Friday, April 20, 2012

What is lost?

When you join together 2 strips of fabric with a diagonal seam to make a longer strip, just how much length is lost at the joint? I didn't know. Do you?

But I wanted to know. I needed to know! There are times, like now for the teacher quilts, where I need to cut enough for the binding from the remaining yardage before I use the rest to piece together the backing. Running out at the very end wouldn't be good. Not good at all.

So what is a numbers crazy girl to do? Figure out the answers of course. An experiment was in order. One I thought was pretty clever. I actually took strips of paper in various widths, folded them as if they were sewn together, and then measured the finished strip to see exactly how much length disappears.

Once I did 2 tests, I made a quick realization and actually felt pretty dumb for not knowing this before. The answer to my question was so simple. So incredibly simple and right in front of my face. Why I didn't see it before I'll never know.

So what is the obvious result of my inquiry, you ask?

The width of the fabric strips being joined together!

If you sew (2) 3" wide x 10" long strips together, the resulting strip will be 17" long. A pair of 5" wide by 7" long strips will result in a strip now 5" x 9". Two identical 1 1/2" x 20" strips will give you one strip now 1 1/2" x 38 1/2". Get it?

Just give me a dunce cap to wear over this one. I admit that I am a smart cookie and pretty good with numbers but I think my creative brain got in the way of my math brain and that is why this was unknown to me before. Well at least now I know and if you didn't know before, you now do too. I guess I did my part today to edumacate others.

3 of you added your own colorful comments:

Unknown said...

I never knew that, either.

Rachel said...

LOL, OK, I probably shouldn't admiy this, but *I* had no clue...So, you have edDUHcated me today!!

Diane-crewe said...

well... now I know ....I have to be honest I never thought about it !!! x