Island Chain - 1 - Cutting

Posted by Wanda Milankov on

Welcome to the thimbles & things’ fourth Quilt Along. Each installment will guide you through the making of an “Island Chain” quilt by Eye Candy Quilts. Please feel free to ask questions or comment. Your insights may help other participants.

Let’s get started! There is no sewing this time, just fabric gathering and cutting.

You will need:

- the pattern: Island Chain by Eye Candy Quilts (available online HERE)

- your fabric collection

- a rotary cutter with a sharp blade

- cutting mat

- a ruler

- pins

- pencil or Frixion® pen (available online HERE)

- 7 storage containers (plastic sandwich bags, paper envelopes or any small containers you have handy)

We are going to mark up the pattern a little. I would suggest using a Frixion® pen as any erroneous marks can be ironed or rubbed off easily and it’s more visible. Keep the pencil or Frixion® pen handy for making notes or checking off the steps as we get them done.

  1. Read through the WHOLE pattern...yes, the WHOLE pattern. This will give you an idea of what is ahead. Don’t worry if you have found it a bit confusing, it will all make sense as you follow our Quilt Along.
  2. Number the pattern pages from 1 to 7.
  3. Decide on the size of quilt you are making, version #1 - 83½” x 83½” or version #2 -75” x 75”, and cross off any reference to the version you are not doing. For example, I am going to make version #2, therefore I will cross off the section titled Version No.1 at the bottom of page 1 and the top of page 2, and all of page 6.

Now lets talk about the fabrics. The quilt pictured on the pattern cover has a neutral background and every block has a different turquoise/green featured fabric, hence the pattern name “Island Chain”. The author must have enjoyed the blue waters of the Caribbean at some point. Your colour choice is personal. Are you an “Autumn in Muskoka” fan? This would be gold, orange, red, brown and some green. How about “A Psychedelic Punch”...a dark background with bright primary colours? Or “Tranquil Time”...a light soft background with honey gold. Then there is always “Scrap Happy”...anything goes! As I say the choice is yours.

  1. Label the 7 storage containers A to G.
  2. Read the tips below then go ahead and cut the Background fabric pieces for the BLOCKS only as listed on page 1 and set them aside in the appropriate storage containers. By the way, the pattern asks for 2⅜” cuts. Yes, you can round up to 2½” but some accuracy will be lost later, so I do not recommend it.


  • A ruler is much more accurate than the markings on the cutting board, therefore, avoid using the board for measurement when cutting your fabric.
  • Press your fabrics before cutting. Line up the selvedge edges together and press. Sometimes the manufacturer’s center fold is not accurate.
  • If you are working with fat quarters, stack 2 to 4 together by lining up the selvage edges. Press.
  • Cut away a thin strip off the outer edge to ensure a straight edge before beginning to cut your pieces.
  • Cut the larger pieces first.


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