Hey, Quiltketeers! Welcome back to Week 2 in the Adventureland quilt sew along. I hope you are feeling good about your fabric selections because this week we move on to Phase 2 of our mission—cutting. I've been told by many of you that cutting is your least favorite part in the quilt-making process.
And you know what? That's OK. You don't have to love every part; however I want to make sure that you feel capable and confident in every part so that's why I'm majorly breaking Adventureland cutting down for you. If I hooked you into this sew along by saying something flashy like, "Adventureland the best beginner quilt pattern!" This is the post where I put my money where my mouth is. Or, err, my rotary cutter where my mouth is. Wait... that can't be right.
Adventureland Sew Along Schedule
- Week 1, March 22: Pick fabric
Sponsor: Sewing Arts Center - $100 gift certificate
Sponsor: Emily Van Hoff - earring kit
- Week 2, March 29: Cut fabric
Sponsor: Cottoneer - Martha fabric fat quarter bundle
Sponsor: Jenn B Quilts - free longarm quilting on one throw quilt
- Week 3, April 5: Sew strips together
Sponsor: Global Fiber: Sprout wovens bundle (pre-order)
Sponsor: Bessie Pearl Textiles: $50 gift certificate
- Week 4, April 12: Assemble quilt top
Sponsor: Trace Creek Quilting: free longarm quilting on one quilt
Sponsor: Rifle Paper Co: Camont fat quarter bundle
If You Are New to Quilting...
Hey newbie quilter, have I told you lately that I'm so glad you're here? In this second week of our sew along I want to bring a few things to your attention. The first is a post with some basic quilting advice. It's an easy skim and might preemptively answer a question you currently have.
The next post is in preparation for next week when we start to sew. I just want to make sure your machine is ready for action. If your sewing journey started off like mine, those first few quilts are being sewn on a borrowed machine or one that hasn't been used for a while.
Lastly, if you are using a jelly roll, don't worry about starch; however, if you are worried about your large background triangles stretching because of the bias edges, starch ain't a bad idea.
Adventureland Quilt Sew Along Week 2: Cutting
The Adventureland pattern requires you to cut only two different things—strips and a large square. Since some of you have never cut fabric before, I filmed a 5 minutes video for you on how to cut strips. If you are starting with a 2.5" pre-cut bundle, huzzah! You can skip to the next part.
Tip #1: Iron and starch your background fabric.
Some of you are prewashers and some of you aren't. It doesn't matter which camp you're in, iron the wrinkles and creases out of your background fabric before you cut your large square. It will make your cutting more accurate. You can see below I did I very quick pass with some steam and my iron just to get the major creases out.
It's also not a terrible idea to use some starch. You're already at your ironing board, might as well, right? Those bias edges will be just a bit easier to manage if you do.
Cutting the Background Square
I'm writing this assuming that you have your pattern open and have already read through it once. These instructions supplement the pattern instructions. With that said, first things first—fold your fabric in half just like we did in the video above then trim the ragged edge on the side.
Next, draw your guideline below the selvage so you know where to cut to get the second straight edge. I'm using this really cheap water soluble marker.
Tip #2: Use a tape measure.
If you don't trust the guidelines on your mat (maybe they are worn off or warped), use a tape measure to draw multiple marks down the side of your fabric. Once you have marks running all the way down, line up the horizontal mark on your ruler with a trimmed edge and the vertical mark with the drawn guidemarks. Cut!
Tip #3: Give your creases extra visibility by pressing with an iron.
At this stage you can finger press the creases OR take the cut square to your ironing board and press the creases to make them extra sharp. I like to do that because with such a long cut it's hard to see finger pressing.
Below I'm finger pressing, which is exactly as it sounds. Pressing the fold of the fabric with my fingers to create a crease.
Troubleshooting: Should you trim the pinked edges?
You bought a jelly roll and notice the edges are pinked (have tiny triangles cut into them), should you trim that off? No way! That is way too much effort plus a pinked edge will only work in your favor. Why? Because the purpose of pinking is to stop fabric from fraying.
Troubleshooting: Should you sew a 1/4" seam allowance on a pinked edge?
Even though this is technically a Week 3 question, I'm going to bring it up now because some of you have asked already. I suggest measuring a couple of your strips to see how close they are to 2.5". Most likely they will look like mine does in this picture. From pinked edge to pinked edge my strips are just barely wider than 2.5".
Since we've ruled out trimming each 2.5" jelly roll strip (and honestly the width is negligibly wider anyway), and we've established that pinked edges don't fray, I suggest lining up the pinked edges and sewing a 1/4" seam. Those of you who like to sew with a scant 1/4", bump that up to a solid 1/4".
Once your strips are sewn they will look like this from the back. But that's not until next week 😉
Week 2 Sponsors & Prizes
For those of you who are here just for the prizes, I don't blame you! This week we have two more good ones. Cottoneer founder Andrea Patton has released her first collection of fabric with Figo Fabrics and is giving away a fat quarter bundle! This is a beautiful collection full of prints and colors perfect for spring.
Our second sponsor is Jenn B Quilts offering free longarm quilting on one throw quilt. In addition to that, anyone can get 25% off longarm quilting on all of your Adventureland quilts from Jenn B Quilts now through August. Use coupon code ADVENTURELAND. What a deal!
How to Win
- Post a pic to Instagram. The photo prompt for Instagram this week is to post a picture of your sew along progress. Use #AdventurelandQuiltSA in the caption.
- You must have a public Instagram profile to participate.
- Each photo posted is an entry and you can enter as many times as you want in a single week. Once the week is over, those posts do not count in the next week's giveaway. Every week we start fresh.
- Your photo must be posted between Tuesday, March 29 and Tuesday, April 5. The winner will be picked randomly from all qualifying posts and announced at approximately 4:00 p.m. on the 5th. Good luck!