I have had several emails asking different questions about how I draft the quilt blocks so I thought I would share how I do it
in a tutorial...
"Drafting a quilt block 101"
You can draft so many traditional
quilt blocks (but not all)
for rotary cutting instead of templates by using very simple math.
Now don't get me wrong, templates are a part of quilting and there are so many blocks and quilts made with templates....
But for me, when there is a way to rotary cut/use a ruler instead...
that's usually what I do.
I'm probably much too comfortable with my
rotary cutter and rulers:)
But that's just me!
If you happen to be one of the many who love to use templates only...go for it!
I'm just talking about me here.
Okay...with that being said...on to the tute.
First of all...let me say that I am so not a math whiz...it's just that I have been quilting and designing for many years and I have learned a thing or two that I would be happy to pass on to you:)
The first thing you need is graph paper.
For this quilt I am making now I am using a
5" x 8" pad.
I got mine at Office Max.
I'm sure you could use any old paper but let me tell you that drafting blocks
becomes alot easier when using
graph paper...trust me!
I heart drawing on graph paper...
we always had it around the house
when I was a girl because my Dad
designed rockets for a living
and he always had a large supply on hand.
Also...I would suggest using a pencil...of course we all need to erase!
I love a .05 mechanical pencil to do
all of my drawing.
Okay...lets get started!
The first thing you will need to know is what is the FINISHED SIZE of the block you are drafting....always go by the finished size ...not unfinished...
I will show you how to draft the block in the top photo of this post...
the finished size is 6"x 6".
Next you will need to decide what each square of the graph paper will represent.
I've decided on mine that one square
will equal 1/2 inch...
so now I draw a square that is
12 x 12 squares.
Because each square equals 1/2 inch....
I have just drawn the outside of a
6" finished block.
You can see by the picture of the block in the photo that this block is divided in half...so go ahead and draw a line down the center both ways.
If it's easier you can draw a little grid on the top of the block reminding you where the inch marks go.
Now you need to figure out the finished size of the large squares....I labeled mine "A".
Because you know that the
finished size of the block is 6"...
and you know that half of 6 is 3...
and you know that each square is 1/2"...
you know that the
large "A" squares finish at 3".
Because you know that you will need to add 1/2" to the 3" square for seam allowance
(1/4" for each side both ways)...
you have your cutting measurment
for "A"... which is 3 1/2" x 3 1/2"!!
Okay...on to small squares.
I labeled 4 squares that I will cut
from the same fabric "B".
How do you know what size to cut them?
1. Count your small squares on the graph paper.
2. There are 3 that equal 1/2".
3. The finished size "B" square is
1 1/2" x 1 1/2".
4. Add 1/2" for seam allowance.
5. Cutting size for "B" will be 2" x 2".
I now know that the remaining squares
will be cut 2" x 2".
I label two of them "C" that will be from
the same fabric....
and two of them "D" that will be cut from
the same fabric.
I cut them out and placed them on my
mini design board...
and stitched it together.
My block measures 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" square right now because it's unfinished...
but it will measure 6" x 6" square after
it is sewn into the quilt.
Red Gingham, Green Dots & Pink Cherries =
Red and White Seed Catalogue =
When each block is complete...
I put my drafted block into a sheet protecter.
The binder that I bought to use for this project came from Office Max.
The binder is a new size by Avery and it's half size...meaning it fits half of a sheet of standard 8 1/2" x 11" paper.
The sheet protecters fit in the binder perfectly!!!
They should have thought of this a long time ago for us quilters....just think of all the patterns out there that are sized perfectly for this...thank you Avery:)
Okay...do you feel like you can draft a quilt block for rotary cutting now?...I hope so.
In my next post I will teach you how to draft half square triangles along with the method I use to sew them together!...
With what you have learned today...you should be able to draft any blocks that consist of squares and rectangles!
Have fun and I'll type at ya later:)