Previously: Fabric Selection & Pre-Washing
We are ready to cut the fabric into nice 5" squares. Cutting is a really important step and it is absolutely critical to have the right cutting tools. If you are using scissors to cut your blocks, this is a major problem. Not only will it take forever to cut the blocks, there is now way they will be uniform in size. It will make it harder to line up seams later and the project won't end up looking as great.
Trust me when I say that I would not survive without my fabulous tools. I swear by my Omnigrid cutting mat, rotary cutter, and rulers! It is well-worth the expense to invest in good tools. The finished product always ends up looking better!
For this project, we need eighty 5" squares. This means we will need ten squares from each fat quarter. To begin, lay one fat quarter onto your cutting mat. Don't worry about lining up the edges with the grid lines. In fact, slightly overlap the top and right sides.
Line up the ruler with the grid line just inside the edge of the fabric. Holding the ruler down firmly (I use the Omnigrid ruler grip double suction cup), cut along the ruler's edge. Remove the excess scrap.
Move the ruler 5" to the left of the new, clean edge of the fabric. Hold the ruler down firmly and cut along the edge. Keep moving to the left 5" and repeat until you have cut four 5" columns.
To cut the columns into blocks, we need a straight top-edge. Turn the ruler perpendicular to the columns, as demonstrated below. Line up the ruler with the grid line just below the top's edge and cut across. Move the ruler 5" down from the clean top-edge of the fabric. Hold the ruler down firmly and cut along the edge. Keep moving down 5" until you have cut three rows of blocks.
You will have twelve 5" blocks (though you only need ten). Repeat these steps to cut up all of your fat quarters until you have the required amount of blocks.
Now, my favorite part--to arrange them. I usually spend a good amount of time just playing with the blocks and their order. Here they are, arranged at random:
Or, arranged by color into diagonal lines:
Or arranged to form cute plus-signs:
What do you think? I think I may have a hankering for plus signs this time around.