Welcome to week 2 of the Voyage Quilt Sew Along, quilt pals! Last week, we talked about choosing fabric for the Voyage quilt and I gave you tips for both the multi-color and two-color versions of Voyage. This week, I’ve got tips for both versions as well, but we are talking all about cutting!
This is an excellent week to catch up. If your fabric hasn’t arrived yet, or you’re still deciding which fabrics you want to choose, you’ll be able to play catching up during this light week. Cutting fabric is pretty straightforward for most experienced quilters, but we still have some great tips for accuracy and organization.
For all the beginner quilters joining us on the Voyage Quilt Sew Along, check out our blog posts on The Complete Guide to Rotary Cutters, and The 5 Best Cutting Mats for Quilters. You can learn more about cutting and other quilting basics in the Quilting 101 section of the Suzy Quilts website.
If you’re just joining us, you can learn all about the Voyage Quilt Sew Along here. And don’t worry about joining in after the sew along has already started! These posts will always be up on the Suzy Quilts website in the Sew Along tab, so you can catch up any time or continue working at your own pace. You’ll always be able to access these tips!
Don't forget to join me Wednesday nights at 7:30pm Central live on Instagram to chat about tips for this week! Below is this week's video. If you can't watch it live, check the blog or @suzyquilts on Instagram to watch any time later.
Voyage Quilt Sew Along Schedule
- Week 1, March 31: Pick fabric and gather supplies
- Week 2, April 7: Cut fabric
- Week 3, April 14: Make HSTs - video tutorial
- Week 4, April 21: Make HRTs and finish HST overflow if more time is needed - video tutorial
- Week 5, April 28: Chain piece blocks together - video tutorial
- Week 6, May 5: Assemble blocks
- Week 7, May 12: Sew blocks into rows to make the finished quilt top; discuss quilting ideas
Week 2 Assignment: Cut All Your Fabric
Tip #1: Skip the Pre-Wash
I know, I know. I’ve only worked at Suzy Quilts for a few months, and you’ve probably already heard me talking about my love for pre-washing. Suzy is a big fan too! But for the Voyage quilt, pre-washing can reduce the size of your fat quarter and you may not end up with enough to meet the fabric requirements.
Fat quarters are a gray area for pre-washing advocates. Some say yes to pre-washing fat quarters, others think they are too small and you might lose too much cutting area. For the Voyage quilt pattern specifically, the latter is true it’s best to skip this step and head straight to cutting!
If you’re making the two-color quilt and you like to pre-wash, wash away!
Tip #2: Be Precise
If you’re using fat quarters for the multi-color Voyage quilt, make sure you are cutting each piece very precisely. In order to make this pattern fat quarter friendly and to reduce fabric waste, there is very little wiggle room when you are cutting. Measure your fat quarter before beginning and make sure it is at least 18 x 21 inches. If any of your fat quarters are short, try pressing them to see if that helps flatten them all the way. Which brings us to...
Tip #3: Follow the Cutting Diagrams
The cutting diagrams for fat quarters can be found on page 4 of the Voyage pattern. You’ll have very little wiggle room for most colors, and you’re going all the way across the 18” width of your fat quarter when cutting colors 2, 4, 7, and 9. Make sure you have a sharp blade in your rotary cutter, and a clear view of your quilting ruler lines (sometimes those lines fade!).
For both versions of the quilt, you’ll be cutting rectangles and subcutting them in half diagonally to prepare for making your half rectangle triangles (week 4 is all about HRTs!). Make sure to follow the subcutting directions and Figure 1 in the pattern exactly so that your HRTs will be oriented the right way when you sew them together in a later week. You can also choose to cut only the rectangle and wait to cut it in half until week 4, which might make them easier to manage for the next two weeks. I'm planning to do my HRT subcuts in week 4!
Tip #4: Stay Organized
You can organize your cut fabric differently depending on if you’re making the multi-color or two-color version of Voyage. For the multi-color quilt, you’re keeping track of both different shapes and different colors, and for the two-color quilt you are only tracking shape.
For the multi-color version of Voyage, your organization can be as simple as pinning some scrap paper with the color number on it to the top of each pile of cut fabric. That’s an excellent way to keep track of your colors, and something I do often! If you’re worried about those scraps of paper coming loose, here are a couple of organizational tips I saw online from other quilters who are doing the sew along.
