Let’s start with a project –
Each of my blogs will take you further along the path of making Star Struck, a quilt full of Sawtooth Stars. (click on the link or photo for the PDF version of the pattern)
Since I do the beginning classes here, at The Stitchin’ Post, I wanted to share some of my basic, yet helpful, techniques that work well. These techniques include: cutting, piecing, special rulers, and pressing, among other things.
Let’s start with cutting – (fabrics I am showing in the pictures are the ones I am using in this pattern)
I would call myself an upscale traditional quilter, I like the traditional blocks and piecing them, but I really like today’s contemporary fabrics. I also look at blocks and see where I can streamline the cutting process.
In this pattern, the Sawtooth Stars are made using the “flying geese” method. I will be showing you another cutting method using the Omnigrid 96 and 98 triangle rulers (...but that's next time).
First we have to straighten our fabrics and cut strips for the stars and the backgrounds. We are going to be cutting the triangle pieces for 4” and 8” Sawtooth Stars.
First of all, straighten the fabric – and to do this, you need two rulers;
1) 6 or 6 ½” x 24” ruler
2) and a smaller square ruler as a 6 ½” or 9 ½” square ruler.
Lay your fabric on your cutting mat, fold toward you and selvages edges along the top of the mat. Line up your square ruler along the bottom (fold) edge of the fabric, and scoot it toward the left. When you are close to the left-hand side of the fabric, lay your 24” ruler next to the square ruler. Remove the square ruler and cut the fabric, getting your straight edge.
(Note, right-handed directions – lefties need to reverse.)
Now the 8” stars will use 2 ½” strips and the 4” stars will use 1 ½” strips.
Next step, I line up my long ruler along the 4” line and make a cut,
then slide it to the 2 ½” line and make a cut. Pick up the ruler and you have the 2 ½” strip and the 1 ½” strip needed for the stars.
Your background piece will also be either a 2 ½” strip or a 1 ½” strip, so cut some of these.
Streamline Cutting Process:
Why cut this way? Every time you cut a strip, move your ruler away, and pick up the strip, then lay your ruler down to cut another strip, there is the chance that straight edge can get OFF just a bit and that is the start to pieces not being straight.
So if you are cutting, for example, several 1 ½” strips, straighten the left-hand edge, using your 6" wide ruler, line up the 6” line along the straightened left-hand edge, make a cut, slide the ruler left to the 4½” line, make a cut, then slide to the 3” line, cut, and finally 1 ½” line, cut –
Now pick up your cut pieces.
I am going to cut a 1 ½” x 42” strip and a 2 ½” x 42” strip from each of my 10 fabrics. And I am ready for next time – where I will demonstrate cutting with the triangle rulers.