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Tips & Techniques > Quick way to measure a yard

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Posted by: LoriB
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Member since: 4/23/02
Reviews: 104 (tips: 12)
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Posted on: 8/27/03 4:01 PM
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 3 people   
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My mom taught me this a long time ago and it occurred to me that everyone may not know this trick:

A quick way to measure an approximate yard is to hold the end of the fabric, ribbon, or trim in one hand, with your arm outstretched to the side and at shoulder height. Turn your head toward the other direction and the distance from where you're holding the item to the tip of your nose is about one yard.

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Shazza B said... (1/19/07 9:47 AM) Reply
My Mum called it Smelling a Yard!
Bluebell said... (8/13/06 7:05 AM) Reply
A good tip.. but I have it slightly differently... Hold fabric, ribbon etc between thumb and forefinger and stretch arm out at shoulder height, to full extent. With face to the front, place other end to be measured directly on tip of nose. This measures one yard (36 inches).. Still holding onto fabric etc. just turn head to opposite shoulder and place fabric etc. on tip of nose again... this will measure one metre (meter) (39 inches). Have used this "Rule of Thumb" for years.. very helpful when I am looking through fabric remnants..
Lou. said... (9/10/03 8:11 AM) Reply
Cool trick!
J_J said... (9/8/03 9:38 AM) Reply
It's true. I've used this method for years and it can be really useful when remnant shopping or picking up yard goods at garage sales/auctions. It works for my sister too and she's 6 inches shorter than me. We've never figured that one out!
Rhonda Noah said... (8/28/03 3:07 PM) Reply
Lori, my mom taught me this long ago, and it is a very handy tool when you find stuff at yard sales or thrift shops or digging through remnant bins of unmarked goodies. It is only an approximation, as Patricia noted, but it is accurate enough to know if it's 'at least' 2 yards or only 1 and 3/4. Thanks for sharing this.
Patricia M said... (8/28/03 2:21 PM) Reply
Lori, for me, your method exactly measures a meter. I guess these measuring tips really didn't account for body differences, such as long noses!!
Georgene said... (8/27/03 5:57 PM) Reply
Yes and one meter is from the end of your outstretched arm to the opposite shoulder!
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