(Please note that this post contains affiliate links.)
(These fabrics have all been recently bought from Sew Stitching Happy. See the bottom of this post for fabric names.)
My very favorite part of the quilting process is combining fabrics. I absolutely love patchwork and the mis-matched patterns and colors that somehow look lovely together in a quilt.
My second favorite part is hand sewing on the binding. It’s quite repetitive and brainless, and it’s something that can be done from the comfort of a couch while I sit with family.
While I enjoy the cutting and piecing, I have to take breaks often. I tend to cut a little and then sew a little. Then I cut a little more and sew a bit more. It is by far NOT the most efficient way to quilt. I don’t enjoy chain piecing, and I typically don’t use techniques that can make piecing go much faster. For some reason the chain piecing and other efficiency techniques overwhelm me a bit.
BUT, one efficiency technique I have embraced is cutting with a slotted ruler. Have you ever used them? I kind of felt like I was cheating the first time I used one. I’m working on a Takes the Cake quilt by Thimble Blossoms, and I was able to cut all these uniform square SO FAST using a slotted ruler.
Here’s how a slotted ruler works, in case you’ve never seen one before.
I am right handed. If you are left handed, all the instructions below will likely be opposite for you.
1. Cut a straight edge on your fabric. If your fabric has a pattern, use the pattern as your guide. It’s always pleasant when your fabric pattern is square with your quilt blocks. Otherwise, use the fabric grain or edge of the fabric as a guide.
2. Flip your fabric over. Put your straight edge on the left side. Fold up the fabric and line up the edges on the left hand side.
3. Here’s the fun part. Below is a slotted ruler. At every inch and half inch, there is a slot for your rotary cutter. It’s just a little sit large enough for your to run your rotary cutter.
Take your slotted ruler and line up the bottom edge of the fabric and the straight edge.
4. Since I am cutting three inch squares, I cut in the 3 inch, 6 inch, 9 inch, 12 inch, 15 inch, and 18 inch slots.
Below I now have six perfect 3 inch strips of fabric.
5. Stack up three or four strips on top of each other. Ensure they are lined up well.
6. Line up your slotted ruler yet again. Cut at the 0 inch, 3 inch, 6 inch, and so on.
7. Remove your ruler and you now have 18 or more perfect three inch squares.
Really quick, huh?
This technique obviously works just as well for 1 inch or 2 inch squares too.
The fabrics pictured here are:
Green gingham – Carolina gingham in Seafoam by Robert Kaufman
Coral gingham – Carolina gingham in Coral by Robert Kaufman
Blue leaf – Flutter and Buzz by Heather Rosa
Purple floral – Little Dolly Rose Lilac by Elea Lutz
Yellow floral – Little Dolly Rose Yellow by Elea Lutz
Pink floral – Little Dolly Rose pink by Elea Lutz
Eyelashes – Luna 40 Winks on white
Blue stripes – Sevenberry Petite basics
Cursive writing – Bee Backgrounds Penmanship by Lori Holt
Black + white dots – Sevenberry Petite dot in jet black
Black + white stripe – Yes, Please 1 inch stripe by Jen Allyson of My Mind’s Eye
Hexagons – Bee Backgrounds Honeycomb by Lori Holt
Yellow background floral – Meriwether Golden Folk Fleur by Amy Gibson
Pink, orange, + yellow floral with white background – Sevenberry Petite Garden in Sunshine
Pink, turquoise, + orange floral with white backgroud – Hidden Garden Meadow Frolic by Miriam Bos