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  1. #1
    The Guild President

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    Default How to figure yardage

    Hi everyone, hope this day is going good for you all. I have a question on figuring out yardage for my quilt backing. I'm heading out to Joann's to buy backing for my quilt top. I have 3 different answers from the websites which makes me more confused. My quilt top width is 38", the length is 42". I will be using a horizontal seam. One answer given to me I need to buy 2 7/8 yards for backing. That seems a lot to me. Another answer I got was 1 1/4 yards which seems more logical. Last answer I got says 2.4 yards. Now I'm not sure which is right here. I'm trying my best not to buy more fabric than I need as I'm trying to cut down on my stash. Now, since I will be "stitching in the ditch method" how much overage should I allow? I know you quilters have been in the same boat as myself buying more fabric than is necessary, right? I thank you.
    Please explain how you figure this so I can remember in the future.
    Linda

  2. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: How to figure yardage

    In a perfect world 1-1/4 yd. 1-1/4 yd will give you a piece of fabric 44" wide by 45" long.
    Your quilt is 38" wide by 42" long.
    You'd have just enough to cover the back. No seams. 1 piece of fabric.
    On the width you could have 8" of "extra"; making 4" on either side.
    On the length you would have 3" extra; making 1-1/2" on either inside.

    The unknown is how much will be drawn up with the quilting. Also not all fabric has 44" width that is good. Ya gotta consider the selvages. Once selvages are removed, how much is left? 44"? Maybe.

    1-1/2" on either side, would make me nervous on the length. You could go with 1-3/8 yd. that would give you 49-1/2" to work with. That would give you almost 4" on either side.

    It wouldn't hurt to take you quilt tip with you to the store. Find an empty spot and spread out. If you can live with it, OK. Otherwise, you'll need more fabric?

    I've just read what I wrote......maybe confusing! So sorry. Hopefully someone with a working brain can explain it much better.
    Anita

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  4. #3
    Applique Angel

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    Default Re: How to figure yardage

    So the 1 and 1/4 yards measurement will give you almost zero wiggle room on your sides. It's doable if you're very careful and fastidious, but most people don't want that kind of headache.

    Most people work with 3-6" of overage past every side, depending on their comfort level. If you are planning to sew two pieces together with a horizontal seam, then you'll need somewhere between (38+3)*2 inches and (38+6)*2 inches, therefore you need somewhere between 2 and 1/3 and 2 and 1/2 yards for your backing. You will have a lot of leftover backing, so pick fabric that you might want to use in another project.

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  6. #4
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: How to figure yardage

    What type of batting will you be using? I have a method for cotton with scrim.

  7. #5
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: How to figure yardage

    I just did a 60x70 quilt for christmas with only 3 yards of backing. I had a half inch left over on one, side and an inch on the other. I stiched in the ditch first, then quilted a flower in the center of each block.

    With 1 1/2 yards you'd have a 38x42 top on a 42 by 54 piece, which is plenty. No seams required.

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  9. #6
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: How to figure yardage

    Quote Originally Posted by PrettyCurious View Post
    I just did a 60x70 quilt for christmas with only 3 yards of backing. I had a half inch left over on one, side and an inch on the other. I stiched in the ditch first, then quilted a flower in the center of each block.

    With 1 1/2 yards you'd have a 38x42 top on a 42 by 54 piece, which is plenty. No seams required.
    Yes thank you. I was leaning toward the 1 1/2 yard. How I hate cutting fabric in half then piecing a seam. I think Robert Kaufman's calculator is more precise.
    Linda

  10. #7
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: How to figure yardage

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy, USMC View Post
    What type of batting will you be using? I have a method for cotton with scrim.
    Yes that is what I usually buy.
    Linda

  11. #8
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: How to figure yardage

    Quote Originally Posted by LindaKay75 View Post
    Yes that is what I usually buy.
    OK here goes ... pm me if anything is confusing.

    I usually go on the thrifty side. (Note- works well with scrimmed cotton batting; this doesn't work well if you are using lofted poly .) First I make sure the backing I'm looking at is 44-45 inches ... I will take an actual measurement in the store before it's cut. Once I get it home I lay it out lengthwise and place the completely ironed and flat pieced top on top and make sure the top is smaller than the backing.

    Next I'll take the top off - layer the batting - and safety pin the batting at the edges through the selvage and make sure the pins catch the batting and backing at the very edge of the backing. Finally place the pieced quilt on top and pin in several places throughout the quilt and especially at the edges to ensure it stays inside the visible safety pins that are holding the batting to the batting.

    Then and only then will I start SITD - first run at the center running from top to bottom and then alternate the direction of the stitching - bottom to top - then top to bottom again repeated to the lengthwise edge. Then (again starting in the middle) I'll do the horizontal SITD again alternating the direction.

    The only problem I've encountered doing it this way is having a bit of selvage at the edge once SITD is completed. But the binding usually covers this little bit.

    I've seen your album and by looking at the great quilts you've already made I know you can do this.

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