Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday Questions....Conversion of Sizes

I get some really thought provoking questions in my email, and sometimes I think posting them here will help other people who might be wondering the same thing.

For instance, today I found this email:
I want to know if there is a way to change a queen size pattern if you only want a twin size quilt? And how do I know how much fabric I will need. If you can help it will greatly appreicated. I also make a lot of baby quilts.

First off, being a scrap quilter, I typically don't have to worry about things like yardage amounts, unless it is something specific...borders, sashing, binding.

Usually when I want to make a smaller quilt from a larger pattern, I just make fewer blocks.

Figuring the fabric is a bit more difficult..I prefer to have more
than I need, than to fall short.

If you can figure how much fabric you will need to BACK the size of
quilt you want, that is a guide line on how much fabric you might need
for the front. I usually add a bit extra, because some fabric is lost
in the piecing and cutting of the top.

There are no hard and fast rules here. The more pieces in the top,
the more is taken up in the seams, and the more fabric you will need
for the top, but it is a good guideline to start with....how much it
will take to back the size you want, plus some.

I think this is why I like being a scrap quilter. It's easier on all levels! You don't have to worry about running out of something, if you do, you substitute something else similar, and it adds more interest to the quilt. I don't have to worry if I have enough, and if I have more than enough, the left overs are always welcome!

Sometimes, when taking a larger quilt down to a smaller size, I will also make the block smaller, because I like the repeat of blocks across the quilt. Let's face it..a quilt set 4 X 5 is going to be a lot more interesting than a quilt set 2 X 3. There is just more to go on with the secondary designs that way.

So this is where my mind takes me...and it's the easiest way for me to guestimate how much I am going to need for the top of any quilt. Hope it helps someone!

I've hand quilted this morning..for about 1.5 hours! Now I'm off to tackle some drawers, and then get myself to the gym for a session with Charlee. I hope she doesn't whoop my butt too badly today! :cD


  1. This was kind of like reading an old Ann Landers column with your giving advice...funny huh....oh it is just me and this silly stupid thought at the moment. But I had to tell ya....Bonnie aka Ann Landers Quilt Style!

  2. Here is my shorthand for quickly visualizing a new size for a quilt.
    If a quilt is 60 by 80 and I want a bigger quilt, I look at it sideways. The 80 becomes the short side of the quilt and I figure out how much longer I want it and build up from there.
    If a quilt is 60 by 80 and I want a smaller quilt, I look at it sideways and the 60 becomes the longer side of the quilt and I cut back to the width I want.
    This works well if quilts with borders to help visualize a different size.
    This also probably makes absolutely no sense to anyone but me.

  3. I'm a scrap quilter as well so just "make it up" as I sew. However, the best instructions that I've read about changing quilt sizes and calculating fabric requirements is in the book "Quilts from the Heart: Quick Projects for Generous Giving" by Karin Renaud.

  4. I've done the less blocks thing when I want to make a quilt smaller. My problem is when a pattern is for a lap and I want to make a larger quilt. That's when I don't know how much fabric to buy.

    Do you do the massage therapy at all anymore?

  5. I do both as Bonnie and Lyn describe and they work well. I add about 30% more of each piece of fabric going from a lap to a queen. Leftovers can go to my next scrap quilt, my favorite.


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