What are simple measurements? Some people call them easy measurements.
It is making quilt blocks using lines that are easy to read on your cutting
ruler, and making blocks that finish in common sizes.
In the 9-patch grid at the top of the page, a simple measurement for the
finished size of each grid or patch would be 2, 3 or 4 inches. That would
mean you make your cuts at 2 1/2, 3 1/2 or 4 1/2 inches, and the block would
finish at 6, 9, or 12 inches.
The half inch mark on the ruler is easy to see. It is easy to determine
the finished size of the block because you ignore the 1/2 inch part of the cut,
which is for the seam allowances, and just add up the numbers.
Using simple measurements, a 9-patch block finishes at 6, 9, or 12 inches.
Using simple measurements, a 4-patch block finishes at 4,6, 8, or 10 inches.
You can make the blocks finish larger or smaller, but these are the average
sizes most quilters make their blocks. Remember also that grids can be
subdivided into more patches, but the basic grid is the same.
So why are simple measurements preferable and how do they help you as a
First of all, simple measurements are easier to cut.
However, for a scrappy quilter who likes to try a wide range of
blocks, they are a great tool. If you want to experiment making a lot of
different blocks, choose a common size to make them and then they will be easy
to put together in a project. They are easily unified by using lattice and
Notice there is a 6 inch block in both the 4-patches and
9-patches. These blocks usually do not look good side-by-side, but there are
exceptions, and lattice strips between the blocks helps.
If you want to be really organized, you can set up a color
and size storage plan. Use different colors for different grids.
For instance, keep a pile of 9-patch Autumn Blocks, and a pile of 4-patch pastel
blocks. When you are ready to make a project you have a head start and
perhaps the inspiration for your own design.
Simple measurements help insure that you will eventually use all
the blocks that you make, and none of your effort will be wasted.
When you make other projects that do not use simple
measurements, cut your leftover scraps into strips according to your color and
size storage plan. I cut all my scraps in 2 1/2 or 3 1/2 strips.
They are ready to go when I want to use them.
Quilters are usually very organized people that do a lot of recycling.
Think about the benefits of simple measurements and how it might help you enjoy
quilting and be even more organized.