Nov 25, 2010

Making a quilt #3: how much fabric?

This is actually a copy-paste of my answer to Jennifer's question 'How much fabric do I need?', with a few extras.

I'll be using fabrics that have a width of 44 in. I have destined one of the prints for the back (beige with white dots). For this I'll need 36 x 60 in, plus a couple of inches more because of basting and quilting. That means a yard would not be enough but I'll be using the scraps and leftovers from the cutting of the squares to make decorative stripes so it'll do. 
I am assuming I can cut 9 squares from each strip of 4.5 x 44 in (the width of the fabric), which is quite possible. I buy fabric by the yard or meter, but I'll give you quantities for Fat Quarters (FQ = 18 x 22 in) also.

I'll be alternating squares: one 'white with blue dots' and one 'other print' and so on, so I'll need half of my total squares (135) to be 'white with blue dots' (67 squares). If my fabric is 44 in width, I'll need a lenght of 36 in (a full yard).

The other five prints:

Print 1 (20 squares) = 13.5 in (2 FQ)
Print 2 (20 squares) = 13.5 in (2 FQ)
Print 3 (12 squares) = 9 in (1 FQ)
Print 4 (8 squares) = 4.5 in (1/2 FQ)
Print 5 (8 squares) = 4.5 in (1/2 FQ)

As you see, I've already changed my mind and eliminated one of the prints, so we'll need only seven. The reason for this was because I didn't have enough quantity of one of them...
Just beware of one thing: sometimes fabric is cut by the seller in a careless manner and you waste a lot when straightening the edges. Anyway, these quantities are safe and in case something goes wrong you can replace one print by another.


  1. Oh wow. Thank you so much!

    This response worked out so nicely for me because I went to the store and found 7 fabrics that I liked. There was not an eighth I would have liked to enough to use, anyway.

    I considered using one of the fabrics every other square like you are since it is the one I like the most but then I thought it would be too many stripes. Oh well, I can always change my mind later, right?

    I have a rotary cutter and a ruler of course, but I will need a mat.

    Thank you so much! I am so excited to see your progress and get started on my quilt.

    Last question: I have read on other blogs that some quilters do not wash and dry fabric before cutting. I saw that you do. I usually wash everything first because of shrinkage, but wanted to double check before I get it wet.

    Thank you!

  2. I always wash my fabric beforehand, shrinkage does occur...
    Yes, change your mind as you please and make the best with what you have, it's part of the process...
    Do keep sharing your progress!