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Quilting novice needs advice!

(12 Posts)
bunjies Sat 08-Aug-09 13:47:58

OK, when I say I'm a novice that kind of implies I have made a start. I'm still at the what do all the terms mean stage. I kind of understand what a 'fat quarter' is and getting to grips with blocks etc.

My question is does a quilt have to have a pattern to it? I'd rather make something that is random but is this still called a quilt? Is this patchwork or is that something totally different? All the guides I've looked at seem to have very symmetrical designs to the quilts which can be nice but just don't appeal. What I'd like to do is get together different fabrics and put them together. Is this technically a 'quilt'? Will I be looked down on for such heresy?

Also, if I want to make a king size bed sized quilt how many fat quarters do I need?


Niecie Sun 09-Aug-09 01:47:20

Yes that would still be patchwork. Anything involving joining bits of fabric together to make something bigger would be.

There is a name for what you are describing I think, (though I stand to be corrected if somebody knows better) - it is crazy quilt method. Like this perhaps?

Do you mean different types of fabrics or different patterns? I am assuming types of fabric - It does make it more difficult for a beginner, unless you have sewing skills, to use different types of fabric for the same quilt. I just happen to have my lovely Quilter's Resource Book to hand and I think it has the sort of quilt you are describing in there - the one I have in mind has brocade, velvet and silk in a randon sort of crazy paving design. Gorgeous but hard work, I should imagine.

Or perhaps you mean a sampler quilts? This where you have different styles and patterns of blocks all joined together. They can be regular squares but they don't have to be. You just have to join differnt sized blocks together with varying sizes of borders. That isn't that hard, it just requires a little bit of thought to get the borders the right size and a bit of time spent placing the blocks in the right place to make sure the overall quilt comes out the right size and shape. These are various sampler quilts

It is worth going to a quilt show if there is one near you as they have all sorts of quilt there and you will see anything goes really.

How much fabric do you need? Difficult to say. King sized quilts are about 107" x 108"

Typical quilt fabric is 44" wide and a yard is 36" so you would need about 6 yards of fabric or 24 FQs. However, this depends on how you cut the fabric and how many different types of fabric you need. 6 yds would be a minimum.

bunjies Sun 09-Aug-09 13:28:16

Thank you Niecie for your post.

I am planning to have all the pieces of fabric in the same size and material so I suppose it is patchwork I'm thinking of. I want the effect to be more random than having a defined pattern.

I was thinking of buying 2 lots of this to give me a total area of 104" x 120" (260cm x 300cm). Does this seem right?

Niecie Sun 09-Aug-09 14:40:26

Oh I get what you mean I think. Something like this do you mean? If you want to just join the squares together that is

I like the pink and green fabric too.

If you want to use 6" squares you have to all 0.25" seam allowance all the way round so you end up with a 5" square after sewing them all together. If you want your quilt to be 104" x 120" then you need 21 squares up the 104 side (104 divided by 5) and 24 squares up the 120 side (120 divided by 5)

To get the total area you would therefore need 21 x 24 squares which equals 504 squares. Divide that by 30 (the number in the pack) and you will actually need 16.8 packs!

You can reduce this by a couple of packs as you will need a border but exactly how many would depend on the size of the border.

You might be better off buying 5 or 6 different fabrics from a range and cutting your own squares. It would be cheaper.

Do get somebody to check my maths though as I would hate for you to buy yards and yards of fabric and for me to be totally wrong!!

bunjies Sun 09-Aug-09 20:22:38

Yes, that's it!

You're absolutely right about it being 504 squares. What was I thinking? Doh! You can see I've not done this before. Thank God you were around before I went and bought the fabric. I have a maths a level as well blush

Right, now need to find some larger pieces of fabric to cut up.

It's my birthday in a couple of weeks so I've asked for a cutting mat, roller cutter and ruler as a getting started present. Oh, and a book grin.

Thank you again, you have saved me a lot of heartache.

AnxiousAnne Sun 09-Aug-09 20:36:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dizzyday07 Sun 09-Aug-09 21:07:54

A 6" square sewn using 1/4" seam would give a 5.5" finished square size.

One of those pack would make a 6 square x 5 square block measuring 33" x 27.5".

16 packs would give you 132" x 110" (24 squares x 20 squares).

Depending upon how many colours you want in the quilt top it might be cheaper to buy some FQ and chop them into squares yourself

dizzyday07 Sun 09-Aug-09 21:11:28

An easy quilt to make is this one

It's made from 2.5" strips sewn together.

She makes it from 12 different 1/2 yards. But I plan to make one with a jelly roll.

Niecie Sun 09-Aug-09 22:13:28

Dizzyday07 is right - the squares are 5.5" with seams.blush

I wouldn't mind so much but I talked myself out of saying that, convinced it was 5". After all 4 edges, 0.25" on each edge, leaves 5".hmm

In my defence I was supposed to be cooking the final stages of a late lunch and DH was tutting as I kept saying I would be there 'in just one more minute'.

In an attempt to redeem myself can I just draw your attention to squares like these to help cut out the squares to the right size. Bigger rulers are useful and good for lots of things but can be cumbersome if you have to cut out loads and loads of squares.

bunjies Mon 10-Aug-09 13:43:27

Thanks dizzyday for the recalculation. And don't worry Niecie...I didn't even notice the error.

Thanks for the tip about the rulers. Do you mean the square patchwork rulers on that page?
Are they thin like normal rulers or do they have a bot if thickness to them?

BTW, what's a jelly roll?

Niecie Mon 10-Aug-09 21:03:04

Quilting rulers are quite chunky - they don't taper down at the edges like the ones you get in stationery set for example. When you are using a rotary cutter you have a definite guide along which to cut with the quilting rulers.

Jelly rolls are 2.5" x 44" strips for sewing together like these. Log cabins are the obvious designs to use them for but there loads of others. They seem to be very popular at the moment and there have been a few new books about them.

You could just cut the strips into different sizes and sew them together like this. It can be completely random like the squares if you want.

bunjies Mon 10-Aug-09 21:28:25

Right. I now have my birthday list all sorted out.

Thank you so much everyone for the advice. I'm really looking forward to getting started.

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