Shape Cut a Quarter

Before we get to this week’s topic, I’d like to do a quick update on my quilt: “How Beautiful – Liberty”. It’s striking me as quite funny – I’ve enjoyed making my accordion door quilts, but never imagined anyone else would want to do it! Since sharing my last two blog posts, and winning the ribbons in Sun Prairie, I’ve had oodles of requests. My mind is just buzzing over the prospect of writing another book with all the techniques from “Liberty” in it. Please stay tuned!


A few weeks ago the grandkids were entertaining themselves very nicely with their toys in the living room. So I decided it would be a good time to take some pictures for this week’s blog. I brought up my cutting tools, put them on the counter, laid the mat on the floor (the lighting is best in the middle of the kitchen floor)

and went to find my camera. When I returned, this was what I found:

SC kids mat

Good thing I had my camera. Trey found sitting on my cutting mat so fascinating, I ended up having to move it to the kitchen table for the photo-shoot  🙂 . Now on to the topic at hand!

shape cutA number of years ago I shared my top three favorite rulers, and included in the list was the Shape Cut™ ruler by June Tailor. This past Christmas I did a post using it to fringe fleece scarves (click here for that post) and recently I shared a similar ruler for marking (click here for the Grid Marker post).

The Shape Cut™ is a great tool for rotary cutting multiple, accurate strips. When it came out it was well received, but it was limited to ½” increments. Back then I was doing freelance work for June Tailor (we’re talking the 1990’s). They asked me to come up with a way to cut ¼” increments with the ½” ruler and I was happy to take on the challenge (they did come out with a Quarter Cut™ ruler, but it had to be made shorter for stability, which made it less useful).

I spent quite a bit of time coming up with the answer, and I think you’ll find it works well. It’s really quite simple, and I devised a chart which does the math for you, that I’ll include in this post. I discovered the trick is to have a dashed line marked between the “0” and ½” slots on the Shape Cut™. The newer ones come with this marking,

SC orig dashed line

but if you have an older ruler, you can add it with a fine line permanent marker.

SC dashed ruler

SC drawn dashed line

Now for the step-by-steps. I’ve given you all the info, but remember there will be a chart at the end of this post that does the math for you!

Step 1: Choose a ¼” increment (i.e. 2 ¼”), double it (i.e. 4 ½”) and cut strips at this size. for 2 ¼” strips your cuts will be at 4 ½”, and 9″, and if you have the larger Shape Cut™, you can continue to cut at 13 ½” and 18″.

Step 2: Lift the Shape Cut™, remove the excess fabric from squaring up on the left cut, and reposition the ruler with the “dashed” ¼” line, along the left edge of the fabric.

We will now, in essence, cut these double strips in half!

Step 3: Cut in the 2 ½” slot (since the fabric is lined up ¼” from the zero slot, this strip will be 2 ¼”).

Step 4: Add the double cut amount – for our example – 2½” + 4½” = 7″. Cut in this slot, add 4 ½” again, and cut in the 11 ½” slot. If you have the larger ruler, continue by adding 4 ½” for each cut.

SC paper strips

Here’s a chart with all the math done. To open a printable pdf version – click here, then click on the purple lettering with the word attachment in it (I’m not sure why the extra step, but it works).

Shape Cut quarter cut chart

SC Trey matI’d like to close by sharing a short video I took when I couldn’t break Trey’s fascination with the cutting mat. Click here to view it. Grandchildren are such a blessing!

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