Diving Into Multiple Bottoms – It’ll Make Sense, Honestly.

As part of the efforts to bring more of my sewing adventures to this blog today sees the start of a series of posts that will stretch the entirety of this year and it begins with me revealing my bottom…

Now before you get disgusted/excited I have to tell you that it’s the sewing kind of bottom – B.O.T.M. – and not the nudey kind.

B.O.T.M. stands for Block of the Month.

As you’ve probably guessed therefore this will involve patchwork and me fancy new Brother sewing machine that I’ve been itching to get out and take for a spin since it arrived last year.

So excited!

What you may not have surmised [fancy word for guessed] is that this will also – mostly – involve the Brother Scan N Cut too.

Remember in the past how I have enthused about all of the quilt block and applique patterns that come pre-installed? Well, I felt it about time I put them to use. In the past I have made an effort to test this feature out and got as far as stitching some bits together but never took it further.

Now it’s time!

Anybody seen my drum roll? Seem to have misplaced it.

After a good old rummage through the fabric stash – which is always part of the fun – I stumbled across this bolt-end that I had nabbed for a bargain price many moons ago and popped in the “someday” pile.

Well, today IS someday!

Next up, time to choose which block to do so I had a flick through the pattern list. I seem to be rubbish at decision making lately so in the end I resolved to start at the beginning with pattern 1. Well, pattern PA-A001, as it’s named here.

Apparently the more common name is “Shoo Fly”. There are others, but that one seems to be the one I see plastered all over the internet, not that that makes anything true.

So that I could get a better idea of how the block would repeat across a decorative quilt I sketched it out in me square grid notebook – a Christmas gift from me to me for this very purpose – using a 3×3 block repeat.

I even did a few colour comparison tests to get an idea of how tone and hue would make a difference to how to pieces would sit together.

If I am honest, I really couldn’t be bothered mucking about with two patterned fabrics and so teamed up the oriental lantern cotton with some bright orange which was chosen because of the use of the colour in the main fabric – handy tip there for colour selection.

Would have had lots of options if the orange hadn’t worked as there are a good range of colours in the main design anyways.

To be able to cut the fabric with the Scan N Cut I would need to prepare it by cutting it down into pieces that would fit the cutting mat which in this case was the 12″ x 12″ standard mat.

I also popped a couple of post it notes on showing the grain direction as this can be key to getting a good cut when using an electronic cutting machine with fabric and I would have totally lost it on the solid colour – the pattern would have helped on that fabric as the pattern direction follows the grain, but still, better to be safe than sorry, eh?

Next, I chose to prep the fabric with starch – this wasn’t strictly necessary but in my opinion makes the fabric much easier to cut – and so soaked and hung the fabric to dry in front of the fire – which has been lit a lot lately due to the bitterly cold weather.

Handy, right?

Oh, another quick tip. If you choose to do this for a project you are working on, do put down a couple of bin liners or a plastic sheet under your drying area to catch the drips of starch – or don’t put on as much as I do, lol!

After letting the pieces dry thoroughly I then pressed them with a hot iron – no steam – and set aside whilst I set up the Scan N Cut.

FYI, some people iron the starch straight away, whilst wet, but I have found that it can cause it to flake and on one occasion discolour the sole plate of the iron. No idea why though. Just sharing.

Ok, back to the Scan N Cut. After setting the seam allowance to 1/4″, increasing the pattern interval and locating the quilt block pattern I set the size of the block to be six inches.

The machine then worked out what size the individual pieces needed to be and presented me with them ready to add to a mat and cut out.

You may be forgiven for thinking that there would only be two shapes for this – a half square triangle and a square – however due to the need for the pieces to be cut from different fabrics and with the grain facing into the machine, it is necessary to split this down into six shapes. I can still cut same colours from the same piece of fabric, it just makes orienting the shapes on the mat a breeze as it’s already done.

Make sense? Probably not but there we are, some things don’t but we do them anyway, like waking up in the morning. Why (do we have to)?!

So that I didn’t get the pieces mixed up, as I cut and removed the shapes from the mat, I put them in little piles with a post it note that had their name on.

Nifty wee trick, eh?

Right, going well so far but at this point I shall have to press pause on this little project and crack on with some other worky work stuff.

How about we regroup later in the month and I will show you my progress then?

If you would like to see more from me in relation to the Brother Scan N Cut CM series of machines, please check out the following links:

Blog Archive. A whole load of blog posts from the last 5 years working with this machine.
Udemy Video Workshop – a full Scan N Cut series of ad free lectures that takes you right from getting it out of the box, through the key features of the machine and beyond.
YouTube Playlist. A whole bunch of free videos.

That’s about it for this one.

If you have any questions or thoughts about the content of this post, please feel free to pop them in the comments section below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again soon!

Bye for now.


There are literally hundreds more posts in the archives so please do check out the suggested posts at the bottom of this page or visit one of the category archives below or check out the related posts section at the end of this post.

PapercraftsDigital Crafts
Drawing and PaintingFabric, Fibre & Yarn
Glass CraftsJewellery Making
Mixed MediaNeedlepoint

14 thoughts on “Diving Into Multiple Bottoms – It’ll Make Sense, Honestly.

  1. Gorgeous fabric with the laterns on it, great colour combo too. I love bright colours.
    Can’t wait to see how your block will be.
    Thank you so much for sharing, stay safe and have a wonderful day.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great blog as I’m just about to start quilting, I’m wanting to do a sampler type quilt and was going to cut using my S&C try in coloured paper first to save me keep colouring in my pad, anything for an easy life… Would you advise a particular blade on cm900 for cutting fabric?


  3. Hi John, having worked for Laura Ashley/Texplan, it really put me off of sewing for pleasure but I will watch this project and see where it takes me. Mind you I did give my fabric tacky sheet from my scan n cut to a quilting friend for her scan n cut so I may have to buy a new one … if I try this project.
    Many thanks for giving us your time again John and I hope you love your new machine. xx

    Liked by 1 person

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