Monday, January 14, 2013

Starburst Quilt-A-Long - Cutting

**  NOTE  - This post is part of a series of posts for the Starburst Quilt-A-Long.  If you would like to join (and have a chance to win one of the $75.00 Gift Certificate grand prizes sponsored by The Intrepid Thread ) you can find a list of the post links here :)  Once again, here is the schedule, but if you want to work ahead you can use the tutorial  just be sure to take pictures of your weekly assignments so you can link them up for weekly prizes :)

January 14 - Cutting Post
January 21 - Goose in the Corner and Half Square Triangles
January 28 - Flying Geese
February 4 - Building Blocks - At least 2
February 11 - Finish Blocks and Sashing
February 18 - Baste it, Quilt it, Bind It
March 4 - Starburst Parade and Grand Prizes

So here we are at January 14th and this weeks assignment is cutting your fabric!!   Now I was hoping to show you lots of fun pictures of my new fabric that I will be using, but there was a bit of a post office mishap and my fabric is a little stuck in transit.  (But I should be able to track it down today.)  So, for the mean time, I will just show you some fun random fabric pictures :)


Now, before you just jump on into cutting, you have to make some decisions.  This is going to determine the layout of your quilt.  So, I am going to show you the way I decide a layout.   With that said, there are a million ways to do your layout so don't feel like you need to do it this way, it is just a help in getting started :)   If you have already done this, feel free to skip down to the cutting directions :)

Start by laying your 12 fat quarters out so you can see all of those pretty fabrics.

Now I like to get an equal balance of tones so I like to separate my fabrics into 3 groups, that each have 4 prints and I separate them by lightest tones, medium tones, and darkest tones.

 Once your tones are separated, its time to look vertical.  Now you are making 4 groups of 3, but once again, I like to keep a dark, medium, and light in each group. Each vertical group of 3 represents a star, so you are moving prints around horizontally until you like each of the 3 groupings.  So for example, I didn't like the 2 pearl bracelets in the grouping 3 so I moved them.  When I did this I got two of the same prints in grouping 4 but liked that.  Just keep shuffling until you like all 4 groupings.

Lastly, you need to decide which fabric in each grouping will be for which part of the Starburst.  The Starburst consists of a Center Star, Star Surround  and Burst Points.  I find it easiest to label each and then take a photo to refer to when I start cutting everything up, if you don't like referring to photos, just write your groupings and fabric assignments down somewhere to refer to :)  For this fabric, I decided that I wanted my dark prints to all be the center star, so they really pop :)  Then I decided, I wanted the 2 medium grey's to be burst points, but I labeled them 1 and 4 so that they would be opposite each other in the quilt layout.  From there, I figured the other 2 burst points could be done in the lights to contrast.  Once you start making a few decisions  the rest just falls into place.  

So, now that you have your decisions all made, you are ready to cut :)  Now, I promise to add some more photos here soon, so if you are nervous about cutting from a chart, just wait a day or 2.  I just didn't want to cut into these fabrics as my intended fabrics are stuck at the post office ;)

EDIT - My fabrics finally arrived and these are my groupings ;)

Oh, and if you are having trouble seeing the chart, just click on it, and it will come up larger ;)
* Sew WOF strips together to create the desired length of sashing.

Cut your fabrics according to the chart above.  Remember to refer to the column of the size quilt you want to make :)   And remember, press your fabric before cutting to aid in accurate cutting.

EDIT - I just found out that the post office managed to send my fabric package back instead of holding onto it.  So I have gone ahead and made some cutting diagrams as I won't have my fabric until later this week.  The blue is the 24" blocks, the pink is the 32" blocks and the green is the 40" blocks.  I hope these help and if you have questions, please don't hesitate to email me!!

Start with cutting the four fat quarters that you have set aside for Burst Points.  From each of the 4 fat quarters cut according to the following diagrams.  With all of your cutting, the leftover scraps can be set aside for a scrappy binding or can but used for another project.
 Now you are ready to cut your four fat quarters that you have decided will be your Star Surround.  From each of the 4 fat quarters cut according to the following diagrams.

And now you can cut your last four fat quarters that will be your Star Centers.  From each of the 4 fat quarters cut according to the following diagrams.

