Short Cuts in Cutting Squares + Rectangles

scrappy quilt along summer 2020 scraps cutting short cuts

It can be intimidating when you’re faced with cutting hundreds (sometimes thousands) of squares and rectangles for a quilt. However, the final results are going to be totally worth it. Here are three tips on how to speed up and make the cutting portion more approachable: 

 

1. Layer it up - This first approach is perfect if you're working with scraps. Stack up to 5 layers of fabric and cut multiple squares and fabrics at a time. For this method to be successful, make sure: 

    • Blade on the rotary cutter is sharp. A sharp rotary cutter should be able to cut up to 5 layers of fabrics in one sweeping motion without sections still attached. 
    • Lay pieces of fabric in order from the largest piece on the bottom to the smallest piece on top. In doing so, you can get more squares and rectangles in one cut.  

Stripology ruler creative grids cutting short cuts scrappy summer sew along 2020 scraps

Tip: New to this method? Begin with layering a couple of layers at a time. As you gain more confidence, stack more layers. 

 

2. Stripology method - This method requires a specialty tool called the Stripology Ruler by Creative Grids. This ruler is a total game changer. The half inch increment slots allows you to cut strips and sub-cut squares and rectangles without having to move your ruler or fabric. And pun totally intended, the ruler cuts cutting time. 

Stripology ruler creative grids cutting short cuts scrappy summer sew along 2020 scraps

Fold the piece of fabric in half at least once so that the Stripology ruler covers the fabric width-wise, and there is some overhang on either side of the ruler lengthwise (preferably the left side of the ruler where the “0” marker is located). 

Stripology ruler creative grids cutting short cuts scrappy summer sew along 2020 scraps


Line up the fold of the fabric with the horizontal lines of the Stripology ruler. Remove selvedges and jagged, uneven edges. Cut strips of fabric as outlined in the quilt pattern. 

Stripology ruler creative grids cutting short cuts scrappy summer sew along 2020 scraps


Without shifting the fabric, carefully rotate the cutting mat or ruler 90 degrees, clockwise or counterclockwise. Remove the ruler. Line up the straight edge of the fabric with the horizontal line of Stripology Ruler and cut squares or rectangles. 

Stripology ruler creative grids cutting short cuts scrappy summer sew along 2020 scraps

Take extra care when repositioning the ruler. It is important that you don’t move the strips of fabric out of place because the cut squares and rectangles will not be cut accurately. If your strips of fabric do come out of place, use the edge of a long quilting ruler and push the strips of fabric together to realign. 

Stripology ruler creative grids cutting short cuts scrappy summer sew along 2020 scraps

 

3. Stripology method without a Stripology Ruler - Don’t have a Stripology Ruler? Don’t worry. You can achieve similar outcomes with a long quilting ruler, i.e. 6'' x 24'' 

Remove jagged or uneven edges on one side of the fabric. 

Stripology ruler creative grids cutting short cuts scrappy summer sew along 2020 scraps

 

Use the clean edge as a guide, and cut multiple strips of fabric without moving them. 

<img src="//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0168/9786/7830/files/Screen_Shot_2020-08-13_at_10.49.29_PM.png?v=1597373380" alt="Stripology ruler creative grids cutting short cuts scrappy summer sew along 2020 scraps" />


Carefully rotate the cutting mat or ruler 90 degrees, clockwise or counterclockwise. Use the clean edge of the fabric created in the first step. Remove selvedges and jagged, uneven edges. and cut strips to make squares or rectangles as outlined in the quilt pattern. 

<img src="//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0168/9786/7830/files/Screen_Shot_2020-08-13_at_10.49.29_PM.png?v=1597373380" alt="Stripology ruler creative grids cutting short cuts scrappy summer sew along 2020 scraps" />

 

And there you have it! Multiple pieces of squares and rectangles cut at a time! 

stripology ruler cutting squares rectangles tutorial tips and trick

*This blog post is not sponsored or endorsed by Creative Grids.