Monday, August 30, 2010

QUILT ALONG WEEK TWO: CUTTING AND IRONING

Hopefully you have everything you need collected so we can get cutting!!
  • rotary cutter
  • cutting mat
  • straight edge
  • 35-40 clothing items
Instructions:
  1. In total, you will need sixty (60) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" squares from the clothing. This includes a 1/4" seam allowance on all four sides of each square.
  2. If you have a piece of clothing that you want more than one square from (preferably patterned, not plain white), start by placing your shirt (or other item) on the mat and line up your straight edge on one side.
  3. Measure 4.5" and cut through both layers with the rotary cutter.
  4. Continue cutting (through both layers) so that you end up with two perfect squares.
  5. Some items have a portion in particular that you want to use in your quilt. Like this onesie that my friend Sabrina sent me when Storey was born. Gotta include the adorable "S."
  6. Again, I measure the 4.5", but this time I make sure that the applique I want included is centered in my square. I also want to make sure that the edges of the applique aren't close to my seam allowance (1/4" on each side). Using my straight edge and rotary cutter, I cut out the square. Go ahead and cut through both layers.
  7. I won't need the back piece of this particular onesie because it is plain white, but it is up to you whether or not you want to keep the other square.
  8. Keep in mind as you cut that you may want to have squares with buttons, snaps, and pockets on them from the clothing. It adds a little extra texture and personality to the final quilt. If you look closely at this picture (click on it to enlarge) you can see both snaps and buttons.
  9. In total, you should cut 60 squares from the clothing
  10. ***The instructions above do not include the big square in the middle, instead you are using four squares for the middle. If you do have a favorite outfit that you want to use in the middle, cut 56 of the smaller squares and ONE 8.25" x 8.25" square for the very middle.
Now move on to cutting the filler squares from your solid cotton or flannel fabric. You will need forty-four (40) 4.5" x 4.5" squares.
  1. Take your washed fabric and fold it in half, making sure there are no wrinkles (you may want to iron it flat). Then fold it in half again, giving you four layers of fabric, and line up your straight edge 4.5" from the edge of your fabric.
  2. Cut through all four layers with your rotary cutter, creating one long strip.
  3. Open up the fabric so that there are only two layers. Using your rotary cutter, cut off the edge of the strip to create a straight edge before starting squares.
  4. Cut again at 4.5", making squares. Do this along the entire length of your cut strip.
  5. Continue cutting this way until you have 44 squares of solid fabric.

Now, I forgot to mention this last week (sorry!!) but there's one more step that you must do before we can get to sewing next week. And one more thing to buy.

You need lightweight, iron-on Pellon. You can find this behind the cutting counter at Joann's and in most other fabric shops. Basically, it is a stabilizer and you are going to use it to iron on to the back of all of the knit fabric squares. This is important because most baby clothing is made of stretchy material and you don't want it to stretch as you sew the squares.So pick out the knit squares, and iron the pellon (with a no steam iron) onto the back of all of them. You will have to cut off the excess with a straight edge and a rotary cutter. PLEASE DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP-it will make sewing your whole quilt top together much more difficult.

Once you have ironed and cut the excess off your squares, you are done with this week's assignment!!

Supplies for week three:
  • sewing machine
  • 60 cut clothing squares
  • 40 cut solid squares
  • white thread
Get ready! We're going to be making a quilt top!!

4 comments:

Oh Holland! said...

I'm excited to get started! But I have one question- In your photos of your quilts, it looks like the center square is larger. Before I cut into everything, should I save my very favorite item to cut into a bigger size for the center square? Thanks!

Tania

bethany said...

Tania-the instructions have been edited to answer your question. Sorry about that! Please let me know if you have any other questions! (step #10 answers your question)

greetingarts said...

Aaaaack. It's *hard* to make the first cut. So so hard!

I can do this I can do this I can do this...

Anonymous said...

I am making one of these for my daughters 1st birthdya in just about 3 weeks, i hope i can get it done in time! I was wondering, i have a blanket i want to use for the back and it is 44in by 66in, how many squares do i need?

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