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If it ain’t broke…

Posted on: August 28th, 2013 by Lorna McMahon

They say, “If it ain’t broke…. Don’t fix it.”

Generally good advice.  But in this case it applies to two different circumstances.
Let’s say you’re talking about a broken rotary cutter….  Now THAT needs fixed!

I am notoriously cheap.  And since I have been quilting, I have wasted good money on, not one, but two of those itty, bitty cutters.  You might as well not even buy new blades for one of those because, the shaft that the blade spins on…. It always wears out and causes the blade to go wonky.  Even when you change the blade.  Quite the exercise in frustration!

So, today I treated myself to a 45mm Olfa Splash rotary cutter.  And I was surprised at how reasonably priced it was.  I also purchased two replacement blades.  It says on the package that it is guaranteed, so time will tell if the blade ends up going wonky or not.  I sure hope not!

And what was I eagerly anticipating working on with my new cutter, you might ask?

Well, that would be the second broken thing I was referring to in the opening for this post….

Broken Herringbone blocks!    These may be broken, but they don’t need fixed.

This cute block design was created by Anne of Play Crafts.  And she has a free tutorial listed on her blog with the most excellent and easy to follow instructions, complete with plenty of great pics, where she will walk you through the steps in making them.  Click on that link above to see what I am talking about!

If you do try out that wonderful tutorial, and find it is a block you are interested in making again….

The broken herringbone quilt along even has it’s own Flickr group.  Click to see some of the fabulous examples entered already!  Don’t be shy… Give it a try!

Keep on, Quilting on, everybody!

32 Responses

  1. Vera says:

    Aren't you strong lady? 🙂 I knew what you making the minute I saw your pic up on FB. Interesting color scheme. BTW vexa=Vera

  2. Guessed right! That little skinny stripe gave it away:) they look gorgeous.

  3. Anne says:

    Oooooh I love the sashing color you chose!! :DGorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!

  4. Neato! I love the colors! I'm really happy with Olfa. I had a cutter break (the lock wouldnt stay locked). I called them, described the problem and new one was at my door in just a few days. I would say they mean it when the guarantee it!

  5. Vicki says:

    Another QAL? This is a wonderful block! Can't wait to see it all together. I think you will like your 45mm cutter.

  6. I love the look of this block, but man does it seem complicated! Think I'll pin this tutorial and come back to it when I'm feeling braver! Can't wait to see how your QAL goes though!

  7. Loving those blocks! Wish I had time to join in the fun. I have been using the same olfa cutter for about 15 years now. I have some newer models but it is still my favorite.

  8. Karin says:

    Love that pattern and your choice of colours…About those cutters…yes, I also use Olfa Rotary Cutters and invested in a blade sharpener about 2 years ago…saved heaps of money as I do not have to buy new blades every 5 minutes.

  9. Alia says:

    Oooh love those blocks, thanks for sharing the tutorial link!

  10. Looks really good! Love the colours and now you've made me curious about the QAL!

  11. great colors in your blocks. i buy my olfa blades in bulk on ebay and save a ton

  12. Lorna, your blocks look grand! Great sashing colour, and this is going to have a sweet romance about it!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Love those herringbone block Lorna. Beautiful…will certainly be checking out the tutorial. Thanks for sharing. Marie (

  14. Love your colors! Glad to hear you like the Splash cutter…I've been thinking of getting one. Everyone seems to love that thing!

  15. Ok, you totally twisted my arm! I was on the fence with Molli's QAL but then remembered all the jelly rolls I need to use up and saw how beautiful your blocks are so I'm going to do it! Thanks girl!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Love your green solid in the broken herringbone! The fabrics are so colorful and summery!

  17. jan says:

    Did Melissa say use up jelly rolls? maybe I could do this MSBHBQAL thingy, lol…Yall crack me up.I love your blocks vtw and I need a new cutter!xo jan

  18. Oh, I say its broken and you should just send the pieces my way! 😉 I'll trade you a slighty wonky cutter, what do you say?! 😉

  19. love, love, LOVE the BH blocks but I just have too many quilts on my list to join a QAL. Love your fabrics and your sashing choice though!!Thank you so much for sharing at Needle and Thread Thursday!:) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

  20. *desire for Olfa Splash cutter exponentially increased* thanks for the review, Lorna!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Oh very pretty block indeed!!! I have to say I am hooked on the 45mm olfa. I have had mine for over a decade. The splash looks like a great tool to have. I will have to look for one!

  22. Jessica says:

    Sunnyside is my FAV! I've used that tutorial before and it is genius. Looking forward to seeing where this is going!

  23. Cloud CouCou says:

    Loving the broken herringbone blocks, the colours work really well together:) The raindrops are my favourites. I had thought about a similar-ish combo for my city sampler, but couldn't find the right fabrics at the time.

  24. Allison says:

    Love the block! I love how crisp it is. Beautiful.And I love my BIG rotary cutter. I use a 60mm Olfa and have never looked back. It works like a dream. I have never had one go wobbly on me like the small ones.

  25. RobinSue says:

    Your fabric choices are delicious! I better get on the ball and choose mine for the MSBHQAL that I so boldly joined as well. Time to break out a new blade, there's a lot of cutting to do!

  26. I just got one of those cute rotary cutters today. I usually use the 60 mm but I forgot how much I like the 45 mm. I'm thinking of joining that quilt-along, mostly because Molli always makes me laugh…

  27. SeeMaryQuilt says:

    Great colors. I'm sure your Broken Herringbone is going to turn out great!

  28. Love your blocks. The sashing between looks fabulous. Great colours

  29. Love your blocks. The sashing between looks fabulous. Great colours

  30. great block, fabulous colour scheme – this will be a real winner. I've never had any issues with my Olfa cutters and have been using them for years – definitely worth it.

  31. Conni says:

    I am very happy with my OLFA, I am sure you will enjoy yours too, now if they could only make a \”stay sharp blade\”

  32. Laura says:

    I just wanted to let you know I am one who likes to save money when I sew. However, my great grandmother, Mama, told me 30+ years ago that the instruments you use to make your dresses must be of good quality and last because you will use them all the time. Also, Mama, decided I would not be a seamstress, but, that is a special story, but back to my comment instead of memory lane… I invested in a pair of Gingher scissors and a rotary cutter. My rotary cutter is the bomb, the right weight and I cannot imagine being without it, however I wish replacement blades were cheaper. I love the herringbone pattern and the colors. Awesome job