Friday, July 23, 2010

How much binding do I need?

When I worked in the quilt shop a lot of the time, people would come in to buy their binding fabric.  How much they needed they didn't have a clue.  Didn't even know how to figure it out.  Let me try to help you out here.

I don't do bias bindings unless there is a curve in the piece I have quilted.  My rule is never, never, never bias unless I absolutely have to!  I do straight cuts from selvedge to selvedge -- 2 1/2" always.  I don't skimp, I don't like the frustration when turning it to the back.  I know there are some that will say but what about competitions.  I don't do competitions.  I just quilt for pleasure.

Now how do I arrive at the amount of fabric I need.  There is a formula and here it is.

  1.   Measure your quilt through the middle from one side to the other.............

mark this measurement down..............this one is 35" and you will have to multiply that by two as there is both a top and a bottom....................therefore 35 x 2 = 70"

2.  Measure your top from top to bottom through the middle................................................................

mark this down..................lets say it measured 50".  You have to once again multiply by 2 to allow for both sides...................50 x 2 = 100

3.  Add those two numbers together.

70 + 100 = 170

To simplify things we are going to base yardage width by 40".  Some mills are not running 45" anymore and once you cut off the selvedge on some fabrics you are pretty close to 40.

4.  Take the grand total which is 170" and divide that by 40"......It gives you 4.25

That is the number of strips that you will need to go around your quilt, but it doesn't allow for corners or joining.  I boost that up to 5 to take in all of that.

Once you have the number of strips, multiply that number -- in this case it is 5 by the width of the strips that you are cutting.  I cut mine 2 1/2" so therefore

5 x 2 1/2" =  12.5" of fabric

Take that number to your calculator and for my American friends you will need yardage, and that is 36".  Divide  12.5" x 36" and you will come up with .347 of a it 3/8 yard.

For Canadians and Australians and the other metrics out there, you use that same number but divided by 39"

Divide 12.5" x 39" and you will come up with .320 so you will need .35 of a metre.

I keep my calculator close by when I'm figuring things out like this.  I don't rely on my non mathematical brain.  I used to be able to do this in my head, but it doesn't work as well as it used to.

I hope this helps out.

I want to wish my friend, Fiberbabble, a very Happy Birthday today.  Enjoy your day, young lady!

Til tomorrow......

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