Sew Many Strips Quilt-Along: Week 1 Tips
Week 1 of the 2019 American Patchwork & Quilting Quilt-Along starts on 2/18. The assignment is: Gather Fabrics. Below you'll find some helpful tips for choosing and preparing your fabrics for this quilt, and some answers to questions we've been getting. See more about the Quilt-Along here.
This quilt calls for fat quarters. Can I use yardage or smaller scraps?
Yes! You will need at least 4,072" in length of light fabrics, and 4,540" in length of medium/dark fabrics.If you're using yardage or fat quarters, you will still sew strip sets. If you're using scraps, you'll need pieces that are at least 4-1/2" and 2-1/2" long. Instead of piecing strip sets, you'll piece and cut your fabrics the number of units specified in Assemble Strip Set Units, Step 2 and 4.
I want to plan my quilt's design, so I can picture what my fabrics will look like in this quilt.
Download our helpful coloring diagram here. You can color it in to help plan your colors/fabrics or get creative with the design.
Should I prewash my fabrics? If it safe to prewash my smaller scraps?
Prewashing your fabrics is a personal choice. Prewashing is not required, and you can use a Color Catcher when you wash the finished quilt if you're concerned about colors running. If you're using colors that are prone to running, such as red, you can test the color fastness by soaking a 2" square of fabric in soapy water for 30 minutes, then checking to see if the water is clear. If it's clear, rub the wet fabric on a paper towel to see if dye comes off. If the water is colored or the paper towel is colored, you'll want to prewash your fabric until it doesn't bleed anymore. Prewash in cold water and dry on low heat. Smaller scraps and precuts can ravel when washed, so if necessary, hand wash your fabrics or wash on the delicate cycle in a mesh garment bag.
How can I make sure my fabrics have enough contrast for the light and dark strips?
We have some helpful hints for determining whether or not your fabrics have enough contrast here.
I want to make my quilt a different size. Can you help with the math?
We've had a lot of questions about adjusting the size of the quilt or using different size strips! For the purpose of this quilt-along, our schedule and all our tips/tricks will be following the pattern exactly as printed (that pattern has been technical edited and gone through a quilt tester, so we know everyone will have success making it). If you choose to alter the pattern for your own purposes, that's fine -- but we, unfortunately, can't help if things go awry! If you'd like to make it smaller, check out the color option on page 43 of the magazine, which is 32" square. Or use the Coloring Diagram to plan your quilt in a different layout. And remember, leaving off borders or adding more borders can help alter the size easily.
I'm not a scrappy quilter. Can I make this quilt in my favorite color palette?