Quilting Reference Tables

Quilting Basics 101

Some quick tables of reference for you

Getting Started

Before you begin work on your quilt there are some factors to consider. Good planning avoids costly miscalculations, especially those of buying too much or too little fabric. Some of the things to determine before setting to work are the following:

  • The size the quilt is going to be.
  • Whether or not it will drop down the sides of the bed, and if so, how far.
  • If it will be tucked under the pillows
  • The size of each block within the quilt
  • The layout of the blocks
  • The width of the fabric you are going to use
  • Whether or not you will sash between the rows and the blocks
7/8 YARD 31.5 INCHES
5/8 YARD 22.5 INCHES
3/8 YARD 13.5 INCHES


99 2″ squares
56 2.5″ squares
42 3″ squares
30 3.5″ Squares
20 4″ Squares
16 4.5″ Squares
15 5″ Squares
12 5.5″ Squares
9 6″ Squares
6 6.5″ Squares

Approximate Sizes for Standard Quilts

Twin 75″ x 98″ or 68″ x 88″ “Preemie” Quilt 18″ x 20-24″
Full 83″ x 106″ or 81″ x 88″ Newborn 25″ x 30″
Queen 90″ x 106’ or 88″ x 96″ Crib 50″ x 53″
King 107″ x 108″ Toddler 35″ x 45″
Child 40″ x 60″

Calculating Fractions for Quilts

Fraction 1/8 1/4 3/8 1/2 5/8 3/4 7/8
Decimal 0.125 0.25 0.375 0.5 0.625 0.75 0.785

Quilt Binding Requirements

(Based on 45″ wide fabric)

Length + Width of Quilt Number of Strips Required Total Amount of Fabric Yardage Required Total Usable Length
24″ – 34″ 2 5″ 1/4 Yard 68″
36″- 50″ 3 7 1/2″ 1/4 Yard 102″
52″ – 66″ 4 10″ 1/2 Yard 136″
68″ – 84″ 5 12 1/2″ 1/2 Yard 170″
86″ – 100″ 6 15″ 1/2 Yard 204″
102″ – 118″ 7 17 1/2″ 1/2 Yard 238″
120″ – 134″ 8 20″ 3/4 Yard 272″
136″ – 152″ 9 22 1/2″ 3/4 Yard 306″
154″ – 168″ 10 25″ 3/4 Yard 340″
170″ – 186″ 11 27 1/2″ 1 Yard 374″
188″ – 200″ 12 30″ 1 Yard 408″
Estimates based on 2 1/2″ cut binding strip width.

Shadow Boxes

I just love the way this quilt style looks. I’m usually not much of a fan of modern quilting patterns, with my taste running more towards traditional pieced quilts, but this one… Oh my!

I love the 3-D look to this one. This particular one is done in batiks. I have some. I’m not sure how much and I’ll probably have to break down and buy more. Such a shame! Shopping.  

Kauffman has a nice pattern for a Shadow Box.  You can find a free tutorial here. Thank you Jean MaDan!


Let me know if you make or have made one of your own!

Disappearing Four Patch

So I started this Disappearing Four Patch at the beginning of summer. And I promised two flag themed quilts to two of my favorite men. And…a purple one for a special lady. Then it got really nice outside and I got lazy. Real lazy. I haven’t been in the studio much at all this summer because I love to sit and read and listen to the birds instead of a sewing machine. While I was busy being lazy the world spun without me and with that spinning came change. My (household) world turned upside down and I’m adjusting to a new kind of world. One of more solitude. And before I knew it, here it is. The end of summer is upon us and I haven’t accomplished a flipping thing to speak of.


What the recent change gives me is the opportunity to have more space for my studio. I’ll be taking over the entire second floor, about 1300 square feet (yeah me!!), as my studio. So everything is going to migrate upstairs before long. I have to pick out paint colors, clean carpets, pack up all the fabric, threads, machines, tables and then the Crown Jewel and frame go upstairs. I might need a wee bit of help carrying that monster up there but it’ll happen. Just as soon as I get the room ready.

For the moment, I’m sorting out paint chips and trying to pick colors I can look at for a long time because I really don’t like to paint very much. Especially ceilings. They’re not my favorite thing. And I really don’t want to have to move all this equipment once it’s set up to repaint so I’m taking my time at choosing colors. I also have to choose a new ceiling fan with a light fixture. The current one has the capability to add a light but it’s 16 years old so I and I’m not sure I can find one that’s compatible and it’ll be easier in the long run just to get a new fixture. Then I can really light up the room when I’m longarm quilting! Or I can turn off all the lights and use black lights. Hmmm…can’t wait to try that. It’ll be nice to have all my tools and equipment in the same room for a change. I can cut, sew, iron and knit (yes, the knitting machines are also going back into service) to my hearts content without fussing about choosing one project or the other to work on at a time. I can tornado the entire room and no one needs to know!

I might take before and after shots of the new space. The before pics might be too scary for public viewing though. So I’ll think on that for a while! Wish me luck!

PS: Room color option ideas are more than welcomed!

Upcycled Bags!

20140703_1714111-e1404665282233-150x150If you’re like me and have big dogs who eat dry dog food, you’re going to end up with a collection of very large, very sturdy bags. What do you do with yours when the food is gone? Toss them? Recycle them? Our area doesn’t have a recycling program that accepts the food bags. So there you are. Stuck with a pile of bags that are too nice to toss out.

