Sew Lets QAL: Block 12 Rotary Cutter

Hi! Welcome to Block 12 of the Sew Let’s Quilt Along!

You’ll find the details of the quilt along on the Sew Lets QAL tab above. Here’s the short version: we’re presenting the blocks for this quilt along in segments. To win a prize, make all the blocks from that segment, then upload a photo of them at the end of that segment.

This is Block 12 in the quilt along and the third block in Segment 3. There will be four blocks in this segment, released every two weeks. To enter for the Segment 3 prize, you must finish all four Segment 3 blocks and post a photo of them at the end of Segment 3. The prize winner for Segment 3 will be announced on September 10th. Click here to view the QAL schedule and to learn more about it.

To enter for the Grand Prize at the end of the quilt along, you’ll need to either make a quilt using all 13 blocks in the quilt along, or make one or more projects that together include all the blocks. The quilt along doesn’t end until September 10th, and you’ll have until September 23rd to finish your quilt top and projects. If you are making projects and want to get a head start on them here’s a link to my project suggestions for the Segment 1 blocks and the Segment 2 blocks. I’ll have more project suggestions at the end of Segment 3.

Block 12: Rotary Cutter

This week’s block is a rotary cutter. The designer of Block 12 is Sandy @ SandyStar Designs and you can download the pattern there.

Here’s my version of Sandy’s block.

My Tips and Tutorials for Making This Block

Here are my tips for making the Rotary Cutter block.

my Fabric Pull

I am going to use my Rotary Cutter block in the same project as the Buttons block, so I needed to make it half-size like the Buttons block.

For my fabric pull, I started with the Buttons block and the coordinating fabric I’m going to use for the project. I selected a nice blue, teal, and green fabric for the “fabric” portion of the block. For the background I chose a dark teal I thought looked like a cutting mat.

For the rotary cutter portion of the block, I stuck to traditional and chose colors that looked like my actual rotary cutter—bright yellow, black, and grey.

Curious about what I’m making? Stay tuned to the end of Segment 3 in the quilt along where I’ll share my projects for this segment.

Sew the half-rectangle correctly

Mark and cut the rectangles as instructed in Step 1 of the pattern. Be sure to mark and cut each rectangle separately—don’t try to stack them or you might end up with one right and one wrong rectangle.

Sewing the triangles together is perhaps the only real tricky part. Just be sure to line up the triangles as shown here, leaving a small triangle of fabric on either side.

Press well and trim your half-rectangle to 3-1/2” x 6-1/2” as instructed in Step 2.

SEW the background

Sewing up the background is pretty straight forward. To help, I layout the pieces so I know which ones to sew together first. Sandy indicates how you should press the block units as you sew them together. Here’s the back of my block.

Print out the templates

After you get the background sewn together, it’s time to create the rotary cutter applique.

Start by printing out the templates on page 3. Use the 1” square to ensure that the templates are the correct size. Print at 100% and DO NOT scale the pattern to fit.

I’m going to use the Rotary Cutter block in the same project as the Buttons block so it also needs to be smaller. Like before I reduced the templates so they would fit on my block which will finish at 6-1/2”. To do that, I simply printed the template page at 50% size. Notice that the size of my test square was 1/2”. Oh boy! <grin>

Applique the Rotary Cutter

Trace the templates onto fusible web, fuse the web onto the back of your fabrics, and cut them out on the line. I labeled my pieces for easier assembly of the rotary cutter. I also added the a letter indicating the color fabric to make it easier to fuse each template to the right fabric.

When I’m appliqueing something with lots of pieces like this rotary cutter, I assemble it in parts on my pressing sheet then move it to the background in one piece. In this case I started with the rotary wheel, fusing piece F onto piece E.

Next, I fused the F-E piece onto the circle D. I wanted my rotary cutter to look realistic so I to align it properly I first centered FE on D then slid FE off just a little to show the blade open. I used my actual rotary cutter as a guide (children do not do this at home <grin>).

Next, I fused C onto A to create the handle then fused the blade part onto the handle. I again used my rotary cutter as a guide for placement being very careful of that open blade.

I added the hole (piece B) last. I made mine black although you could make yours the color of your background to make it look more like a hole.

Finally, I fused the rotary cutter in place on the background. Be sure to place the end of the handle at least 1/4” from the right edge so it doesn’t get caught in the seam.

Edge-stitch the applique

Edge-stitch your applique to finish the edges. I use a straight stitch and matching thread. If you’ve never machine appliqued before, click here for a step by step photo tutorial.

I edge-stitched my applique using Aurifil 50 wt. #2692 (Black) and #2120 (Canary) and Wonderfil Konfetti 50 wt. KT905 (Sterling Grey).

Trim Your Block

Assemble your block, press well, and trim to it’s final size—12-1/2” (or 6-1/2” in my case.)

Thanks for the Tips! Where do I get the pattern?

Drop by Sandy’s blog to download your free Rotary Cutter block pattern. Hurry! The pattern is only available for free until September 21st.

Here are the hosts for Segment 3. Drop by their blogs to view their versions of this block and to read their tips for making it.

Abbie @ Sparkle On
April @ JANDA Bend Quilts
Bobbi @ Snowy Days Quilting
Jennifer @ Inquiring Quilter (that’s me!)
Kathleen @ Kathleen McMusing
Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats
Sherry @ Powered by Quilting
Becca @ Pretty Piney Quilts
Sandy @ SandyStar Designs

How Do I Enter the Giveaway?

First, you must be 18 years old to enter.

Unlike previous quilt alongs, you only need to make the blocks to enter the segment giveaways. Here’s how it works: First, make all the blocks in Segment 3 (there will be four blocks—this one is the third block in Segment 3). Then at the end of Segment 3, post a photo of all blocks in that Segment to enter the giveaway. If you want to see the schedule for the quilt along and the list of block designers, click here.

When it’s time, you’ll post a single photo of all the blocks in Segment 3 to one of the following places to enter the Segment giveaway:

  • On Instagram, with the hashtag #sewletsqal

  • In our private Facebook group

  • To the linky on any of the host’s blogs

Remember, you don’t have to get the blocks done until it’s time to post a photo of all the blocks in Segment 3 and enter our Segment Prize giveaway. Personally though I’d make the blocks when they come out so you don’t fall behind.

Here’s what you might win by making all the Segment 3 blocks:

Plus you’ll receive a free PDF pattern of your choice for each of these Partners in Design:

Plus this free PDF pattern from April!

Again to enter for the Segment 3 Prize Giveaway, you need only make the four blocks in the segment. Later, to enter our Grand Prize Giveaway at the end of the quilt along you’ll need to use all 13 blocks to make a quilt or a series of projects. For ideas on projects you might make with your blocks visit my Segment 1 Projects post and my Segment 2 Projects post.

Thanks for stopping by! The next block will be released August 13th. We’ll also be presenting more project suggestions at the end of this segment for those of you not making a quilt with our blocks. Don’t miss it!

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Tell me…what are you planning to do with your block?

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