# Course Preview: Essential Math for Quilters

Math is an essential part of the quiltmaking process. However, for those who are a bit math-challenged (present company included), it’s can often be the least fun part of that process. That’s why I was excited when I heard about Essential Math for Quilters, a new online course taught by Donna Mae Norris that covers all the “quilt math” basics.

Donna Mae Norris

Donna Mae has been quilting for more than 30 years — and teaching quilting for more than 27 of those years. “Quilting is my passion and I am happy to show you how to do some math that will make your quiltmaking faster and easier,” Donna Mae says in the course’s first of five video lessons. “None of the math is complicated or hard. It’s all straight-forward.” Perfect!

In the first lesson, Donna Mae discusses the difference between cut sizes and finished sizes. She goes over using a calculator as a tool in your sewing area and “rounding off” your calculations.

In the next lesson, she moves in to common quilting geometric shapes and reviews their angles: squares, rectangles, triangles, trapezoids, hexagons, circles and more. She also goes over all types of basic rulers and specialty rulers that are used in quilting.

Lesson 3 covers “everything you need to know about triangles” – Donna Mae defines half square and quarter square triangles and shares the four fractions you should memorize. She also goes over on-point setting triangles, corner triangles and side triangles.

So what about calculating fabric needs for a quilt? Donna Mae has you covered in the fourth lesson as she shows you how to calculate fabric needs for squares, rectangles, sashing and corner stones; triangles; borders; backing; and binding. You’ll be able to easily answer the question “How much fabric do I need?” after Donna Mae shares her tips.

We’ve all fallen in love with a quilt pattern, but wanted to make it in a different size than the original pattern. The last lesson will guide you through the process of figuring out how to make size changes to your quilt and using spacer borders with pieced borders.

There are also helpful handouts you can download during the course that will help guide you through the learning process, as well as optional quizzes so you can test your skills.