Monday, January 7, 2019

Quilting, blooms, and how much yardage do I buy?...................

I finished the quilting on this Kaffe colorwash last night but haven't trimmed it or chosen binding fabric yet.






The white blooms are almost done and the 8 red ones are just opening.  I have 2 more growing plus I got some Paperwhites for $1.50 and started them too.




Two people yesterday asked in comments how much fabric do I buy for backings when I find fabric on sale.  I knew I had addressed that issue on my blog before and in searching found it in 2007.  That was the year before I got my longarm so some info has changed for me but it still works for people who quilt on a sit down machine.  Here is what I said:
 I buy most of my backing fabric when it is 40%-60% off and I buy 4 yards for lap quilts and twins less than 87" long with the seam going crosswise. For longer twins (up to 96") I buy 5.5 yards and seam lengthwise. For double bed size 80" wide or narrower I buy 7 yards and divide into thirds and seam crosswise. For queen size I buy 8 yards, again 3 pieces seamed crosswise, and for a square king (not CA king) 9-10 yards depending on its size. 
At this time if I want to quilt on my longarm (and I don't do all of them on the longarm) I have to add extra inches to the backings plus I almost always have the seams running the long way on all backings so it takes a little more yardage than in the info above.

The main thing is you have to know what size quilts YOU usually make and that determines how much YOU should buy.  If you send them out to a longarmer you need the extra inches too.

Price makes a lot of difference too.  If is is still $8 on sale I'm more likely to buy 4 yards.  If it is $5 or under I might buy 5.5 yards or even 7 yards.  I keep my most of my large yardage pieces together so when I'm looking for a backing I have one place to go to look at all of them to see if I have anything the right color with the right yardage.  Buying in advance and speculating that I will eventually make a quilt to use these pieces is the way I work.  I rarely ever pay full price and buy a backing when a top is finished.  The quilt police have never taken me to jail for having too much fabric on hand.

11 comments:

patty a. said...

I also buy backing yardage on sale and stash it away. Since I have been making those Harley quilts for that fundraiser, I am always on the lookout for appropriate backing at a good price - mainly fabric with skulls on it. I usually buy 6 1/2 or 7 yards to make sure I have enough. I try to make the quilt tops so that I can sew two strips together of the backing.

Gene Black said...

I agree with you about "never having too much on hand" AND "buying on sale"
:-)

Mary said...

Thank you for sharing your strategy. I like your approach.

Debbie said...

Your tips are always right on the mark. Thanks!

ebwhite said...

And just who are those Quilt Police who would dare to try defining what is the limit to "too much fabric on hand"? Cheers to you. Your blog posts enlighten my days.

Quiltdivajulie said...

My backings are almost always sale purchases - the deeper the discount the better! Love the mix of those red and white blooms - so rich and wonderful considering the khaki and gray outdoors.

Nann said...

Great reasoning, Wanda. I have a lot of backing fabric, none of which was bought at full price.

Debra Campbell said...

I found out about this free app that helps calculate fabric needed for projects. It even let's you see which layout for the backing is more economical. Here's a link to it: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=quilting.calculators

JJM said...

Reading all the comments above, I'm sure "Chris" knows more than she wanted to by now on how much fabric to purchase for her quilts. I like your method, your years and years of experience tells it all.

Lovely white Amaryllis blossoms on their way out, and to be replaced by those vibrant red ones. You couldn't ask for anything better than that.

JJM

Needled Mom said...

Your amaryllis look beautiful. My second stalks on my whites are now blooming and each one has and additional four big blooms. Such a bonus!

Char said...

I do the same. I would hate to finish a top and have to make a trip to the store to find backing before I could finish the quilt. No such thing as too much fabric!