Ok, so you’ve shopped. Hopefully you went to your local shop, but I won’t be mad at ya if you didn’t. Well not super mad. A little disappointed maybe (read that with true Mom tone).
You’ve either washed or just sat tight. Next up, prep.
First thing, we need to get straight. Not in a uptight way or a boy on girl way, but in a very angular way.
But Erika, they cut it straight.
Not really. It looks straight, but it isn’t. If you have a patterned fabric, pull it out. Notice how on one end you get some of the pattern and on the opposite end of the fabric you have more or less of that pattern? See? Not straight. In order to quilt properly, you need to square up your fabric. AKA: getting straight.
same fabric on the same center line-notice the difference.
Again, there’s two ways to do this… Those damn quilters’ two ways.
1. Cut You can lay your fabric on a straight line on your cutting mat and run the cutter over it. Do it on all sides because you’ll want to take of the designer info. For big pieces of fabric, some people fold and cut. I’m not good at this because I can’t fold straight. I’m way too lazy to get things perfect. Cutting sucks for me.
2. Rip I go 1/2 inch in from the edge and make a tiny cut. Then I grab it and rip like a Mo Fo. You always rip on the grain, so the entire length of fabric is straight as an arrow. Sometimes, it’s annoying. You snip in, start to pull, and it doesn’t go the entire length or width. Dammit. I go to the opposite side and cut in a little further than the first snip. And then I pull. It’s straight and there’s something so satisfying and primal for me. All that ripping is good ass therapy. I rip anything that’s going to be 2 inches or larger. Smaller than 2 inches gets tricky. Two cons of ripping are the frayed and rolled edges. Not a big deal once you get used to them. Now I ignore the fray and iron the roll. Problem fixed.
But it’s up to you. Some people love the glide and perfection of the cutter. And some people love to rip. You pick. Your quilt will be awesome either way.
Cut or rip all sides. Thus squaring it up. See all that extra? Yeah, that sucks. It wasn’t cut straight to begin with, but it’s not the nice sales associate’s fault (sometimes…). It’s how the fabric was put on the bolt. Keep in mind the squaring up issues if you are buying “just enough” fabric. I’ve had to return the store for 2 extra inches. Pattern called for 1/2 yard (18 inches). I bought a 1/2 of yard. Once squared up, I really only had 16 inches to play with.
So square up your fabric.
Next step, strips. Technically, you could cut/rip squares and sew square to square to square. And then rows of squares to rows of squares. Not hard, but time consuming in my book. We’re going to sew three long and different strips together and cut that block into three rows of three squares. Sounds tricky, but we got this.
You’ll want a six-inch wide strip that is at least 19 inches (more than 19 inches will give you a little room to play with). You can use your rotary cutter or you can snip in 6 inches and rip. I ripped. You’ll need 27 strips that are 6 inches by at least 19 inches.
Get ripping or cutting.
When you’re done, feel free to iron the strips or gently trim the frayed edges if it really bugs you.
Next up, we sew!