Stacks, Scots and a Revolution…

And something pink.

This is part of the Revolution – Nine-Patch Chain, it measures 72″ x 81″.  It’s in the coming March 1st book, the Nine-Patch Revolution.  It’s a new book by pattern designer Jenifer Dick and machine-quilter extraordinaire Angela Walters.  Using a variety of techniques from basic strip-piecing to improv, paper-piecing to “wonky”, there are 20 quilts that can be made in any style of fabric.  While the quilts in the book definitely have a modern aesthetic, the versatility of the nine-patch makes every one of these quilts work for Reproductions, traditional fabrics and Batiks.

This is Nine-Patch Surround – it measures 60″ x 72″.

And Solids – let’s not forget those.  I love how “most” of the nine-patches are black-and-white, but a few are black and the background color of the borders.

The designs in this book are great for beginners because nine-patches are easy to piece.  More experienced quilts will like the graphic appeal of the designs, and the opportunity to play with color, pattern and a “less traditional” style of quilt.  But what sets this book apart – what makes it special – is the machine-quilting component of it.  Each quilt design comes with detail on how Angela quilted it, and a few cases, an option is offered.  If this were treated as a workbook, quilters could experiment with color and pattern, then improve their machine-quilting skills.

From the content to the layout and appearance, Nine Patch Revolution by Jenifer Dick and Angela Walters for C&T Publishing is a terrific book, especially for modern quilters and anyone wanting to quilt more of their own work.

The Stack part is this book – Stack & Cut Hexagons by Sara Nephew and Marci Baker.

Using a technique similar to that used in the stack-and-whack quilts of years ago, Sara and Marci have created a book filled with triangles and diamonds, pyramids and gem shapes that create stunning repeats just by stacking fabrics in a manner that cuts perfect repeats of each shape.  The book is a mix-and-match assortment of thirty-eight hexagon blocks, seven different setting triangles, five pieced borders and twelve quilt layouts.  The book is filled with pictures of quilts made using the various options – quilts made by the authors and by others.  (So snipping pictures of the author’s quilts from the book wasn’t do-able.)

While this has never really been “my style” of quilt, I love this book’s ability to mix-and-match blocks and parts to create a truly distinctive quilt.  There are multiple ways of lining up the fabrics to stack the repeats, and there are tips on which fabrics work best for this style of block.

Stack & Cut Hexagon Quilts by Sara Nephew and Marci Baker for C & T Publishing will be available March 7, 2018.

The upcoming book that surprised me is Modern Scot Patchwork by Kathy Allen.

Quilts based on Tartan plaids?  Okay… convince me.  Done – well done, Kathy!

This is Barclay.  It’s made with Grunge!  It measures 81″ x 81″.

The premise is simple – big modern, graphic quilts based on woven traditional tartans from Scotland.  While the design looks simple, actually making it can be a challenge.  That’s where Kathy has excelled – this is about cutting strips, making strip sets, sub-cutting the strip sets and then joining the parts to make rows.  The instructions are outstanding – detailed, comprehensive and easily understood by beginners and experienced quilters.

From stitch length to cutting, pressing to fabric preparation, Kathy has included information that will be useful for making these quilts – and any others you might ever make.  Modern Scot Patchwork also includes a History of Tartan.

MacRae of Conchra – 78-1/4″ x 78-1/4″.  I love that each quilt design also includes a picture of the original tartan.

Kathy writes, “In the United States, we use the terms tartan and plaid as though they were interchangeable.  In Scotland, however, tartan refers to the woolen, latticed fabric that is used for clothing, and plaid refers to how the fabric is used – the large broad cloth that is worn and wrapped around like a skirt, with the excess fabric slung across the shoulder.  In Gaelic, plaide means “blanket”.

This is Elliot – it measures 108-1/2″ x 108-1/2″.  All three of the quilts I’m sharing are labeled as Beginner Level quilts – yes, I love that Kathy has classified the eight different tartans with difficulty levels.  Seven of the quilts also include size variations – from lap quilts to bed-sized quilts.

Of the three books, this is my favorite.  From the concept to the designs, the colors to the information presented, this is a really well-written book.  If you’re looking for modern, graphic quilts that appeal to non-quilty-types, Modern Scot Patchwork by Kathy Allen for C & T is worth investigating.  It will be published on March 7th.

That’s the Scot.

The pink?

A week or so ago, the lovely folks at Olfa posted this picture to their Instagram.

Of course, that immediately got me thinking about my crazy collection of Olfa rotary cutters that date back more than twenty-five years.  Yes, I still have my first Olfa.

Top row – middle cutter.  It’s the fourth one in from both sides.

