EQ8 will estimate the fabric yardage required for your quilt. Remember that these are estimates. You may find you need more or less fabric depending on how you cut out your pattern or whether you are using a special combination sewing-cutting method which has you trim fabric after sewing.
It is recommended that you buy an amount equal to the amount of fabric you need, plus enough to cut an extra piece in case you make a mistake.
How EQ8 figures yardage
- It adds the seam allowance you select to each patch.
- For patches that can be rotary cut, it places the patches in rectangular strips as you would for rotary cutting. For patches that can’t be rotary cut, it places an imaginary rectangle around each patch.
- It places these rectangles on fabric of the selected width. Each time a row is filled, it begins a new row counting the entire strip as required yardage.
For quilts in which most patches can be rotary cut, the result is a very “tight” estimate of the yardage required. It assumes that you rotary cut the fabric in an efficient way.
If many patches cannot be rotary cut, then the yardage is likely to be a generous overestimate. This is because placing each patch in an imaginary rectangle does not account for the “packing” that’s possible when you’re looking at a specific situation.
Notes About Calculation
- Borders. EQ8 gives yardage for rectangles that are longer than the fabric width as if they were pieced. This also applies to the mitered borders.
- Compare the rotary cutting instruction from EQ8 to see how the yardage calculator “lays out” patches on the fabric. For example: Half-square and quarter-square triangles are laid out in rectangles that contain two or four triangles respectively. Be aware that the yardage calculator treats a triangle as quarter-square if its long edge (hypotenuse) is either vertical or horizontal in the quilt. If the two shorter edges of the triangle are horizontal and vertical, respectively, then the triangle is assumed to be cut as a half-square triangle.
- Many shapes can be treated by EQ8 as rotary cuttable. The following figures show how EQ8 “packs” a number of familiar shapes for yardage calculation.