Happy Monday! Where would quilting be today without the invention of the rotary cutter? Thankfully, we never have to know! Olfa is celebrating 35 years of rotary cutting this year. So, let's party! I have a little review, block tutorial and giveaway for you.
Olfa kindly sent over a package with a few products in it for me to try! Part of their celebration includes a commemorative quilt, so I put these tools through their paces making a block for it!
The guidelines for the block were pretty minimal, it had to be 6.5" and have yellow in it. I decided to take inspiration from the design of the rotary cutter, which surprisingly isn't much different from the very first rotary cutter! You can see a photo of it here. I drafted up my design in Illustrator and went with paper piecing for the construction.
The rotating cutting mat is too cool! It conveniently is the perfect size to fit between my sewing machine and iron, which is where I like to work when paper piecing. With all the trimming down, having the rotating mat is pretty handy. I know it will be useful for trimming down half-square triangles as well!
I don't generally work with 6.5" blocks, so having the tiny 28mm Rotary Cutter was great for cutting such small pieces and trimming the seam allowances while piecing. I tested it on the curved double wedding ring templates as well, and it handled the curves great! It will definitely come in handy for that project, which I'll share more about soon!
The final product to try out was a 6.5" Frosted Advantage Ruler. Now I'm not going to lie, I was pretty excited about this one! This is my favorite size of ruler, and I use them a TON. This may be my... fourth ruler of this size! The first two have had their corners worn down from use, so having another to add in to the mix is good! The frosted bit sticks nicely to the fabric, but is still easy to see through. I also really like the lines through every 1/2"!
The verdict? Olfa makes great products. I have been using their 45mm Quick Change Cutter (seen above), exclusively for a few years now and I love it. It is literally my perfect cutter. I do a lot of cutting, and unlike other cutters, it has never given me a single blister or sore. The handle is bigger than others which makes it easy for me to grip and squeeze, even with my arthritis. I will definitely use the 28mm for the odd project here and there, but the 45mm will remain my go-to! :)
Without further ado, here is my final block! Want to make one too? It would be really fun as is, done scrappy or done with four different fabrics! You can find the free pattern download here!
Need a paper piecing refresher? See my tutorial here.