Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The First Cut is the Deepest

I am compelled to clean the house by very few things. Impending guests is one of them. Apparently, fear of cutting my quilt blocks is another. Yesterday, after many loads of laundry, dusting, vacuuming, and rearranging my husband's sock drawer (really!) I could avoid it no longer. It was time to cut.

As Care suggested, I set myself up at a table where I had access to three sides of the cutting mat. The only table in the house big enough to hold this gargantuan mat is my sewing table. Piles of fabric and bags of trim seem to grow up around the table like barnacles, so I didn't clear the space so much as I excavated it. But here's the thing: Care is right. You do want to be able to get to three sides of the mat. Some cuts are more comfortable from the front; others are easier to do from the sides. Oh, and the huge mat? Lovely.
Things proceeded rather smoothly. I set up the laptop with Care's tutorial and followed along. I felt reassured having here there on top of my washing machine!
Questions for Care: You say not to iron the fold. Why is that? On some of the pieces, the fold was sort of "loose" (for lack of a better word) which made lining it up on the mat sort of difficult. Will terrible things befall me if I iron the fold?
Also, is it okay that I ended up with a little of the selvedge on one of my blocks? Will it be hidden in a seam anyway?

Here's another surprise I found: Ugly marker marking scrawled on the reverse side of one of my fabrics. Will we be using every single block we cut? Because this shows through on the other side. If I can't get it out, I will have to buy a little more fabric.
I'd give the girl who cut my fabrics at Jo-Ann's a B-. For the most part, I was able to squeeze the cuts I needed out of the pieces, but a few were VERY close, and the zebra print was short.

I made a bad cut myself. Towards the end, I got cocky and ignored Care's instructions. I wasn't cutting away from my body, and I didn't have the ruler pinned down with my forearm, and I made a bad cut. Lesson learned: LISTEN TO CARE!

Eeee! Look how cute! You may notice I didn't not get hung up on making sure the pattern of my muse fabric was straight. Will I regret that? Should I redo it, or will it all blend in once we have it sewn together and chopped up and sewn back together?

And finally...these were the last two fabrics picked! I can't believe how many of you guessed! Why did you pick these? OMG, they don't go, do they? Do I need to pick different ones? I'm just kidding, I'm happy with them. :) I did a random drawing of the names who guessed correctly, and the winner is...2WeeMonsters! Send me your address, 2Wee, and I'll ship a little something off soon. :)


Denise said...

You'll have to get rid of the one with the writing on the back. It will never come out and will ruin the look of your final quilt. The block with selvage get rid of too. The selvage will shrink and draw up the block on that side. Did you prewash your fabric? If you did the selvage will not be as big a problem but if you didnt prewash then just get some more fabric and cut another block just to be safe. I need to post a pic on my blog of the colors I picked out. They are all 60-70's colors. Love them....:)

Darling Petunia said...

Grrr, about the writing. Looks like I'm making a new list for Jo-Ann's!

I can't wait to see the fabrics you picked!

Lynette said...

Love the fabric you chose! Glad you're getting your cutting done too!

Anonymous said...

I only picked those two cuz they seemed a little different than the others. Not obvious, if that makes sense. You did a great job tho', cuz I think they look great with the others.

When you say you made a "bad cut", was that on the cloth or your hand. I have a scar on the back of my hand near my thumb from my cutting blade. Never even felt it....saw blood....and then it started hurting. Ouch. Be careful!!!


bagqueen said...

If you iron the fold in it can be a devil of a job getting rid of the fold mark, here in the UK there's some stuff you can spray down the wrong side of a fold before you press it and that gets rid of the crease mark! I can't remember what its called but I'm sure you have something in the States that does a similar job.

I agree with Denise get rid of the writing one, its not worth it, you will always notice it and that will spoil the whole thing for you. I'm one of those lazy quilters that never pre-washes my fabric, unless its likely to spill colour, I have never found that good quilting cotton shrinks and I love that smooth feel of new fabric!!

I'm looking forward to seeing the finished quilt, the colours are looking great together.

Care said...

Wow, seeing all your little squares mixed together really shows off how PERFECT they are as a group!

Yes, as bagqueen said, pressing out those creases may be a bit of a pain. I'm sure it will be fine, though!

If the writing showed up on only one square, you will get away with not using it. After the whole project I had one leftover square.

As for your muse fabric not being cut straight -- do you think it will bug you for the rest of forever that it isn't straight? That one's up to you! :o)

YAY for cutting!!