Thursday, February 5, 2015

Irish Chain Twist Quilt-A-Long - Cutting

**  NOTE  - This post is part of a series of posts for the Irish Chain Twist Quilt-A-Long.  If you would like to join (and have a chance to win $100.00 or $75.00 Gift Certificate grand prizes sponsored by The Intrepid Thread and Fat Quarter Shop ) you can find a list of the post links here :)  Here is the schedule

Cutting - Feb 5th
Improvisational Piecing Units - Feb 12th
Improvisational Piecing Block - Feb 19th
Twists on Tradition Units - Feb 26th
Modern Patchwork Block - Mar 5th
Appliqued Chains Block - Assembling - Mar 12th
Appliqued Chains Block - Stitching - Mar 19
Piecing Top and Grand Prize Linky - Mar 26th
Parade and Grand Prizes - April 23rd

So here we are at February 5th , so let's get right to it :)  


All of the cutting will be done using the same type of charts that we have been using so far.  Simply find the project that you are making and that will tell you the cutting you need to do.   Here is the finished sizing chart, just in case you need a reminder of what project you are doing :)


We will start but cutting out all of the "print" fabrics. - And before you start any cutting, be sure to read through to the end of the post.  I added some helpful hints after the charts to aid in your cutting ;)

The cutting has been broken down into the different blocks.  That means, if you are doing the 4 Fabric Layout or the Multi 4 Color Layout you will want to make sure you match the fabric you selected for each block with the cutting for that block.  If you are doing a scrappy layout just cut it up random ;)  If you aren't quite sure what layout you are doing or what fabrics go to what block just check back here for the Fabric Requirements ;)  

 Cut your Print Fabrics according to the chart below.


And now, we can move onto the background fabric :)

I have kept the background cutting grouped by the three kinds of blocks.  I thought it might be helpful to group your background pieces with your print pieces once they are cut so that it makes it easy to begin each set of blocks ;)

Cut your Background Fabrics according to the chart below.


Here are a few helpful tips and some tidbits I found for this specific quilt-a-long.  This is the way I like to cut, it is not the only way to cut, so if you do it different, great :)  Do what you are comfortable with.  There just might be some tidbits that might help save you some time and eliminate waste.  But be sure to see #6 as it is important ;)

1 - Always press your fabrics first, it takes a second more but will help in keeping your pieces accurate.  I like to keep my iron at a super hot setting and use a little extra water from a spay bottle if I have any creases or folds that don't want to come out with a simple pass of the iron.

2 - Check the sharpness of your blade before starting to cut so you can layer your fabrics.  You can cut 2-3 fabrics at a time to speed things up so be sure your blade is sharp.   Just don't get overzealous with your layering.  3 fabrics is 6 layers and any more than that and they will want to shift on you ;)

3 - Whenever cutting yardage, I always like to cut with the fold in my fabric lined up along the 0 horizontal line on my cutting mat.  I always start by cutting a straight edge along the left hand side of my fabric and then (as long as my yardage is short enough) trim the selvages from the top of my fabric.

4 - I like to cut my fabrics in strips and use the lines on my mat as cutting guides rather than my rulers.  Once I cut all of the strips I need, I slightly separate the different size strips, still keeping them aligned along the 0 horizontal line and the nearest vertical line, and then sub-cut the strip using the horizontal lines on my mat. When sub-cutting, I always start at the top of my strip and work my way down, thus allowing the scrap to be on the fold and creating 1 large scrap instead of 2 small scraps.  Any extra of that strip can normally be sub-cut  into smaller pieces needed thus eliminating waste. (see #6)  This allows me to cut a lot of pieces quickly.  (and in this picture, I wouldn't normally separate all of these 2" strips, I just did that so you could see them ;)


5 - If you are doing the Mulit-4 Color Layout or even the Scrappy Layout try to get an even mix of your fabrics in the project.   To do this, I like to cut my largest strips first.  Because my fabrics are stacked up, this allows me to trim down any extra strips.  So for example, I needed (10) 3" x WOF Strips and (8) 2 1/2" x WOF strips.  So I cut my 4 stacks of 3" strips and 3 Stacks of 2 1/2" strips.  Then I trimmed down 2 individual 3" strips to 2 1/2" strips and I have exactly the strips I need with just about the same amount of fabric from each print ;)    So when cutting my strips, I always like to start with the largest piece first.  So I cut a strip the width of my largest piece.  I needed  and then sub-cut that strip as needed.  When sub-cutting, I always start at the top of my strip and work my way down, thus allowing the scrap to be on the fold and creating 1 large scrap instead of 2 small scraps.  Any extra of that strip can normally be sub-cut  into smaller pieces needed thus eliminating waste.

