Monday, January 23, 2012

Quilt Math and Updates

Quilt Math?  Quilt MATH?  Yes, math.  You may or may not know that one of the many hats I have worn in the course of my life is High School Math teacher.  I have always loved math and quilting has a ton of mathematical applications. For example, if you want to make half square triangles where the finished square size is 2 ½ ", your initial square should be cut at 3 ⅜".   You have to add ⅞" to your finished square size.  Or, have you ever given thought to the fact that when piecing a quilt with a finished size of 80" X 80" if your seam allowances are off by ⅛"  your quilt will be 8" short!  Yep, quilt math is everywhere.  Now, fortunately, we really don't have to delve into the math unless we really want to- especially with the Internet to give us templates and answer all our quilty math questions- so why talk about it here? Well, my good friend and quilty buddy Michelle once told me that she no longer bought fat quarters but instead bought ⅓ yard cuts.  She does this because of the price of those fat quarters.  Well, that's been stewing in the back of my mind for a while now and so I finally sat down and did the math...

A Fat Quarter is a piece of fabric which measures
18" x 22". 


They came into being when some smart person realized that buying a ¼ yard of fabric

was too narrow to work with but buying more than a ¼ yard was too much.  So, now you can buy fat quarters at any quilt shop, in any fabric and most shops are willing to cut you a fat quarter from the bolt if you can't find one already cut.  Smart, right?  Well, that depends on how you look at it.

Here's the thing... Most fabric is going for about $10/yard these days.  So if you were to buy a ¼ yard you would spend $2.50.  But if you buy that FAT quarter yard-- they sell anywhere between $3.50 and $4.50 EACH!  If you pay $3.50 for the fat quarter you are paying $14 a yard for that fabric; $18.50 at $4.50 each!! And, if you ask the shop to cut you a fat quarter you still pay fat quarter prices.

Now as I was doing my mental calisthenics to justify buying those cute little fat quarters ('cause let's face's our version of baseball cards or shot glasses) I thought: "Well, they have to pay someone to cut the fabric..." but they have to cut the fabric anyway and that is calculated into the price of the fabric already. Hmmm, "Well, they have to display, they have to turn on lights, they have to make SOME kind of profit..."  But, no. All that is already calculated into the price of the fabric.

Now a little more math...

Based on a 44" wide fabric (that we all know is actually 42" because of the selveges):

The fat quarter has an area of 396 in² (18X22) as does the ¼ yard cut (9X44).

A ⅓ yard cut of fabric has an area of 528 in² (12X44).

(⅓, ¼, fat ¼)

But a fat quarter is probably gonna cost you $3.75 - $4.00 where a ⅓ yard cut is gonna cost you $3.34 ($10 ÷ 0.33333). So, for a few cents LESS you get 132 in² MORE in fabric!  Of course, it can be more convenient if you find what you are looking for already cut into a fat quarter but I RARELY go into a shop and not buy something off a bolt so I'm gonna be spending some quality time standing at the cutting table anyway.

So, the moral of the story: Buy a ⅓ yard cut and make your fabric $$ go farther!

Well, that's the end of that quilt math for the updates!

Remember Boo!.  Well, the piecing is DONE!  Here's the top:

Isn't it great!  I love how well all the joints came together!
Now, In October of 2010 I made this pattern called A "Door" a Doodle.  It's a kit by  The Whole Country Caboodle and it has separate little panel kits that you hang on the door quilt.

The date was not part of the original design but I didn't want that empty field so I added the date. I made another one that I gave away as a gift so now instead of making one panel for my "Door" a Doodle I make two.  Of course, the panels are part of the New Project Lists which means I am behind... no great shock there!  Anyway, I decided with the new year I want to get on top of it so...

Here is winter's Snowman A "Door" a Doodle (both of them)

They are constructed with Heat and Bond Lite and then machine appliqued. A little trick when using any fusible...  I hollow out the fusible so that it is only applied to the edges of the appliqued piece.  It keeps the project from getting stiff.  Here is a pic of the scarf the snowmen are wearing as an example

See how the fusible is only on the edges?

I also did the Heart A "Door" a Doodle as well!

Now to get them quilted and bound and on the door! :-)

Well my friends, thanks for visiting with me today.  I really enjoy seeing your comments here on my blog so feel free to leave a post.

Take care and until we meet again,

Happy Quilting!


1 comment:

  1. I'm so thrifty! :P Love your snowmen...look at you getting caught up on your banner thingy! :)