Rotary cutting fabric and some super simple basics and tips. I’m assuming you have a cutting mat, rotary cutter and a ruler. If you are stuck on choosing your fabrics, get some help here . . .

I just wanted to mention that it is not too late to sign up for the Focus 2020 Quilt Along! You can sign up here!

I like the 45mm cutter and my absolute favourite ruler is a 3″ X 18″ that has 1/4″ markings on it. I use this ruler for almost everything. I recommend using the same ruler for all your cutting, because believe it or not you can have variances in your cutting when you switch or use several rulers.

Favourite Rotary Cutting Fabric Tips

Tip #1

Starch your fabrics before cutting. Here is a good homemade spray starch recipe.

Tip #2

Line up your fabrics at the bottom and side lines on your cutting mat. I like to use an even numbered line on my mat.

Tip #3

Once you have measured and have the ruler lined up, ensure that is not going to move. I use my pinkie placed off the ruler but against it on the fabric.

Tip #4

Cut fabrics when you can focus to avoid making mistakes.

Tip #5

Take short cutting strokes with the cutter where you are holding it in place, then when you move your hand position, continue cutting.

With these tips in hand, let’s get to cutting!

Action Step for Week 2 Part One

Rotary cutting mat, cutter and ruler with one block of Focus 2020 pieces
Rotary Cutting one block for Focus 2020

I like to break up my cutting over several days. Cut your background fabric on one day following the cutting instructions in the pattern. Over the next several days cut your block pieces. I usually cut half one day and the other half the next day.

As you cut each fabric lay the pieces all together.

When all of your blocks are cut, you will need to mix them. And by this I mean taking 2 of the 4 squares that measure 3 7/8″ and swap them with two different ones. These pieces will give you the two fabrics for the HST blocks in the centre of each block.

Once that is done, keep all of pieces for each block organized together.

Action Step Part Two – Snowball Corners

We are going to take all your 2″ squares and draw a diagonal line on the back of every one.

Then using your freshly cut 3 1/2″ background squares you are going to place a 2″ square across one corner with the diagonal line going from centre to centre on a background square right sides together.

Then stitch on the drawn line.

snowball corners infographic for Focus 2020

***I use a streamlined process so I will get all the squares ready, pin them all and then use chain piecing to stitch them all. Chain piecing just means you feed each piece through your machine without cutting the thread until they are all stitched.

I usually do the process in steps. For example, I will draw the lines, it takes a few minutes. Next time I pin them all and finally I chain piece them.

The next step is to trim the corners off. This is where I really love my ruler with the 1/4″ markings. I line up the 1/4″ marking on the stitching line and trim off the corner.

Then we need to set the seam, flip the corner out and press.

Snowball corners are done!

If you are wishing you had signed up for the Focus 2020 Quilt Along, you still can right here!

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