The 45mm is my favorite – by a long shot.  It’s really the only size I use except when I’m cutting something that really only works well with a bigger or smaller size blade.  So maybe 95% of my cutting is with a 45mm blade.  What about you?

Oh – the Pink!  It isn’t the Quilt Pink cutter in the top row… it’s the Pink Splash!

Is there any doubt that I’m going to have to have one?  I just have to wait until February 28th.

It’s for my collection, of course.

Just so you know, I like to try them all.  I thought I would love the ergonomics but… not so much.  Okay, not at all.  But I love the quick-change style because of the shape of the handle.  The Limited Edition prints – I also used to have the purple and orange daisies but with a couple of moves, I can’t find that one.  (Clearly I’m not suffering the loss.)  I do periodically clean out the “extras” and donate them to whatever group or guild is rounding up extra tools and notions for some worthy cause or purpose.

But it does make me curious – do you have more than one rotary cutter?  And which kind do you prefer?  Do you try different models and makes in search of the “perfect rotary cutter”?

What about blades?  Do you buy only brand-names?  Or have you experimented with less-costly “off-brands”?

That’s it for today – Happy Tuesday!



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27 thoughts on “Stacks, Scots and a Revolution…

  1. I have just 2 Olfa cutters. A 45 mm in yellow that I use for most everything and a smaller version of Olfa that I use so rarely I don’t recall the size. Would love a purple splash in 45mm just because I love the color.

  2. I love my aqua Splash cutter it’s the only one I use. I had one of the old yellows before that but changing the blades is so much easier with the Splash cutter.
    I bought the brands for years but once I had a 3 pack of blades and each and every single blade was dull. Now I buy the no-names and so far I’m happy with them.

  3. I own a few Fiskars but I love my Olfas. I have every size, ok, several in every size. The purple splash cutter seems to stay sharp longer than the generic yellow 45 mm.I love the 28 mm the best. I am not
    the greatest cutter and I don’t cut many layers at a time. That little one just fits my hand and allows me better accuracy for tiny pieces and templates.
    I think Olaf blades are the best but also pretty pricey. I am going to try ordering some generics online soon.

  4. My kids make fun of me for having so many Olga cutters. I have a couple of those old ones too. I love these cutters. When I first started quilting I had to use a L-square, and scissors. What a difference it has made using these awesome Olga cutters. My favorite cutter is the 60mm…..I can cut 8 layers at a time, I just wish I had come up with the idea… what a great tool. I just reread my comment… spellcheck has changed Olfa to Olga…. I guess I better go back and change them…or maybe I should keep them, so it might make someone smile.! Those pink ones are so pretty!

  5. Rotary cutters – Revolutionize quilting! I have four on my cutting table, one in my travel bag, one in the trailer, and a spare(for a guest) in the drawer! From 18 ml to 45. Most are 45, but need a 60! I purchase blades whenever on sale and have bought the off brands too. I’ve found the off brands tend to dull quicker. I too still have my original Olfa, actual just replaced it it a few month ago with the turquoise Splash! Now if they only came out with a bright beautiful orange!

  6. I have 2 yellow 45 mm Olfas (my favorite size) and 1 yellow 28 mm Olfa, that I rarely use. I do purchase name brand rotary blades. I am wondering… has anyone had experience with the rotary blade resharpening gadgets?

    1. I like the TruSharp style that you leave the cutter assembled and run it back a forth in the slot of the sharpener.

  7. I still have my original rotary cutter from more than 25 yrs ago!! I love, love, love the Olfa – have one 18 and one 60. Multiples of the 45. My favorite is the Aqua Splash – the convenience of blade changing is great. Do not like the ergonomic cutters at all. Can’t wait for a Pink Splash!!

  8. I have 4 Olfa cutters…one 90mm that I bought when I first started quilting, then I bought a 45 that you could slide the sides down on and didn’t love it and I ended up with a turquoise splash and loved it so much that I bought a purple splash too. I’m probably going to have to buy a pink too! I like them because they are simple and are exactly what I need in a cutter. I stick with the Olfa blades and I’ve never tried anything else…why mess with a good thing??? Have a great day, Carrie.

  9. My stash looks like yours and then some. I have purchased off brand blades and they work great plus they are so much less expensive. I only keep about three out at a time, the rest are in a bin. One of these days I know I need to purge, I have the same problem with scissors.

  10. I remember resisting the switch to rotary cutters. They seemed so…wobbly. Hah! Now I have all sizes, all brands. My favorite is the Olfa 60, followed by the Gingher 45. Thought I’d really like the ergonomic Martelli because of some hand issues, but it’s just okay. When I buy a new cutter (drum roll for Pink Splash), I move a current one to either a quilting project bag or the gift wrap/card making station.

