Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Frugal Ancestors

...would be turning over in their graves!  Did a little figuring yesterday... the results were quite shocking... to me anyway!

About a month or so after I dreamed up the tumbler quilt idea, I found a magazine that I thought might be helpful... save me some time doing various calculations...


The pattern calls for using 5" squares of various fabrics (charm squares) and provides fabric requirements for four sizes... crib, twin, queen, and king.  Based on those figures, I estimated I'd need appx 700 blocks for a large throw-size quilt for Daniel.

Now... I assumed that the blocks cut from the 5" charm squares would be 5" on the base and 5" high.  Well, you know what happens when one assumes things.... yup... that's when U make an ASS of ME.

Turns out the tumbler template/pattern included in the magazine is 3.875" wide at the base x 3.5" high x 2" wide at the top of the tumbler.

I love math and actually enjoy changing patterns to the size I want or figuring out measurements and fabric requirements for a quilt I've seen online... so I did a few calculations.

  • Charm square block= 25 sq in
  • Tumbler block cut with neon yellow tumbler template = 20 sq in
  • Tumbler block cut according to magazine pattern = 10.0625 sq in

Hmmm... with more than half the square inches of the charm square cut away... we're talking a lot of wasted fabric over those 700 blocks... in fact, over half the square inches will be cut away!

So... I am staying with the less wasteful day-glo tumbler template and therefore... I don't need 700+ blocks!  Who knew, all those years ago, that math would come in so dern handy?

Note:  The tumbler quilt in the magazine is a "charm" quilt where you're supposed to use a different fabric for each tumbler block.  Personally, I think it would be more fun to try and find two blocks that matched... and I'm all for using every bit of fabric possible...  waste not, want not!


  1. That is great that you end up needing less and wasting less fabric! How many will you need now?

  2. I'm glad that you took the time to think it through. I like cutting from strips better, since there is less waste. Also glad that you need to cut less tumblers for your version. It is going to be fun seeing the quilt come together.

  3. Too much math for me this early in the morning! I look forward to seeing your creation - have fun!!

  4. Excellent ciphering! ;-) Like you, I am compelled to save every scrap, which in my art form means even a 1/2 inch of a glass rod. And some of my work also requires precision, but we're talking millimeters. Ugh!

  5. You book reminded me that I have a quilt book or two! My favorite of the 2 is "Tea in the Garden", by Cynthia Tomaszewski. (lots of tea sets in there too!)

  6. I love scrappy quilts like charm quilts. The tumbler pattern is so much fun. Glad someone is good at math!

  7. Good news. I can't wait to see it.