Quilt Math (Another in a Series of Fabric Tracking Friday)
I promised you this week that I would go into the math for non-math people that I use for tracking my fabric usage. First off, a little backstory. I have my Bachelor's Degree in Music Education, I spent the better part of my early years singing in choirs. College was filled with singing and Music Theory, which, I went on to teach on several different levels. Math is at the center of all of that. It's hard to believe, I realize but every song that you hear on the radio, or up to Symphony Hall, is math in motion. So the "math of things" has always been a part of me, HOWEVER, I promise, if you're not a math person, YOU can do this too.
A little explanation as to why... Are they going to take away my Quilter Card if I don't want to be building a ginormous stash? Possibly... However, I am really trying to keep my fabric stash as current as possible, so I don't want to be bogged down by old fabric. *wink*
Ok, so here goes: the simplest way to put it is that I keep track of the amount of fabric that I buy (pretty easy), and subtract from that the amount I use.
One could stop here. This is the simplest form of tracking, and this IS GREAT if this is what one wants to do. I take it further break it down by what I bring in and use in a week, but that is only necessary because i want to charge my progress... I told you I was a math nerd.
So how and when do I derive at my amount used? This also depends on how fussy you want to be about it. If you want to just have a general idea, you can always just take out what the pattern says you will need, and call it a day. I take it out when the piece is finished (the top, back or binding), but if you need more motivation than that? Take it out when you are totally finished (there's a tag on it!)
The way I figure is by the inch. If I make a cut off of a fresh piece of fabric, I simply divide the number of inches by 36, that gives you the fraction of a yard which has been used. Now, what if I use a precut or something of that sort? Well, Fat Quarters are still a quarter of a yard, likewise, Fat Eighths. Layer Cakes, Charm Packs, or Mini-Charm Packs are a little tricker, however, they just need to be figured once, and can then be transferred to all of the others. So this is quite simple as well. Let's take a Charm Pack. These are precut to 5" squares. So I take the "usable width of fabric" of typical yardage, which I consider to be 40". There are 8 squares in one WOF (width of fabric). SO. There are usually 42 squares in a Charm Pack, right... So, divide 42 by 8, that gives us 5.25... Ugh... Right? Easy enough, that just means there are 5¼ rows that are 5 inches wide. Ok, take your 5¼ and multiply by 5 (the number of inches per row), you get 26¼. Divide that number by 36 (number of inches in a yard)
Pretty gross looking number, right? Well, if you're not a math nerd like me, yes it is. If you ARE a math nerd, you round it to .729 and write it down! If you're being less fussy than me, you can call it 3/4 of a yard and move on with your life, no harm, no foul! Then every time you use a charm pack from now on, you've got it...
Now, I promised you that ANYONE could do this, so in the spirit of the holidays, I am more that willing to make a template available for my fabric tracking file. Please leave a comment, on this post, and I will send you a copy of my template!
So, Math ON my friends! And until our next adventure, Piece!
P.S. For those of you keeping score, there was 14 inches of fabric both in and out this week, so numbers have stayed the same. :)