?

    My dh gave me the gift of a fab calculator, and together we still come out wrong and I end up having to go back to cutting every time.

    I know how to figure out the pattern, the number of patches and yardage I need for each fabric in the pattern. Then I'm lost.

    Because my sewing space is so limited in my small home, I must get everything cut and in place, take down my craft table and those supplies in order to set up to sew. It is so frustrating when I come up with wrong answers and have to take the sewing back down, set cutting back up, take down, so repetitive. It would be nice if I had an explanation in detail of how to come up with this answer???

    Please don't tell me to just follow the pattern in the book because they are always in sizes that don't apply to my circumstances.There must be some simple equation, but maybe I'm just too dense to see the obvious. HELP PLEASE!!!

  2. #2
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    New York City/Manhattan
    Posts
    1,324
    Mabel, this still happens to me occasionally, after 20 years. However, this is why I took algebra and geometry. I'm gathering you need help because you are changing the size of the quilt from the book/instructions? Then, you need to figure the total number of blocks you will be using. Then, figure the size of each piece in the block by color. So if you need a 4x4 finished size you will need to cut a 4-1/2x4-1/2 piece for that block. Times, for example, 20 for the total number of blocks. You need 20-4-1/2x4-1/2 pieces. From a 40" strip (without selvedge, averaging) you can get 8 pieces (and rounding up for fudge factor). that means you need 3 strips of that color--really 3-1/2 strips but hey! Is this any help?

  3. #3
    Super Member featherweight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Westminster, Co
    Posts
    2,701
    I hate to say this but, the pattern should help you with your problem. Can't you sew the ones you have cut and then cut some more to complete more blocks, lay them out on a bed or someplace and then see how many more you will need to get your desired size???

  4. #4
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    17,462
    Hi Mabel, welcome to the board!
    I can't answer your question specifically but I find a lot of books useless as well.
    I'm a visual learner and depend on Missouri Star Quilt Company videos (fantastic) and Youtube, along with fellow quilters, classes etc.
    Not much help for you but a big WELCOME!! I need to tell my cat,Mabel, that I now know another Mabel LOL :D:D

  5. #5
    Senior Member Rachel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    918
    NYCQuilter said it correctly. Not a real formula, just figure out how big the cut pieces need to be, then find out how many of that size piece you need and how many you can get out of a 40 - 42" strip of fabric. clear as mud???

  6. #6
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    3,386
    I'm the same way....I need to SEE it to understand it...and the Missouri Start Quilt Company as lots of great videos.

    Also on this site, go to the links and resources to see tutorials. Watch some of them...I think just listening to the language they use and the things they do will help you to understand how to calculate better.

    I hardly ever use patterns for anything I make - I get out the pencil and paper and diagram it myself - adding in the size of my unfinished squares + the size of my sashing + the size of my borders = my total. I do that for the width and then I do that for the length...and then I tell myself that a yard of fabric is 35" x 40" (rounding numbers for easy division)...and go from there.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    IL Quad-cities
    Posts
    252
    Blog Entries
    1
    I figure how many pieces I can get across the width of the fabric (WOF) (ex. - need 4.5" squares = divide useable WOF -measurement minus selvages - by the 4.5 to find how many squares you can get from one WOF strip), then divide the number of squares I need by that number to get the number of strips to cut. In my example, having 41" useable in the WOF I can get 9 4 1/2" squares in each strip. If I need 60 squares of that particular fabric, divide 60 by 9, so I would need to cut 7 strips to get the needed amount. Hope this is clear, I think we all figure a little differently. A suggestion - could you put your cutting mat on your ironing board if you need to cut an additional amount?

  8. #8
    Senior Member GrammaO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    599
    Blog Entries
    3
    There is a book called Patchwork without the Mathwork that I found very helpful. I took geometry and algebra both and the math and angles I need for quilting still have me stumped half the time. Have you tried drawing it out on graph paper? Maybe the visual aid would be helpful.

  9. #9
    Cyn
    Cyn is offline
    Super Member Cyn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Jacksonville NC
    Posts
    6,761
    Blog Entries
    17
    Welcome!

  10. #10
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    3,386
    Definitely no need to feel stupid. I'm a self taught quilter and didn't really have any resources (books, videos, etc), other than trial and error.

    I would have killed for the wealth of resources (wisdom, knowledge, skill) that is available out on this site.

    Just ask, most are more than willing to help. And there are always a variety of ways to do a process...so just read and listen to the different styles and then pick the one that makes most sense to you.

    I've changed my style over time...things that I use to do one way, I know do another way, only because I feel like I'm a little more advanced than I was when I first started.

  11. #11
    Power Poster ann clare's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Navan. Co. Meath. Ireland
    Posts
    15,127
    Welcome from Ireland.

  12. #12
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    ELVERTA, CA
    Posts
    15,170
    Blog Entries
    1
    That is odd - most of the patterns I have looked at tell the exact size of pieces I need which generally includes a 1/4" seam allowance. If the pattern DOES NOT indicate how many strips to cut, then the math is going to be a little more intensive.

