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Thread: Question for all you smart quilters

  1. #1
    Senior Member sewhappy30's Avatar
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    I know this is silly, but here goes...If I have a pattern that says it is a 10" finished block and I want to make it a 12" finished block could I just add 2" to EVERY measurement in the pattern? Would that make it come out to a 12" block? If it says an 8" block I would just add 4" to all measurements right?
    This sounds logical to me but I want to hear from the experts before I mess up a bunch of fabric and waste a lot of time. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    it rather depends on the type of block. which kind are you trying to make?

  3. #3
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    No. You are forgetting the seam allowances as you are talking about finished sizes.

    Also, were you just planning on putting a border around each block? Or increasing each of the elements in the block to make the whole block larger?

    If you want to add a border around each block to increase the FINISHED size from 10" to 12" then you need to add a 1.5" strip around each side.

    10" + 1.5" + 1/5" less seam allowences (4 of them 2 each side of the 10" where joined to the strip and 1 each end of the strip to "finish" ) = 12" block

    If you want to increase the size of each element within the block to make the whole block bigger then you need to work out the math for each individual element. If it's a 4 patch you can probably do this simply (because 4 is divisible by 2), but if it is a 3 or a 5 patch ... you will be working in other fractions.

    What block are you trying to increase?

  4. #4
    Senior Member quiltingaz's Avatar
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    You need to add 2" to block, not all measurements. Not to every piece of block. Some will lend themselves easily to different sizes, some will need really odd sizes of the pieces to do it.

  5. #5
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    That won't work. A ten inch block won't easily translate into a 12" finished block without some strange measurements. It's much easier to change a 6" finished block to a 12" block because six evenly divides into 12 and 10 doesn't. It's also about how many pieces are in the block. Just adding 2" on each piece won't work as you need to allow for seam allowances. It's more complicated than you would first think.

  6. #6
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    It's not silly, but I'm afraid it won't work. Let's say you had a 10" finished block made up of 5 squares across and 5 squares down. Each square would be 2" finished. If you added 2" to every measurement in the pattern, your squares would finish 4". That would give you a 20" block!

    If you want to increase from 10" to 12", you need to increase each piece by 20% (12-10=2; 2 divided by 10=.20 or 20%). So your 2" square would now be 2.4". Add a .5" seam allowance all around, and you would cut your squares 2.9".

    If you want to increase 8" to 12", you need to increase each piece by 50%, so a 2" square in the 8" block would finish 3" in a 12" block.

    That's probably as clear as mud!

  7. #7
    Senior Member sewhappy30's Avatar
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    Thank you all so much I'm sure glad I ask first. I didn't take into consideration everything that was involved. The block I was asking about is called diamond candy. It's a 10" block, I guess maybe adding the 2" borders will be my option for this block.

    Thanks again everyone you sure saved me a lot of time and headaches.

  8. #8
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    There's really no clear answer, until we know what block you are doing .... parts of each may be correct, or wrong!! :)

    Some 10" blocks may translate easy enough into a 12" ... while some would be horrendous, with almost impossible to cut measurements.

    So, please do share what block pattern ... and I bet help will be on its way to you from many posters here! :)

  9. #9
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewhappy30
    Thank you all so much I'm sure glad I ask first. I didn't take into consideration everything that was involved. The block I was asking about is called diamond candy. It's a 10" block, I guess maybe adding the 2" borders will be my option for this block.

    Thanks again everyone you sure saved me a lot of time and headaches.
    Sorry ... I am not familiar with that pattern, and the name has me intrigued! Could you please post a picture or a link to the pattern?

  10. #10
    Senior Member sewhappy30's Avatar
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    It's in Quilter's World magazine February 2010 issue. Quilters-World.com Diamond Candy is the name of the quilt

  11. #11
    Senior Member sewhappy30's Avatar
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    The other block is called the double pinwheel it is 10" also. It is in Quilt magazine Dec/Jan 2012 issue

  12. #12
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewhappy30
    Thank you all so much I'm sure glad I ask first. I didn't take into consideration everything that was involved. The block I was asking about is called diamond candy. It's a 10" block, I guess maybe adding the 2" borders will be my option for this block.

    Thanks again everyone you sure saved me a lot of time and headaches.
    Don't forget the seam allowances when you add.

    Also ... if your end result is that you want a larger finished quilt there are a few other options rather than adding a border around each block.

    Add more blocks to the whole pattern, then add borders as needed.

    Add sashing to the blocks (kind of like adding a border to each block but instead of doing it to all 4 sides of each block, you add to one side of each block - sew the blocks in columns or rows, then add a sashing border in between each column/row)

    Look for tutes on sashing.

  13. #13
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    Diamond Candy seems to be a Jewel Box variant. I think you can adapt it to 12" blocks by playing with sashing ideas. There are too many different blocks named Double Pinwheel and I don't have the magazine so I'm not sure which version it uses. Can you upload pictures of each block and I will see what I can come up with? The math may not be odd numbers--it may be just a matter of turning 1/4 inch into 3/4. It depends on the number of rows in each block as well as the shapes. Paper piecing can solve the odd measurement problem on some blocks also.

  14. #14
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    use this and make a copy from your printer to the 12 inch measurement you need.
    http://www.thequiltedsnail.com/scale.html

  15. #15
    Senior Member sewhappy30's Avatar
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    I'm sorry I cannot upload a picture, I have dial-up internet and it takes way to long. Thanks for your willingness to help me thought.

  16. #16
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    I'll have to try to run to Joann's & flip through a copy to see which version. I'll bookmark this thread and come back to it if I find a way to increase the blocks easily. Without seeing the patterns--paperpiecing is the only way I know for sure it will work without having to cut the fabric for funky measurements. I've got a 20% off total purchase coupon burning a hole in my purse--LOL. Lord knows I don't need any more fabric but I'm sure some will fall into my cart.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewhappy30
    Thank you all so much I'm sure glad I ask first. I didn't take into consideration everything that was involved. The block I was asking about is called diamond candy. It's a 10" block, I guess maybe adding the 2" borders will be my option for this block.

    Thanks again everyone you sure saved me a lot of time and headaches.
    Don't forget the 1/4 inch seam .

  18. #18
    Senior Member Rhaorth's Avatar
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  19. #19
    Senior Member sewhappy30's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhaorth
    Yes that is it, thank you.

  20. #20
    Junior Member ree-nee's Avatar
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    and it also depends on how many patches are in the block and how they are set

  21. #21
    Super Member ksea's Avatar
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    Is this the pattern?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  22. #22
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    Math makes my head spin...I'm going to sit back and read LOL

  23. #23
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    That is a beautiful quilt. I would love to make one using just blue and white fabric.

  24. #24
    Super Member catmcclure's Avatar
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    This is a 5x5 block - each section is undoubtedly 2" finished. If you make each section 2-1/2" finished you will end up with a 12-1/2" block. It's easier to cut the strips 3" and end up with a 12-1/2" finished block than to try to make a 12" block.

  25. #25
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    Whew! I'm glad that one is over. When I change the size of a pattern for a larger block, I just lay the 10 inch block piece on a piece of white paper and increase 1/2 inch around then redraw piece. Makes sense to me. A 10 inch block with 1/4 seam allowance + 10.5 add 2 inches to that and you get a pattern piece of 12.5 inches. Easier than all that figuring our.

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