It’s Only Math…

Raise your hand if you’re reading this blog post because of Diane’s nice review of The Thrifty Quilter on Quiltmaker magazine’s “Quilty Pleasures” blog.  Thank you for tuning in” as we say in radio… a.k.a. “my day job” ( Diane’s review gives me an opportunity to explain how truly versatile this simple little scrap system can be.

The origin of the Thrifty Quilter (TQ) system is explained in the first post I wrote for this blog. Click HERE to read it.

In the book, I worked with two “sets” of scraps to build my blocks and quilts. The small set is a 2.5″ square, 4.5″ square and a 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangle. The large set is a 3.5″ square, a 6.5″ square and a 3.5″ x 6.5″ rectangle. The block instructions call for “small squares”, “large squares” and “rectangles”.  If I’m using the small set for a particular block, the small square is always 2.5″, the large square is always 4.5″ and the rectangle is always 2.5″ x 4.5″.  If I want to make the same block with the large set, the small square is always 3.5″, the large square is 6.5″ and the rectangle is always 3.5″ x 6.5″.

TQ- Misc Set Illustration

These three pieces can be combined to make half-square triangles, flying geese and other parts and pieces that in turn can be combined to make quilt blocks.

There are a total of 80 blocks in the book, divided into three groups, which I labeled “Base 3”, “Base 4” and “Base 6”.  If you drew them on a grid, a Base 3 block is three squares by 3 squares. Base 4 blocks are 4 squares by 4 squares, and Base 6 blocks are 6 by 6. There are no Base 5 blocks in the book, but I am publishing those from time to time here on “Seams Like a Plan.”

Misc- Base IllustrationIf you use small set pieces, Base 3 blocks finish 6″ square, Base 4 blocks are 8″ and Base 6 blocks will be 12″. If you use the large set pieces, Base 3 blocks will be 9″ finished, Base 4 blocks will be 12″ and Base 6 blocks will be 18″.

Now, you could use just those six pieces, mix and match them using the settings in the book, or your own, and happily make TQ quilts for the rest of your life without ever repeating  yourself. Trust me. For every TQ quilt I complete, I add two or three to my sketchbook!

And it needn’t stop there. You can adapt the TQ system to your own needs. If you like miniature quilts, you can make tiny blocks just by changing the size of the squares and rectangles. If you’d rather make really big blocks, just save and use larger squares and rectangles. As long as you maintain the 2:1 ratio, you can use pieces of any size. The chart below will take what little math there is out of it for you.


TQ- Misc Size ChartThank you again for checking out the Thrifty Quilter System. If you check the blue “follow” button at the top of the left column on this page, you will be notified whenever I post a new block or quilt. In the meanwhile, start cutting up those leftover fabrics and you’ll be ready to sew!

Categories: Quiltmaker Magazine, The Thrifty Quilter System | 16 Comments

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16 thoughts on “It’s Only Math…

  1. My hand is up! Great review of your book, Anne.


  2. This chart is a great help for anyone who isn’t confident about doing the math themselves. I love your concept, Anne. It’s brilliant!


  3. Barb Peters

    Raising my hand for the great deal! Thanks.


  4. Kathy

    My hand is up!


  5. Barb Johnson

    yep! My hand is up, too ;-> This sounds like a great way to continue my stash organization addiction.


  6. Marlo Raub

    Sure can use this chart. Thank you.


  7. Christy

    *raises hand* My scrap pile and I thank you!


  8. Emmy Wincen

    Fantastic concept,, have shared this with my quilting friends. Hope to be able to apply it to my stash soon. Thank you for sharing. Where can I buy the book? Need to let my pals know in case I win!! Lol!!


  9. Denise Inman

    Hand is up! I love a way to organize my scraps so i can just sit down and start sewing!


  10. Kris B

    Two hands for you. Thanks for the info. Planning on sharing it with a friend.


  11. Awesome chart! I will be using it faithfully! 😉


  12. NaDean Hickox

    my hand is up n waving frantically. love the concept.


  13. Geri

    Way UP there!!! Can’t wait to get the book.


  14. Would love this book would help me out when sewing for my charity quilt group (Sunshine Linus).


  15. Pingback: Seams Like…the Best of 2017 | Seams Like a Plan

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