Sunday, August 19, 2007

Mystery Quilt 2007 - Part 2

If you missed Part 1, here it is.

This part is really long. There are a LOT of instructions. I suggest you print out this post and use a hi-liter or something to mark off when you have finished each paragraph.

Ok! The day we've all been waiting for!! Time to mutilate cut some fabric! If you have a rotary cutter and mat, grab that and your pretty ruler and we're set to go. If you have scissors and ruler, grab them and a pencil (or pen, but really, you should do this bit with a pencil).

If you ARE going to use scissors and a pencil, I'm going to ask you to mark the FULL LINE for each cut you are going to make on the BACK side (wrong side) of the fabric. Nobody will see it once it is sewn on, and it will keep you from doing the ~~~~~~~~ wiggly thing between markings. Please do this for me. Mark your cuts. If you are using a rotary cutter and mat, use the see-thru ruler to keep your cuts straight and "squared off" and all.

As Bob Vila would say - "Measure Twice - Cut Once." Be very very certain of your measurements before you hack up the fabric. Its a PITA trying to find just a bit extra from the same color/pattern/bolt if you don't. Trust me on this. I once spent EIGHT YEARS trying to match a fabric that I was only about 3/4 of a yard short. When I finally did find a bolt of it - I bought 7 yards. What? ME? OBSESSIVE????? yes.

Why the obsession with accuracy? Well - it's not all that important for one little square. Heck, if you are off by 1/16th of an inch, who will notice, right? The problem comes from what bankers call "compound interest"... Even though you may be off by only 1/16th of an inch on each part - after 8 parts, you're off by 1/2 an inch. A bit more noticeable. After 24 parts, you're off by an inch and a half... At which point you cry. I don't want you to cry. Measure carefully, please.

Hopefully you have all your fabric at this point, and have clearly decided which piece is the 2 1/2 yards of "Color A", which piece is 2 yards of "Color B" and 1 1/2 yards of"Color C" and which is your backing fabric. Since you have been dilligent and have washed and ironed your fabric, now please carefully cut off any frayed bits and "square up" the fabric on at least one cut side so you have nice straight lines and square corners. We don't need no stinking parallelograms here - or rhombuseses - or trapezoids. Squares and rectangles For The Win!!!

Take the backing fabric and hide it someplace safe where you can't lose it put it to the side in an extremely visible location but away from any scissors or rotary cutters.

For the moment, lay "Color C" on top of it.

Ok, now we have Color A and Color B left. I am now going to stop typing the word "Color" as I'm sure you've figured that bit out by now, and will carry on just using "A, B or C".

Since you have nice long lengths - 2 yards long or better - of each, we'll cut the long bits first.

From A - cut 12 pieces that are 2 1/2 inches wide by the entire length of the fabric. You will have 12 very long, skinny strips.

From B - cut 5 pieces that are 2 inches wide by the entire length of the fabric. You will have 5 pieces very long and even a bit skinnier.

Put the B pieces on top of the backing and C fabric for now.

See? That wasn't all that hard, was it? You have nice, long strips... and...
oh. Yeah. We're not done yet.


Back to the long, skinny A pieces you just cut. Put 6 of them with the B pieces, then cut the other 6 of them in half so they are only 1/2 as long. Now you have 12 (shorter)long skinny pieces. (2 1/2 inches by approx. 45 inches long)

Drape these 12 pieces lovingly over your sewingmachine. You'll use them first.


Still using the "A" fabric, cut 30 pieces (Yes!! 30!!) that are 12 1/2 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide.

Yes, I have a 2 1/2 inch hangup. Deal with it. You'll like the result.

Ok, we are done with Fabric A for now. Fold up any remaining fabric and put it UNDER the backing fabric in that highly-visible-but-out-of-the-way-of-cutting-tools place.


Back to the rest of the uncut chunk of B.

Cut 25 pieces that are 4 1/2 inches by 4 1/2 inches square. From color B. Please. Make sure they are SQUARE, not trapezoids or rhombuseses or parallelograms. Use your ruler to make sure your corners are nice square 90-degree-angle corners. Measure 3 times - cut once. A slight short-cut can be achieved by cutting strips of fabric exactly precisely 4 1/2 inches wide, then hacking off 4 1/2 inch pieces from the long strips.

You're doing real good.


Now in the same fashion as above, cut 50 pieces that are 4 3/4 x 4 3/4 inches square, also from Color B. Yes 50. Yes, I really do mean 50. You're doing great!

Next take these 50 squares, and cut them in 1/2 on the diagonal from corner to corner ONE time. See the photo below before you Even THINK about cutting, because you don't want to do this all twice.

When you are done, you will have 100 "right triangles". For those who were Geometry or generally Arithmetically challenged in school, all this really means is triangles with one of the "v" parts being 90 degrees, and the 2 sides of that piece are equal in length. Geometry wasn't my strong suit in school, so if it seems like I'm being a bit condescending and simple - it's my fault, not yours. I kind of assume everyone has this much trouble, because I did.

That is all for now for Color B. You may put the remaining fabric under the remainders of Color A under the backing.


Grab Color C.

Since we just cut 100 triangles from color B and did such an AWESOME damn good job of it - do it again, but with Color C. Same thing, 50 of the 4 3/4 inch squares, cut on the diagonal one time to make 100 right triangles. Same size as the B ones.


Now - across the remaining fabric, cut 12 pieces approximately 45 inches long (since that's probably how wide your fabric is) by 2 1/2 inches wide. Drape these also lovingly over your sewingmachine. That's it for color C - treat the leftovers the same as the first 2 sets of leftovers. Believe it or not - you're probably done for now.


As a result of all this hacking-up of fabric, you should have the following:

6 strips of color A 90" x 2 1/2"
12 strips of color A 45" x 2 1/2"
30 strips of color A 12 1/2" x 2 1/2"

25 squares of Color B 4 1/2" x 4 1/2"
100 right-triangles of Color B
5 strips of Color B - 72" x 2"

100 right-triangles of Color C
12 strips of Color C 45" x 2 1/2"

Whew. That was a lot. Put the triangles, squares and strips into that highly-visible spot with the leftovers. Next week we shall begin assembly!


Anonymous said...

I'm behind already! Haven't even been out to the store to get the fabric. That's okay. I'm going to print everything out as you suggested. I may be working on this a year from now so I hope you're still blogging to answer questions.

My head hasn't been screwed on lately. I left it somewhere.

Sew, I can't say enough about how impressed and touched I am that you have taken the time and energy to type out these instructions for us. This is very special. You are a fine woman.

Nick said...

I don't think I can do it.

Leandra said...

Nick. You can do it. Just take it one small step at a time. Don't think about what comes next. Just concentrate on the one step you have to do now. The rest work the same way and all of a sudden you have a quilt. Trust me, I've made many quilts and that's always the way it goes. One step at a time.

Sewmouse said...

Babzy - you'll be great. I know it. Just take it slow and easy, like Lea says.

Nick, if you want to, you can. You just need to do one little bit at a time. 100 is a lot, but 50 is less, and you can cut a lot of stuff while watching TV and all.

Thanks, Lea - *hugs*