How to Design your own Quilt

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April 2, 2016 by bridgitgillis

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Designing your own quilt is not as difficult as it first may sound.  With a few basic supplies and some math, you will have your custom quilt in no time!

Basic supplies:

  • Graph Paper (I printed mine from this website)
  • Pen or Marker
  • Colored Pencils
  • Calculator
  • Access to an online quilting calculator (there is a good one here)

Before you begin, you will need to decide the finished quilt size you want and what size squares you want your quilt to have.  If you are new to quilting, I suggest that you begin with larger squares and a smaller quilt size.(Finished squares can range from 3 to 6 inches)


*Your desired quilt width and length should be divisible by the finished size square you choose.  For example, for a square baby quilt 45 x 45 inches, I would use 5-inch squares or 2.5-inch squares.

On the graph paper, draw out your quilt using the squares of the graph to indicate one quilt square.  (If we stick with the 45 x 45 inch example, my graphed quilt would be 9 squares x 9 squares)


This is a baby quilt I designed.  I used finished 5-inch squares.  My quilt measured 40 x 60.


Once your squares are drawn, get creative and draw out your design.



For my chevron design, I wanted the squares to consist of 2 triangles, so I drew in the triangles as well.


This is an Easter wall hanging I designed.  The finished squares were 3-inches.

Once you have your design drawn, it’s time to figure out how much material you will need.  This is where the online quit calculator comes in handy.  Below is a screenshot of the online quilt calculator.  When figuring out your square sizes, add 1/2 inch to the length and width for the seam allowance.  Enter the length, width, and number of squares you need and the calculator will tell you how much fabric to buy.  On this website, it is called the Pieces to Yardage Area Calculator.


There are also calculators to tell you much material you will need to buy for a border and for your binding, as well as for batting and backing.  The batting and backing calculator screenshot is shown below.


cross wall hanging 1

The Finished size of this wall hanging is 24 inches by 36 inches, which is a nice size to work with.


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