Hello my lovelies and welcome to the second week of our Gather quilt sew along! This week we are cut, cut cutting! The Gather quilt involves simple strip cutting and then sub-cutting, so all you need is a basic ruler, cutting mat, and a rotary cutter with a sharp blade (no dull blades allowed!)
A question came up yesterday and it reminded me of something I forgot to say last week – it's never too late to join this sew along!
Since there is no official sign-up, you can hop into the sew along at any time. If you want to stay on schedule, you may have to do a bit of rushing in the beginning, but with 7 weeks to make this quilt top, I bet you'll be able to catch up if you put your mind to it.
However, if you don't catch up, no big deal! These helpful blog posts will always be here when you're ready for them. Also, did you know that you can search questions and keywords in the Suzy Quilts Patterns Facebook group? A lot of questions get asked and answered there, so you may be pleasantly surprised to see you're not the only one needing a bit of support during a certain phase of the making process.
For details on how this sew along works, check out the original informational post here. And don't forget to join me for the live video this Wednesday at 7:30pm CST on both Instagram and in the Suzy Quilts Patterns Facebook group.
Gather Quilt Sew Along Schedule
- Week 1, January 20: Pick fabric and gather supplies
- Week 2, January 27: Cut all fabric
- Week 3, February 3: Sew, trim and press HSTs for Colors 1-5
- Week 4, February 10: Sew, trim and press HSTs for Colors 6-9
- Week 5, February 17: Sew HSTs into rows
- Week 6, February 24: Sew strips as needed and assemble the quilt top up to row k
- Week 7, March 3: Assemble the rest of the quilt top and trim
Week 2 Assignment: Cut All Fabric
Cutting! Week 2 is very basic cutting so if you've made a few quilts before, go forth and do your thang! If you are super new to quilting and a large question mark hovers over your head while reading a cutting chart, let's break it down together.
We are officially making the Throw in this sew along, however you are welcome to make whatever size you like. I'm going to be specifically talking about the Throw cutting measurements, but I trust you to apply them in the same way according to the sizes you need.
Tip #1: Label your fabric.
Nothing fancy here, people. Just some ripped paper or post-its pinned, stuck, or simply resting on top of your fabric. The first time you make this quilt, I suggest trying to keep your fabric as organized as possible.
Now, this is one of those times I'll tell you to do one thing and then I'll do another thing. You totally love this quality about me, right? 😉 Since I've made this pattern a few times, and somehow lose my tiny torn pieces of paper every time I make this quilt (Hint: you can reuse your label paper if you don't lose it!) I lined up my fabric from #1-10 and took a photo of it on my phone. From there I can reference what's what.
I still get mixed up 10% of the time and yes, eventually my phone fills up with so many pictures of my dog and toddler I have to really scroll to see my fabric photo, but, it's a system and it's good to have a system!
I mean...how could I not take a ton of photos? I'm surrounded by cuteness! (Also 30 weeks pregnant in that photo, in case you were wondering.)
I got off track. Back to cutting!
Tip #2: Cut in the order it's listed.
I can't speak for all quilt patterns, but I'm guessing most are written with the cutting instructions listed in the order that things should be cut UNLESS there is a specific cutting chart telling you to do otherwise.
So, looking at the Cutting Instructions on page 3 of the Gather pattern, the first thing we see in the Throw column is Color 1: 3 - 9 1/4" squares, 1 - 6 1/2" square*. Below the chart is a note explaining that "*". Here are your cutting steps for Color 1. Repeat these steps for the rest of your fabrics, but according to the numbers in the chart.
- Step 1: Fold your fabric in half, holding both selvages in your hands. Shift the selvages right and left a little bit until the fabric hangs straight. The more your fabric looks like its pulling in one direction, the more off grain it is. Ideally, you will cut your strips on grain. The more you cut off grain, the more your fabric will stretch and be inclined to warp. For more info on fabric, check out this fun post, How is Fabric Made?
- Step 2: Line up a horizontal guidemark on your ruler with the fold of your fabric. Slice off the raggedy edge of your yardage so that you have a clean edge.
- Step 3: Cut a 9 1/4" strip, then sub-cut that strip into 3 - 9 1/4" squares and a single 6 1/2" square.
You can do one of two things next to get your 9 1/4" strip – line up the straight edge of your fabric with your cutting mat and use your cutting mat as a guide. OR, if you have a ruler that is wider than 9 1/4" you can use that. I have a 12 1/2" square ruler from making the Shine quilt, so I used that and moved it up the fabric as needed.
Once you have a strip, leave it folded in half and sub-cut it into squares. With fabrics (like the Background) that require more than 3 or 4 squares, you can stack 2 strips on top of each other so that you cut 4 squares at a time instead of just 2.
- Step 4: Since you only need 3 - 9 1/4" squares and now you have 4, trim the last square down to 6 1/2", then slice it once on the diagonal like Fig. 1 in the pattern.
If you're a visual learner, I do have a really old video with terrible audio. I'm embarrassed to show you, but if nothing else, it does explain how to fold your yardage in half if that part is tripping you up.
