Cutting for a quilt is the spawn of the devil. It just is.
I suppose there are some of you out there who love themselves a good session of slicing up helpless inanimate objects for hours on end using sharp instruments. In another world we might need to worry that you were psychotic, but thankfully, we quilters get you. However I'm in the camp of quilters who would really prefer I could snap my fingers and be done with all my cutting immediately.
Side note - I taught a class last week of my Vinnie Loves Maude pattern (shown on right). Even the baby size, which I had them all cut for, has over 1000 pieces. In good news, no one killed me, though some grumbling commenced. In better, one of the students bragged that using her guild's AccuQuilt cutter she got it all done in less than an hour. So there's definitely that option. We all bowed down to her appropriately.
Hurdy Gurdy is one of the most popular quilt designs in the "Oompah!" book, and I'm pretty sure one of the reasons is because of the way all those fabrics come together to make the pattern look so cool. But "all those fabrics" becomes the problem of ALL THAT CUTTING really quickly. So the best thing to do is either decide, like I did, to make a table runner with just three blocks (cutting amounts, page 56), or steel yourself for the realities of the mind numbing dullness of cutting and just go for it with the amounts for the larger quilt found on page 51. I definitely find that rocking out to some 80s hair bands on Pandora helps, but maybe that's just me.
As a scrappy quilter, my cutting process isn't quite as straightforward as whipping some strips off my yardage and cutting them into the correct sized squares. For one, I don't want any of my fabrics to be the same in my blocks and if possible, my whole quilt, so cutting more than one or two of any particular fabric is useless to me. For another, I tend to be digging around in my scrap bins for pieces that are big enough for what I need rather than going directly to my yardage. I end up using a few different methods of cutting that may be of interest to you. Or not. But you're here, so you might as well read on.
|The Stack, Smash, and Bang|
The Stack, Smash, and Bang. So once I've chosen all my fabrics, like I did and you did in last week's tutorial, I'm left with a pile of randomly sized fabrics to work with, from all of which I want just one square (maybe two) cut. So I'm a big fan of just stacking those smaller puppies up, smashing them down with the iron just to make sure there are no creases, and banging out a stack of 5-6 squares at once. I do try to be cognizant (ooo! That's one of Mr QH's favorite big words - apparently I listen to him) of bias when I stack them, but let's be honest. I'm about using up fabric scraps and if I end up with one or two squares that aren't perfectly cut on straight of grain, I lose approximately zero minutes sleep over it.
|The Fold and Slice|
|The OLFA rotating mat is a gift from the gods|
Do you own one of these OLFA rotating mats? If you are a scrap quilter and tend to cut from smaller pieces, or if you are any kind of quilter who ever trims anything, OMG. I totally recommend it. I used mine continuously while cutting out all my fabrics for my runner! Continuously! It started to yell for a union mandated coffee break!
|The Piece to Piece|
Eventually, you'll have those pieces all cut out. It's going to be a beautiful thing, truly. It's possible by that time you'll have also perfected your rendition of "Pour Some Sugar on Me," and if so, extra kudos.
There's definite joy in having all your pieces cut out and ready to go. There's also a time and place for deciding to just cut one block's worth of fabrics at once if it makes you feel more human. I tend to fall in that latter category. Whatever you need to do to stay sane during the cutting process, you do it. We aren't here to judge, we are just here to get you through it!
|All my beautiful squares, ready to accordion.|