Saturday, December 29, 2018

Cutting Lots of Quilt Blocks Efficiently

I don't mind cutting, but I definitely like sewing more, so I try to be as efficient as I can when cutting out my pieces.  Sub cutting units from strips is a great way to speed up the process, so I do that when I can.  I also use strip piecing when I can - a great example of this is making four patch units.  The fabrics I am using are from Island Batik for use in my December Challenge.

My current challenge project needs a total of 64 four patch blocks that are made using 2 /12 inch squares.  I cut 2 1/2 inch strips, and sewed these in pairs as needed for my blocks.  I use my June Tailor Shape Cut ruler and stack up my units to cut all of the pieces needed in just a short amount of time.

 I place the pairs of strip sets right sides together, nesting my seams.  I use a line on the cutting mat to make sure my strips are laying perfectly straight - I let the ends of the strips hang off the far edge of the mat.
 I pair up a second set of strips and lay them down 2 inches above the first set of strips, once again making sure to line the top edge up with a line on the mat.
 The third set goes another 2 inches above. 
 Since the shape cut is 12 inches tall, there is enough room for my fourth set as well, so I can cut all of my strip sets at once!
 Line up the bottom edge of the first strip set with the 0 line on the ruler.  Trim at the first slot on the ruler, then make a cut every 2 1/2 inches for a total of four cuts.
 With just a few swipes of the rotary cutter, I've cut 16 patches!
I transfer them to a design board, then move my ruler to cut the next set.  I can cut three sets, then I have to move the remaining fabric and line it all up again, but as the pieces are short it doesn't take long.  It literally only took a few minutes to cut all my four patches and then I'm ready to sew them all up!

I also cut a big batch of units for Flying Geese.  All in all, a very pleasant afternoon of sewing units for my project!  With any luck, tomorrow I'll have a top ready...

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