Blog Hop Day 2: How Many Patches Do I Need?

I love my Electric Quilt software and would never start a quilt without making sure that the quilt is not only drafted in EQ, but that I hold a printed copy of the quilt in my hand before I start cutting. The traditional way to determine what to cut has been to print the rotary cutting or templates from the block worktable to determine the patch size. Then go to the quilt worktable and print the quilt image, count the patches of each size, and write the number of patches needed on the printed copy of the quilt so that becomes the cutting guide.

The Accuquilt GO has revolutionized my system for cutting and has made me re-think everything that I’ve done in the past. One major change for me is that now I cut all (or almost all) strips on the lengthwise grain of fabric. In re-thinking the way I cut, I looked at the Accuquilt Fabric Reference Chart and the Electric Quilt software to see whether I could marry the two. Both of them are helpful, but I haven’t come up with a way to use them together yet.

By using the fabric yardage function in EQ’s Quilt Worktable, I discovered a way for Electric Quilt to tell me how many patches I need without having to count each patch individually. Step 1 is to save the quilt in the colors you will use to make the quilt. The example I’m using is a single Irish chain quilt.

Then re-color the quilt so that each separate sized piece is a different color. For example, all the sash strips are 2 ½ x 6 ½ inches, so they are all colored pink. All of the 6 ½ inch squares are colored green.  All of the sashing cornerstones are 2 ½ inches square, and they are colored red.

When each different size patch is colored a different color, you can then print the fabric yardage chart and it will tell you how many patches of each size that you will need to make the entire quilt. For this tutorial, I went an extra step and used my graphics software to write  the patch size on each color. The quick way to do this is to print the quilt and the fabric yardage chart and write the patch size on the chart by hand.


46 Replies to “Blog Hop Day 2: How Many Patches Do I Need?”

  1. Great idea – EQ has useful tools. I’m usually writing cutting info on scratch paper, this is much quicker.

  2. That’s really neat. I love the idea of block sizes being provided. I’m wondering if this is the way most pattern designers work out their patterns before selling them.

  3. Thanks for the information, Marjorie. Using different colours in the various parts of the quilt really helps when it comes to calculating fabric yardage – one of the most important things that EQ7 will do for you. The yardage chart also gives you a double-check when you have finished cutting to ensure that you have all the pieces you should.

    1. Carmen, I have been doing this for most of the time I’ve had my GO cutter. It has absolutely changed my quilting. Everything seems to fit better, and I’m compulsive about getting triangles and corners to fit together perfectly. I always cut across the crosswise grain the exact measurement of the strip. Then I fanfold that strip across the die to get the strip width I need. Look in the Instructions and Video tab at the top of the blog and go to the Guide on Cutting Strips on the Lengthwise Grain. I’ll be interested to hear what you think.

  4. Thanks for the information. Your description is very easy to follow. I will use the color coding – great suggestion.

  5. EQ is great but I haven´t got the hang of it yet. I use the paper method and my math skills aren´t that good either so it´s a lot of scribbling, lol.
    Alda, Fl

  6. Oh I wish I had EQ. This would make this step so easy. I just love how you did the color coding to know how many to cut. I’m just going to have to do a graph and color them in by hand. Wonderful post!!! Hugs Ariane

  7. I didn’t realize that the user needed to do that much to come up with the cutting requirements when using EQ. Just like any software, it’s good to know how to use it to get what you need. Thank you for the information.

  8. I use my EQ7 and love designing quilts with it! Thanks so much for the info on how you use yours.

    I am hoping to one day have a GO cutter system in my sewing room! Then I can see first hand what all the fun is about! 🙂

  9. I’ve been doing the same thing. I have always wished that EQ would give cutting for the entire quilt not just by the block. I was thinking tht it probably does it and I just haven’t figured it out yet.

  10. What a great mini-tutorial! I haven’t been using EQ too long, but I use it for every quilt I make. I like your approach for coloring blocks according to their size. Thank you for sharing!

  11. I’ve been thinking a lot about EQ7 and love to see how you used it. The designs are interesting, but I’m worried about losing quilting time.

  12. Wow! Some day I’m getting the EQ software. For now I’ll just console myself with the thought that perhaps figuring everything out myself is preserving my brain cells (the “Use it or Lose it Principle”). Ha! This was a very interesting post. I like the Irish Chain pattern.

  13. All of this sounds so amazing,,, I have seen the Accuquilt go demonstrated, but the electronic quilt,, I have not clue,, I would love a website to go to so I can find out more..

  14. Well you sure took all the mystery out of the process for us…..great work Marjorie, I’m new to quilting, but your post covers one of my many questions! Hugs Naomi

  15. Wow after reading all the info on the GO it seems like it would be beneficial and fun to have one. Cutting against the grain would really be a saver as far as money goes I would think, especially when the cost is going up. Not that that would stop us from buying but it would save maybe on how much fabric youneed and then you can get more….lol Thanks for all the info, I can only hope someday I will get a GO..

  16. Thanks so much for taking the time to post this information. I’m new to quilting and I really appreciate any tips/advice from experienced quilters. I don’t have quilt software yet, so I’ll be bookmarking this page for the future!

    1. Joy, you will find that quilting is an area where you will continue to grow and learn as long as you quilt. I have had EQ for many years and continue to learn new things that I can do with the software. I definitely recommend Electric Quilt software–I wouldn’t make a quilt without it.

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