Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Happy Fats

I surely hope that all is well with everyone!  I'm having a fairly good week.  I managed to get papers graded, which gave me some studio time!  That was wonderful.  I cleaned up a bit, put some things away, then found the tax receipts and got those ready to go.  And, I still managed to play a little bit.

I had the idea to to make a different sort of pattern with all the pattern pieces I want to use for the next quilt.  I'm using fat quarters and have to be extra careful or I'll end up with a table runner and wasted fabric. Before cutting into the fabric, I wanted to know about how many blocks I'd get.  You know I don't do math, so I had to come up with a creative way of figuring that out.

Then I remembered that when Richard worked at Garan Mfg. (they manufactured children's clothing) the "cutters" used a system to cut fabric without waste.  Picture several long tables placed end to end so that you have one table 8 feet wide by 100 feet long.  Now imagine that you have fabric rolled out from one end to the other.  Add layer after layer.  In the case of my fat quarters, we have about 16 layers. 

Rather than pin individual pattern pieces on the layers of fabric as we do, manufacturers print their pattern pieces all on the same sheet of paper which covers the fabric.  The pieces are drawn very closely to each other to avoid waste.  I am doing basically the same thing, except on a much smaller scale.  In fact using fat quarters is ridiculously smaller in comparison.  In the end for each fat quarter I can get enough pieces for five blocks, there is very little waste, and I don't have to use the patterns over and over....just set the paper down and cut.

1 comment:

Jean(ie) said...

Good idea! I like that! Cute fabric, too!