Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 12 – Rotary Cutter

Welcome to the twelfth block reveal

for the Sew Let’s QAL!


This QAL is brought to you by Partners in Design: Where Friends and Fabric Meet.

Partners in design

Presenting: Rotary Cutter

tunaquilts 8a

This rotary cutter looks so real!

This realistic looking block pattern was created by Sandy Maxfield of SandyStar Designs. You can download it free on her blog here from now until September 24th, 2019. After then, the patterns in this QAL may not be available anymore or may be available for a small fee. Don’t delay, download them today.

Tips and Tricks to Constructing this Block

  1. Practice rotary cutter safety! Always close your blade before you lay your cutter down. Get in the habit.
  2. Save the scraps of fusible web and use them for smaller pieces. I keep my scraps in their own little bag and check it first before starting a new sheet.
    tunaquilts 3a

    I prefer Lite Steam a Seam 2 for fusing my applique pieces because the pieces can be repositioned before I give it a final pressing.

    tunaquilts 1a
    I tape the pattern on the window and then hold or tape the pieces of fusible over the pattern. Then I trace with a pencil.
  3. Make it your own. I decided to cut the B piece out of the handle so that it looked just like my real one which has a hole in the handle end for hanging.
    tunaquilts 4a

    I traced the B piece on the handle and cut it out.

    tunaquilts 6a

    I positioned the handle so some of the mat and some of the fabric were peeking through the hole in the handle.

  4. Reduce bulk. After tracing the pieces, I cut out the fusible leaving about 1/4-1/2″ on each side of the traced line. This helps reduce the bulk and makes a softer block.

    tunaquilts 11a

    I forgot to do that with the handle but the other pieces benefited from this habit. I use this blue-handled Karen K. Buckley scissors only for applique. If it gets gummy, I use a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol to clean it. That trick also works for sewing needles that become gummy from the fusible.

  5. Keep your iron clean. Use a Teflon pressing sheet when pressing your applique pieces. tunaquilts 9a
  6. Make it match. How cute is this?

    tunaquilts 5a

    I am pairing the ruler with the cutter for a sewing project so I used some of the same fabrics in each block.

  7. Button, button whose got the  button? I decided to add a button for the screw rather than make it the applique piece.tunaquilts 7a
  8. Replace old blades with new ones when you find that there are uncut threads after you cut or if you find yourself pressing harder and harder. These blades do get dull and can get nicks in them if you run into your ruler.

See These Hosts for More Construction Tips

Look for bi-weekly inspiration from these bloggers.

Sandy @ SandyStar Designs — The designer of this block

Abbie @ Sparkle On!

Jennifer @ The Inquiring Quilter

Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

In addition to those listed above, look for inspiration from these bloggers during:

Segment 3: July 16th to September 10, 2019

Kathleen  @ Kathleen McMusing

Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts 

Quilt Hosts

Look for bi-weekly inspiration from these bloggers as they turn their blocks into a quilt.

Bobbi @ Snowy Days Quilting

Sherry @ Powered by Quilting

April @ JANDA Bend Quilts

Becca @ Pretty Piney Quilts 

Join this QAL

You can join in anytime. Every other Tuesday, a new block will be released until all 13 blocks have been released. This QAL is divided into three segments. Segment one consisted of 5 blocks. Segments two and three will each have four blocks.

Share a picture of your block on our Facebook page, or on Instagram with the hashtag #SewLetsQAL. We want to see them. At the end of each segment, post a picture containing all the blocks in that segment. A prize will be awarded at the end of each segment. At the end of all the segments, a grand prize will be selected from among the pictures that contain a finished quilt top or finished projects containing all of the blocks from this QAL (one picture containing all of the 13 blocks finished into either a quilt top or several projects).

Segment 1: March 12th to May 21st

Segment 2: May 21st to July 15th

Segment 3: July 16th to September 10th

  • July 16th – Block 10: Laura Piland @Slice of Pi Quilts — Find Block 10 There
  • July 30th – Block 11: Becca Fenstermaker @Pretty Piney Quilts — Find Block 11 There
  • August 13th – Block 12: Sandy Maxfield @Sandy Star Designs — Find Block 12 There
  • August 27th – Block 13: April Adams @JANDA Bend Quilts
  • August 27th – Segment Wrap-up
  • September 9th at 11:59 pm EDT – Last day to enter for the Segment 3 giveaway. Post a picture with all 4 blocks in this segment on either the linky party (find it on any of the blogs), Partners in Design Facebook page, or Instagram with the hashtag #SewLetsQAL.
  • September 10th – Segment 3 Prize winner announced

Grand Prize Giveaway

  • September 23rd at 11:59 pm EDT – Last day to enter for the grand prize giveaway. Post ONE picture of ALL 13 blocks from the Let’s Sew QAL made into either a Quilt top (doesn’t need to be quilted or bound) OR finished multiple projects that together use all the blocks. Post this picture on either the linky party (find it on any of the blogs), Partners in Design Facebook page, or Instagram with the hashtag #SewLetsQAL.
  • September 24th – Grand Prize winner announced

Block patterns will be free from the designers and available on their blogs UNTIL the date of the Grand Prize announcement September 24th, 2019.

Enter to Win

Entering to win the prizes below is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Everyone (You must be 18 to be able to enter to win prizes) gets to participate because International entries are welcome! You do NOT need to have a blog to enter.
  2. Make all of the blocks in this segment provided to you free of charge for this event. Use your own fabrics and embellish them as you like. If entering the giveaway, the blocks should definitely be recognizable as made from these free patterns.  Take one picture with all of them included.
  3. Post one picture of all of your blocks by 11:59 PM EST, July 15th 2019 either on the Facebook page, or on Instagram with the hashtag #SewLetsQAL, or on the hosts blog Linky party at the end of each segment.  You are welcome to post a picture on each of the sources but it will only count as one entry.

