Preparing Fabric for Quilting: A Guide to Getting Started

Toby Lischko
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Duration:   8  mins

Preparing fabric for quilting is one of the first steps in learning how to piece a quilt. Toby Lischko shows you how to prepare you fabric for accurate cutting of long strips and smaller pieces.


Toby begins showing tips for preparing fabric for quilting by explaining how to ensure that your fabric is laying flat before you start cutting it. She shows how to hold up the fabric and adjust the selvage edges until the folded edge lays flat. Toby explains that she always aligns and then cuts from the folded edge because you can never guarantee that the selvage edge is going to be straight. She then shares her tips for making accurate cuts when cutting long strips, which is to use your entire arm to hold the long ruler in place, rather than just your hand, so you ensure that the ruler does not slip.

Next Toby explains how to properly use the lines on your ruler when making cuts. Knowing how to use your ruler and where to line up your fabric on the lines of the ruler will help you not only make accurate cuts, but will improve your consistency as well. She then explains that if you are making several long cuts from a piece of fabric, that it is important to check that your fabric is still square after every few cuts and make adjustments if necessary.


After you have finished determining quilt measurements needed for a design, or you are following a pattern- you will start piecing together your quilt. Toby shows how to accurately cut small pieces of fabric for your quilt as well as cut strips sets, which are commonly used in quilting. While all of these tips for preparing fabric for quilting were shown using standard quilting cotton, quilts can be made from a variety of different fabric and all of these tips can be used when working with different fabrics.

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