Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Calculations and Free Apps

"The things of this world cannot be made known without a knowledge of mathematics"
Roger Bacon

I was never fond of math class and it wasn't because I didn't understand it, I just wasn't a numbers person, at least I didn't think I was.  You know it was one of those classes that you think you will never need, so why try.  Little did I know then that I would be using it on a daily basis in my business and not only for keeping track of the bookkeeping.  Most of the time I do the math myself but sometimes I like to take shortcuts so finding new helpful sites or apps can come in very handy.

When it comes to quilting there are always calculations to be made, from size of finished and unfinished blocks to the total size of the quilt itself.  I make custom t-shirt quilts using shirts that people have been saving for years so they are in varying sizes making it necessary to figure out placement and measurements to make the quilt look balanced.  I also add sashing strips and framing borders so this all needs to go into the calculations of the finished size of the quilt.  Blocks are not always the same size so making it looked balanced can be tricky.

The purple quilt was actually lots of fun to put together, it really challenged me because of the sizes of shirts and the designs.  I loved working on this quilt even though it had me pulling my hair out at times while trying to make all my calculations and get the setting just right.

There are lots of calculations that go into creating a custom t-shirt quilt and those I do myself, but sometimes we quilters like to use shortcuts especially when calculating batting, backing fabric, or binding fabrics.  When I need help with this I go to one of my favorite sites called "Quilters Paradise" to make everything go so much faster    Well a couple of days ago one of my facebook friends asked about calculating corner triangles and I sent her the link to this great site to help her out.  When I went to check the link I found that they had added this wonderful new iphone / ipad app that makes it so easy to just carry this calculator with you when you go shopping. It took seconds to download on my phone and I did it while I was shopping and had the calculator ready to figure out yardage right on the spot.

This app is handy not just if you quilt, if you use fabric for any craft you might find it handy to calculate how many pieces of a specific size you can get out of a certain size of fabric.  You might even be able to use it for paper crafting since you plug in the size of fabric/paper you are using and what finished size of item you need.  I hope that some of you may find this web site or app helpful, I know I find it a very handy tool.

If you have any other free apps or website links to helpful tools add a comment and share your ideas.  I love finding new sites that make life easier, especially when it comes to work.  

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