Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Roundabout Quilt-Along - Cutting

**  NOTE  - This post is part of a series of posts for the Roundabout Quilt-Along.  If you would like to join (and have a chance to win one of three $75.00 Gift Certificates from Fat Quarter Shop ) you can find a list of the post links here :)  Here is the schedule
September 13th - Cutting - That's Today!!!
September 27th - Flying Geese
October 11th - Half Square Triangles with Goosed Corners
October 25th - Drunkards Path
November 8th - Building Blocks
November 22nd - Piecing Top and Grand Prize Linky
December 13th - Roundabout Parade and Grand Prize Winners

So here we are at September 13th and I am so excited for everyone to get going!!! So let's get right to it :)  


All of the cutting will be done using the same type of charts that we have been using so far.  Simply find the project that you are making and that will tell you the cutting you need to do.   Here is the finished sizing chart, just in case you need a reminder of what project you are doing :)


We will start but cutting out all of the "print" fabrics. - And before you start any cutting, be sure to read through to the end of the post.  I added some helpful hints after the charts to aid you in your cutting ;)

Using the chart below, cut the squares for your desired size and layout from each of your Fat Quarters.  Label the squares as indicated.  This will make it easier when we are doing the piecing of each unit in the future.  DP is Drunkard Path, FG is Flying Geese, GC is Goose in the Corner, and HST is Half Square Triangle.

So, for example if you were doing the 2 x 2 layout in a 21" size block, you would cut (1) 8 1/4" x 8 1/4" square labeled FG, (2) 8" x 8" squares labeled HST, (4) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" squares labeled DP, and (4) 4" x 4" squares labeled GC from your first fabric.  Then repeat that process for the remaining 3 Fat Quarters so that you have cut each of the pieces from all 4 fat quarters. (see below for stacking hints to speed it up a bit ;)

And if you have a hard time seeing any of these charts, just click on them and they should get larger on your screen ;)


And now, we can move onto the background fabric :)

***First off, I need to apologize.  I check, and check, and check again all of my measurements before posting the very first post.  But somehow I managed to forget adding in the yardage for the center square in the block design.  I don't know how in the world I missed it, but I did.  So I have gone back in and added that amount into the background fabric needed.  Depending on the size quilt you choose, you can probably get away without having to buy anymore background fabric if you cut without any waste.  But some of you, might have to get up to 1 yard of fabric more.  Again, I am so sorry for this inconvenience.  (I have to go buy another yard for my project as well :)  I hope it doesn't cause to much trouble for anyone.

Using the chart below, cut the squares for your desired size and layout from your background fabric.  Label the squares as indicated.  Again, the FG, DP, GC, and HST stand for the same thing as in the Print Fabrics and the CS stands for Center Square.  I listed the units in the order you cut them.

So, for example if you were doing the 2 x 2 layout in a 21" size block, you would cut (8) 8" x 8" squares and label them HST, (4) 7 1/2" x 7 1/2" squares and label them CS, and (16) 4 3/8" x 4 3/8" squares and label them FG, (32) 4" x 4" squares and label them DP and finally, (16) 4" x 4" squares and label them GC.

So now that you know what you need to to cut, let's talk about some tips to help in your cutting.


Here are a few helpful cutting tips and tidbits .  This is the way I like to cut, but of course,  it is not the only way to cut, so if you do it different, great :)  Do what you are comfortable with.  There just might be some tidbits that could save you some time and/or eliminate waste.

First let's talk about cutting your Fat Quarters :)

Always press your fabrics first, it takes time but will help in keeping your pieces accurate.  I like to keep my iron at a super hot setting and use a little extra water from a spay bottle if I have any creases or folds that don't want to come out with a simple pass of the iron.  And hey,  this is a great time to watch a fun flick as well, bonus!

Next, square up your Fat Quarter to 18" x 21".  This is super important if you are doing the 21" block as you will be using 18" x 20 3/4" of your fat quarter.   Squaring up your Fat Quarter just makes sub-cutting all your pieces that much quicker and is a helpful step to speed things up later down the line.  It also means you keep a nice selvage on the side, just in case you save those ;)

Now, you can cut your Fat Quarter into the three strips you will need for sub-cutting your pieces.  Cut a strip that is the width of your Drunkard Path pieces (3 1/2" or 4" or 4 1/2" x 18") , then cut a strip that is the width of your Half Square Triangle pieces (6" or 7" or 8" x 18") , and finally cut a strip that is the width of your Flying Geese pieces (6 1/4" or 7 1/4" or 8 1/4" x 18").  

