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How Many Quilting Squares Can You Get from a Yard of Fabric

If you are a quilter, then you’ve probably cut hundreds if not thousands of squares of fabric over time. It’s just one of the joys of quilting….cutting, cutting, more cutting and cutting again. Still, we shouldn’t complain since these days we have the privilege of rotary cutters, quilting rulers and cutting mats to make the whole process a lot easier.

Even so, knowing how many of those little suckers we need to cut and the amount of fabric we will need oftentimes requires a bit of math. And I don’t know about you but I try to avoid those calculations as much as possible.

So to make things easier for both you and me, I’ve created a table that shows the number of squares you will get from a yard of fabric based on the useable width of fabric (WOF). In other words, the WOF you will get after you trim off the selvages.

If you are new to quilting and don’t know what WOF is, then scroll down to below the table for clarification.

Number of Squares Per Yard of Fabric

The table below displays the number of squares you will get from one yard of fabric based on the width of your fabric.

For example, if your width of fabric (WOF) is 40" (after trimming off the selvages) and you want to cut 5" squares, the number of squares you will get is 56.
Square39"40"41"42"
.5"5616576059046048
1'1404144014761512
1.5"624624648672
2"342360360378
2.5"210224224224
3"156156156168
3.5"110110110120
4"81909090
4.5"64647272
5"49565656
5.5"42424242
6"36363642
6.5"30303030
7"25252530
7.5"20202020
8"16202020
8.5"16161616
9"16161616
9.5"12121212
10"9121212
10.5"99912
11"9999
11.5"9999
12"9999
12.5"6666
13"6666
13.5"446
14"4446
14.5"4444
15"4444
15.5"4444
16"4444
16.5"4444
17"4444
17.5"4444
18"4444
18.5"2222
19"2222
19.5"2222
20"1222
20.5"1122

What is WOF?

Most quilting fabric comes on a bolt and it is folded before wrapping around that bolt.

bolt of fabric

When you buy a yard of fabric off the bolt, the salesperson will unroll the fabric from the bolt and measure 36″ or so across the length of the fabric and cut. (Usually, they will give you slightly more than 36″ because the fabric is not always straight and once you straighten it, you will lose some of the fabric.)

Now the fabric, at this point, is still folded and it is folded from selvage to selvage. The selvages are those edges of the fabric that are placed there by the manufacturer to prevent the fabric from fraying.

bolt of fabric

If you were to unfold the fabric and measure from one selvage edge to the other selvage edge you get the ‘width of fabric’ (WOF).

what is width of fabric (WOF)

Most quilting fabric measures about 44″ from selvage to selvage. However, if you’ve been quilting for a while, you’ll know this isn’t always the case – you might have quilting fabric that measures 42” or 43” or something else yet again.

Either way, you pretty much will never get the full use of the fabric since you will need to cut off the selvage edges and straighten up the fabric.

Once you have done that your WOF may now only measure 40″ or 42″ or something else completely.

This is why, in the table above, we have created 4 columns with different WOF measurements – 39″, 40″, 41″ and 42″.

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