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Learn How to Calculate Yardage to Make a Quilt

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How Much Fabric is Needed for Quilt Borders?

Quilt Border Yardages

Borders help you easily adjust the size of your quilt top. Vary the number of borders you sew to the quilt or adjust their widths to suit you. Once you've determined widths and styles it's easy to calculate border yardage.

Read About Quilt Borders before you calculate yardage, and keep in mind that mitered borders require longer strips than butted borders.

Choose a Border Grain

Decide if you want borders cut on the fabric's straight grain or on its crosswise grain. Straight grain strips are less stretchy and can help you square up the sides of a quilt top, which are often a bit skewed after sewing blocks together.

Crosswise grain borders must be pieced if they are longer than the fabric's selvage-to-selvage width, usually 40"-42" of usable fabric. Ask yourself:

  1. How many strips must you cut across the grain to assemble the border lengths required?
  2. How wide will each strip be?

    Multiply the strip width by the number of strips to find the total running inches. Divide that number by 36 to determine yardage.

Lengthwise grain borders can be pieced if yardage isn't long enough to cut them as single panels, but single panels are neater looking.

If you plan to repeat a fabric used in the quilt, buy yardage that's longer than the anticipated length of the longest border. Determine how much width you'll need to cut borders from the fabric, and then calculate remaining yardage requirements using the shorter width of fabric that remains after removing the borders. In other words, replace the standard 40" width with your actual usable width when making calculations.

Sashing Yardage

Calculate sashing yardage as you would for any other unit in the quilt. Make a rough sketch of the quilt layout to help you visualize how many strips are required.

 

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