I started thinking about the bags from Costco they sell for your grocery items. They’re not made to last. At least it seems like that to me.  The handles dig into my hands if there’s much weight in the bags at all and…I just can’t bring myself to pay for them.

Now here I have several dog food bags I’ve saved and I turned them into some darn fine grocery tote bags. I made a dozen out of bird seed bags, too, but those are just the right size for a gazillion uses so the kids and grandkids have pilfered them all! I’ll have to make more bird seed bag totes before long. But for today, I want to make the larger bags.

The first second thing you should do is cut off the bottom end. The very FIRST thing you should do is make sure all the food or seeds are out of the bag. Hitting a sunflower seed or piece of dog food with your scissors while you’re trying to cut a straight line doesn’t work well. Once you have both ends open, take the bag to the bathtub and wash all the sticky residue and crumbs from the inside of the bag. You’ll find out later why this step is important. Dry the inside and outside of the bag well with and old towel or rag or hang it outside to drip dry if it’s warm out. This makes the bag more of a tube. You’ll want to either wipe the inside down with a rag with soap and water or take them to the bathtub and give them a nice soak to remove the slippery, sticky film the dog food creates. It also removes the crumbs. I’ll tell you why later that it’s an important step in case you haven’t figured that out yet.20140703_1552491-150x150

Once your bag is nice and clean inside and out and dried well, you can cut a nice straight line across the bottom of the bag. Just smash it flat and use a straightedge to mark a line. You can use scissors to cut along this line or you can do what I did. I use a rotary cutter and a quilting ruler to make a nice straight edge like I would do with fabric.

Measure up from that bottom edge and place a mark at about 30 inches. This will give you enough to make a nice size bag bottom and turn the top edge over where your handles will go. Cut along your new line. The large section is going to be your bag. Out of the smaller section, cut a strip that’s 5 inches wide. Cut straight across the bag. You’ll have a very short tube now. Cut the section from the top to the bottom of your new tube where the heat bonded seam is on the bag. This will turn your tube into a strip. Now hold the cut ends together and fold in half. Cut the strip across to make two strip sections the same size. These will be your handles.

Fold the handle section in half lengthways and use your finger or a wooden pressing stick to make a nice center crease in the strip. Fold the long side cut edge to meet this fold line in the center. Or as close as you can get. Again, press this new folded edge with a pressing stick. Do the same with the other side. Then fold that together and you’ll have a nice edge on both sides (easier on the fingers when you carry it). It’ll almost look like folded bias tape. Sew along each side 1/8 inch from the edge and one more time down the center of the strip.

20140703_1643461-150x150Now it’s time for the tricky part. Sewing the top of the bag over and attaching the handles in the same process. It’s slippery. You can’t use pins.


20140703_1656441-150x150I’m sure you technically could use pins but why put holes in the bag on purpose? I use binder clips to hold the handles in the position I’ve marked ahead of time. The binder clips work as a general third hand but don’t even try to sew near them.  They do not budge when budging is needed. When you get close to the clips, remove them before sewing past the handle. Before you can do this, you have to turn the bag inside out so the pretty side is inside. Did you remember to wash and dry the bag first? If not, you probably now have a mouthful of dog food crumbs. And your hands are sticky. I told you to wash it first! Don’t ask me how I learned how important it was. I’ll admit to nothing. Ever.

Once you get past this challenge, it’s time to form the bottom of the bag. I do this by squishing the corners flat so the end makes a triangle. Try to match both corners up the same. 20140703_1739311-150x150When you’re sure you have the measurements correct, it’s time to sew across the corners. Turn the bag inside out so the right side is showing, press those corners with your fingertips so you get a nice sharp corner. The excess folded triangle corner parts can be cut off or do as I do and leave them in, press them to the center of the bag and forget they’re there. I like to pretend they add a bit more substance to the bottom seam, making the bag stronger. Regardless if that’s true or not, we tested the first bag I made by having a willing adult female step inside the bag while her strong he-man lifted her up in the bag and carried her though the kitchen. No fails!! If the bag can carry a young woman, it’ll hold your groceries without worrying about dumping them in the driveway. And here ya go! A bag that will last a long time and will carry more than you want to lift in the first place!













Wonky Puzzle Baby Quilt


The beginning! Selection of bright fabrics for the Wonky Puzzle Blocks Baby Quilt.

The beginning! Selection of bright fabrics for the Wonky Puzzle Blocks Baby Quilt.

This is how it starts. You look though the stash and find some of the brightest, boldest fabrics you have. Oh… and wait for them to talk to you and tell you they want to be part of this quilt. Only then will they all play well together. Just kidding! The more bodacious, gaudy,” too bright for neon” fabric you can locate works great in this quilt!

Finally got it all together. I recommend a design wall for placing all the blocks before the sew out. That way you can move them around so the colors don’t blend into one another. The last thing you want to do (IMHO) is put two similar colors next to each other. Bold, bright and contrasting is the way to go.

After putting the top together I had to figure out what kind of border I wanted to put on. It didn’t make sense to me to make an elaborate border since I wanted the eye to fall in the center of the quilt. I ended up using strip sets from some of the major colors to make the border.


This is what I ended up with. I definitely need a design wall! At least some place to take a decent picture of quilts before and after they’re completed. Now onto the quilting! I’ll revisit this page and post a picture of the completed quilt soon!