Quilt Math…

16 Blocks With 1/2″ Sashing

I have just finished assembling the 16 blocks with 1/2″ sashing. I decided to use a narrow sashing to tame the bias edges of the blocks – it has done that. The half inches and the intersections are pretty good – the imperfections won’t be noticeable when I’ve added the outer border and quilted the whole thing.

So here’s my dilemma – I have exactly 20″ of the sashing fabric to use for the outer border. I’d like to use 3″ cuts but here is the math:

  • Side length = 56″
  • Fabric (minus selvage) = 42″ + 14″ = 56″
  • Overlap needed to join fabric = 6″
  • Overlap for corner mitre = 3″ x 2 = 6″
  • Total fabric needed for one side = 56″ + 12″ = 68″
  • Fabric needed for 4 sides = 272″
  • 20″ of fabric cut into 3″ strips yields 6 x 42″ = 252″!

If I cut six 3″ strips I’m going to be 20″ short of fabric – and I don’t have a scrap of this navy Speckled (Ruby Star Society) anywhere in my boxes of scraps. (If I hadn’t done the sashing, I’d have had enough fabric!)

Back to the beginning – what if I don’t mitre the border corners – I still need 56″ of border length for two sides, plus 6″ to create a mitre join, the two short lengths each need to be 62″. The two longer pieces each need to be 62″ + 6″ (double the width of the border) – 68″. Total border length: (62 x 2) + (68 x 2) = 260″! I’ve managed to save 12″ but I’m still short 8″. Butting the border pieces won’t work either.

OK, so I create 2 3/4″ strips (2 3/4″ x 7 = 19 1/4″) – that means I have enough fabric to make 7 cuts from the 20″ of fabric. 7 x 42″ = 294″. That gives me enough length for four border sides with mitred corners (leaving me 22″ to play with). Attached, (using a 1/4″ seam) gives me a 2 1/2″ border. I then lose at least another 1/4″ if I do a hidden binding, 1/2″ – 5/8″ if I decide to finish with a traditional quilt binding. In the end I will have just about a 2″ border. Not quite wide enough to tame the busyness of the 40 coloured strips in the panel.

I managed to find more navy Speckled fabric online – it’s on the way; but I have no guarantee that the colour will match what I used for the sashing. It looks like I better wait for the fabric I ordered to arrive. Just put this project aside and start another quilt. If the fabric I ordered is close I’m in business. If not, I will have to make a narrower navy border and then improvise with another fabric to make a wide second border.

3 thoughts on “Quilt Math…

  1. Pingback: 131 – Math – Beach Walk Reflections: Thoughts from thinking while walking

    • I’m going to wait until the ordered fabric arrives and then decide what to do. I could edge the panel with a narrow (1/2″) border, then add a second 3 1/2″ border of some complementary batik – if I can find one locally! It won’t be something I can order because it has to complement 40 different fabrics!

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