The Making of a Quilt (ballerina) – Cutting

by Kate on March 28, 2011

For those of you who have missed the first two installments of the ‘making of a quilt’ series, I have linked to them below.

Monday 14th March: Making of a quilt – Planning
Monday 21st March: Making of a Quilt – Fabric

Given my ‘near-digit-loss’ experience with a rotary cutter, I don’t really think I am in any position to doll out advice. For what it’s worth though, here are the things I now do when cutting fabric.

  • Take your time.
  • Always press fabric before cutting.
  • Change blades regularly and use a good cutting mat.
  • When cutting Liberty, voile’s or slippery linen I always give it a really good spray with starch.
  • Take your time.
  • After my ‘accident’ I invested in a sew easy ruler that comes with the rotary blade built in and encased. The best $60 I ever spent.
  • If I am cutting smaller pieces of fabric and revert to my rotary cutter I always check to make sure there are no stray fingers hanging over the ruler.
  • Take your time.

My more recent quilts have been made without a plan so lots of cutting, piecing and trimming goes on. This quilt was a little more thought out and because I can only grab an hour or so at a time I find it helps to be organised.

The ballerina quilt is made up of 6 different blocks, comprising of both prints and a white solid, each block is drawn to scale on graph paper. I then break each block down to determine what I need to cut of each fabric as well as quantities.

I grab some sticky paper and write out block 1, block 2, block 3 etc etc. I also note what sizes of fabric I need to cut for each block, whether it is a print or white solid and I tick them off as I cut each piece. You can see this in the picture below.

The Making of a Quilt (ballerina) - Cutting

I started with the white solid first and then moved onto each different print until all fabric has been cut.

Next week, I will be covering the piecing of the ballerina quilt. Let me know if you have any questions.

See you then!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tania March 28, 2011 at 11:17 am

Goodness. By the time you’re through, I reckon I might just be able to pull together a REAL quilt. Ten digits and all.


2 Kate March 28, 2011 at 4:17 pm

What do you call your red quilt? If that’s not a ‘real’ quilt, I don’t know what is! ;)


3 Mel March 28, 2011 at 1:07 pm

The mere mention of the ‘near digit loos’ still sends chills up my spine. I change my blade fairly often but I’m still always amazed by what a HUGE difference it makes! Similar to using a new needle in the machine – suddenly it’s like a hot knife through butter … hopefully not skin *shudder*.


4 Ruth March 28, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Oooooh! This is so exciting! Can’t wait to see the finished quilt after all your fabulously meticulous planning.


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