Patriotic Quilt Along: How much fabric will you need?
June 10, 2019
If you’re following along with my Patriotic Rag Quilt Quilt Along and you’re new to quilting like me, then you might want to use the same measurements I’m using. My quilt measures 50″ x 60″. I used 1/2 yard each of 8 different 42″ Patriotic fabrics to cut 90 7-inch squares. I used 3 yards of white Cozy flannel to back each square.
Every day we have experienced quilters approach the cutting counter and ask, “How much fabric will I need to make this quilt?” This is one of the reasons I’ve always avoided starting a quilt. If an experienced quilter has a hard time with this, then how could I, a newbie quilter, every get over this hurdle?
Note that her calculations are based on a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Based on that, your fringe will be about 3/8 inch long. In most cases this will be perfectly fine but you, personally, might want longer fringe or shorter. In that case you would have adjust the size of your seam allowance and the size of your square.
To determine how much fabric you’ll need for your rag quilt first you’ll need to decide how big you want your squares to be. And the best way to do that is to calculate backward. Start with the dimensions you want for your finished quilt and add in all of the seam allowances in a row.
For example, if you want your quilt to be 50 inches wide with 3/4-inch fringe and 10 squares in a row, then you would need to add:
50 inches for total width divided by 10 squares = 5 inches
5 inches + 7/8 inch seam allowance on all sides = a 6 3/4 inch square
Does that make sense? If not, leave the finished dimensions you want down in the comments and I’ll do the math for you 🙂
Now, how much fabric will you need?
Most quilting cottons and flannels are 40-42 inches wide. So divide 40 or 42 by the width of your square to determine how many squares you can get out of one strip of fabric. For example, if you’ve decided to use a 7-inch square you’ll get 6 full squares out of a 7-inch strip cut from 42-inch fabric.
If you need a total of 90 7-inch squares and your fabric is 42 inches wide then 90 divided by 6 = 15 7-inch strips that you’ll need, or a total of 3 yards of fabric.
I’m using 8 different fabrics in my Patriotic quilt so I divided 3 yards by 8 and bought 1/2 yard of each fabric, along with 3 1/4 yards of white Cozy flannel for the backing.
Again, if that doesn’t make sense leave the finished dimensions you want down in the comments and I’ll do the math for you 🙂
Donna Anderson 'works' at Joann Fabrics at 4600 W. Broad St. in Columbus, OH. Just look for the crazy old lady behind the cutting counter. As a kid, she ran with scissors and ate paste. She's since found safer, more creative ways to use her Fiskars and Mod Podge. Next time you're at the store, stop by the cutting counter and have a chat! (Just please don't ask her about lightbulbs!)