Q&A | The Quilting Process Part II

Last week I posted Part I of The Quilting Process, a series of posts charting the process of creating a quilt from start to finish.

I made some progress over the weekend, so here's an update of where I am now.

Step 5: Cut the Fabric

This quilt is made up of 56 blocks, which equals a lot of cutting.  With my cutting mat and rotary cutter, I set up shop in my living room and watched the entire Season 1 of Scrubs while I cut up all my pieces.  I can't imagine trying to make a quilt without a cutting mat and rotary cutter.  Or without a tv marathon, for that matter!

You know that saying "Measure twice, cut once?"  Let me save you the torture of learning that the hard way: do it!  It's amazing how I can repeat that phrase again and again to myself, and yet I get distracted in a moment, and trim something to 7.5" instead of 8.5" and then there's no going back!  I had to nix one of my colors - the pink striped fabric - because I cut it incorrectly, and didn't have enough extra to recover.  But oh well, lesson learned!

Step 6: Piece the Quilt Blocks

"Piece" in quilt-speak is sew those pieces together!

With the last quilt I made, I was feeling over-confident and decided not to take the time to pin my work before sewing. I rarely use pins when I sew aprons and wallets.  But I've discovered that quilting requires much more precision and matched-up seams.  Another lesson learned!  Always pin your work.

I also cut all of my pieces just a bit bigger than they needed to be, and trimmed them down after piecing them so that they were just right.  This way, everything will match up.  It takes a little extra time, but saves a lot of frustration later on.

To piece the blocks: pin two pieces right sides together, sew, iron the seam open, trim and repeat until you have the finished block.  To minimize all of that stand-sit-stand moving around, I chain-pieced the blocks.
Chain-piecing means that you pin a bunch of sets of pieces together, and run them through the sewing machine one right after the other, so they make a cute little linked garland type thing (like the photo above).

So, I have all my blocks sewn!  Callie kitten was just as pleased to see them finished as I was!

Next steps coming next week!

View The Quilting Process Part I here.


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