Olfa Quiltalong- 40 years of the Rotary Cutter


Did you know that 2019 is the 40 year anniversary of the invention of the Olfa rotary cutter?

Oh, how I love my rotary cutters! It is the most frequently used quilting tool on my work table. I constantly switch between different rulers and templates, but I always use my rotary cutter.



rotary cutter

1979- The first rotary cutter invented by Yoshio Okada, the founder of Olfa


The rotary cutter was a pivotal tool for the quilting industry. Its introduction meant yardage could be cut smoothly and evenly using a rolling circular blade.


Would I have had patience to cut only with scissors? Think about it. I’m not sure! I recommend Olfa cutters in my classes and in my books. An essential tool!!


To celebrate the 40th anniversary of this fantastical little tool, Olfa asked 40 designers to each design a quilt block to pay homage to the rotary cutter. 40 weeks of one block a week, from a new designer, and you have the 40th Anniversary Quilt Along.



Photography: Kitty Wilkin / Quilt Design: Roseann Kermes / Editor: Elizabeth Beese / Machine Quilter: Marilyn Kidd


My quilt block I contributed to the Olfa 40th Anniversary quilt (block 22) launches this week!



The “Wonky Circle” block gets inspiration from those little pieces of fabric I cut in my studio daily with rotary cutter. Squaring up edges, trimming corners, things I constantly do when making a quilt. My rotary cutter and I work in complete harmony to execute these actions over and over and over again. The improvisational, wonky center of the block is, what else? The rotary blade! The yellow fabrics pay homage to the handle color of my first rotary cutter, and Olfa. (Purchased in college while studying textile design, not really even sure what it was. Happy to say I still use it today!)


Qlfa Quiltalong Block 22 Wonky Circle


Download my Wonky Circle block (and all of the other blocks) on this page. Read this page to understand how to follow the pattern for any of the blocks and when new blocks will be released.


If you make a block and post to social media, use the hashtag #olfaquiltalong and be sure to tag me on Instagram if you make the wonky circle block, I would love to see.


The quilt along is open anytime to anyone. Grab some fabric and start making!


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