If you have any scraps of your fabrics left over, you can staple, tape, or glue them to a sheet of paper in the order they’ll appear in your quilt. I stapled my scraps to a piece of card stock that I trimmed down to the size of my scraps. This was a great tip from a quilter in the Suzy Quilts Patterns group, and gives you the look of a tiny swatch chart!
If you only have smaller scraps left over after cutting, you can also cut very small swatches and use a permanent marker to write the color numbers directly on the fabric. If you are using dark colors, this one might be tricky, as you can see with my darker blues above. Another great tip from a quilter on Instagram.
It is incredibly rare that any errors get past the Suzy Quilts team and group of talented, hand-selected pattern testers. But a few got by us this time. If you purchased the Voyage quilt pattern before March 29, 2021 and are making the Baby, Twin, or Queen sizes, there are some slight tweaks to the cutting instructions. You can find those tweaks listed at this link. Make sure to check those corrections before cutting the fabric for those three sizes of the Voyage quilt!
Do you have questions about cutting, supplies, fabric, or anything Voyage 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.
Voyage Quilt Sew Along Book of the Week
Last week's book was all about color while we were working on choosing our fabrics for the Voyage Quilt Sew Along. This week, while we are cutting our fabrics, our book of the week is Poetic Cloth: Creating Meaning in Textile Art, written by esteemed artist Hannah Lamb. This stunning book helps readers to examine emotion and feeling in textiles, and to inspire meaning in your personal work with textiles, including quilts.
Part One of the book is called Touch and focuses on the tactile feeling of fibers, and that's a great thing to think about while cutting fabric. Lamb illustrates different moods by creating palettes that include different textures, prints, and fabrics and guides you through exercises to create your own meaningful combination of fabrics and threads.
Beyond being beautifully photographed, the book is also fabric wrapped on the cover and it's the softest book I've ever held!
Week 2 Sponsor & Prize
This week’s sponsor is new to the Suzy Quilts sew along line up, Broadway Fabrics, which is giving away a $100 gift card! Located in Louisiana, this shop has a beautiful selection of fabrics, including some excellent newly added collections from some of our favorite designers.
How to Win
- Post a pic to Instagram. The photo prompt for Instagram this week is to post a picture of your cut fabric, no matter how much you've cut so far. Use #VoyageQuiltSA in the caption. Make sure to use the correct hashtag! Remember that the quilt is called the Voyage Quilt, not the Voyager Quilt.
- 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. Central Time on Wednesday, April 7 and 1:00 p.m. Central Time on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.
- This prize is open in the US only.
- The winner will be picked randomly from all qualifying posts and announced at approximately 4:00 p.m. Central Time on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.
10 thoughts on “Voyage Quilt Sew Along Week 2: Cutting”
I am so nervous to start cutting, especially because I am changing the metric. Although nervous, I am very excited as well to embark on a new hobby
I’m excited for you too! Is this your first quilt Barbra? Doing a sew along for your first is great because we’ll have skill-building tips every week – you’ll learn so much!
Is there an Instagram live tonite?
Yes! You can catch it afterwards on Instagram and also here in the blog.
Cutting is the thing that makes me the most nervous as well. I can rip out seams like a pro, but if I mess up cutting, it’s game over until I get more fabric!
You’ll do great, Judy! Follow those cutting diagrams if you’re using fat quarters, and you should end up with enough 🙂 Love your fearless seam ripper perspective!
Hi Suzy and Laura,
If there is even the mild shrinkage of fabric isn’t it better to wash gently /soak before cutting – wether it is FQ or not? If not pre-washed won’t the quilt end up too crinkled?
With a FQ pattern, and not much wiggle room to cut (due to shrinkage or mistake in cutting ) how does one get extra fabric ( probably have to buy another whole FQ or bundle?
Hey Susan! You’re risking less shrinkage in the wash with a fat quarter, so in your completed quilt, it will hopefully shrink up less. That’s why so many people skip pre-washing for fat quarters every time! It’s in that gray area where some people like to wash them and others don’t. If you skip the pre-wash and make sure that your fat quarters are 18×21 when you start, you should have enough without needing to get more 🙂
is there a suggested cutting diagram for the throw background material
There isn’t, it’s much easier because you don’t have to be quite as precise to keep the cutting to a small area. You’ll cut width of fabric strips to the dimensions needed and subcut your squares and rectangles from those. Here’s a link that should help! https://suzyquilts.com/quilting-technique-questions-part-iii/