Then, you can simply sub-cut the pieces you need from your strips.  From the DP strip, sub-cut the 4 DP squares.  If you are doing the 21" block there will be no scrap leftover, the other 2 sizes you will have a little scrap remaining.   From the HST strip, sub-cut the 2 HST Squares.  From the FG strip, sub-cut the 1 FG square. Then trim the remaining strip by 1/4" and sub-cut the remaining 4 GC squares as shown below.  Again, you will only have 1/4" strip remaining of your Fat Quarter if you are doing the 21" block, if you are doing the other 2 sizes, you will have a larger scrap strip leftover. 

I found that since it super helpful to use marking arrows on my cutting mat (you don't have to have these fancy stickers, you can just use post-it's) to mark where you are squaring up and sub-cutting your strips.  This really speed things up as I didn't have to count every time :)  I used the blue arrows to mark where I was squaring up my Fat Quarter and the Pink arrows to mark the sub-cutting strips.

Then all I had to do was slide the DP strip an inch to the left and the FG strip an inch to the left and I could sub-cut all my pieces without having to shift anything else.    And if you are like me and want to stack up a few fat quarters to speed up cutting, shifting as little as possible really helps to keep everything aligned ;)    And speaking of stacking up, don't feel like you have to if you are not comfortable, but if you are, be sure you have a sharp rotary blade so the fabrics don't shift as you cut through.  I cut up to 5 Fat Quarters at a time, but again, do what you are comfortable with and be sure to align each fat quarter on top of the other one at a time so you are sure that you can square it up properly.

 So with that,  lets move onto some helpful tidbits in cutting your Background fabrics :)

Again, Always press your fabrics first!!!  Getting out all those wrinkles from hanging out on the bolt will ensure greater accuracy in your cutting with only saves time and headaches down the line when we are piecing!

Whenever cutting yardage, I always like to cut with the fold in my fabric lined up along the 0 horizontal line on my cutting mat.  I always start by cutting a straight edge along the left hand side of my fabric.  If I am cutting a print fabric, I will also trim the selvages from the top of my fabric.  But I don't bother with that in the case of solid yardage :)   And to save time, I have my fabric folded over from the right as well so I am actually cutting through 4 layers.  Again, only do this if you are comfortable with that and be sure to have a sharp blade in your rotary cutter.

I like to cut my fabrics into the strips that I need first.  I cut all the strips of a particular size and use the lines on my mat as cutting guides rather than my rulers.  (but you can always use another rulers as a double check as well which is super helpful with those trickier 3/8 or 7/8 cuts ;)

Then without moving my strips, I turn my ruler horizontal and sub-cut the strip using the horizontal lines on my mat.   Start by trimming the selvage if you didn't already do that.  When sub-cutting, I always start at the top of my strip and work my way down, thus allowing the scrap to be on the fold and creating 1 large scrap instead of 2 small scraps.

And before you know it, you have all of the squares you need.  Any extra of that strip (the part under the ruler) can normally be sub-cut  into smaller pieces needed thus eliminating waste. (That is why in the background we are cutting the smallest size last ;)   This allows me to cut a lot of pieces quickly.  Then at this point, I would move to cutting the next size strips and repeat until all your pieces are cut.  

And I think that just about covers it!!!


I hope these cutting tips help :)  I know that with the different sizes and layouts it can easily be confusing, so if you have any questions at all please don't hesitate to ask in a comment or email me at  :)   Here's my fabrics all cut up!!! (and of course, my CS are missing as I have to go buy more fabric for those, sorry again for that inconvenience!!)  I just love cutting up a new project (I know, I am a little weird that way ;)  But I hope you find this assignment enjoyable and that with the little helpful hints it goes nice and quick for you ;)  So sharpen your blade and go to it . . . and once you are done be sure to enter to win the bi-weekly prize!!!

The Bi-Weekly Prize is being sponsored by the Green Fairy Quilts and a huge thanks goes to them for their support of the Roundabout Quilt-Along.

This weeks prize is 3 Timeless Charm Packs!!!  And that means one lucky participant will get 3 Charm Packs of Jo Morton's gorgeous new line ;)


So what do you have to do for a chance to win these 3 splendid pre-cuts ?  Simple . . . Just link up your fabrics all cut up at the end of this post :)  You can link to a blog post, flickr picture, Instagram, Facebook . . .  or whatever.  Just make sure to link up by the end of the day on September 26th as I will be announcing a winner at the beginning of the next post :)

If you don't get your cutting by September 26th you can still link it up :) (just not in time for the prize :)    The linky will remain open until the end of the Quilt-A-Long.  So if your out of town, or just had two busy weeks, no worries!!!  Just link up when you can :)

And Don't forget to add your beautiful cut up fabric to the Happy Quilting Quilt-A-Long Flickr group and to post it on social media with using #roundaboutquiltalong.    I am so excited to see all of your beautiful fabrics all cut up ;)

So let's get cutting!!!  And if you have questions, don't hesitate to email me at  Have a Happy Quilting Day!!

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Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I just love hearing from you!!
Have a Happy Quilting Day :)