Prep and cut your fabric

It really is all in the prep. They say measure twice, cut once! But there's prep to do even before you get to the cutting stage.

Some quilters like to pre-wash their fabric. Personally I don't. I feel it's an extra set of stages that are unnecessary these days when dyes are faster and less likely to bleed. The other reason you might want to pre-wash is to shrink your fabric to avoid the crinkled look it will get after your quilt is washed for the first time. I love this look so again, no pre-wash for me!

Next, clean your sewing machine, if using, and your cutting mat or area

Check your needle and your rotary blade, if using. Are they blunt and need changing?

Iron your fabric. Creases will mean your cuts aren't accurate.

Square up your fabric. You will need to cut off the selvedge of your fabric (the more tightly woven strip down each side) and trim the the last cut line of the fabric so that it is straight and you have right angles at the corners. This will ensure you can cut and measure accurately. 

Now you are ready for the next step - cutting your fabric!

Follow the instructions in your pattern, if you are using one, but here are some handy tips.

If your fabric is larger than your cutting mat you can fold it to fit and then cut Width of Fabric strips before cutting smaller pieces. Squaring up well is especially important for this and you ay need o do it several times as you cut your strips.

Always use a sharp blade on a rotary cutter. Place it right up along side your ruler and push away from your body.

When you have cut all your pieces you can move on to piecing...