Rotary Cutter Maintenance

I’ve just changed the blade in my rotary cutter and oh my, what a difference! Whenever I do this, I think to myself that I should have done it weeks ago. As I tell my students, we spend hundreds of dollars on fabric, but we balk at replacing rotary cutter blades and sewing machine needles. This doesn’t make any sense. Ergonomically and for ease of use, having a sharp blade is the way to go. With a new blade, fabric cuts are like cutting through butter. They are clean and can be made without applying much downward force on the rotary cutter.

When I’m teaching, I’m surprised how often I come across rotary cutters that are incorrectly assembled. I’ve had students say to me things like, “I’ve just put in a new blade, so I don’t know why it’s not working very well”. Make sure that you put it back together in the right order with the large black circle in the center on the top and the washer and nut on the back.

Work in Progress (4), now finished!

Over the past several weeks, I’ve posted pictures of this quilt in various stages of development. Lauret’s Stars, is at last completed, after 20 months and over 200 hours of piecing.

With our quilt show being cancelled, I was unable to photograph this commissioned quilt at the quilt show. Instead, I took it to church and set up my quilt stand in the parish hall where there was plenty of space and light. This is one of the largest quilts that I’ve ever made, at 105” x 105”. My friend, Wanda Rains, did a spectacular job on the custom long-arm quilting. I’m happy to report that my client is thrilled with the quilt and has given me permission to borrow it back from her so that it may be displayed in our rescheduled quilt show in May. Here I am up close with it.

Here’s another detailed shot so that you can see some of Wanda’s exquisite quilting.

Hawaiian Fabric

Recently, I was delighted to escape from the cold snow to Hawaii with the family, (including my 4½ year old, and 15 month twin grandchildren). We stayed at the Aulani Disney Resort on Oahu, by the ocean, for a wonderful sunny week of playing outdoors.

We visited the Dole Pineapple Plantation which had gorgeous lush gardens and a nice patio to eat lunch and delicious Dole whips, (vanilla ice-cream swirled with pineapple syrup). At the back of the enormous store, I found a fabric vendor selling cuts of Hawaiian cotton prints. How could I resist?! I bought two yard chunks of each of these two fabrics, (see below), with no specific project in mind. With a large fabric stash at home, I try to be disciplined about my fabric purchases, but made an exception here since I was on vacation and needed souvenirs! There can always be some justification for fabric purchases and perhaps just liking it is enough….