Having been given a jelly roll and a quilting book for Christmas 2010, there is no excuse not to get on with quiltmaking.

Here's what happened next...


Saturday, 15 January 2011

Project 1 - Start

Here we go - actual piecing fabric - hurrah!

I started with my fabric squares and sewed them together in strings of three.

Once I'd done all of those, I chopped them in half lengthwise.

And this evening I've been playing with the layouts of the mats & runner.

I need to tag the extra spare half brick onto the start of row 2 & 4 for each mat from the pile of spare squares.

And I need to re-do a couple of the 3 run blocks, due to the cutter not following the ruler line. Running the cutter against the ruler is harder than you would think! It had a mind of it's own on three of my cuts - another thing that needs more practise.

This aside, I'm pleased with today!


  1. Looking good - no stopping you at present.

    Tip for safe rotary cutting: you can only stabilise the area that is under your hand at any time, it is OK to run the rotary cutter for 8 - 10", then gently reposition your hand, cut again and so on. You don't need to press down on the ruler so hard it slips on the mat, just apply enough force to keep everything stationary.

    Trying to over-reach and do a whole 24" cut in one go is when your right hand will slip and probably head straight for your left thumb or index finger. NEVER UNDER-ESTIMATE THE ABILITY OF A ROTARY CUTTER TO SLICE THROUGH YOUR SKIN. And blood makes an awful mess of good quilting fabric ....

  2. PS: your kitchen is everso tidy ......

    PPS: your wine glass needs a refill!

  3. I guess that the cutter is another practise area - I can hold the ruler straight down with confidence with spread fingers to even the pressure over the - say - 12" spread, but I find the cutter will wibble around away from the ruler unless I angle it 'just so'.

    Looking at the ease that it whizzes through fabric, I have a healthy regard for it, and exercise a great deal of caution!

    Even so, the ease that it veers off and f**** the carefully pieced strips.... agh! But at least it was not me!

    I confess - I had 12 strips of three to cut, and I ruining at least part of two of them.

    PS - oh, yes, the kitchen contines to delight - and you would not think that I had Nigel Slater on the go just an hour or so before - a photocpy of his chicken and bean stew on the worktop there - the foil dishes in the background hold the rest of it, cooling, to freeze.

    PPS It got one! :)

  4. Woo hoo, a start!! Looking good. Using the rotary cutter is an art in itself, first make absolutely sure it's on the mat and not the ruler, then angle it slightly into the ruler as you cut. Also make sure you're cutting on a firm surface, your kitchen counter (which is the right height for cutting) rather than the ironing board. As Bilbo suggests, cut manageable sections to start with and move your hand up the ruler as you go. Another thing I notice some people doing with the longer rulers is having it hanging over the edge of the mat, when they lean over to cut the furthest edge they bump the end of the ruler and move it. Also, always cut AWAY from yourself!!

  5. The only thing I can add is to always make sure you close the cutter before you put it down. If you're as clumsy as me, it's going to take a few dives onto the floor. Imagine if a bare toe got in the way, or if you tried to catch it as it fell. Yes, OK, that's the voice of experience as I've had both those happen (more than once) and been very glad I'd closed and locked it first!

  6. It all comes with time and experience! The height of your cutting board is important. I either use the worktop in my sewing room - a good height to stand and cut, or the dining table - a good height to sit and cut. With both, I cut away from me and yes, stop and re-position your hand if you need to.

    Good luck. I'm sure it will look great when it's done.

  7. Thank you for this, girls - I have adjusted my cutting technique according to your suggestions! I'm now cutting away from me, not side to side, and cutting on the worktop, rather than the ironing board.

  8. Good girl, ironing boards are never stable enough for accurate cutting :}


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