Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tip Tuesday - The "M" Word for Quilters

Tip Tuesday! -  Math for Quilters 

It Doesn't Have to be the "M" Word

Welcome to

"Tip Tuesday!"

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give credit where credit is due whenever possible.
These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired! 


I'm just going to put this out there. I don't like math. I never have, and never will. 

It's kind of funny how I feel about math, because I'm married to a human calculator! My husband can figure out all kinds of problems (general arithmetic, geometry, trig., etc.) in his head. He's usually done with the math by the time I've figured out what the variables are and what I have to do. 

Do you remember back in school when you were taking various math classes and you told your teacher that you didn't know why you had to learn this because you'd never use it again? 

I sure do. I said that about almost every math class I took and now I have this urge to contact those teachers and apologize. I'd have to admit to using math on a pretty regular basis in my every day life, especially with quilting. 

Do you know what I mean? Are you with me on this, or am I the only quilter here in blogland that feels this way? 

I am often (just about every class I teach), asked how to enlarge/reduce a quilt to fit a particular bed, figure out binding yardage, determine backing yardage needed, figure out side setting triangles, etc. I have to admit that I actually know how to do those things and enjoy doing them (as long as I have a calculator - or my husband) with me! 

I've come to realize that part of the problem for many quilters is that they don't have basic math facts memorized so it's difficult for them to "do the math."  I'm certainly not chastising anyone here, I just feel that's the issue. So what can I do to help? I can provide you with a cheat sheet.  

I gave a brief presentation at our guild meeting this past Saturday and provided a handout with a bunch of math stuff for them. I also handed out wallet size cheat sheets that I'm sure will help.

Today, I'm going to share with you part of those cheat sheets. Feel free to cut and paste this to make your own chart to keep with you at all times. After all, you never know when you'll happen upon a quilt shop and have to figure out much fabric you need to buy. 

I suggest having the yardage chart on one side and the mattress size on the other and then laminate the card. 

To make the yardage chart fit, you will have to divide the list. I found it worked well to divide the list into three columns (1/8 yard - 1 yard, 1 1/8 yard - 2 yards, and 2 1/2 yards - 10 yards), but feel free to do whatever works best your you!

Yardage Chart
1/8 yard = (.125) = 4.5"             
1/4 yard = (.25) = 9"                   
1/3 yard = (.333) = 12"                
3/8 yard = (.375) = 13.5"          
1/2 yard = (.5) = 18"                       
5/8 yard = (.625) = 22.5"             
2/3 yard = (.666) = 24"                 
3/4 yard = (.75) = 27"                    
7/8 yard = (.875) = 31.5"           
1 yard = (1.00) = 36"                       

1 1/8 yards = 40.5"
1 1/4 yards = 45"
1 1/3 yards = 48"
1 3/8 yards = 49.5"  
1 1/2 yards = 54" 
1 5/8 yards = 58.5"
1 2/3 yards = 60" 
1 3/4 yards = 63"
1 7/8 yards = 67.5" 
2 yards = 72"

2.5 yards = 90"
3 yards = 108"
3.5 yards = 126"
4 yards = 144"
5 yards = 180"
6 yards = 216"
7 yards = 252"
8 yards = 288"
9 yards = 324"
10 yards = 360"

Standard/Average Mattress Size
As we all know, not all beds are created alike. There are differences in mattress sizes, bedding, drops, etc. so it is best to measure the bed for which you are making the quilt to be sure you have the actual size. Then, when determining the quilt size to make, you can adjust as needed for mattress size, desired drop, headboard, footboard, etc. 

Crib           27" x 52"
Twin          39" x 75"
Double       54" x 75"
Queen        60" x 80"
King           76" x 80"

Come back next week when I'll provide the calculations for determining the side setting and corner setting triangles for diagonal or on-point quilt layouts.

3 comments:

Chris Henson said...

Thank you so very much for the yardage chart! After looking at fabric, diving deep into the colors and designs...than going up to the counter and having to do ... math. UGH. The chart will make things easier--way easier. And those pumpkins--how cute!!!!

Chris Henson said...

Thank you so very much for the yardage chart! After looking at fabric, diving deep into the colors and designs...than going up to the counter and having to do ... math. UGH. The chart will make things easier--way easier. And those pumpkins--how cute!!!!

Annie said...

I never could figure out the "proofs" required in my high school geometry class. Why did I have to prove something that someone else already had? Today, many years later, I still don't know the answer to that, but I have no problem with the geometry of quilting! The math comes easy to me.