And now, you have simply to cut your background yardage :)  Once again, you will need to refer to column of your size quilt to know what sizes you need to cut.  Be sure you cut the designated quantity for each line.

Once you have finished cutting your 12 fat quarters and your background yardage, Sort your fabrics into piles of similar descriptions. ie, CS for center star,  FG, for flying geese, HST for half square triangle, GC for goose in the corner,  B for background and S for sashing.  This will make it easier as you begin to put the pieces of the block together.  (This is why you wanted to label your groupings earlier, because you will be mixing them all up now :)

And now you are done!!!   Here's my fabrics all cut up :)  This weeks assignment wasn't to hard, right :)   And now the fun part, you can enter to win the weekly prize :)

The Weekly Prizes are sponsored by the Fat Quarter Shop and a huge thanks goes to them for their support of the Starburst Quilt-A-Long.

This weeks  prize is a Salt Water Charm Pack by Tula Pink for Free Spirit Fabrics

So what do you have to do for a chance to win this beautiful Charm Pack??  Simple . . . Just link up your fabrics all cut up at the end of this post :)  You can link to a blog post or a flickr picture, or whatever.  Just make sure to link up by next Monday morning as I will be announcing a winner at the beginning of next weeks post :)

If you don't get your cutting done by next week you can still link it up :) (just not in time for the prize :)    The linky will remain open until the end of the Quilt-A-Long.  So if your out of town, or just had a busy week, no worries!!!  Just link up when you can :)

And Don't forget to add your beautiful cut up fabric to the Happy Quilting Quilt-A-Long Flickr group!!!  I am so excited to see all of your beautiful groupings ;)

So let's get cutting!!!  And if you have questions, don't hesitate to email me at  Have a Happy Quilting Day!!
Pin It!


  1. WOO HOO! Let's get the party started! All of my fat quarters are cut, I need to work on the background cuts today.

  2. Nice! I have my fabric now it is time to get slicin'

  3. I can't believe I actually got mine all cut today! I snuck in slicing time during nap time :) great post on selecting colors, I replaced one of my fabrics and rearranged the layout. Thanks!

  4. All cut except for the background fabric - it should arrive this week, I am itching to get on with it!

  5. Do we need to link our pic or is adding it to the Flickr group all we need to do. I have no clue how to link a Flickr pic. I am completely new to Flickr and I am a tad of a slow learner when it comes to tech stuff.

  6. CJ, I love those red prints that you said each star needed to have some red. What collection is that, and where did you get it?

    1. The original set that I posted on Flickr is Hometown by Sweetwater for Moda. It is not one of their most recent, maybe a year/year & a half old?? The set of fabric that I am really using now is BOHO by Urban Chiks for Moda. I have a FQ Bundle but unless you hunt you won't find this line yet, not released yet.

  7. Melissa,
    If there is a blank square or rectangle without any writing in it (in the cutting diagram), does that mean it is a scrap leftover?
    If I chose a 24" block, is there potential to get two quilts out of the fabric?

    1. Yes, those areas on Melissa's cutting diagram without the writing are leftovers.

  8. So many beautuiful fabrics! I can't wait to see everyone's quilts.

  9. I'm a brand new blogger, so hopefully that link-up worked! Thanks for putting this together, Melissa! I found your instructions really easy to follow, concise and accurate.

  10. Ok, I've got my cutting completed. I hope to be able to start again on Monday with new instructions. I'm off on's MLK Day.

    My Flickr picture of my cutting complete:

  11. Just picking out my fabrics!! Too bad my stash is from when I started quilting seven years ago. After that seven year hiatus, I find my style/preferences have totally changed!

  12. This is fun! I can't believe I just cut up 7 yards of white Kona. 7! I'm doing mine a little different--40" blocks plus HST borders for 4 finished quilts measuring 60" x 70". Should be fun! Thanks for hosting, I'm loving the idea of doing a little each week.

  13. Finally cut it all out... Thanks for hosting!

  14. OK, so I just found this from reading someone's blog. I'm in going to use the stash as I went to the fabric shop and they are all sold out of the kits. Might as well just do what I have! Love the idea of the big blocks, and your cutting instructions look very easy to follow! Button on my blog! Thanks!


Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I just love hearing from you!!
Have a Happy Quilting Day :)