Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Spinning Bow Ties Quilt Along - Cutting

You've chosen your fabrics and now it's time to start cutting them into pieces that we get to sew back together.

If you are just joining us for the quilt along these links will be helpful.

Spinning Bow Ties Quilt Along Announcement

Spinning Bow Ties Quilt Along - Fabric

Buy the pattern here:



If you are a beginner you will find more helpful links in Beginners Unite.

Fabric Prep

You've picked your fabrics, what now? The first thing is to decide if you are going to wash them or not. This is a personal choice for each quilter. I choose not to prewash my fabrics, with a few exceptions. One of them is when I'm working on something like a Quilt of Valor quilt and there are reds and whites involved.

Whether or not I choose to wash the fabrics, when I press I use starch. This is another one of those things that is a personal choice. I use a mister and Best Press. There are different starches to use, you can even make your own, use (or don't use) what works for you.

Pattern Prep

When I get ready to cut out a pattern I go through and highlight the numbers I will be cutting. Yes I do print out the digital pattern to do so. Sometimes it can get confusing when you are making multiple cuts with multiple fabrics, so having them highlighted helps to keep things straight. I also go through and write the fabric next to each color to make sure I don't get confused.


Now we're ready to start cutting our fabrics. I like to start at the very top and cut everything out for that color, then continue on.

The most important thing to do when you start cutting is to make sure you give yourself a straight edge. You can see more about cutting fabric in THIS POST. As the picture shows, the red fabric was not cut on the straight of grain, which is pretty much impossible when coming off the bolt. So it's important to get that fabric lined up properly.

When the instructions call for sub-cutting strips, I try to sub-cut as many strips at the same time as I can. I don't stack strips, it's not something I was ever able to do accurately, so I line them up as shown above.

If instructions call to mark the diagonal, or cut a piece in half, I do that right away. First cutting out the strips, then the squares, then making the marks or cuts, before moving onto the next cutting step. This way I'm ready to start sewing as soon as I've made that last cut.

My current favorite marking tools are the mechanical pencil and the Bohin Fine pencil with refills, found by one of my good sewing friends. It's great for marking dark fabrics. Above you can see the mat I use for all of my marking. It's a old mat that I cut up into four sections. I use them for marking and trimming, that way I save my good cutting mat for cutting.

 I usually keep my cuts in a shoe box sized bin. That way it's all together and I don't lose any pieces that try to hide in my studio.

I wait to cut the borders until I have the top completely pieced so I can measure for accuracy. I recommend you do the same. We will talk borders in a few weeks.

Link up a picture of your cut fabrics for fun!

Happy Stitching!

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