Jump to minute 6:14 of this Grow cutting video for a close-up demo on cutting.
Do you have questions about cutting, supplies, fabric, or anything Gather quilt related? There are multiple places for you to ask them!
- Here in the blog comments.
- In the Suzy Quilts Patterns Facebook group.
- During one of the weekly live videos.
The Week 2 Sponsor & Prize
Week 2 has another fantastic sponsor lined up – Fabric Stork! This online fabric shop stocks a beautiful selection of modern quilting fabric and fabric bundles. I adore Nuria, the shop owner and always get excited when she makes a specialty kit of an SQ pattern.
This week's prize is a FULL Gather quilt kit including backing AND binding!
How to Win
- Post a pic to Instagram. The photo prompt for Instagram this week is to post a picture of either your fabric and/or mockup OR an introduction photo telling us about yourself. Use #GatherQuiltSA 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 12:00 a.m. CST on Wednesday, January 27 and 1:00 p.m. CST on Tuesday, February 2, 2021.
- This prize is open internationally.
- The winner will be picked randomly from all qualifying posts and announced at approximately 4:00 p.m. CST on Tuesday, February 2, 2021.
16 thoughts on “Gather Quilt Sew Along: Week 2: Cutting”
It’s the first time I’m joyning a sew along – to be honest, I startet sewing only last year and learned a lot from your tutorials👍
I did already the Maypole Pillow as a table topper for my mum – came out great and looks very nice on her kitchen table👍
Now, I have a very basic question (you might laugh…) but I was struggling already at my last project with this…
If you’re working with dark and light (backgroud) fabric to which color do you match your sewing thread?
I found the “darker” thread was quite showing on the seams for the light fabric and vice-versa.
Any tip is much appriciatet 😃
Thanks for your pattern, tutorials…
Stay healthy – Best Sonja
Not a silly question at all! The question of thread color comes up a lot in sewing circles, so of course there will be varying opinions. My rule of thumb is to match my thread to the lightest fabric I’m using. However, if you are piecing some highly contrasting fabrics, like black and white, sometimes I split the difference and use gray thread. That blends nicely with both.
Also, if you press your seams to the side, rather than open, you shouldn’t see your piecing threads at all.
Great explanations and videos. I’m super new to quilting and excited to be part of the sew along! In the Grow cutting video you rip a little strip off the edge to get the fabric on grain. Should we do that before cutting our 9 1/4” strips?
Great question! The Grow quilt is made almost entirely of long strips, so cutting on grain matters more. Typically with quilting, you are cutting small shapes and then sewing them together to make blocks. All of those seams going different directions prevents the fabric from warping, so grain doesn’t matter as much. That’s why, with most quilts, you don’t have to worry about cutting on grain. It is something to keep in the back of your mind as a good practice, though.
Thanks for the tips. I’m making a scrappy queen size using some fat eighths. The Gather pattern calls for 8 inch finished blocks, so will it work if I cut 9 inch squares and make the blocks using the two-at-a-time method? Also, the recommended trimming tool goes to max 6.5 inches, though I have a 10 inch trimmer. I could trim the triangle using the same method recommended by lining up the stitched line before opening the block?
Great questions! If you’re interested in changing up the HST sewing method, I recommend checking out the chart in this post – https://suzyquilts.com/half-square-triangles-tutorial/ So after checking out that chart, yes, it looks like you’re exactly right and using the two-at-a-time method with 9″ squares will give you 8″ finished blocks. If you want to try out the Clearly Perfect Slotted Trimmer with these blocks, there is a larger set. Here’s a link.
Can we use more than 10 colours for the Gather quilt? How would you figure out what to cut?
Yes! You can make this as scrappy as you like. I suggest using the blank coloring sheet in the pattern to help you decide on fabric placement and count how many of each fabric you’ll need for your HSTs.
Could this quilt be cut by doubling the fabric twice and using a stripology xl ruler or is that an accident waiting to happen?
If you are proficient with your stripology ruler, it would definitely work! Whenever I use mine I end up taking longer folding the fabric and moving the ruler around.
I am just joining the quilt along. Can we use only three colours instead of 10?
Yes, definitely! I think that would make a striking quilt!
I buzzed right ahead on the baby gather from lamb and loom. The right side looks great, but the left side is kind of wonky. It doesn’t lay flat. I used the 1/4 inch foot and measured all the hsts just right. Could it possibly be because of the cut of the fabric? Do you have any tips on fixing it? Just hoping you know some trick.
Have you already trimmed it? Some of that will go away once you trim it. I don’t think the rippling is from the cut of the fabric since there are a lot of seams factoring in at this point. One thing you could try is misting some water on right side and pulling it slightly so it lines up better with the left. After that try trimming again. Some of this will also fix itself during the basting and quilting process too.
Once you have the quilt top assembled, how do you cut it evenly to the size you need (I’m make a queen size)?
This video shows how to fold the quilt and square it up so all of the sides are straight – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2_L8TB7VCU