Why “EDeN”?

EDeN™ is an acronym for “Equivalent Die Notation”.  When we wrote this down as “EDN” and sounded it out, it sounded like the word “Eden”.  We thought this was a perfect association, because we think that quilting would be a true “Eden” for quilters if we could get die-cutting adopted by more quilters, and finally make it possible to know which dies to use for quilting!


How do you know EDeN works for quilters?

This system has had extensive focus group testing. It was first introduced to the subscribers of Blocks to Die For, who were gradually moved onto the system over a period of 3 months.  We conducted a reader survey at the end of that period to understand how people were using it and whether there were issues, and from there, we invited 100 people to join a Focus Group to discuss the system and recommend any changes.

Based on that feedback, we adjusted EDeN to make it even easier to use.  We know the system works for quilters because real quilters who use die-cutters built it!


Why does EDeN use the finished size for everything in the chart instead of cut sizes? This confuses me with squares and strips.

When we first created EDeN, we thought that consistency was important, because when looking across the die cutting systems, there isn’t any. Manufacturers don’t always measure their shapes the way quilter’s measure shapes, and it’s not always easy to determine where the shape will fit by reading the die names or descriptions.

So we made the decision early on that everything would be expressed in finished measurements, so that the charts would be easy to understand & there weren’t a bunch of exceptions to remember. When we did focus group testing, this approach was confirmed, and quilters agreed that consistency was important. As one of our quilters says:

“QST-4 Is much easier to remember than Triangle 3-9/16″ to make up a 4″ block.”

It takes a little getting used to “SQ-2″ representing a 2-1/2” cut square, but once you do, it becomes second nature.


Should I label my dies with the EDeN Number?

According to our quilters, YES! Labeling your dies serves an important function: first, it will help you get used to the system more easily.  Use a permanent marker to write the number along the side of the die.  Some dies, like strip dies, appear in the chart multiple times; just write the strip EDeN Number on those.


Why are some EDeN Numbers expressed with fractions? Wouldn’t decimals be better?

We did a lot of testing in this area, including generating EDeN Charts in both systems.  After comparing them side by side, the quilters in the focus group overwhelmingly chose fractions – even those who initially expressed a preference for decimals!  We think this is because quilters are just so used to seeing fractions that we are automatically trained to recognize them. We also wanted EDeN to be compact, so that designers and publishers could easily include EDeN in their publications.  Not to mention, it takes less effort to read STR-1⅜  rather than STR-1.375.


 Why does the rectangle EDeN Chart stop at 12″ finished?

That’s the widest width for which a die is available to cut (though it’s only for the Studio.) So, once a rectangle gets to be over 12″ finished, that’s when the strip numbers would be used instead.  It also means that we don’t have to generate endless combinations of rectangles for which we know there are no dies available, and at least one measurement will need to be rotary cut.


What is “LOF”?

Quilters are used to seeing “WOF” in patterns, which stands for “width of fabric”. This is the measurement of the fabric from selvage to selvage, and is between 42-45″ for most quilting fabric.

WOF is the way we learn to cut strips, because it’s easiest & common.  However, as die-cutters, we know that the lengthwise grain is more stable, and so we always advocate using the lengthwise grain when possible, especially for sashing and borders.

LOF therefore, is the opposite of WOF, and stands for “length of fabric”.  It represents the length of the yardage, which can vary because it depends on what you actually have, but also represents the lengthwise grain, which does not stretch & therefore provides accuracy & stability for blocks and quilt tops.

We strongly advocate using the LOF for rectangles & strips.  To achieve this, rectangle charts will specify the larger dimension be cut first across the WOF, so that the smaller dimension can be cut on the lengthwise grain.   Strip charts will reference LOF, to indicate that the lengthwise grain is preferred for borders & sashing.  For these types of cuts, you’ll cut the longest length that you can across the fabric (so that if you have 2 yards, you have a 72″ length to work with), and then use that on the appropriate strip die to cut it into the right width (so if you are using STR-2, that means you will have strips that are 72″ long by 2-1/2″ wide.)