Welcome to Week 2 of the Phoebe Quiltalong! This week we will be cutting our fabric. This is not everyone's favorite part of the process (I mostly like it) so I am going to give you a few tips that might help make the experience more enjoyable. In addition to this blog post, I will be doing a live video on Instagram tomorrow (May 2nd) at 10am PST. I will save the video to Instagram and YouTube if that time doesn't work for you.
But first, let's talk a little bit about cutting for the Phoebe Quilt Pattern.
The table in the "Cutting Instructions" section of the pattern gives you a total number of pieces of feature fabrics that you need to cut for your quilt. Use the cutting instructions diagrams in the pattern to help you determine how many pieces you need to cut from your jelly roll strip, fat eighth, or fat quarter.
I am using fat eighths for my quilt, but I am actually going to use more than the 20 fat eighths called for in the pattern because the collection I am using has more than 20 prints and I want to increase the variety in my quilt. I will just make sure that I end up with the total number of pieces called for in the cutting instructions and then save my leftover fabric for a scrap quilt or a future project.
Here are some tips that I hope will help you enjoy cutting your fabric a little more.
Always press your fabric before cutting.
Having freshly pressed fabric will help your fabric lay flat on your cutting table and will make the process less frustrating, but also help make sure your pieces are accurately cut.
Find rulers that you like to use.
Investing in quilting rulers can save you a lot of time and frustration. There are lots of options out there will different markings, non-slip backs, or different cutting methods. I almost always use my slotted rulers for cutting fabric for a project (I have 3: a Stripology XL, a QuiltCut Strip Savvy Square Up, and a Creative Grids Mini Stripology ) and I also use my Creative Grids rulers. These are all a bit of an investment, but they save me time and help prevent me from mis-cutting fabric.
Cut your background fabric before your feature fabric.
This is something that helps me because I enjoy cutting my feature fabric, but cutting the background fabric is monotonous. I almost always cut my background fabric first to get it out of the way and it seems like less of a chore.
Clear off your cutting mat before you start cutting.
I am not the best at doing this, but it really does make a difference.
Before you cut all of your fabric, consider making a test block.
I don't actually do this because I just reckless like that, but this is a good practice (especially if you are a new quilter). This will help you make sure that you are cutting your pieces accurately.
Make sure your rotary blade is sharp.
I think most of us tend to put this off because we think our blade is fine, but using a sharp blade makes the cutting process more enjoyable and will give you more accurate fabric cuts.
Stack your fabrics.
You can cut more than one fabric at a time, especially if your rotary blade is sharp. Stack up to 4 layers of fabric (if my rotary blade is brand new I do 6!) and start cutting.
Don't cut fabric when you are tired.
You have probably heard "measure twice, cut once." This is definitely good advice, but it's not going to help you if you are tired. We all make mistakes when we are sleepy.
I hope this is helpful for you. Cutting for this quilt is fairly painless (as long as you keep your fingers out of the way!). In the Instagram live video tomorrow, I will demonstrate cutting my fabric for the pattern.