To some, quilt maths comes easily, while for others, the idea of trying to work out how many of a certain shape you can get out of a certain cut of fabric is enough to make them tear their hair out!  For this post, I thought I’d give you a bit of a helping hand to work out how many squares you can get out of certain cuts of quilting cotton, since squares turn up an awful lot in traditional style quilt blocks.

The assumptions I have made are as follows:

  1. The quilting cotton you start with is 44″ wide off the bolt, so a fat quarter is 22″ wide when cut
  2. You remove 1″ fabric for the selvedges, leaving 42″ full width or 21″ for a fat quarter
  3. The square is the cut size NOT the finished size, so a 2″ cut square would be 1 1/2″ finished
  4. In the table, the first number is how many you can cut and below is how that would be laid out, so 10 W x 9 H would mean 10 squares from the trimmed selvedge edge across the fabric and 9 squares high

Cuts have been worked out for:

  • Fat Quarter – usable area 21″ x 18″
  • Half Yard – usable area 42″ x 18″
  • Full Yard – usable area 42″ x 36″

 

Square Size Fat Quarter Half Yard Full Yard
2″ 90
10 W x 9 H
189
21 W x 9 H
378
21 W x 18 H
2 1/2″ 56
8 W x 7 H
112
16 W x 7 H
224
16 W x 14 H
3″ 42
7 W x 6 H
84
14 W x 6 H
 168
14 W x 12 H
3 1/2″ 30
6 W x 5 H
60
12 W x 5 H
120
12 W x 10 H
4″ 20
5 W x 4 H
40
10 W x 4 H
90
10 W x 9 H
4 1/2″ 16
4 W x 4 H
36
9 W x 4 H
72
9 W x 8 H
5″ 12
4 W x 3 H
24
8 W x 3 H
56
8 W x 7 H
5 1/2″ 9
3 W x 3 H
21
7 W x 3 H
42
7 W x 6 H
6″ 9
3 W x 3 H
21
7 W x 3 H
42
7 W x 6 H
6 1/2″  6
3 W x 2 H
12
6 W x 2 H
30
6 W x 5 H
8 1/2″ 4
2 W x 2 H
8
4 W x 2 H
16
4 W x 4 H
9 1/2″ 2
2 W x 1 H
4
4 W x 1 H
12
4 W x 3 H
12 1/2″ 1
1 W x 1 H
3
3 W x 1 H
6
3 W x 2 H

 

Note that if you happen to live somewhere that sells fabric by the metre, then your usable areas will be slightly bigger, and you may get more squares out of your fabric.

I hope this is useful for you, but if you have any questions, please let me know :o)

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