Your Family quilt-along week 2

Your Family quilt-along week 2

Cutting the fabric

Hello! Do you have your equipment and fabric ready? If not, you can go back to quilt-along week 1 and make sure you have everything you need. If you’ve got everything ready, then let’s get quilting!

Using the rotary cutter

A rotary cutter is like a pizza cutter. They come in a variety of sizes, including 28mm, 45mm, and 60mm. You’d choose a size based on whether you’re planning to cut small or large curves, but Jenny finds that a 45mm rotary cutter is suitable for all her quilting projects.

There are different safety catches depending on the make. Some rotary cutters have blades where you have to push a button or lever to open and close it. Others have a handle to squeeze to release the blade, and when you let go of the handle, the blade retracts. When you put the rotary cutter down, always make sure the blade is retracted.

Cutting mat

Cutting mats can either have one side printed with a grid and the other side plain, or both sides printed with a grid, one in metric and the other in inches. We will be using the grid marked in inches.

Quilter’s ruler

To make a quilt you will be proud of, you need to cut very accurately. Your ruler should have clear markings because over time the ruler becomes faded and difficult to read. Make sure the edges of the ruler are smooth and free of nicks, generally caused by misuse of the rotary cutter.

Always work on a flat hard surface so that the ruler does not move. The kitchen countertop height is a good height to work on. This also prevents back pain from too much bending. To cut, place the blade against the edge of your ruler. Hold the ruler down firmly with your other hand. Cut away from yourself and use an even pressure.

In this video, Leah Day demonstrates in detail how to cut with a rotary cutter:

Working in inches

The inches on a ruler are normally divided into eighths (⅛”), however, we will just be using the full inch and half an inch (½”) for this quilt. The ½” is normally the seam allowance.

Let’s do the maths:

1 inch = 2 half inches, or 4 quarter inches or 8 eighth inches.

Cutting your fabric

Cut 18 squares of the grey fabric (colour 2), measuring 8½ ” x 8½ ” each:

  • Place the fabric square in the corner of the cutting mat. One side should lie along the straight line at the bottom of the cutting mat, and the left side should be straight against the vertical line.
  • Count 8½ ” along the bottom of the cutting mat. Place your ruler at the 8½ ” mark so that it runs in a straight vertical line over the fabric.
  • Hold the ruler firmly, check that the fabric has not moved, and cut the fabric with your rotary cutter. You can cut all the way up to the top of the fabric.
  • Turn the fabric so that the cut side is now at the bottom of the cutting mat lying along a straight line  – measure 8½” again and cut. You should have a square measuring 8½” x 8½”.
  • Repeat this process until you have 18 squares – 3 squares from each of your grey (colour 2) fabric variations.

Placing the fabric and ruler to prepare for cutting.


Cutting the second side of the fabric for an 8½ ” x 8½ ” square.

Now we’re going to be cutting squares for the blocks with the triangles, which are called Flying Geese:

  • Cut 12 squares (7” x 7” each) of the green fabric (colour 1). Cut two squares from each fabric variation.
  • Cut 12 squares (7” x 7” each) of the grey fabric (colour 2).

Store all your squares for next week. We recommend storing the 8½ ” x 8½ ” squares in a separate pile to the 7” x 7” squares.

Share the love with #YFquiltalong

Let’s see your squares all cut up and ready to go. Share some pictures of your progress on social media for us to see:

Instagram: tag @quiltingalice and @yfmag
Facebook: tag @Jenny Smith’s Quilting and @Your Family Magazine

For any queries contact: [email protected]


Joni van der Merwe

About Joni van der Merwe

Digital editor I’m getting married in 2018 and I think it’s the perfect time to focus on my relationship with not only my fiance but my friends, family and colleagues too. I want to nurture and cherish the people I love by being more understanding and present in their lives.


Send this to a friend