6 - When submitting on the diagonal, I like to cut my squares first and then without moving them on my mat, align my ruler diagonally, using the corners as my squares for guides, and sub-cut them all at once.  This saves a lot of time.  And these are for the improv block so if you don't get them pefectly right on, don't stress, it's no big deal.   And a  big time cutting note - on the Background X Improv cutting of 6" x 6" squares, you will need to cut 7 per strip!!  (the fabric requirements are based on this)   Meaning, you have to use one piece on the fold.   So this is how I like to do it . . . when you layout your fabric on your board, cut across the 21" line, the 15" line, the 9" line, and the 3" line and you will have 6 layed out 6" x 6" squares and 1 folded 6" x 6" square that you will want to press and then cut in half diagonally.  (the ones in the top left corner ;)

7 - A few of you had asked about using fat quarters instead of 1/4 yard cuts.  You can still use them.  Just make this little change . . . where it says the WOF strips just cut (2) 21" strips instead of  1 WOF strip  :)

And I think that just about covers it!!!


I hope these cutting tips help :)  I know that with the different sizes and layouts it can easily be confusing, so if you have any questions at all please don't hesitate to ask in a comment or email me at  :)   Here's my fabrics all cut up!!! It's not to much cutting, so sharpen your blade and go to it . . . and once you are done you get to the fun part, you can enter to win the weekly prize :)

The Weekly Prizes is being sponsored by the Green Fairy Quilts and a huge thanks goes to them for their support of the Irish Chain Twist Quilt-A-Long.

This weeks  prize is a $15.00 Gift Certificate to Green Fairy Quilts!!!

So what do you have to do for a chance to win this Gift Certificate?  Simple . . . Just link up your fabrics all cut up at the end of this post :)  You can link to a blog post, flickr picture, Instagram, Facebook . . .  or whatever.  Just make sure to link up by next Thursday 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 and to post it on social media with using #irishchaintwistqal.    I am so excited to see all of your beautiful fabrics all cut up ;)

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

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  1. Oh, I really want to start this, but I have a couple of projects going at the moment...

  2. I'm making the multi 4 fabric layout. It may be a stupid question, but is it safe to assume I divide the pieces needed evenly among the fabrics?

    1. HI Amy, Yes, you want to divide the pieces evenly as best you can ;) Number 5 in the cutting directions goes over a little bit of how I do that ;)

  3. Love this quilt! Just 2 questions...if I finish the petals with raw edge appliqué would 5inch charm squares work? Also for the end finish in it finished pieced top or quilted and bound version?

  4. Do I need to post my pics to your flikr page? If so, I can't quite figure out how to do it. cdahlgren at live dot com

  5. Hello everybody, It took me awhile to learn how to do it and #34 is not correct but I do not know how to delete it. Sorry

    1. No worries, I took care of it on my end ;)
      So glad you are quilting along ;)

  6. Thank you so much!! First time using flicker!!! Thank you! I love your blog!

  7. Thank you so much!! First time using flicker!!! Thank you! I love your blog!

  8. I thought I had already posted on this. Mine is on Flickr!

    1. HI Jenn, Adding your picture to Flickr is great, we can all see your work there ;) But it doesn't enter it to the linky ;) I have to have everyones stuff in one place that is numbered to be able to do the drawing so that is what the linky is for. So all you have to do is click on the Add Link Above. Then copy and paste the URL of your picture in flickr to the first line, add your name and email and you are set ;) I hope this helps.

    2. I guess I can't see that from my work computer. Sigh. I know now though! :) I will kick the kids of the computer tonight.


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