Adventureland Quilt Sew Along Week 2: Cut Fabric

The Adventureland quilt along is the best way for beginners to learn how to quilt! Get extra instructions, videos and tips.

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

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.

Quilt Cutting Tools (You only need 3!)

  1. Rotary cutter
  2. Ruler
  3. Cutting mat

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.

The Adventureland quilt along is the best way for beginners to learn how to quilt! Get extra instructions, videos and tips.

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.

The Adventureland quilt along is the best way for beginners to learn how to quilt! Get extra instructions, videos and tips.

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!

The Adventureland quilt along is the best way for beginners to learn how to quilt! Get extra instructions, videos and tips.
The Adventureland quilt along is the best way for beginners to learn how to quilt! Get extra instructions, videos and tips.

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.

The Adventureland quilt along is the best way for beginners to learn how to quilt! Get extra instructions, videos and tips.
The Adventureland quilt along is the best way for beginners to learn how to quilt! Get extra instructions, videos and tips.

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".

The Adventureland quilt along is the best way for beginners to learn how to quilt! Get extra instructions, videos and tips.

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 😉

The Adventureland quilt along is the best way for beginners to learn how to quilt! Get extra instructions, videos and tips.

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!

24 thoughts on “Adventureland Quilt Sew Along Week 2: Cut Fabric

  1. Lynette says:

    I know there are no stupid questions, but still… I’m confused about cutting the background fabric. I live in a tiny space, and I’m limited to a cutting area that matches my 18 x 24″ cutting mat. Do you have any tips for cutting the background when you have limited space?

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Hey Lynette, I suggest using a tape measure (or tailor’s tape) to draw your guide marks and then you can either fold the fabric and use your ruler and rotary cutter or you can even cut along the guide marks with scissors. Hope this helps!

    • Mia says:

      Lynette–I have an 18×24 mat and I finally got a 50% off coupon for Joanns and bought a bigger (55×33) mat for $30 with the coupon. It is a little too big for my table but the extra surface of the mat is really, really helpful for these bigger pieces! I flubbed the triangles for the New Horizon quilt because of my mat being too small and me being distracted.

    • Ledena says:

      Hi Lynette, I live in a small space with the same size mat. One thing I did so I didn’t get confused about the shapes as I was folding, I ironed all of the creases so I could see the lines more clearly….and avoid chopping up where I didn’t want a cut. Sidenote -this was the hardest part lol. I should have waited for this week but it worked out ☺️

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Since you are sewing the bias cut triangle on after all of your strips are sewn, I suggest you still starch the background fabric. If you want to starch your strips, you can do that when you are pressing the seams after sewing them together; however there’s no need to starch them before you sew them together.

  2. Tina McQueen says:

    I’ve never starched before and read your article on starching. Because I hadn’t starched my strip fabric before cutting, I thought I should be consistent and not starch my background. Anyway, I cut my large square, but now seeing question answered above, I’m wondering if I can still starch my background since it’s cut? Will it warp or shrink it? Can I just lightly spray and let it dry flat? Or should I just go with it unstarched? I understand sewing with bias and have some experience with it.

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      It’s not too late to starch it. You can even starch the triangles if you have already cut those. When you are ironing the fabric, just don’t press and push with the iron because that will cause the stretching.

  3. Robyn says:

    Thank you so much for the cutting video! I had assumed the selvages had to line up to get the fabric on grain, which was so hard to get right but would still create a bubble at the fold! Light bulb moment! 💡Now I can’t wait to start cutting. 🤩
    One question: why cut the triangles from a square and not from a strip?

  4. Savannah Hedge says:

    I’m attempting the baby size. My corners did not line up exactly when I folded the square, so I’m not confident about my triangles. I think they’re close enough 🤞🏻Are there dimensions for the sides of the triangles so I can double check? Or how precise does it have to be? 😬

  5. Patsy Kappler says:

    Good afternoon,
    I just completed all four blocks using Alison Glass Kaleidoscope yardage and it is beautiful. But, I have one problem. I can’t get the wrinkles and bolt lines out. I tried the vinegar and water thing and I starched my strips before sewing. I plan to send to Trace Creek. Will this be a problem for them. What to do…I hope it will be ok.
    Any advise.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I am also stuck on cutting the background squares! The cutting fabric video was helpful, but I could also use a video tutorial on how to cut the background squares. I’m not understanding the written instructions in the pattern or the additional tips here. So far, I’ve just cut the straight edge, but am afraid to go further until I “get it”. My mat is 24″ x 36″

      • Laura Hopper says:

        Hi there! We recommend using tailor’s tape or a tape measure to draw your guide marks and then folding your fabric diagonally to follow those fold lines when cutting if you’re working with a small space. Basically making a big 33″ square and cutting it diagonally twice to make triangles 🙂 Enjoy making your Adventureland quilt!


    I am with Elizabeth above with a video on cutting the background squares. I have never done a quilt — and am so intimidated that I will do stuff wrong! Loved the strip video…so need the squares, please

  8. Jacqueline Wiepert says:

    I am an experienced quilter and am struggling with cutting background fabric for throw size I’ve gone thru 2 separate yards of fabric yards now and still comes out wrong 😔. I feel I need someone to actually walk me through this

  9. Courtney says:

    I sewed my first block together, having trimmed my strips (from a jelly roll) up front. However, when I had everything together, my triangle winds up on the right rather than the left to fit my design (and the strip length! —don’t worry, the other strips are untouched so far, phew!) I do t think having the triangle on the other side makes too big of a problem; it only flips the design. I think? My brain is breaking on this one and I wonder if it should pick my seams or keep going with a reversed Adventureland.

    • Laura Hopper says:

      Hi Courtney! Plenty of people have had a reverse Adventureland quilt — it happened often in the sew along and it’s become a kind of club in the Suzy Quilts Patterns Facebook group. So keep going!

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