Monday, August 31, 2009

Quilt Along | 1. Fabric Requirements

Note: this is a re-post of something I wrote in the Flickr thread.  I am copying it here for my blog readers who may have missed the thread.

Actually, I'd rather call it fabric "suggestions" rather than "requirements"! It's been difficult trying to figure out how much fabric would be needed for this round, since wonky / improvisational blocks are so free-form and, well, improvisational! There are no set patterns here from which to measure fabric amounts.

I've given it my best shot, but the caveat here is that you might have some fabric left over -- that's not the worst thing in the world, right? I'd rather err on the side of having too much fabric than too little. Plus, you'll have a stash of strips for future wonky log cabin projects!

I'm making a few assumptions here:

- The blocks will be either 12.5" square or 15.5" square (more on that later).

- We'll make 25 blocks ... for a quilt that's laid out in a 5x5 grid. Of course, you can make your quilt bigger or smaller if you'd prefer. Adjust your fabric amounts accordingly!

- I'm not accounting for any borders. If you think you'd like to add any borders to the outside of your quilt, be sure to add that border fabric to your total amount. 

So, with all that being said, I am 
recommending that you have 16-20 fat quarters for this project (depending on how scrappy you want your quilt to be). Of course, if you want your fabric assortment to be more limited, you can convert this to yardage equivalents (i.e. 8-10 half yard cuts, or 4-5 yard cuts).

I just took a look back at Amy's fabric requirements for the zig-zag quilt. For a throw-sized quilt, that project required 15 fq's ... so I feel like we're on the right track. If you want to be conservative, you can start with 15 for this project, too.

I'm also going to stick with Amy's estimates of 3 yards for backing (or equivalent, if you like pieced backs) , and 1/2 yard for binding.

and I cannot stress this enough, I REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY recommend that you pick up a 12.5" square cutting ruler (like this) if you don't already have one. It is my must-have, go-to tool for projects like this. It's a great use of a 40% off coupon at Joann's, if you live near one of those. If not, maybe group members can share their favorite sources for buying tools like this.

Finally, if you want your blocks to "float" similarly to the ones in
this quilt, please keep reading:

If you go this route, we will be making 15.5" blocks. All you have to do is add 1.5 yards of a solid of your choice for the outer borders of your blocks. White is always classic, but I've seen people experiment with other solids, often with stunning results. You might also consider alternative fabrics (e.g. linen) for uses like this. Read this post ... it's great.

OK, I am sure I've forgotten something. Questions? Fire away! 


  1. This is all excellent information. I think you have covered all the bases with it. I am following along with the post but can't committ to making the quilt at this time, baby in 30 days and counting. Good Luck!

  2. Are you kidding me!!! I bought 5 yards of Amy Butlers Daisy chain fabric months ago to finally make a wonky log cabin quilt for myself!! unbelieveable! The fabric has been sitting there waiting for me, so yes Count me in!!
    Hugs Paula
    ps. I've been reading your blog for sometime, but this is my first comment, I love your work :)

  3. I can't decide which fabrics to use, so I may have to do 2 different ones at the same time!

  4. How fun! Good for you for stepping up to head on the next challenge! They will all be beautiful quilts, I am sure!

  5. Hi John, this will be great and thank you so much for being our sensei this time around :-)

    My logcabins tend to come out wonky by accident so you can imagine how delighted I am they are now supposed to be like that! Really looking forward to it!

    Btw... saw your last post on the original Old Red Barn quilt... love your colours! Go on... finish it! I would like to see the finished product!

  6. *L* and you thot this might be easy.....

    Would you just come out to my house and make the thing for me?

  7. Could this be done with scraps? ..... you know fabrics that aren't part of a set collection?

  8. I am so excited that you're hosting this! I've wanted to make a wonky log cabin block (or maybe even a quilt) for like, forever. I even have that SAME Joel Dewberry fabric that you have an paired with that gorgeous linen. Can I copy you, pretty please? I'm only just seeing your posts now so I might have to play catchup, good thing I have an extra day off this weekend! Yippee!