Monday, June 27, 2016

Quilt Math Makes My Head Hurt

So it's been a busy month -- making heart blocks for our #QuiltsforPulse quilt drive, making more heart pillows for our Hearts for Hope charity, and cutting up all my fabric for the queen sized bed runner that I'm making for my parents. Hooray for completing my one monthly goal for June.


The Missouri Star Easy Cathedral Window tutorial is, in fact, easy. That is until you need to figure out exactly how many squares are needed for the base, the windows, and the clever curves. I originally wanted to make the runner 30" x 84" so that it would be a layout of 10 squares x 28 squares, with 3" finished squares, but then realized that I didn't have enough fabric. Hmmmm.... maybe I could reduce the layout to 9 x 28... but no, I needed to stick with even numbers since the blocks are made with 4 patches. That's how I settled on an 8 x 28 layout.  Whew.  Now that I had that figured out, how many squares does that really mean? There are the bottom squares that make the foundation, all those background squares that are folded in half that will eventually make the curves, and then there are window squares that overlay at all the intersections!  It was enough to give me a headache.

The only way I was going to figure it all out was to put pencil to graph paper so I could visually count everything up.


As you can see in the photo above, there are lots of things crossed out, and my rendering was my original layout of 10 x 28 (even though it's written correctly). After lots of head scratching and counting of fingers and toes, I've come up with this:

Bottom Foundation Colored Squares = 224
Top Window Colored Squares = 95
Background Cathedral Curves Squares = 380

Since I'm using 6 different colors I'll only need 53 squares of each color (+1). No problem there. But those background squares (some of which I've already pressed into cute little triangles)... I've come up short. Thanks to all this quilty math I now know that I need to purchase another yard and a half of Bella snow. I guess it makes the headache worth it. Better a headache now than tears later.

13 comments:

  1. Way better to have a little headache now than tears for sure! Congratulations on making your goal for the month and I hope this sets you up for fun sewing and less headaches in the future.

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  2. Math and headache aside, it's going to be gorgeous when you get it finished. Hopefully, the hard part is over now and you can get down to the thread to fabric construction part. Can't wait to see it finished.

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  3. Wow, you are ambitious! I made a wreath of those blocks one time, and that about did me in! This will be beautiful, though. Keep posting on OMG so I remember to come see your progress!

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  4. I had a look at the video and maybe will have a go sometime. Good on you working out the maths now you just need to get the windows done.

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  5. woops you have reposted this post!! Should there have been a different post I wonder

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  6. It going to be gorgeous and with all the math you had to do!

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  7. I cannot wait to see this! The colors are gorgeous and I guess I better check out that 'easy' tutorial! Quilt math, any math is always confusing to me.

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  8. Oh wow, you are going for a cathedral window quilt. I love those. I am looking forward to see you progressing with yours. =)

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  9. I look forward to seeing your cathedral window runner. I think I would have been in tears just trying to figure it all out. Great patience on your part.

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  10. That will be a beautiful runner when it's done. Sometimes, like you I do the maths, and sometimes I just make a few, lay them out, make a few more and repeat!!

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  11. Going to be beautiful, I love your drawing!! And you will be so much happier having it all figured out ahead of time:)
    That's a lot of squares!

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  12. I just have to laugh because I have done and redone the math for a cathedral windows quilt more times than I can count! I have lots of scribbles and scratch-outs too. This runner is going to be amazing. I can't wait to see it!

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  13. Sometimes that math does get crazy. Especially when you "might" need more fabric. Very frustrating. When I plan out my quilts there are scribbles everywhere. I think it will be a lovely piece. Can't wait to see it.

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