Pat Sloan’s slick trimming trick (why didn’t we think of this?)

If there’s one thing every new quilter wonders, it’s how to make sure fabric is cut straight. Just one little nudge at the wrong angle can make straight cuts go wonky, which means sewing goes wonky, which means blocks go together wonky. And that’s just too much wonky for one quilt!

Best-selling author Pat Sloan has a smart tip for making straight cuts, and all you need is the rotary trio of tools to do it: mat, ruler, and cutter. Watch below for her clever little trick:


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Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy. We love how Pat’s like that!

Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Make My First QuiltWhether you’re a beginner or a seasoned quilting pro, Pat’s latest book, Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Make My First Quilt, is packed with tips and tricks that you may never have come across. Such as:

  • How to test your ¼" seam allowance (and keep it consistent)
  • How to make sure your grainline is straight before cutting (I didn’t know this!)
  • How to fix blocks that are the wrong size
  • How to calculate how much backing fabric you need

Plus tons more tips to make your quilting precise. Because less frustration means more fun!

I recently started teaching my first beginning quiltmaking class, and I’m using Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Make My First Quilt as a guide. My students are making every block in the book and then creating a sampler quilt with them. I’ve made each block two times to use as examples in class, and each time I’ve learned something new from Pat—and I’ve been quilting since 1997!

Blocks from Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Make My First Quilt
Get bonus instructions online for making Pat’s sampler quilt when you buy the book.

Blocks from Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Make My First Quilt
Pat’s blocks in a different color palette

My students are super excited for their first quiltmaking adventure, and so am I! I’ve enjoyed learning Pat’s tips so I can pass them on to my students. And I know they’ll thank me for introducing them to Pat!

Pick up all four books in Pat’s “Teach Me” series for great advice you’ll refer to as long as you quilt:

Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Machine Quilt Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Make My First Quilt Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Sew Triangles Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Applique

What’s your trick for cutting fabric as straight as an arrow?

  • Same trick as Pat!
  • I use the lines on the rotary mat and/or ruler.
  • I didn’t have a trick—until now!

Tell us your technique in the comments!


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