    I use 42" as the general fabric width for my calculations because it is the shortest fabric width I've come across. Then I divide the length of my piece into 42. Let's say my piece is 4" then I get 10 pieces out of each length. (42 divided by 4 = 10.5)

    Then I figure out how may pieces I need total (pieces in each block multiplied by the blocks in the top) and figure out how many strips I will need. Let's say I need 4 pieces in each block and have 30 blocks so I need 120 pieces. Each strip gives me 10 pieces so I need to cut 12 strips.

    If each piece is 2.5" wide, I know I need to cut 12 strips @ 2.5" and I need to have a minimum of 30" of fabric for that color and piece.

    You would need to repeat that process for each piece in the block.

    IMPORTANT: I always assume that I will mis-cut something or get off on an angle, so I always buy more fabric than the minimum. Generally, I need to restraighten my cut line at least once.

    IMPORTANT: Depending on the complexity of the block, I make a trial block to test the pattern BEFORE cutting all of the fabric and finding out there is a problem with the pattern.

    Just so you know, I usually have to go back to cutting because something was mis-cut, mis-aligned, sewn wrong. To me that is just part of the process. Patchwork is not always a linear process. Sometimes it is darn right wonky, lol

    Hope this helped.

  13. #13
    Super Member CorgiNole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Chapel Hill
    Posts
    1,078
    Harriet Hargrave's Quilter's Academy Freshman year does a thorough job walking you through the steps of how to calculate fabric needed/strips needed.

    Cheers, K

  14. #14
    Super Member featherweight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Westminster, Co
    Posts
    2,701
    Quote Originally Posted by CorgiNole
    Harriet Hargrave's Quilter's Academy Freshman year does a thorough job walking you through the steps of how to calculate fabric needed/strips needed.

    Cheers, K
    I think I could use this also. I tend to do stuff the hard way.

  15. #15
    Super Member CorgiNole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Chapel Hill
    Posts
    1,078
    Quote Originally Posted by featherweight
    Quote Originally Posted by CorgiNole
    Harriet Hargrave's Quilter's Academy Freshman year does a thorough job walking you through the steps of how to calculate fabric needed/strips needed.

    Cheers, K
    I think I could use this also. I tend to do stuff the hard way.
    It is an excellent book. I'm blogging my way through it. Harriet is very gracious and will gladly answer questions as they arise. I've got Sophomore year waiting for me and volume 3, Junior year, will be released this spring.

    Cheers, K

  16. #16
    Super Member fleurdelisquilts.com's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Evergreen LA
    Posts
    1,549
    Welcome! I know this is crazy, but I can't seem to focus on one activity right through to the end. So, I cut fabric till I get tired of it, sew a while, maybe sew blocks together in rows, cut more, look at everything on the design wall, cut, sew, etc. I know, huh, it's a wonder that I get anything finished, but I do. Although I now have a studio, there was a time when I had to go to a closet for sewing, dining table for cutting, kitchen counter for stash (kept in baskets but hauled out when needed) living room floor for design wall, and so on. Eventually my husband had enough (honestly he got scared he'd get lost in the quilt stuff) and enclosed the carport to make a studio. The lesson: spread out, have fun, surround yourself with your quilting.....you may get a studio! But if not, you'll be happy anyway.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Tootsie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Buried under projects!
    Posts
    762
    Well dang! Just when I thought I had enough books, a new "must have" appears :-) Thanks for this reference.

    And no matter how long any of us have been quilting, there's always more to learn. In that sense, we're all "newbies" at something!


    Quote Originally Posted by CorgiNole
    Harriet Hargrave's Quilter's Academy Freshman year does a thorough job walking you through the steps of how to calculate fabric needed/strips needed.

    Cheers, K

  18. #18
    Super Member featherweight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Westminster, Co
    Posts
    2,701
    Quote Originally Posted by Tootsie
    Well dang! Just when I thought I had enough books, a new "must have" appears :-) Thanks for this reference.

    And no matter how long any of us have been quilting, there's always more to learn. In that sense, we're all "newbies" at something!


    Quote Originally Posted by CorgiNole
    Harriet Hargrave's Quilter's Academy Freshman year does a thorough job walking you through the steps of how to calculate fabric needed/strips needed.

    Cheers, K
    Very, very true!!!

  19. #19
    deema's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,317
    OK...so lets say you need 10 blocks. In each of these 10 blocks there will be 2 sets of strips.

    I don't know about you, but I cut my strips WOF, and generally, you have 40" to play with. You'd need 20 sets of strips to have two in each block...you follow?

    Now, how long are the strips sets in an individual block? Let's say they're 6", you can get approx 6 set of 6" strips from the 40" WOF (6x6=36). You need 20, so you'd need four sets of long strips to get that - 6x4=24 (which will actually give you 24 small strip sets).

    Sooo, let me try to generalize...

    strips in ONE block x number of total blocks = how many strips you need

    WOF / length of small strip = # of small strips from wof

    total # of small strips / # of small strips from wof = # of wof strips you need

    width of strip x # of wof strips = yardage required

    clear as mud?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.