Marvella QAL – Week 1 Part 2

It’s been forever since we last talked! ;)

As promised, I’ve got lots of cutting tips for you, but first a few housekeeping things.

Welcome again to the Marvella Quilt-Along. This is a six-week quilt-along where each week I’ll send you an email detailing what we’ll be working on that week with pattern specific tips and tricks. You should’ve received an email when you first signed up with the schedule, but just incase you’ve misplaced that email here it is again.

Week 1 (Sept. 30 - Oct. 6)

Pull Fabric, Plan fabric Combinations, and Cut Fabric

Week 2 (Oct. 7 - Oct. 13)

Baby - 3 Blocks, Sm. Throw - 4 Blocks, Lg. Throw - 5 Blocks, Queen - 8 Blocks

Week 3 (Oct. 14 - Oct. 20)

Baby - 2 Blocks, Sm. Throw - 4 Blocks, Lg. Throw - 5 Blocks, Queen - 8 Blocks

Week 4 (Oct. 21 - Oct. 27)

Baby - 2 Blocks, Sm. Throw - 4 Blocks, Lg. Throw - 5 Blocks, Queen - 7 Blocks

Week 5 (Oct. 28 - Nov. 3)

Baby - 2 Blocks, Sm. Throw - 4 Blocks, Lg. Throw - 5 Blocks, Queen - 7 Blocks

Week 6 (Nov. 4 - Nov. 10)

Assemble Quilt Top

Each week, I’ll include information about that week’s Instagram post “prompt” and the prize. As long as you make a post on Instagram with that week’s prompt by the end of Sunday, you’ll be entered to win the prize. Here’s this week’s:

Prompt: Since this is week one, how about we all share a little about ourselves. What’s your name, how long you’ve been quilting and how did you learn?

Prize: This week’s prize is a Hera Marker. This little tool may be small, but she is MIGHTY!

Have you ever marked a quilt with one of those disappearing ink pens? Did you know that the water-soluble ones are sometimes heat setting? Meaning that if you iron over that line before washing it out, it’s there FOREVER! I learned this the hard way, more than once. That’s when I found out about the awesome Hera Marker! It basically makes a “scratch” on the fabric that lasts’ until you wash it. I use this to mark my center lines when I’m making HSTs or flying geese. (Something you’ll be making a lot of for this quilt.)

It’s also really helpful when to make markings for quilting designs or to help press your seams open. I love my Hera marker so much it's now one of the three tools I can't quilt without! The other two are a pair of small scissors and, unfortunately, my seam ripper. I'm giving one away to a random participant and hope that, whoever you are, you'll love it as much as I do!

Now, let’s get to the cutting tips.

1. First things first, you've got to iron your fabric. I am guilty of cutting into fabric right off the bolt and then later regretting it when my pieces aren't completely accurate or have a tendency to morph shape a bit. That's why you can't skip this step.

2. Consider using starch. I never used starch when I first started quilting, it just seemed like an extra step and expense. But then I ran into a major problem while working on a double wedding ring quilt and the solution was really simple: starch the pieces so they don't "change" size or shape. Since then, starch has been a staple in my ironing practice.

There are a lot of different starch options, and really you just need to find the one you like the best. I've tried several over the years and my go to is a homemade solution of water, vodka, and essential oils. If you're interested, I've got a blog with the recipe here.

3. As I’ve said before, the pieces for this quilt perfectly fit into one fat quarter. This means you NEED to measure twice and cut once. Did you hear that?

Measure twice and cut once!

4. The diagrams can be a little intimidating at first, but I promise it'll make sense once you start cutting. To help you out, I’ve added arrows to the cutting diagrams to show how I approach cutting up my fabric. The arrows show which cuts I make first, second, third and so on following rainbow order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.

The first few cuts (red arrows) separate the fat quarter or half yard cut into three sections which I then work on individually to make all subsequent cuts.

Fat Quarter Cutting Diagram

Half-Yard Cutting Diagram

If these diagrams helps you, that’s awesome! If you’ve got your own way of doing it, well, you do you! Hopefully it didn’t make things more confusing, however if it did, let me know and I'll do all I can to help you make sense of it all.

5. I highly suggest not cutting more than three fat quarters/half yards at a time to avoid the fabrics slipping causing your cuts to be inaccurate. You may consider only doing one at a time, until you get the hang of the cutting process.

6. After cutting each fat quarter or half-yard, I like to pin together the pieces that make up Color A and then do the same for Color B and Color C. This makes it easy when you’re working on the blocks to grab the group and know you’ve got all the pieces you need. There's a list of what pieces make up each color listed under the Sewing Instructions.

And that’s all I’ve got for you this week. Don’t forget to post a photo of your fabric pull by the end of Sunday with a caption that addresses this week’s prompt so you can be entered into the drawing for the prize.

I’m so excited to see everyone’s fabric selections and to quilt alongside you all for the next six weeks!