Quilt Along: Mirror Maze Week 2

Hello, hello, quilty friends. And welcome to week 2 of the Mirror Maze quilt along!

Hopefully, you’ve selected the fabric you’ll be using for your Mirror Maze quilt. Because this week we’re cutting into them to prepare for sewing next week.

Before I jump into this week’s assignments, I wanted to repeat that if you’ve got any questions whatsoever, we’re more than happy to answer them. You can:

Quilt Along Schedule

Just to give you a quick recap of the grand plan, here’s the quilt along schedule:

Week 1: May 22, 2023 Choose fabrics and gather supplies 
Week 2: May 29, 2023 Cut fabric (we’re here right now)
Week 3: June 5, 2023 Sew HSTs and HST rows
Week 4: June 12, 2023 Assemble and square up the quilt top

In case you haven’t been tuned in to what’s happening around here, I suggest you first read the introductory Week 1: Choose fabrics and gather supplies blog post. This is where you can read all about the first week’s assignments, read our tips on fabric selection, and see how we put together our pretty fabric pull.

Otherwise, I suggest we dive straight into week 2.

Mirror Maze QAL Week 2 Assignments

This week, our to-do list consists of cutting, more cutting, and some more cutting. We’ll cut up the fabric so we have everything ready for Week 3 when we start sewing.

So basically, we have to cut all the pieces listed in the final cuts list on page 6 of the Mirror Maze pattern.

Tools Needed

This week, you’ll need all your cutting tools:

  • Self-healing cutting mat
  • Rotary cutter with a sharp (!) blade
  • Quilting rulers (longer rulers will be helpful here)

Prepare Your Fabric

Before we start cutting, there are some things that need to be done to prepare your fabric:

Pre-Step 1: Prewash (optional)

I’m not going to go into too much detail here. Some people prefer to prewash, while others never do. Barbara and I are big advocates of prewashing. We like the feeling of working with freshly washed fabrics. Plus, it seems to save us from any shrinkage problems after the quilt is finished (I’m assuming, as we’ve never had any issues with this). I won’t try to convince you to do the same. You do you. But if you wanna prewash, now’s the time!

Pre-Step 2: Iron (not optional haha)

You want your fabrics to be as wrinkle-free as possible because it makes cutting accurately so much easier. There’s no science behind this, just lay your fabric on your iron board and iron away!

Pre-step 3: Starch (optional)

If you want to give your fabrics some extra stability, you might want to use some starch while you’re at the ironing board. This is another of those things in quilting that’s totally optional, so do whatever works for you. We never use starch, so we’re skipping this step this time around, as well.

Cut the Background Fabric

We’ll begin this cutting story by cutting our background fabric. 

Before you start cutting, I strongly recommend you read the cutting directions (page 4) entirely. But perhaps even more importantly, look at the cutting diagrams (page 5) to get a visual of how the pieces are placed on the yardage. I think you’ll find those super useful because they help you understand the logic behind the directions. 

The Mirror Maze pattern also includes a Final cuts list (page 6), so you know exactly what pieces you need after all this cutting.

Cutting the Background for a Crib Size Quilt

We’ll be making a crib-size quilt, so the photos will take you through the cutting steps for the crib size. The techniques and tricks we’re using here can be applied to pretty much all of your cutting endeavors.

I usually cut all the WOF strips first, then continue with the sub-cutting. So I’ll try to show you first how to cut the WOF strips from yardage (which are the trickiest in my opinion).

We’re using yardage that is wider than typical quilting cotton (our WOF is 54” and not 42”), but don’t let that confuse you, because the process of cutting WOF strips is exactly the same.

How to cut WOF strips from yardage?

Step 1a
Step 1b


STEP 1
Fold the fabric in half by aligning the two selvages (holding both selvages in your hands). You can shift the selvages a bit until you feel like the fabric is falling down nicely, without pulling in any direction.
In the first picture above, you can see the fabric is pulling to the left at the bottom fold. In the second image, it’s falling down without any pulling. A tap on the shoulder for Barbara.

Step 2


STEP 2
Lay the fabric onto the cutting mat.  Align the fold (bottom ‘edge’) AND the selvages (top ‘edge’) with the horizontal lines on your cutting mat.
If you’re using quilting fabric, the WOF (width of fabric) is usually 42’’, which means you’ll now have a 21’’ wide piece of your fabric on your mat.

