The Carly Quiltalong Week 2 - Cutting Your Fabric

The Carly Quilt - Kitchen Table Quilting

Are you guys ready to get started? While I don't love cutting fabric, I always get excited when it's time to actually get to work. I'm going to answer some questions that you might have about cutting your fabric for the Carly Quilt pattern and I have a video of me cutting fabric to show you what I do.

The Carly Quiltalong - Kitchen Table Quilting

Do I have to cut everything at once? 

I am definitely not here to tell you what to do, but that is how I approach every quilt project. Cutting fabric can be messy (understatement!) and I like to cut everything at once so I only have to clean up all of the leftover pieces and fold/put away my fabrics once. 

Can I use a different method for constructing HSTs?

We won't be making the blocks until next week, but it would change how you cut your fabric so I wanted to go over this now. 

The way that HST construction is written in my pattern is how I always make my half square triangles (personal preference). It is not how I always write construction into my patterns because I try to use the most efficient method for the pattern. I have used 2 at a time, 4 at a time, and the 1 at a time methods like used here.

The reason why I used this method is because we will need to be making an odd number of some of the HSTs. Since 2 and 4 at a time both produce even numbers of HSTs, that was going to result in extra HSTs and require extra fabric. Once of my goals with a pattern is to use fabric as efficiently as is reasonable and this method is the most efficient for this pattern.

If you prefer a different method - go for it! Just be aware that you will need a little extra fabric and you will end up with some leftover HSTs. 

The Carly Quiltalong - Kitchen Table Quilting

Do I need to separate fabrics in go A, B, C, and D groups if I am making a scrap quilt? 

Unless you are doing some sort of organized scrap quilt (for example, if all of the A fabrics were pink, B fabrics were orange, etc.) then nope! You will just have your feature fabrics (A + B + C + D) and your background fabric.

What do I do to prepare fabric before cutting?

The main thing you need to do is press your fabric. This will help you cut more accurately and makes cutting less frustrating because your fabric will lay flat. If you are going to prewash your fabric (I don't), do that too.

What tools do I need for cutting?

A cutting mat

A rotary cutter

A ruler - here are my favorite two for cutting lots of fabric (I use them both in the video below)

What if I'm making the scrappy version?
You may have already cut your squares last week. If not, get started! Cutting scraps can take a while.

If you did, just go ahead and cut your squares along the diagonal to get ready to make HSTs and cut your background fabric.

Any tips for a beginner?

Watch videos of people cutting fabric before you try it yourself. There are a ton on youtube in addition to the one I have posted below. Also, the adage "measure twice, cut once" should probably be more like "measure 3 or 4 times, cut once." It is very easy to make a mistake so be careful, go slowly, take breaks. 

In the video below, I cut some of my fabric A and fabric B pieces. I first demoed using a regular, long ruler and then switched to my Stripology XL ruler which is what I generally use for cutting fabric for a project. They are EXPENSIVE but I have found it to be 100% worth the investment. If you cut a lot of fabric, it will save you a lot of time. 

Make sure to post your progress photos on Instagram using the #carlyqal hashtag so we can all see them!

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