Segment 3: Prizes and Sponsors

Segment Prize


Segment Prize 2


You choose what you want to make: A quilt or several smaller projects. The sewing machine, revealed in segment one, is the only block that will be large (12.5″ x 18.5″ unfinished) . The rest will be 12.5″ unfinished. We have several hosts who will offer suggestions as to what you can do with your blocks if you don’t want to make a quilt.

Not sure what to do? Just start making the blocks and decide along the way. A grand prize will be offered for a completed (but it doesn’t have to be quilted) quilt top or several projects that use all of the 13 blocks.

I’ll be making several projects for my sewing room. I completed a mini quilt using one of the blocks from the first segment. You can read about it here. The remaining blocks from the first segment as well as a couple from the third segment will be used for a sewing machine cover. So I really can’t show you this project until those blocks have been revealed. Plus it gives me some extra time to complete it.

You will notice that my fabric has changed for each segment. 

Don’t Miss Out on My Previous Sew Let’s QAL Posts

Segment 1: 

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL — Introduction

Tu-Na Quilts: On Pins and Needles — A look at my fabric selection. It varies with each segment of the QAL.

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 1— Sewing Machine

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 2 — Quilt Along Mug Block

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 3 — Ruler

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 4 — Spinning Spools and Thread Tales

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 5 — Quilt Shop

tunaquilts 11a

Tu-Na Quilts: Segment One Wrap-Up and Project Idea — A Quilt Shop mini wall hanging

tunaquilts 25a

Segment 2:

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 6 — Binding Clips

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 7 — It’s a Pressing Issue — This is my pattern. The post also contains Tu-Na’s Tried and True Easy Guide to Pressing Matters.

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 8 — Pin Cushion

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 9 — In Stitches

tunaquilts 8a

Segment 3:

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 10 — Buttons

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 11 — By the Bolt

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 12 — Rotary Cutter

tunaquilts 10a

What I Learned Today:

  1. Traveling is exhausting! We’re in the midst of traveling around Minnesota on the annual quilt shop hop. I decided to enjoy the journey and blog about it when I returned home.
  2. I need to heed my own advice about rotary cutter safety.
  3. Tu-Na Helper has a green thumb. His garden of daylilies is beautiful! tunaquilts 13a

Question: Do you practice rotary cutting safety? I try but usually find my cutter with the blade open. After printing this pattern, I laid it beside my mat, smoothed my fabric on the mat, grabbed the ruler, and then reached for my rotary cutter. Imagine my surprise, when I reached for the picture of the rotary cutter on the pattern page. It is definitely realistic looking! Oh, and I found my rotary cutter under my fabric with it’s blade open.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

I am not affiliated at this time with any of the items, products, services, or shops that I picture or talk about here on Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats. I just happen to like and use them.

Linking this week to:

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilt


12 thoughts on “Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 12 – Rotary Cutter

  1. Pingback: “Sew, Let’s Quilt Along” Block 12 Release! | Sparkle On!

  2. piecefulwendy

    I use the Olfa Endurance blade, which is very sharp and lasts a long time (I just changed my last one, which I put on last June — yes, June 2018 — I had it marked). Because it’s so sharp, I do my best to always close the blade. I quilt barefoot and don’t want to drop an open cutter on my toe!


  3. Leslie Schmidt

    Your block is really cute, Karen. I love the idea of the button. The one you chose is perfect. And as usual, your hints are right on the mark.
    I’m kind of surprised you decided to do the MN State Shop Hop. I only did the Metro area, and I’m thinking this might be the last time I do it. I don’t care for the fabric, and I never do anything with it. Besides, I can’t justify buying any more fabric or patterns or books or tools. That doesn’t mean I won’t, but I have to be more judicious about it.
    I am very careful with my rotary cutter. I know that if I weren’t, being the klutz that I am, I would be sure to do some terrible damage.
    Have fun on the rest of your shop hop!


  4. dezertsuz

    Oh, when I first looked at the block, it DID look so real, I was actually thinking, “I wonder where she got that pretty blue patterned rotary cutter!” LOL Yes, I practice safety. It’s ingrained in me from the start of the invention. I knew a shop owner who didn’t and dropped hers, needing several stitches between her big toe and the next one. I wasn’t ever going to do that! When I taught classes, it was a quarter fine each time I caught someone with an open one, so they learned to close them, too. It’s completely automatic now. I love the fabric you used, and even when I knew it was your block, it took my eyes a minute to sort it out! Thanks for posting your tips!


  5. rl2b2017

    Hi Karen! I love your block and I definitely agree – it is VERY realistic looking. I agree with what Susan said, and was wondering where you got such a pretty looking rotary cutter. ~smile~ Roseanne


  6. Karen Marlow-Goad

    have fun on the blog hop will love to read all about it later. I tend to not always remember to close my blade and I must be more careful about that!!


  7. JANDA Bend Quilts

    Love your block, Karen! The button really works well, and the hole in the handle is a great idea! I really like the cactus theme you are using as well.


  8. nancyangerer

    I have enjoyed following you, but I have a new address and want to close this address. I could not see how to sign up for the new address. Can you help me?


  9. plstockwell

    As always I enjoyed your post. Sometimes I don’t read them because I work a lot. This last post finally dragged me into checking out your QAL. I am just sorry I missed it. What a great job you ladies have done!


  10. Pingback: Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 12 – Who’s Got the Thimble? | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

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