Treadle On 1999 Summer Mystery Quilt
If you haven't already done so, wash and iron your fabrics. If you have never done this before, wash in hot water, with a small amount of soap. Dry in dryer. Steam iron. The edges of the fabric will ravel, sometimes badly. Simply cut the ravels off before ironing.
Cut all fabrics into 2" strips to produce the size quilt specified. If you are using fabrics with large prints, and have some extra, you might want to consider cutting to a 2 1/2" strip. This will let the large prints show up better, but will produce a larger quilt top. Obviously, if you would just like a quilt top about 20% larger, go for it. You will also be able to make the top larger by making more blocks. Once you see it all laid out, you will see that this is a pretty easy and flexible pattern.
You will need at least 24 strips of each fabric. A couple extra won't hurt.
I want you to read some more general instructions, but for those who feel they would benefit, I will insert some instructions and pictures on roller cutting - not definitive by any means, but possibly a help!
Special note for the unsure of themselves
At a later stage there will be an opportunity to "true" all of your blocks. For many quilters, this is not very much necessary with the small blocks that will be used in this project. If you are confidant of your ability to sew a good 1/4" seam and get the end result in piece measurement that you want, you can ignore this note. However, if you are a true beginner and/or a little unsure of yourself, or if you just are picky about a precise end result, you can follow this suggestion.
The nature of the piecing on this project makes it possible to cut your strips slightly oversized and later trim the blocks into very exact measurement and perfect squareness. It's an extra step and will take you an extra hour to hour and a half, but offers a bit of insurance. If you want to do this, simply cut the strips an extra 1/4" wide. As you sew the blocks, your measurements will all come out too much, but you will later be able to trim the excess off the edges, leaving a perfectly sized and squared block. (I'll try to remember to put in a little reminder at each measurement point!)
For another discussion of this concept, see the instructions for the TOBE blocks, where a similar approach was suggested.
(if you don't need instruction on roller cutting, scroll through all this to the sewing part)
I had not planned to include roller cutting instructions, as that is covered in most commercial quilt books. There are even special books on it. However, I received the following email, and on the basis of "if one asks, many are wondering", I am including it and my answer here. My answer is not a complete instruction on roller cutting, but beginners may find the comments helpful!
Again, please, get yourself a good book on the subject to supplement this!
I am a kinda new to quilting, and have a question about the Part 2 instructions.
I just want to make sure I understand it right, before cutting.
Do I cut the 2 (or 2 1/2) inch strips, 48 inches long? I really like your true-ing up method. It has worked wonderfully in the TOBE. And if I do that, would I then cut 2 3/4'" wide by 48" long strips?
If this is all correct, how did you cut those strips most accurately?
I have a friend doing the project also, and we are having a ball so far!
Thanks for the fun,
When you buy the fabric (unless you are using scraps), the fabric will come off the bolt with a width of about 44". After you wash it, it will have shrunk a bit, hence I always calculate based on a width of 42". The different fabrics will come out different widths, don't worry about it.
Cut your strips across the bolt. Don't worry about trying to relate the strip length to the quilt size at this point. The quilt size will be made up from many small blocks.
And yes, if you are going to make the blocks oversize to allow for trueing, you would want to cut the strips extra wide... This would mean that if you are following the instructions for 2" strips you would cut them 2 1/4" wide; if you are following the instructions for a larger block, using the 2 1/2" strips, you would cut them 2 3/4" wide. I hope that isn't too confusing... I probably should never have mentioned make the larger size blocks.
As to the most accurate cutting, I would suggest a roller cutter. Practice a bit with some cheap scrap cloth. Be sure your cutter is sharp and that you have at least an 18" x 24" cutting pad. You will want to have a cutting ruler that is long enough, too. I hesitate to admit it, but I have a fortune invested in every size of cutting ruler made. The best one for cutting strips from new fabric off the bolt is the 6" x 24". If you fold the fabric twice, you can use a 6" x 12" cutting ruler.
