Quilting is one of the most fun hobbies you can have, as well as one of the most creative one. Whether you are making a quilt for a loved one or running a business, there’s almost no limit to the amount of creativeness and skill that you can show in each quilt.
Colorful, beautiful, ornate – a quilt is quite a piece of art, and you can be the complete masters of creativity while making a quilt.
Parts of a Quilt
There are essentially three parts of a quilt: the top part, the batting and the backing. The backing is the piece of fabric, usually in a single color, that is the base of the quilt, added to the bottom.
The batting is the part that goes between the front and the back of the quilt, the part that makes up for the volume and the thickness of the quilt. These two portions are available in full sizes everywhere, ready for purchase and sewing into the quilt.
The front or the top part of the quilt is where you can show your true creativity. The trick to a beautiful and attractive quilt is to choose the right colors and design. How you cut your fabric is also an important part of your design.
How to Cut Fabric for Quilting
There are a number of ways that you can cut your fabric for a quilt. It all depends on the design and size of the quilt you have in mind. If you are new to quilting, you might want to start with something simple, such as square pieces to make up the whole quilt.
If you are more experienced, you can do complicated designs such as appliqueing or designer stitches. You can also order pre-cut fabrics for your quilt, but one of the best parts of quilting is to cut up the fabric in your preferred shapes and sizes.
Here are some tips that can help you in cutting up your fabric for quilting.
1. Choose the Right Fabric
The best fabric for quilting is cotton, although the more experienced quilters also use silk, polyester and linen. Even the pre-cut materials that you can buy online are made from cotton.
With cotton, you can easily cut your fabric into shape, fold and iron them. Cotton is also washable, even after making into a quilt; you can easily wash your cotton quilt as many times as you want. It won’t deteriorate the quality of the quilt in any way, but will actually make it softer.
2. Get the Right Equipment
The right equipment for quilting includes a rotary cutter, rulers and a cutting mat. While you can use an ordinary pair of scissors to cut your pieces, using a rotary cutter and a cutting mat will guarantee that your fabric pieces are all equal in every side.
Every quilter needs a proper set of quilting tools to make sure their quilt has been made properly and of professional quality.
3. Iron your fabric
You definitely need to iron your fabric before you cut them into pieces. This will get rid of any kind of wrinkles that may have been on your fabric and remove chances of overlapping.
If you cut your fabric before washing and ironing them, you might just end up with pieces that are neither equal nor straight. Any regular household iron would do, but it is much better if you can use a high-quality steam iron to do the job.
4. Fold your fabric
If you have a large piece of fabric to work with, always start by folding it in half or in quarters. Cut the entire fabric into four equal parts along the folded lines and then cut the pieces out of the pieces.
This way, you have equal pieces to work on and you can make an intelligent guess of how many pieces of fabric you will get in the end.
5. Use the Quilting Tools
Now comes the time to use all the quilting tools you have. Start with the cutting mat; place your cutting mat on a firm surface, such as a dining table or a work table.
Cutting mats have precise measurements printed on them, which helps in cutting your fabric according to your calculations. Besides, if you have a cutting ruler, it is also a big help in making the right measurements.
6. Use the Rotary Cutter
A rotary cutter looks somewhat like a pizza cutter, but it can easily cut through fabric. With the cutting mat underneath the fabric and the transparent ruler on top, you can get an exact measurement of the fabric you need.
You can use the rotary cutter to run along the sides of the ruler and end up with a piece of fabric that is exactly the measurement you need. Even if you have marks on your cutting mat, they will fill up and go away eventually and your cutting mat will be just as before.
7. Scrub off the edges
After cutting up the whole fabric into pieces, you might still be left with uneven pieces. You can use the cutting mat, the ruler and the rotary cutter to slice off some of the extra parts easily until you are left with all perfect squares that you need to make into your quilt.
You can also use the tools to cut the pieces further into smaller pieces or strips. In fact, you can use these tools to do almost anything with your fabric.
A lot depends on your being able to cut your fabric pieces into equal sizes and perfect shapes. If you end up with haphazardly cut pieces, it might just ruin your whole quilt – design and texture.
The right tools are extremely important in making sure that you can cut your fabric properly, too. It is the combination of the right texture, color and design of the fabric, your skills as a quilter, and the right machineries and tools (sewing/embroidery machine, cutting tools, thread, etc) that you can actually make the perfect quilt.