Anyhow, someone asked me to show them how to cut material and so here is my tutorial on that. So you've been to the quilting store found a lovely piece of material, now what? Well first wash it, some people skip this step, but just pretend you have made a black and white quilt and you never washed the material. You finish the quilt, its beautiful and then you spill some coffee on it so it has to be washed. Well out of the washer comes this dirty grey quilt, as the colours have run. Plus its now a wonky shape.
Pre-washing that material would have made the material colour fast and if there had been any shrinkage, it would have occurred at this point, before you cut the material. As I said some people don't wash their material, it doesn't take long, so why not do it? I don't use fabric softener, just laundry detergent. Here is my piece of material that has been washed and ironed.
The basic pieces you need for cutting are a self healing cutting board, a rotary cutter, a square ruler, mine is 6 1/2 inches square and a regular quilting ruler, oh and a pair of scissors.
So you lay the fabric on the cutting board with the selvedge edges touching one another, and the edge which was cut off the bolt of the fabric to your left (if you're right handed). The folded edge of the fabric closest to you.
Next place you're square ruler on the bottom edge of the fabric closest to you (see photo).
Place your long quilting ruler next to it (see photo).
Remove the square ruler and cut along the edge of the fabric.
You now have a piece of perfectly square fabric to start cutting from. Don't throw that scrap of material away as you can use it for a string quilt!! I have to say I just picked this material from my pile and it was actually not badly cut off the bolt, most times they are way off.
So your pattern is telling you it needs 2 1/2 inch strips. You place your quilting ruler on the material to the 2 1/2 inch line and then cut.
From that strip it is easy to cut out 2 1/2 square, or 5 inch rectangles, or what ever you need.
Its really important to have that perfectly square piece of material, as if that's off the rest of the material you cut from that piece will not be square.
Now I did find another link on how to prepare fabric for cutting, which you may find useful, here is the link
Don't try to run before you can walk with quilting. Here is a great site that takes you through the step by step.
Remember you need to use a 1/4 inch seam allowance in quilting. I have a special foot for my sewing machine, sorry about the poor photo.
You also need a walking foot for the actual machine quilting.......this is one of the most expensive pieces of equipment I had to buy. Mine was $90, but I have a Husqvarna machine and the accessories are more pricey than other machines. You cannot machine quilt without a walking foot. You of course can hand quilt, but that's not my idea of a fun time!!!
I hope that has answered a couple of questions. Let me know what else you want to know, also PLEASE let me know if I have missed anything out OR have made a mistake....
(as always click on the photos for more detail)