Friday, January 27, 2012

Easy math........

Before I begin today, I must apologize. On Tuesday in my haste to get off the computer when I saw Charleen coming down the road (it was our sew day), I accidentally published a column that shouldn't have been up until next week.  A few of you got to read it, while others are now sitting in anticipation of it.  Ah, well, its wait and see for those of you that came on too early or too late.  Now that's a teaser if I ever saw one!!!

I was chatting to a friend on the phone the other day seeking some information from her in regards to our upcoming quilt show.  When I got my info, she asked me a question which fortunately I did have the answer for.

She has a beautiful focal fabric that she is going to use in a quilt.  She has 6 blocks cut at 12 1/2" and now she wants to add a nine patch to it.  How big do I cut the fabrics for the nine patch?  A nine patch is quite simply a block that consists of nine other blocks.

Here is an easy formula for you.  There are 3 blocks across in a nine patch...............see that, count them.  That is all you have to consider. The large block is cut 12 1/2" so it will finish at 12".  Here you go.

Finished size of large block......12" divided by the number of blocks in the top row of the nine patch ...3 which gives you the size of one block.....4".  You have to remember to add seam allowances so your cutting size is 4 1/2"
Therefore:    12" ÷ 3 = 4"..............add the seam allowance.......cut 4 1/2"
It doesn't matter which it is, it will work for all blocks.

A large block of 16" with a 4 patch is 2 blocks
16" ÷ 2 (in this case) = 8.............therefore cut the block 8 1/2"

Prove it.....................8 + 8 = 16

Remember to only count across the number of blocks in one row.  2/3/4, doesn't matter.

These are 16" blocks with a 16 patch.  Count the number of blocks across the top row of the patchwork block.  Its 4.

16" ÷ 4 = 4".......................cut your blocks 4 1/2".

It gets a bit trickier when you have 15" blocks and you divide by 4 as you come up with 3 3/4" finished and then you have to add 1/2" you are working with fractions.  I love fractions and decimal points in school.  I excelled in them as a matter of fact.  I must have known I would need them later on in life.  Anyway the answer to that is.....................4 1/4".

Use a calculator if you have to.  It is actually quite easy, although you will have to convert that fraction to a decimal point.  (No, I'm not going to give another math lesson.)

*** TIP....Finished size of block divided by the number of blocks in the patchwork block from the top row only and you have the size of the finished block.  Add your seam allowances and bob's your you go now to cut those blocks.***

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