  11. I’m so going to round up all my rotary cutters and snap a pic! Great idea inspired by Olfa. These days the Martelli ergo cutter is my go to rotary; I like the 45mm and 28 mm. No more painful cutting. The key was to watch the video over and over again to make sure I was holding it correctly. My neck, back, shoulder, elbow, wrist are ever so thankful! Allison C. Bayer, Plano, Texas USA

  12. I’ve used Fiskars for over 20+ years and own only 2 of those and have served me well. I just purchased an Olfa splash about 2 weeks ago. Still on the fence with that one as it feels lighter in my hand and I’ve cut off course with it! I also have the small Olfa 18mm size which I rarely use.

  13. I have only one Olfa, the yellow with the trigger that automatically retracts. An old Olfa with the slide lock is used for paper. I usually buy brand name blades, but use a Joann’s coupon or Amazon to get a better price. Now if Olfa comes out with a purple trigger model, I’d break and buy it.

  14. I have 3. Two Olfas, one dedicated to paper cutting, and the other I use for fabric cutting, both 45s. I have a third whose brand I will not mention because I dislike it, it’s the largest size and doesn’t cut well even with a new blade. I love the new pink one! I wish they’d make one in lime green!

  15. I like the ones where you squeeze the handle to make them work like the two in your top row. I also have two sizes and that mini in your bottom row. The other I have is the crinkle cut rotary cutter and I love it for things like cutting a raw edge crinkly flower for a clothing embellishment for my granddaughter or for doing a zig zag trim of a seam. I’ll be on the outlook for that Tartan book too. My maiden name was Warnock and there is a Warnock castle in Scotland which has now been turned into a B&B.

  16. I have 5 Olfas. One is the smallest one that came in a kit. It has been used once. I should use it when I am cutting out doll clothes patterns. Two of my Olfas are exactly the same. I had the first yellow Olfa from decades ago and couldn’t find it when I started quilting. Once I bought the second one, of course I found the first one. Then I bought the ergonomic one which has been good, but not that great. The last one came in the always yummy Sew Sampler box one month. I just bought a knock off box of new blades. I have yet to use them. I always keep lots of new blades around me. I hoard blades in case of emergencies rather than weapons or fuel. Very strange, I know.

  17. I have my first Olfa cutter (45mm), and a 28mm, both with the original-style handle. I also have the 18mm cutter. My “everyday” cutter is the 45mm pink Breast Cancer ribbon handle.

    I buy my Olfa blades in 10-packs.

  18. I have all of the yellow Olfa sizes, plus the Aqua Splash and a chenille cutter, the ergonomic ones feel thick and clunky, tho. Tried the Martelli which was awkward, so I gave it away. My go to is my first cutter, purchased in the early 90s – a 45 mm Quilters Rule, blue with a curved handle. that I learned to cut with and feels very natural to pick up and use. Oh, and somewhere is a cutter with two blades that can be adjusted for cutting 2 strips at once. Don’t know if I ever used it!

    I’m intrigued by the tartan quilts and will be looking for the book – love something new and different!

  19. I really want an Olfa Splash because I have read that it is a great help for hands that have lost some strength. Mine have and I want the new Olfa Splash. Thanks so very much.

  20. I have several (hard to admit haha) but my favorite is the splash. I love the quick change option and e everytime I see that bright color, it makes me smile… Carrie, I, too, believe that I will need the new Pink one when it arrives…..ol

  21. I am afraid of the blades so I have never changed a blade, I have bought at least 2 new cutters because of that fear with coupons of course. Lucky for me I have a few friends who don’t really question my fear and just change the blade for me.

  22. I have a handful of cutters and most are 45 mm, so you’d think that would be my favorite, but it’s the 60 mm that’s my favorite. I purchased a purple splash that I love, too! Several of my cutters were gifts.

  23. I have 3; 2 Olfa and one “safe” Fiskars. Got the Fiskars after I ran over the tip of my finger with the Olfa 45mm, but never really liked it. Finger healed, I’m now back with my original yellow Olfa.

  24. Olfas are my favorite cutters, both 45 and 60. I have a tiny one that is great to trim paper piecing seams, and I have one that you don’t have displayed in your picture – a pinking rotary. Don’t laugh, but I mostly use it to cut “ribbons” for Christmas packages!

  25. I think I need to buy more. I LUV the idea of the pink one. I like the Splash because of the quick change. I only use name brand blades after several bad experiences with cheap ones and/or re-sharpened ones. Quilting wouldn’t be what it is without the rotary cutters. Think about cereal box templates……arrggghhhhh!

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