Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Getting Ready For the Quilt-Along - Figuring Fabric Requirements!

Hi, all!

As I am writing this morning, I am joined by a lovely Starbucks iced drink and a view of a parking lot!  As my personal tip for you today, when you are looking at buying a house, be sure that you know how they receive internet services - even though we live just minutes from several major cities, no cable or DSL services run down our road so we are reliant on satellite internet, which is highly unreliable!  The storms last week apparently knocked our dish out of whack, so until the repairman arrives, I am limited to whoever's wi-fi I can camp on to.  So kudos to Starbucks, for good drinks and good wi-fi!

All right, let's recap.  Two weeks ago I shared the design of this year's quilt-along quilt, along with a coloring template and several inspiration shots of other similar quilts.  You will find that post here.  Last week I shared the directions for a sample block, so that you could learn the technique, work out the kinks, and/or get over any fear of sewing with triangles.  You will find that post here.  Today I will be sharing how to figure out the fabric requirements for your own coloration of this design.  If you haven't made your own design, get out your crayons and color it in - it's fun!  And unless you plan on using my coloration of the design, you will want one for reference.

These instructions are assuming your finished design is symmetrical, containing five colors or fabrics.

For the purposes of these instructions, we will refer to the nine blocks that make up the entire quilt as follows:

If your design is symmetrical, you will find that coloration of the four corner blocks are identical to each other, and the four center side blocks will also be identical to each other.  That leaves only the center block as a single.

To construct these blocks, we will be building these triangle units.

Each triangle unit is made up of a 3.5" 'A' triangle, and 4.5" 'B', 'C', and 'D' triangles.

Now use the charts below to break down the number of triangles in each size and color required for your blocks.

As a double-check, be sure that your totals reflect -8- 3.5" triangles,  -24- 4.5" triangles, and -4- 5" corner triangles for a single block, and -32- 3.5" triangles, -96- 4.5" triangles, and -16- 5" corner triangles for four blocks.  These totals are the same for the next chart also.

For the center block, you won't need to multiply by four (thank you, Captain Obvious!)

For this one block, your totals should be -8- 3.5" triangles, -24- 4.5" triangles and -4- 5" corner triangles.

Now you need to collect all those numbers in one place so you can figure out the yardage needed for your quilt.  Use the following chart for those numbers:

Be sure that your totals equal the Goal Total for each column!  For the next step, I'm going to share the chart I prepared for the quilt I am cutting right now.

From a 3.5" x width-of-fabric (WOF) strip 40" wide, you should be able to cut twenty 3.5" triangles.  From a 4.5" x WOF strip, you should be able to cut sixteen 4.5" triangles.  From a 5" x WOF strip, you should be able to cut eight 5" squares for your corner triangles.  (NOTE:  One 5" square will yield TWO corner triangles.)  Using those numbers, you can figure out how many strips you need for your quilt.  

Looking at my chart above, I can see that for Color #1, I will need one 3.5" strip, one 4.5" strip, and two 5" strips (from which I will cut ten 5" squares, then cut diagonally to make twenty 5" corner triangles).  Using the most generous estimates, you will need 18" of yardage for Color #1.  

TIP:  If you cut your 5" strips and squares first, you will be able to cut the leftovers down to 4.5" to cut your 4.5" triangles, then use the leftovers from that to cut some of your 3.5" triangles.  If you are short on Color #1, you could conceivably cut these from 13.5" of yardage. 

For Color #2, you would need 26" (one 3.5" strip and five 4.5" strips); for Color #3, 16" (two 3.5" strips and two 4.5" strips); for Color #4, 23" (four 4.5" strips and one 5" strip); and for Color #5, 17" (one 3.5" strip and three 4.5" strips).

See?  Annoying quilt math made easy!  

And before you ask, no, I don't create charts like this for all the quilts I make - normally it's just hen-scratches! And here's the proof...

Man, I hate quilt math - but this quilt is totally worth it!  I hope you're going to join in the fun with me!

And if you run into problems, find a mistake, or see an easier way to present this, please let me know!

Heading home now to start cutting out my third version of this fun quilt!!




  1. Thanks for making charts for us, Sarah!

  2. That is how I do my quilt math-all over the sheets until I know it all works out! I don't do your great spread sheet end totals, though! Nice touch! I'm in!

  3. I think I'll just look through the stash for 1 yd cuts and save my brain. Think os all the scraps I'll create.


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