Welcome back to Week 2 of the #cosmicxmasQAL! Do you feel confident about your fabric ? Yes? No? Well, we gotta keep grooving - CUTTING! I personally have a love-hate relationship with cutting. It's repetitive enough that it's meditative for me, but repetitive thus making it incredibly boring! Not only that, I recently sliced my thumb with a rotary cutter so I'm taking a break from that thing for a bit.
No matter! We don't have to love every inch of making a quilt to enjoy the process! I'm here to make you feel a bit better around that pizza slicer of ours!
Our Sewing Schedule
The QAL is beginner and fat quarter friendly. It'll be a speedy 5 weeks (maybe even shorter for some). It officially starts November 12th 2022, but some of us take forever to pick fabrics (maybe only me), so let's start thinking about fabric selection...
Week 1, Pick Fabric (November 12th) - Prize Sponsors: Pink Peony Creations + Sewcial Distance
Week 2, Cut Fabric (November 19th) - Prize Sponsors: Domesticity + Corinne Sovey
Week 3, Create Blocks (November 26th) - Prize Sponsors: Cecivas Creations + Brimfield Awakening
Week 4, Assemble Quilt (December 3rd) - Prize Sponsors: Wander Stitch Company + TannaMade
Week 5, Finishing (Quilting + Binding) (December 10th) - Prize Sponsors: Miss B's Quilting Studio
This sewing schedule would allow one to have enough time to comfortably complete a throw sized quilt, though you are free to make any size you like. You must submit a finished throw or bigger quilt top to be eligible for the finishing quilting prizes (Wander Stitch Company, Cecivas Creations, + Miss B's Quilting Studio).
You only need three tools:
I am a firm believer that the kind of tools you have contributes to your success! For example, I recommend a rotary cutter, but not any kind - my favorites! These are tried and true, and will definitely make this experience much easier (which means, better)!
Rotary Cutter: Quilter's Select 45MM - ambidextrous friendly, heavy, and versatile on different materials. It has an easy blade to conceal and reveal with just a tap! This is the rotary cutter we use in the shop and it is a customer favorite!)
Quilting Ruler: Quilter's Select Non-Slip Ruler - ALL-TIME, must-have, GAME CHANGER! I swear, my lines have never been straighter! I don't have to apply a terrible amount of pressure against my ruler to keep my ruler in place. These rulers have a non-slip special coating that grips not only the fabric, but the mat!)
Cutting Mat: Quilter's Select Self Healing/Dual Side - These self-healing, multilayer mats are usable on both sides, with versatility in mind. One inch lines with two sets of corresponding numbers are placed around the perimeter of the mat and read left to right AND right to left – never lose your place or have to count backwards!
This is not a Quilter's Select Sponsored post haha! I really adore their products. I've tried so many different lines from different companies, but Quilter's Select really is the select choice! The company is also excellent to work with coming from a retailer!
Cutting Tips N' Tricks
Suzy Quilts has an excellent video on how to cut fabric!
Tip 1: Iron and Starch Your Fabric
To pre-wash or not to pre-wash? It's all preference! Whichever you choose to do, you gotta iron your fabric! Get the wrinklies out. This will give you an accurate cut!
Starching...do it. I would like to say this is a non-negotiable for me. We have a customer (turned friend) of ours who is the starch queen. Literally. Her fabric is so crispy and feels like literal paper. Without the starch, you open up the opportunity to your fabric to stretch!
Tip 2: Cut the largest piece first!
I like to begin by cutting each fabric's largest necessary parts. I then use the remainder of my fabric to cut the smallest pieces! This reduces waste and also prevents "running out" of fabric. Pattern designers all write their patterns differently. Some offer the yardage so that you have just the perfect amount (which saves you $$$ and space). Whereas, some patterns offer yardage where you have extra in case of any oopsie cuts! Yet, the pattern designers don't tell you whether or not the yardage offers extra! I don't figure this out till post-cutting. Thus, I need to be extra strategic about what I cut! Cut the largest piece!
Tip 3: Keep the fold of the fabric closest to you
I know what you're thinking..wow dadoy! I will say that not a lot of people actually know this tip! If you're cutting from yardage (vs. cutting from a fat quarter and/or precut), you want the fold line against your "reference" line on the cutting mat. This will assure a straight line! You don't want to cut from the "open" side of your yardage! The 90 degree angle offered by the intersection of your ruler and mat will give you that nice straight line. See below for that crispy angle!
Sourced from Quilt Social (https://quiltsocial.com/4-essential-tips-for-cutting-fabric-for-your-quilt/)
Week 2 Sponsors and Prizes
Check out my two personal favorites and good friends!
-> Family owned and operated quilt shop in Baltimore, MD with the brightest smiles and the brightest fabric! From Domesticity: "A fabric & yarn shop and certified BERNINA Dealer, embracing modern domesticity and whimsy with high-quality fabrics, the best machines, and fun classes to help you realize your creative/maker talents and build a community of sewists! We also offer sewing machine repair in-house."!
Website: CLICK HERE!
-> Corinne is one of our excellent quilty friends and longtime quilty crush! We carry an arrangement of her patterns in-store. From Corinne: "I aim to make colorful quilts that blend the graphic patterns of the design world with the time-honored tradition of patchwork. With great attention to detail, each quilt is designed with graphic purpose and balance. I try to make contemporary quilts inspired by design, but achievable by today’s quilter."
Website: CLICK HERE!