Pre-cuts - Time to make a new quilt
One of my favourite things to do when I start a new sewing project is finding the fabric I want to use. I love searching for new fabrics, selecting my favourite prints I find, matching colour palettes and gradually adding to a collection for a project like I did with this two-sided patchwork cushion cover. The problem that I find with the process of finding and selecting the fabrics is that it can take a really long time. I think I sometimes make it harder for myself to start a project as I've not really mastered matching print size and colour palettes just yet and so I just sit and collect fabric, waiting until I think I have enough to make a project. I want to start making the sewing process and making projects a little more speedy, simplify it and get back on my sewing machine and get stitching.
I want to start making a proper quilt for our home and hope to create something I want to keep, display and be proud of in years to come. I've made a few patchwork quilts over the past few years but I have made them for friends' babies and so gave them away and didn't get to spend much time with the finished project. I'm planning to make a quilt for a king sized bed. I know it will be a daunting task and will be the biggest quilt I will have created to date. It will be a project that will require some real thought and discipline when I come to creating it. To help me in the process of making this quilt I've decided to cheat a little, instead of spending months and months searching for fabrics that match I have decided to get some help from the experts! I want to simplify the making process and start a project that allows me to have more time spent on my sewing machine and making, and less time online searching for fabric...so I've decided to buy into the world of fabric pre-cuts!
Pre-cut fabrics are cut to a defined size and tend to come in a pack containing each pattern from a fabric range. All the fabrics in a range are designed to complement each other and can be used to create lovely projects with a consistent colour palette or theme. Pre-cuts come in a range of sizes with great names such as jelly rolls, charm squares, layer cakes and fat quarters, which are what I tend to normally use. I love the names these fabric cuts have been given, I'm not sure how they link to their pre-defined sizes, but it makes it sound so much fun rather than what they could be called, fabric strips or squares!
For a few years now I've been (unhealthily!) lusting after fabric by Bonnie and Camille for Moda and over the past two weeks have finally made the decision to take the plunge and buy the Happy-Go-Lucky fabric range with 40 different prints. It's gorgeous, bright, happy coloured fabric with a wide variety of prints and patterns that all look so lovely together.
I decided to buy a jelly roll, a roll of fabric strips that measure 2.5 inches by the width of fabric, two charm packs made up of 5.5 inch squares of fabric, and one mini charm pack, made up of 2.5 inch squares. I know that making a big king size quilt is going to cost me quite a bit of money and I will be investing lots of time making it. I knew that I had to make sure that I was going to love the fabric that I would be using and I really do!
I could spend my days flicking through the fabric range and arranging the charm squares in different combinations...I love it! I may need to buy a few more packs of pre-cuts but also some larger pieces of some of the prints for the back of the quilt. But at the moment I'm waiting to decide what type of quilt I'm going to make. I hope to build the courage over the next few weeks to the maths to work out how much more fabric I need. Eek! Maths is one of my huge weaknesses I can do maths well but on so many occasions my mind goes completely blank, I get in a muddle and flustered and then struggle to calculate what I need. I think that by making a quilt where I'm going to make something different I will grow my skills and gain more confidence calculating fabric needed. I'm hoping to demystify the maths process as I make my quilt because it scares me and I'm sure it scares most beginner quilt makers too! I'm hoping that pre-cuts will help the process at little.
If you want to see where I saw this fabric and where got inspired, take a look at Camille Roskelley's blog, Simplify. This blog was one of the few that really inspired me to start patchwork, opened my eyes up to beautiful fabrics, pre-cuts and the idea of a sampler quilt and modern patchwork and quilting. I love the gorgeous colour palette Camille uses, she has a real eye for colour and she expertly combines lots of different fabrics she has created to make fresh modern quilts that make me want to jump for joy and create one myself. I'm a super huge fan of hers and would love to have a quilt making lesson with her! I own her two books Simplify and Simply Retro and also have bought her Pre-cuts Piecing Made Simple course on Craftsy, and now own some of the pre-cuts in her gorgeous fabric range! Bonnie and Camille have another fabric range out later on this year which I really love called Miss Kate, which I will buy, hopefully it will make it into shops over here or I will really have to save up and get it shipped from the US! I want to combine the Happy-Go-Lucky fabric range and Miss Kate to make my next quilt and perhaps pick up a few fat quarters from the April Showers fabric range and some from Scrumptious too if I can find them. The range of fabrics use the same range of colours that I really love.
Buying pre-cut fabric is a big change for me, I normally buy fat quarters or half metres of fabric with the safety of knowing that I've got plenty of my favourite prints to use across multiple projects and for whatever shape and size I want. I'm excited to start using pre-cuts as I hope that it will speed up the making process for me and enable me to do less cutting than normal. Now that the fabric decisions have been made I'd better start making some decisions about the style of quilt I'm going to make. I'll let you know how I get on trying to navigate the world of patterns and quilt options using pre-cuts!