Hey hey, Quiltketeers! Welcome to Week 2 in the Garland sew along! I hope you enjoyed the Week 1 IG LIVE. If you missed it, and still have some doubts about your fabric selection, you can watch the video in last week's post.
In Week 2 we are ironing and cutting our fabric. The cutting section of the quilt making process is filmed in a video tutorial found on page 4 of your Garland pattern, so my sew along tips this week will be relatively brief.
As always, if you have any questions about ironing or cutting, or if you need help troubleshooting an issue, don't hesitate to ask in the comments below or join the Suzy Quilts Patterns Facebook group and ask there.
For a complete rundown on what a Suzy Quilts sew along looks like, hop back to our first post and skim the top few sections.
Garland Sew Along Schedule
- Week 1, January 6: Pick fabric and gather supplies
Sponsor: Cottoneer - 1/2 yd. bundle of Trellis woven fabric by Fableism
IG LIVE - @suzyquilts: Thursday, Jan. 12 @ 2pm Central - We will discuss fabric selection + Q&A. If you have specific questions you want covered, post them in the blog comments below.
- Week 2, January 13: Cut fabric
Sponsor: Sewing Arts Center - $100 gift certificate
- Week 3, January 20: Sew improv strips
Sponsor: SunRae Designs - Free longarm quilting for one Garland quilt
IG LIVE - @suzyquilts: Wednesday, Jan. 25 @ 2pm Central - I will do an improv strip sewing demo + Q&A. If you have specific questions you want covered, post them in the blog comments below.
- Week 4, January 27: Trim improv strips and assemble the quilt top
Sponsor: Trace Creek Quilting - Free longarm quilting for one Garland quilt
Week 2 Assignment: Cut Fabric
But WAIT! Before you cut up all that fabric, we need to do something that's not very glamorous but very very important — iron. If you've ever had trouble cutting fabric accurately, one culprit might be that you didn't iron well enough.
Ironing isn't complicated; however it can feel time consuming when you're rip roarin' and ready to cut! I put on a podcast while doing my ironing and it felt like no time at all by the time I was finished.
Tip #1: Iron really well before cutting.
New on the blog I break down the art of ironing in this post, The Best Way to Prepare FQs for Quilting. In a nutshell I suggest:
- Don't pre-wash your precuts. I only wash cuts of fabric that are 1/2 yd or larger. Washing raw-edged fabric makes those edges fray, causing it to lose sometimes up to an inch. Washing also shrinks fabric, which is great if you have more than enough to make your quilt pattern, however can be troublesome if you can't make a quilt pattern because you're a 1/2" short on your fat quarter.
- Spray, massage and iron on hot. This three-step ironing technique is the best way to get tough creases out of fabric that hasn't been washed.
- Starch is optional. Starch is a hotly debated topic in the sewing world so here's my quilty opinion — take it or leave it. If you are not pre-washing your fabric, you do not need to use starch. One of the benefits of washing fabric is that it washes away chemicals (including starch) from the manufacturing process. Don't wash = starch is already on the fabric. If you are working with stretchy or loosely woven fabric and want them to have some stiffness to help you handle them better, then that's the exception and you should starch.
Tip #2: Stack your precuts and scraps.
Stack as many precuts as you feel comfortable. For me, I like to stack my FQs in piles of four. For the throw I'm cutting 12 FQs so that comes out to an even three piles of four.
If using scraps, group them together into similar sizes. Stack them from larger to smaller, with the smallest one on top — that way you can use it as a guide and not come up short
Tip #3: Watch the video tutorial in the pattern.
If you're new to improv cutting, it can feel a little weird at first. Like, isn't quilting supposed to be ultra precise and mathematical? Well, yes, sometimes. But it doesn't have to always be that way.
One reason I love the Garland pattern is that any time I can get a little "imprecise" or "wonky" it adds personality to the quilt and makes it wonderfully unique!
Tip #4: Throw your fabric up in the air!
Once you have your wonky strips cut, separate them if they were stacked, and toss them around like confetti. Make a mess! Get your strips nicely mixed up, then gather them back together into a pile. Now you're ready for Week 3, sewing the improv strips together!
Tip #5: Don't forget to piece some of your long strips.
If you are making the throw, some of those long WOF strips need to be pieced together with a vertical seam and then trimmed down to the correct size. The pattern is written this way to minimize waste and maximize your fabric.
If you're worried about seams in your strips, I can assure you they won't be noticeable once your quilt top is finished. There will be A LOT going on with those improv sections!
Week 2 Sponsor & Prize
Our second week is sponsored by the Sewing Arts Center! This week, if you post a picture of your quilting progress and use #GarlandQuiltSA on Instagram, you can win $100 to shop online at the Sewing Arts Center!!
How to Win
- Post a pic to Instagram. The photo prompt for Instagram this week is to post an introduction pic or a picture of your fabric. Use #GarlandQuiltSA 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 Friday, January 13 and Friday, January 20, (so freaky!). The winner will be picked randomly from all qualifying posts and announced at approximately 4:00 p.m. on the 20th. Good luck!