Step 3


STEP 3
Fold again, so you get a more manageable width. Take the folded edge up to the selvages.
If you’re using quilting fabric, the WOF (width of fabric) is usually 42’’, which means you’ll now have a 10,5’’ wide piece of your fabric on your mat.

Step 4


STEP 4
Now you’ll see that the side edges are most likely not perfectly aligned with the vertical lines on the mat (nor perpendicular to the top and bottom edges). So the first thing you want to do is cut away any excess fabric to make sure you’re starting with a clean edge. Place the ruler close to the uneven side edge of the fabric and cut away excess fabric. 


Make sure you place the ruler so there are four layers of fabric along the entire edge of the ruler. Sometimes, the fabric shop might cut yardage inaccurately, which means you’ll have to cut quite a bit away to get a clean edge (like we did here).

Step 5


STEP 5
Now that you have the fabric ready, you can start cutting the strips listed in the cutting directions on page 4 of the Mirror Maze pattern. 

So if the instructions say Cut (1) WOF x 11’’ strip, measure 11’’ from the clean edge and cut parallelly to the clean edge. I like to double-check the placement of the ruler by checking if it’s:

  • Parallel to the clean (side) edge
  • Perpendicular to the top and bottom edges

STEP 6
Continue by cutting the rest of the WOF strips listed in the cutting directions.

After you’ve cut all the WOF strips, continue by subcutting these strips to the specified sizes. 

Cutting the Background for a Throw Size Quilt

Due to the longer background pieces required for the throw size quilt, you’ll see (if you look at the diagrams on page 5) that the long strips run parallel to the selvages.

Because of this, the process of folding the fabric for cutting will be a bit different. Here is how to do it:

Step 1

STEP 1
Instead of folding one selvage across to the other, fold the fabric from one cut line over to the other (see the illustration below). Align both layers of each selvage, so you get even edges on both sides.

Step 2

STEP 2
Fold again, so you get a more manageable width. Take the folded edge up to the (rageddy) cut lines but place it about an inch below the lines.

Step 3

STEP 3
Clean up the rageddy cut lines. Place the ruler parallel to the folded line. Cut away the excess fabric so you get a clean line. Important! DO not cut away the fold. Cut about half an inch above the fold!

Step 4

STEP 4
Cut away the selvage (parallel to the selvage and perpendicular to the folded edges).

Step 5

STEP 5
Now that you have the fabric ready, you can start cutting the strips listed in the cutting directions on page 4 of the Mirror Maze pattern. 

So if the instructions say Cut (1) 16’’ x 1 ⅞ yd. strip, measure 16’’ from the clean edge and cut parallelly to the clean edge. I like to double check the placement of the ruler by checking if it’s:

  • Parallel to the clean (side) edge
  • Perpendicular to the top and bottom edges

STEP 6
Continue by cutting the rest of the 1 ⅞ yd. strips listed in the cutting directions.

After you’ve cut all the 1 ⅞ yd.  strips, continue by subcutting these strips to the specified sizes. 

Cut the Color A and B fabrics (Limited-Color Version)

Phewww! These background fabric cutting instructions were a lot.

Luckily, it gets easier from now on. If making the limited color version, you’ll now need to cut the color A and color B fabrics. The process here is pretty much the same as the process for crib size background fabric – refer to the detailed instructions above.

Cut the Scraps (Multi-Color Version)

If you’re making a multi-color scrappy version, you don’t need colors A and B. Instead, you’ll need the listed number of multi-color squares and some additional rectangles. Please see the final cuts list (page 6) for the exact number and sizes.

The cutting process will depend on the size of the pieces of fabric (scraps) you’re starting with, so I’ve got no special tips here. Except maybe use some washi tape to mark the required sizes of the squares on your rulers to speed up the process a bit. This is how I marked mine to make cutting the 6’’ squares a bit faster:

Cutting squares

Week 2 Conclusion

And that’s all for this week! After you’ve done all the cutting, I recommend you go through the final cuts list on page 6 of the Mirror Maze pattern to check that you’ve got everything cut and ready to go.

And that’s all for this week! After you’ve done all the cutting, I recommend you go through the final cuts list on page 6 of the Mirror Maze pattern to check that you’ve got everything cut and ready to go.

Mirror Maze cut fabrics

Because next week we start sewing. Yaaay! We can’t wait to speak to you then!

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