Doing the Math: 5 Online Quilting Calculators

Quilting might be a right-brained activity filled with color and creativity, but you need some left-brained mathematics to make sure the finished project is symmetrical and that you have enough fabric. Luckily, the Internet’s filled with some helpful shortcuts!


We’ve gathered some helpful resources so that you don’t have to spend tons of time calculating yardage, how much fabric to buy, and how big to cut pieces of fabric. And with time saved in calculating, you’ll have a little more to spend quilting! Read below, and click the underlined text to see the actual charts and websites.

  1. Superior Threads’s Block Chart
    Check out Superior Threads’s handy-dandy block chart for bedding (twin, full queen, and king). Not only does it provide number of blocks needed both across and down, but it also offers four different block-size variations — 12, 15, 16, and 18 inches. Plus, it adds up the total size in inches for each different variation, so you know big your quilt will be.Click here to see the chart.
  2. The Quilter’s Little Helper App
    We have to admit, this app is pretty cool — you can calculate backing and batting, binding, piece counts, and tons of other stuff all from your phone. Figure out the dimensions of different pieces, discover how many smaller pieces can be made from a larger piece of fabric, and much more. Having this resource right at your fingertips is pretty helpful when you need a quick calculation.The app was made in partnership with Quilter’s Paradise, which has tons of different free quilting calculators online for similar tasks.

    Click here to see the app (must download separately on smartphone).
    Click here to see the quilting calculators on Quilter’s Paradise’s website.

  3. CD Designsís Hexagon Calculator
    Want to use some fun hexagon shapes? This calculator will tell you exactly how many hexagons you need to fill up the quilt. Just input the quilt’s dimensions and how big you’d like each hexagon, and youíll get an instant number!If youíd like to see the work behind the calculations, there are equations below as well that explain how the formula works.

    Click here to see the calculator.

  4. Quilt Calculator
    This great calculator will give you numbers for six different fabric shapes, from half-square triangles to trapezoids to parallelograms. You can also calculate numbers for the backing and border, as well as toggle between finished and cut dimensions. The website itself is very simple, but it can be handy if you need a quick calculation.Click here to see the calculator.
    Okay, okay, this isn’t a calculator per say – this is the resource for learning where all those numbers come from, where they go in the equation, and how to calculate things by hand. This step-by-step guide is a clear and really awesome tool if you’d like to know how to figure things out yourself, complete with detailed explanations of formulas and numbers as well as illustrations.Click here to see the website.

You could also grab a paperback reference guide like “Math for Quilters,” which is 10 pages and features tons of info about proportions and measurement conversions. (Click here to order the booklet.) No matter how you crunch the numbers, quilting takes a little bit of math, but it always adds up to a beautiful creation!

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