Quilting Math : Where do you need it and why should you not be scared of it

Quilting does require quite a bit of math. Right from composing your quilt to finding out how much binding you will need, there is a lot of Math involved at every step. Some quilters find it quite easy while some find it downright overwhelming. If you fall into the later category, this post is for you. Today we are going to take a quick look at some quilting math - mainly where do we need to use it and why we should not be terrified of it.

Are you ready to start your Quilting Math Class 01?

quilting-maths

Grab a notebook and a pen, a calculator and cup of coffee or tea. Staying away from wine would be better for now. But you can always keep a bottle chilling in the fridge to celebrate later.

First up : Where do you need to use Math in Quilting?

Honestly, in a lot of places. But let us take them one by one and just list them. In later posts we will get to them one by one or in a bunch and I will tell you secrets that I use. Here are 5 places that I use quilting math in. 

  1. Designing your quilt. The first place you will need to know some math is designing your quilt.
  • How big do you want the quilt to be?
  • Do you want it to be made of blocks?
  • How many blocks in all will you need?
  • What size?
  • What will be the size of sashing and borders?
  • How much fabric will you need? You will need to calculate how much fabric of each colour/print you will need to make your quilt. This, again, will require some quilting math.
  • Cutting fabric with little to no waste. If you can work out quilting math, you will be able to cut your fabric with little to no waste! We all agree that every little piece of fabric is precious, right?
  • Calculating length of the binding required. You will need to ensure that you will not fall short of binding when you are finishing your quilt on a deadline.
  • And finally, pricing your quilt. Even if you're not selling your quilt, it is always helpful to know the value of your work!

 

Why should you understand quilting math and stop being afraid of it?

The first main reason that insist that you try to understand quilting math is because "Quilting Math is hard" is a myth! An urban legend. I'm sure it has been propagated by someone who either writes or sells quilt patterns. That way, quilters will not even try their hand at designing their own quilts, but go ahead and buy patterns instead. 

Quilting math is not at all hard. Yes, its not super easy. But it is something that I have been able to teach my 12 year old son and I'm sure you will be able to 'get' it. It might not come to you naturally, but I'm sure, given enough time, you can train your mind to understand and apply it.

What will happen when you learn how to work out the math in quilting?

  1. You will begin to design your own original quilts. Or even modifying a pattern to your own requirement will not be that hard. You might even want to start writing and selling your own quilt patterns.
  2. You will be able to calculate the amount of fabric you will need for a quilt easily, with minimum errors. That will save you a lot of money and all the stress that you-might-just-run-out-of-fabric feeling causes!
  3. You will be able to cut fabrics very efficiently and actually save fabric by preventing wastage.
  4. You will always have enough binding!!!
  5. You will know exactly how much your work is worth (so that you do not accidentally gift a not-so-close person a 2000$ quilt!) and can make profits when you sell your quilts. You will also be able to provide near-accurate quotes for when people come to you with an inquiry for a quilt.

Does that make you want to learn how to do your quilt math yourself? Stay tuned. We will start with "Designing your own quilt" on the 2nd of October and go through all the quilting math one at a time.

 

 

 


1 comment

  • Awesomely written! I am very scared of math, so I’ve been choosing the simple way to make patchwork quilts. Your article makes me want to take that step towards a little complicated design. Thank you! Will update you when I make one.

    Bishakha

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