How to Enlarge & Reduce Quilt Patterns with Adobe Reader

How to Enlarge & Reduce Patterns using Adobe ReaderToday, I’m sharing a rare mirror post with my fandom site, Fandom In Stitches, but this is more than worth posting twice.
I read and answer a lot (and by a lot, I mean tons!) of email for both Sewhooked and Fandom in Stitches and the question I answer most often is this: How do I resize a quilt block pattern?

The easiest way to ENLARGE or REDUCE a quilt block pattern is to print it as a poster using Adobe Reader and the chart below.

ENLARGE OR REDUCE PATTERNS USING THIS SCALE
Pattern Size Needed
4″ 5″ 6″ 7″ 8″ 9″ 10″ 11″ 12″
Pattern Size
4″ 100% 125% 150% 175% 200% 225% 250% 275% 300%
5″ 80% 100% 120% 140% 160% 180% 200% 220% 240%
6″ 67% 83% 100% 117% 133% 150% 167% 183% 200%
7″ 52% 71% 88% 100% 114% 128% 143% 152% 171%
8″ 50% 62% 75% 87% 100% 112% 125% 137% 150%
9″ 44% 55% 66% 77% 88% 100% 111% 122% 133%
10″ 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 110% 120%
11″ 36% 45% 54% 63% 72% 81% 90% 100% 109%
12″ 34% 42% 50% 59% 67% 78% 84% 93% 100%

Follow these steps and use the chart below to make it even easier:

  1. Download the PDF quilt block pattern file.
  2. Open pattern in Adobe Reader.
  3. Open the Print dialog (shown below) by clicking the printer icon.
  4. Choose which Pages to Print. In the example “All” is chosen, but if there is an instruction page, skip that and just enlarge the pattern pages. It may be least confusing to enlarge one page at a time.
  5. Under Paper Sizing & Handling, choose Poster (see image).
  6. Determine the starting Pattern Size and the chart below to determine what percentage to enlarge to Pattern Size Needed. For example, to print a 5″ pattern at 10″, Tile Scale (see below) will need to be 200%.
  7. Print these instructions for easy reference.

Big thanks to Fandom In Stitches Designer Addie Clark for sharing the poster printing tip over on the Fandom In Stitches Facebook Group.

This month, ALL photos of projects made from Sewhooked patterns, including Paper Piecing Vintage, shared with the Sewhooked flickr group will be entered to win a copy of Jack Leaves The Light On!

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28 thoughts on “How to Enlarge & Reduce Quilt Patterns with Adobe Reader

  1. Lynn

    Thank you so much, I have bookmarked this email and now can refer to it when I have things to enlarge. You make my life easier, thanks again, Lynn

    Reply
  2. Yasmin

    Thank you very much. My loved this help from you. I I enlarge these patterns but a longer road where I took a long time and spent a lot of paper printing and testing the extent that I required.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer Ofenstein Post author

      Hi Cheryl,

      You can reduce an image using the same technique. If you know approximately the size you’re starting out with, you can still use the quilt block chart to figure out what percentage to reduce.

      Good luck with your project! 🙂

      Reply
  3. Jaylene Weber

    This is great info, one question…when I used a 200% enlargement the seam allowances go from 1/4inch to 1/2inch. When sewing 2 pieces together, do I still sew on the line that I normally sew or do I sew where the 1/4 inch would be?

    Reply
  4. Liryl Crovyn

    Thank you so much for the information! I had no clue how to reduce a pattern I’d bought and your info helped enormously!

    Reply
  5. suavaj321

    Does this method take into consideration the seam allowance and the reduction or increase of it when changing the size of the pattern piece?

    For example:

    If I start out with an 8″ pattern piece that has a 1/2″ seam allowance, when I reduce it by 50%, will my seam allowance be reduced to 1/4″? When grading patterns, is it really as simple as just reducing or enlarging the pieces? It just seems (to me) that if I take a pattern that is made to fit an average person that’s 5’6″ and reduce it to fit a thinner person who is also 5’6″, not only will the width be altered, but so will the length.

    Also, when you give measurements of the pattern piece, is that how wide the pattern piece actually measures?

    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer Ofenstein Post author

      Hi there,

      This technique is intended specifically for enlarging/reducing quilt blocks. It would definitely not be recommended for clothing. I’m sorry for any confusion on that point.

      Happy stitching!

      Reply
    1. Jennifer Ofenstein Post author

      Unfortunately, that’s not a question I can really answer. This scale is intended for quilt blocks, which are much more straightforward than garments. I am sorry not to be more helpful.

      Reply
  6. ktgreendesign

    This is amazing! I’ve used this method three times to enlarge your 7 pointed star pattern to different sizes. And I just discovered your blog last week!

    Reply

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