A quilter wrote in —
"I have some children's fabrics that have motifs or squares in the fabric. As an example: alphabet blocks. I would like to create a quilt block from this motif of a specific size. For instance cut out the alphabet block, insert the cut measurements of say 6.5" inches into the program, and create a quilt design using that 6.5" motif by adding additional fabrics. Are there sizing options in this program? Or just set sizes to chose from? Thank you for any information."
I am very happy to help with your question!
I recently made a quilt using flower designs cut out of an old tablecloth, so I am familiar with your project’s challenge.
Here’s the process I use —
The first thing I do is draw out my block design on graph paper. (You don’t need anything fancy. I've successfully used 4 squares to the inch, it is the most commonly found at an office supply store. However, you might find it fun to get the QuiltPaper app and create and print the grid that fits your project and eliminate some of the drafting. Especially if this is your first attempt at designing a block, graph paper will likely make this process easier because you’ll see exactly how all the pieces all fit together and be able to count up exactly how many are needed.)
2a. If you plan to use the same block for your entire quilt, draw up one block showing the alphabet letter and the pieces around it and then follow these steps to calculate yardage:
2b. For quilts where I want to use more than one block design, I find it easier to sketch out the entire quilt before calculating yardage. This way I can clearly see how the design fits together, and it is easier to count the total number of pieces I need. Once you have the entire quilt laid out you can generally follow the same steps:
Maybe an example would help?
Perhaps you like modern quilts? This block is fairly popular these days. It looks like the center square is floating.
Here is my design for this 14” block.
I set the value of each square to 1” so that this example would be easier to read.
Now follow the steps —
3. Input the number needed with the finished size into the Yardage Calculator
Once all the pieces are input you’ve got a cutting diagram for each piece and they have been automatically added to the quilt setup in Quilt Planner. Once the pieces are all input and listed in the Quilt Planner, the QuiltSandwich app's Fabric Stash and Shopping List are automatically updated and will help you keep track of the fabrics chosen for each piece – whether from your stash or purchased at a store.
I know this is a lot of information, but once you do a couple of drawings and work through the piece identification I’m sure you will get the hang of it!
Triangles can be challenging, so as a final note I wanted to comment on how the Triangle utilities n the QuiltSandwich app can help.
Of course, cutting a square in half makes triangles. Put in the Yardage Calculator that you need a triangle 3” wide, then the number of triangles you need (not the number of squares to cut!) The QuiltSandwich app will tell you the number of strips to subcut into squares and then subcut into triangles. Again, another example of where the graph paper comes in handy. Graph paper just makes it so much easier to see the size of the shapes.
Also, remember the yardage calculator can handle “funky” sizes. Quick Calc is set at quarter-inch increments, just tap ‘Switch Calc’ in the upper left to go to Super Calc where any measurement and changes to allowances can be input. Triangle Designer is especially helpful when figuring out measurements for “funky” triangles cut from rectangles.
This is exactly the sort of project that made me want a tool like the QuiltSandwich app.