Basically, cut your raw fabric into pieces no more than a yard long (i.e. 36" x 42" +/-). This is just to make it easier to handle. (Note, this does introduce some wastage to the process - another reason I always buy way too much fabric. If you're real tight on fabric, go ahead and work with the two yard pieces, it's just a bit more awkward.) You can do this large piece cutting quickly with scissors, just like they did at the fabric store.
Now fold the fabric selvage to selvage. (Selvage is the machine processed edges at the sides.) Fold the same direction again. Your fabric should now be approximately a foot wide. This is a controllable length of cut. Your fabric will be folded into four thicknesses, which is also controllable. Do not try to cut more than four thicknesses of fabric.
You had best get a book that gives good picture instructions of roller cutting, or have someone show you how quickly. (Note: Since writing that sentence, I have added pictures, below. Get the book anyway!) The store where you buy your roller cutter, pad and ruler ought to be glad to do that. I don't want to get into a complete course on that here as I probably couldn't do as good a job as the book would. (Note: there are some photos in my book "Quilting for Beginners" that show roller cutting of strips that have already been sewn together... it's not quite the same as cutting the strips off the new fabric, but gives the idea pretty well. It's a different quilt and different pattern, but the photos are pretty good.)
Captn Dick <<<
Herewith some pictorial instruction:
In these pictures, you can see the dark, or Fabric 1, from my own quilt, and a 6" x 12" cutting ruler. I have folded the one yard piece of fabric selvage to selvage, then folded it over again. The result is four thicknesses of fabric, somewhat less than a foot wide. The frayed, or fuzzy, edges that resulted from the washing are to the right. Note that they did not come out even. You will make a cut to align or true them. Normally, I use a 6" x 24" ruler, but in this case, this one was handy. I have used the top fold as a straight edge for the ruler. In the second picture, I have cut off the uneven edges.
Here I have rotated the cutting pad. I have not moved the ruler- the fresh cut edge is still just under it's edge, but now at the left. Not shown, I slid the ruler to the left until the measurement I wanted was aligned, then cut a strip, then slid the ruler in and cut another strip, etc. Now, not to confuse you, but I know someone will check the measurement in the photo! Remember, I am making a miniature, my measurements will be smaller than yours. As it happens, I need 1 1/2" strips. This would be equivalent to the 2" dimension called for by the basic pattern you are making. Because I want to be able to demonstrate the block truing process later, I am cutting oversize, to 1 3/4". This would be equivalent to you cutting to 2 1/4" as mentioned earlier. (Lordy, but I hope I haven't destroyed your minds with all these different dimensions!)
Above you see an example of the three kinds of strips I will be using. Again, note that I am not using a mix of scraps for Fabric 3, just one print.
Ready to start sewing?
OK, sew all of the Fabric 2 and Fabric 3 strips into pairs; iron the seams toward the darker fabric.
In the final assembly, the pieces that will be made from these strips will end up with the Fabric 2 sections to the left. Therefore, if you have prints with a definite up and down orientation, and you want to pay attention to it (you don't have to), you will want to be careful to make sure that the Fabric 2 strips are on the left when you sew them. If vertical orientation doesn't matter, then this is not critical, as you will be able to rotate the eventual pieces you will make.
Here, you can see that I have sewn a Fabric 2 strip and a Fabric 3 strip together and ironed the seam to the darker side. I always iron both sides - the back first to get the seam to lie down, then the front, making sure the seam is ironed open, i.e. the fabric is spread all the way out. Moving the iron sideways over the seam will insure this. (Note: There are differences of opinion.. .there are those who say you should never slide the iron, only press. I use the sliding of the iron to insure flat seams and even to stretch and shape blocks if I'm not happy with their alignment- comes under the heading of use whatever techniques you learn and are comfortable with!)
Assuming you are ready to do so, you may progress to Part Three via the link below. Remember, you are on your honor not to proceed until you have finished the current part!
Go to Part Three