Hey everyone! I am so pleased to review a new tool and technique for quilters – it’s the Slit ‘N Sew Method by Quilter’s Paradise using their CutRite Drunkard’s Path Template. I’ll also share some tips for working with these specific templates, and there’s a giveaway, too! (This giveaway is now closed.)
Disclosure: I was asked by Quilter’s Paradise to test out their product. I am not being compensated for this review other than receiving the product without charge. My experience and opinion of their technique are honest and made with the consumer (you) in mind.
What is the Slit ‘N Sew Method?
Slit ‘N Sew is a technique that makes piecing together challenging units really quick and easy. It entails using specially designed templates for cutting pieces such as clam shells, diamonds, apple core and drunkard’s path blocks. These templates have slits that are used to line up the edges of the fabric pieces as you sew them.
If you’re like me, anything with curved edges or odd angles requires a lot of energy and patience. I often avoid such patterns because I don’t want to work that hard to have fun. This technique offers a way of making difficult units come together easily and painlessly.
Many of the templates are designed to work with precut fabrics such as 10” layer cakes and 5” charm squares. I found this to be an added bonus and makes the template even more useful for those of us that like working with precuts. I’m working with a 10” layer cake from Moda – Mixed Bag by Studio M – in brushed cotton (almost like flannel).
For this particular shape, the Drunkard’s Path, the slits also help to ease the curved edges together. Once the slits are cut, you can see by stretching the curved edge that it can practically form a straight line.
How does the CutRite template work?
The templates have slits placed along the seam edges that are designed to align with the corresponding edge. You can cut these slits with a rotary cutter or you can mark them first and then cut them with scissors. I used a rotary cutter, and I’ll discuss size and technique in just a bit.
Once your pieces are cut out, you line up the slits as you sew the seam. There’s no need to use pins and it’s quick and easy to stitch the unit together.
Tips for using the template
The templates come with a CutRite HandiGrabber material that you apply to the back of the template. This keeps them from slipping while you cut, and it works really well.
Blade size: I tried the 45 mm size rotary cutter and the 28 mm size. I was able to make the 45 mm rotary cutter work, but it wasn’t as easy as the smaller one. When you expose the blade on both of these rotary cutters, you’ll see that the smaller blade has a smaller circumference (obviously) therefore making it easier to fit inside the slit. The 45 mm blade makes a shorter slit, whereas the 28 mm blade creates a deeper slit that is just right.
NOTE: The slits should not be deeper than a very scant 1/4”. Test out your rotary cutter on a scrap piece of fabric to be sure.
Cutting the slits with a rotary cutter was a bit tricky at first. I found that it helped to hold the rotary cutter at a more upright position when cutting the slits. Normally I hold it at a 45 degree angle, but for this, I was holding it at almost 90 degrees or perpendicular to the cutting surface. This made a big difference for me.
Going around the curves may be easier with a smaller rotary cutter, depending on the exact template you’re using. For this one, the curved edges are fairly large so either size rotary cutter works.
One way to “cheat” if you only have a 45 mm rotary cutter is to back up the template 1/16” from the cut edge. This will give you a little more room to cut into the slit.
I did not try using a marking tool and scissors to cut the slits, but it seems like another good option to try.
Sewing the seams: I shortened my stitch length to 2.0 to make sewing the curved edge more smooth and secure. I started by matching the beginning raw edges as you normally would. Once I had sewn a few stitches, I lined up the first slits.
Once I sewed past the first slit, I lined up the next one and so on. I found that I needed to stretch the top fabric to make it line up with the bottom slit. That’s fine; there is a lot of ease in the curved edge, so don’t worry about stretching it out of shape.
Once I got my rhythm down, I was stitching fairly quickly. I didn’t worry about the slits lining up perfectly (once in a while they didn’t). Make sure to line up the edges at the beginning and at the very end of the curved seam. I found that using a pin or stiletto at the end was helpful in keeping that edge together.
It might look a little “ruffly” when you’re done, but it will press out just fine. You can press to the light or dark fabric – whichever works best for your pattern construction.
What I really loved about using this technique and template was how quickly and easily I could produce the Drunkard’s Path block with accurate results. My particular size makes a 8” finished block. The blocks turned out to be 8 1/2” unfinished with no trimming up needed. That was amazing in itself! There were just a few edges where the curved seams did not line up perfectly at the end of the seam but it didn’t affect my blocks fitting together.
I made this cute baby quilt using 36 eight-inch squares. There are so many different setting options for this block. I played around a bit and came up with this one. It’s a little unique, but I like it!
Note: This giveaway is now closed. The nice folks at Quilter’s Paradise have generously offered to give away a CutRite template of your choice to one lucky blog reader! All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post (not my home page) telling me your favorite quilt block OR your least favorite quilt block. This giveaway is open to all, US and international readers. You have until Friday,
February 15, 2019 (closed) to leave a comment to enter. The winner will be selected at random and can choose any CutRite Slit ‘N Sew template from Quilter’s Paradise!
Due to the high volume of comments during giveaways, I’m unable to respond to each one. I do read and appreciate every one of them. If you have a specific question, I will see it and respond as needed.
- To enter, leave a comment telling me your favorite or least favorite quilt block to make.
- You must comment by 11:59 pm, PST,
Friday, February 15, 2019. CLOSED
- One comment per person.
- Winner will be chosen at random.
- Giveaway is open to everyone.
I hope this information was helpful. I know there are always new products on the market, and it’s hard to discern which ones are worth the investment. I was pleasantly surprised that these templates did what they were designed to do – make a challenging quilt block easier and faster to construct.