Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A tutorial on the "Bricks and Blocks" baby quilt

OK.... I just explained all of this to a friend, via messages on Facebook, and realized that it's high time I get this tutorial posted! I've wanted to do this for a long time.....and it would've been SO much easier to just point that friend to my blog! So, after this is done, I can do just that, with other friends.
First of all, here are the fabrics from April Cornell's "Spring Magic" jelly-roll. There are too many different prints for a baby quilt, so I usually choose ten to fifteen of them. I make this quilt with five rows across and sixteen down. So, you'll end up with eighty pieces. If you choose sixteen different fabrics, then you can have five of each of those. Jelly-rolls are SO nice because there are usually two of each print; their length is the width of the fabric (about 44" these days) and they are 2.5" wide. Perfect for this quilt! If you buy fabric off the bolt, then, using a rotary cutter, place the fold on a horizontal line and have the edge of your fabric just over one of the vertical lines on your cutting mat. Put your straight-edge so that one of the horizontal lines on it is even with that fold - and the lines on the cutting mat that are also even with it. The vertical lines should also be aligned with the vertical lines on the mat. Just a tiny bit of your fabric should be sticking out, to the right of your straight-edge. You are just squaring up your fabric. Cut that tiny bit that's sticking out, using your rotary cutter. Now, you're ready to start the real fun! Make sure that nice, straight edge of your fabric is at one of the "inch" measurements and that the fold is straight, along the bottom, even with another line. Lay your straight-edge 2.5" over to the left of the edge of fabric that you just cut. So, now you have 2.5" of fabric sticking out from that straight-edge. Make sure your fabric fold is straight at the bottom and that the straight-edge is aligned with the marks on your mat, all the way from the top to the bottom. Place your left hand flat out on the straight-edge; make sure your cutter blade is all the way up to the straight-edge. Place firm pressure on the cutter, but making sure to hold the straight-edge in place with your other hand... and starting at the bottom, just underneath the fabric, make your cut. If you are only going to use five pieces of each print, then you probably only need to cut one strip of each of the prints that you're using.
These pictures show the fabric, once it's cut into strips. Well, I didn't cut mine because I bought this beautiful jelly-roll! Jelly-rolls save you an incredible amount of time! However, if you don't like that vintagey look, ie; you don't want any "wrinkles" to be in your quilt once it's done, then you'll need to pre-wash your fabric. I wouldn't recommend pre-washing the jelly-roll strips because they are already the exact width that you need. If you wash them, they're going to fray some and then you'll have to cut that fraying off. Personally, I love the vintagey look....it makes a quilt look old-fashioned and well, I just love that!