Course Preview: Essential Math for QuiltersJune 7, 2017 / bynnettles / Categories : Feeds
Math is an essential part of the quiltmaking process. However, for those who are a bit math-challenged (present company included), it’s can often be the least fun part of that process. That’s why I was excited when I heard about Essential Math for Quilters, a new online course taught by Donna Mae Norris that covers all the “quilt math” basics.
Donna Mae has been quilting for more than 30 years — and teaching quilting for more than 27 of those years. “Quilting is my passion and I am happy to show you how to do some math that will make your quiltmaking faster and easier,” Donna Mae says in the course’s first of five video lessons. “None of the math is complicated or hard. It’s all straight-forward.” Perfect!
In the first lesson, Donna Mae discusses the difference between cut sizes and finished sizes. She goes over using a calculator as a tool in your sewing area and “rounding off” your calculations.
In the next lesson, she moves in to common quilting geometric shapes and reviews their angles: squares, rectangles, triangles, trapezoids, hexagons, circles and more. She also goes over all types of basic rulers and specialty rulers that are used in quilting.
Lesson 3 covers “everything you need to know about triangles” – Donna Mae defines half square and quarter square triangles and shares the four fractions you should memorize. She also goes over on-point setting triangles, corner triangles and side triangles.
So what about calculating fabric needs for a quilt? Donna Mae has you covered in the fourth lesson as she shows you how to calculate fabric needs for squares, rectangles, sashing and corner stones; triangles; borders; backing; and binding. You’ll be able to easily answer the question “How much fabric do I need?” after Donna Mae shares her tips.
We’ve all fallen in love with a quilt pattern, but wanted to make it in a different size than the original pattern. The last lesson will guide you through the process of figuring out how to make size changes to your quilt and using spacer borders with pieced borders.
There are also helpful handouts you can download during the course that will help guide you through the learning process, as well as optional quizzes so you can test your skills.
This is a syndicated post. Please visit the original author at Quilty Pleasures Blog
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Hello! Lexy here, to bring you another lovely Sewing Space, where a crafter show us around their creative area. Today we have a sweet space in South Wales, belonging to a dressmakers who has an enviable 60s style handmade wardrobe – we love seeing her makes on Instagram. Let’s hear more from the lady herself…
Hello! I’m Jade, welcome to my little sewing sanctuary in sunny South Wales. I am relatively new to the realms of dressmaking and have only really been getting to know my way around a sewing machine for the past three years. By day I work in an office-based role in Bristol but by night can be found in my little sewing haven, musing over my next big make.
I have always been a creative individual and have enjoyed crafting from a young age. At university I studied Graphic Design, which instilled my admiration of beautiful craftsmanship and contemporary design. There was a time when I believed my love for fashion and textiles would be limited to high street trending ready-to-wear garments. Learning of the wonderful indie sewing makers movement really changed all of this for me and after pouring over many inspirational sewing blogs (including Tilly and the Buttons!), I wanted in! In the beginning I attended a brilliant beginners dressmaking class and learnt basic skills and techniques but soon realised that if I was going to take the next step I’d need to make some room at home to build upon these skills!
I started off sewing at home at my kitchen table but soon yearned for a larger space to store all of my dressmaking paraphernalia, which was growing at an alarming rate! Two thirds of my spare bedroom has thus been transformed to home a retro writing desk, some shelving, a storage trolley and a few trinkets to decorate. Overall I’d probably say that my space has a bit of a kitsch vibe about it while still being quite minimalistic. I try not to sprout out too much as the other the other third of the room is occupied by my rather understanding boyfriend who uses his space for his photography hobby, and our pet lizard (‘Lizzy’).
Quirky storage boxes and prettily patterned tins are a bit of a weak spot – I love a good storage solution! Not only do I find it quite therapeutic categorising all of my notions, tools, threads, patterns and fabric but I also find it much easier to pick up a project if I know where everything is. Working in the week means that sewing time is precious in the evenings and this is why having a dedicated sewing space is so great, as it saves time having to set things up and pack things away all of the time. I try and sew a few times a week but generally have more time to get stuck into a project over the weekend, usually with a nice cup of tea and some biccies.
I am a bit of a planner and like to make a mood board to help me decide how the final garment I am making might look – the idea stage is just as fun as the construction! In addition to our resident gecko I have two gorgeous little helpers who keep me company while making, Henry and Coco the Chihuahuas. Coco is a puppy and can often be seen running around the house having fun with rogue scraps or on occasions a snail (pin-free) pincushion!
I’m not much of a fabric hoarder and only really have two main stashes of fabric. Interestingly my stashes mainly comprise of patterned fabrics that I’ve had for a couple of years now before I discovered my fondness for plainer fabrics. I love interesting prints but soon realised that although the pieces I’d bought were really striking, often they wouldn’t be something that I would necessarily wear. Nowadays I tend to gravitate towards plain, bold coloured fabrics and sew them up straight away, so they don’t hang about for long!
As you can probably see I don’t have a great deal of space in my sewing area and unfortunately can’t quite squeeze in another desk for my overlocker. For this reason I hacked an Ikea footstool into an overlocking station by attaching a couple of tin trays, a few hooks and a lick of paint which now means that I can sew and overlock with ease – yay!
Although I am a fairly new sewist, dressmaking has been in my family for generations. My most treasured possession is my dressmaking scissors given to me by my lovely mum who was a fanatical dressmaker herself! My mum sadly passed a couple of years ago and every time I use these scissors to make a garment it gives me a warming sense of pride and connection.
My favourite guilty pleasure of all (even more so than fabric shopping!) is acquiring vintage sewing patterns. My pattern collection comprises of a few commercial patterns, lots of lovely indie patterns (notably Tilly and the Buttons of course) and my beloved, ever growing collection of vintage sewing patterns. Over the past couple of years I have been lucky enough to collect patterns from various decades including the 40s, 50s and 70s but my favourite decade of all has to be the swinging 60s! I love the futuristic undertones in the styling of many of the garments from this period paired with the flamboyant expressions of colour.
I think a wonderful thing about vintage sewing patterns is that they all have a story to tell and it is quite remarkable to think that they are still being enjoyed decades after they were first printed. I try to keep the most delicate patterns in cellophane sleeves, away from the sunlight to prevent them from aging any further and when it’s time to use a pattern, I tend to trace off all of the pieces onto tissue paper to try and preserve the original pattern pieces. Etsy and eBay are a vintage-pattern treasure trove but I have also found a couple of gems at vintage fairs…it can be a bit addictive though! The sky’s the limit… well, my spare room for now!
Thank you so much for letting me share my little sewing space with you!
Thank you for sharing your lovely space with us, Jade. We’d love to spend an afternoon sewing with you, especially if Henry and Coco are around to assist!
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