December 28, 2019

2020 More Modern HST BOM...Fabric Requirements!

(It's a running joke with my quilty friends that quilt math is NOT one of my strengths. If you notice any errors or anything that just doesn't add up, please let me know!)'s the post you've all been waiting for...some guidance on the amount of fabric needed for the 2020 More Modern HST BOM. When I first designed the 2019 HST BOM, I wanted it to be something quilters could adapt to fit their own needs. Because the blocks are all HSTs (or a mix of HSTs and squares this year) made of two contrasting fabrics, you can make the individual units in any size you like. Making bigger units will give you nice, big blocks but require more fabric. Smaller units will yield a smaller quilt and require less fabric.

Choosing Fabric
The blocks work best when you have a dark/bright/colored focus fabric paired with a light/neutral background fabric. Zina's fabric pull is in the picture above, and she is using the bright fabrics as her focus fabric and the low volume fabrics as her neutral fabric. If you check out the #modernhstbom tag on Instagram, you can see some of the fabric choices used for the 2019 HST BOM. You can absolutely use your stash and go scrappy. Anything goes!

Monthly Blocks
This year we're doing something a little different than the traditional square quilt block. Each month's quilt block will be made of 12 individual HSTs and squares to make a rectangular quilt block in a 3 block x 4 block layout.

Size Options
Here is a table of some common HST sizes and the resulting finished block and quilt sizes.

The minimum finished quilt size is will be a layout of 3 rows of 4 blocks in each row with no additional sashing or borders, and this will make a square quilt.

In December, we will present additional quilt layouts that include sashing, borders, and a few extra HST blocks.

Again, it will depend on what size blocks you decide to make. The chart below list the number of HSTs, focus squares, and neutral squares you will need for each month's block. No matter what size block you decide on, you will need 116 HSTs, 12 focus squares and 16 neutral/background squares.
To help calculate the amount of fabric you will need, you can use this handy chart on a post from Bluprint. 


Let's say you decide you're going to use 5-1/2" HST and square units which will finish at 5". 
  • Using the chart in the link above, you will need to start with 6-1/2" squares to make your HSTs. (This method makes the HSTs bigger than needed so you can trim to the desired size.)
  • To make 116 HSTs, you will need 58 squares of your focus fabric and 58 squares of your background/neutral fabric. 
  • Most quilting fabric will yield at least 40 inches of usable width so you can get six 6-1/2 inch squares from each 6-1/2 strip of fabric. 
  • You will need ten 6-1/2" strips of EACH fabric (focus and background) to get 58 focus squares and 58 background squares. 
  • 10 x 6.5 = 65 inches. 
  • There are 36 inches in one yard of fabric, so 65/36 = 1.8 yards. A total of 2 yards EACH of focus and neutral fabric will be more than enough to make the HSTs and squares needed for a 60" x 60" quilt.
Additional fabric will be needed if you decide to add sashing and borders, and additional fabric will be needed for backing and binding.

I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any questions, and I'll do my best to get you an answer.


  1. You have surely provided us with all the info needed to decide on what we will make with this project. Thanks for that. I enjoyed your 2019 HST patterns, although I missed some, don't know why. Scrappy starts and finishes are my favourite, and I'll just keep right on with this approach. Going to be a great year 2020.

  2. Quilt math! thanks for figuring out all of it. I love HSTs! looking forward to this QAL