Flat & Happy: Subcutting

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It’s time for more Flat & Happy! This series offers little snippets and tips for patchwork to be flat and happy. Obviously, this is how I do things, but there are so many great ways to patchwork, so do what works for you! Previously, I talked about cutting strips of width of fabric; today, I’m going to talk about submitting them. First, we need to clean up the selvages. Line up your ruler so that the bottom edge of your fabric is straight along a line of the ruler. I tend to use an 1/8″ or 1/4″ line because it is easier to see. This will insure that your square is square and not trapezoidal.

You want to cut off as little as possible while also ensuring that you got all the selvage. Cut!

Turn the piece around so the clean edge is on the left. Line up the left side of the fabric on the ruler along the line of the measurement that you’d like to cut. Make certain that the bottom of your fabric is lined up along a line of the ruler. Remember, this will insure that your square is square and not trapezoidal. Cut!

Perfect squares! Obviously, this will work for squares and rectangles.

xo LC

Flat & Happy: Cutting Strips

Cutting width of fabric strips is typically where you start with patchwork. Start with pressing and have the existing fold and selvages lined up.


Place your ruler on the fabric. (I’m right handed.) I’m cutting a 3 1/2″ strip so I’ve put the ruler at about 3 3/4″ from the edge since the left edge is not a clean edge. We’ll clean up that edge in a bit.

Be careful to align the edge of the fabric with a line on your ruler to make  sure your ruler is perpendicular to the fabric edge. Do this on both the top and bottom edge checking that all edges of the favric are perpendicular to the ruler.

Cut the first strip. Move the ruler 3 1/2″ from the clean edge, align the top and and bottom edges with a line on the ruler and cut another strip. Cut more strips as needed.


Carefully turn over the first strip and align the clean edge with 3 1/2″ on the ruler and trim off the excess 1/4″. Be careful to check that the top and bottom edges are lined up with the ruler and the fabric is straight.


I’ve found that this system works well as you’re only moving one strip of fabric to get a clean edge. The cutting continues on Flat & Happy!

xo LC

Flat & Happy: Preparing the Fabric

Today starts the Flat & Happy series! It’ll be full of quick little tutorials on basic patchwork skills to better achieve flat & happy quilts!! These are all based on how I do things and you might not do it the same, but you might pick up a trick or two. Let’s prep some fabric! 

I start by spraying the back of the fabric with starch or a starch like substance. Flatter is generally my option of choice. Spraying the back means the starch will penetrate instead of evaporating the second your iron hits it.

  
I press everything with the selvage folded down the the existing fold. Make sure it’s straight. I offset the selvage about 1/8″ from the existing fold so I can see they’re straight. 

  

I prefer to prep about 18″ at a time. Once I’ve cut that, I prep the next section.

 

I don’t typically use steam. But if the fabric is super wrinkly, I’ll add some steam to help flatten it out!

xo LC

Blogoversary Week: New Series!

I’m starting a few new series on the blog. The Terrific Tip Tuesday has been well received and will continue (until I run out of tips;) Every time I think I’m out of tips, a new one pops up, so I think we’re safe.

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The first new series is all about the tools! I’m not much of a gadget person, unless it truly makes it faster and easier! And it’s even better if it’s inexpensive:) These posts will focus on my favorite notions, the things that I actually use! It will be styled much like Terrific Tip Tuesdays, but be on Thursdays…and called Terrific Tool Thursdays. I know, I am super clever.

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Next up is a new series all about COLOR! I love color and I love pulling fabrics. I took my Kona card and cut it up and challenged myself to make 52 palettes with those colors. I had to use everything- even the mauve and hunter green! Over the next year, I’ll have a weekly post called Color Stories. I will post a palette and then pull fabric from my stash based on the palette. I’m sure some will grow up to become quilts and some will just grow up to become inspiration. All will be fun color stories though! This series starts next Friday, June 26.

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The last new series will be Flat & Happy! Flat & Happy is something that I say when I teach; we all want our seams to be Flat & Happy. I’m going to post about the patchwork process, from cutting to piecing to pressing. This series will start next Monday and run for a couple months!

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I’m excited about all these new series and have been dying to start sharing them! The next few weeks should be fun:)

xo LC