Quilt-Pro tip 13: Using the Rotary Cutter on a Circle or Ellipse. A backdoor trick!

Editor: Sharla R. Hicks
Newsletter index for all issues

Quilt-Pro Series by Frank Smith:

Want to use the rotary cutter
on circle patches, ellipse patches and patches
containing freehand and bezier curves?
Use the Backdoor!

Quilt-Pro 4 users can also cut joined patches that use the Arc.

Quilt-Pro Tip Series by Frank Smith © 2002

Editor's Note: You can use the rotary cutter on the geometric patches, but Quilt-Pro does not cut anything related to a curve like a circle, ellipse, pie, arcs, freehand, or bezier curves. Frank has found a backdoor work around that will allow you to just that. Wow!

Quilt-Pro 3:

The backdoor to use the rotary cutter is to export drawn circles, ellipses, and patches drawn with the the freehand and bezier curves that have been joined. In Quilt-Pro 3 the backdoor does NOT work on the Arc or the Pie patches.

Quilt-Pro 4:

The backdoor to use the rotary cutter is to export drawn circles, ellipses, and pie shapes. In Quilt Pro 4 you can also use the backdoor to rotary cutter joined patches created from arcs, bezier curves and freehand lines. This must be done before the export/import function outlined below.

Quilt-Pro 3 and Quilt-Pro 4: Drawing Circles and Ellipses

1. Open Quilt Pro or open a new workspace if Quilt Pro is running

2. In the Tool Bar, select the Circle tool .

3. Draw a circle patch on your workspace. See Figure 1.

4. In the Tool Bar, select the Ellipse tool .

5. Draw an ellipse patch on your workspace. See Figure 1.

Figure 1. Circle and ellipse patches on workspace.

6. In the Tool Bar, select the Select tool . Select both patches by dragging the mouse cursor across the patches.

7. In the Edit menu, select Copy.


8. In the File menu, select Export. See Figure 2.



Figure 2. Export clipboard as metafile dialogue box.

Note: If you do not have an Import and Export Folder under Quilt-Pro folder, it is easy to create one after the dialogue box is open.

  • Click on the Create New Folder Icon. A New Folder will appear.
  • Rename the folder Import and Export. Then continue on with the exercise.

9. If not looking in at Import and Export folder, browse to that folder. Use the drop down arrow and select Enhanced metafile as Save as type and enter file name Oval-Circle.

10. Click

11. In the File menu, select Import. The dialogue box opens. See Figure 3.

Figure 3. Import data from dialogue box.


12. Locate the Import and Export folder, the file name is Oval-Circle and in the files of type pull down menu has Enhanced Metafiles selected (see blue highlight in Fig. 3.)

13. Click . See Figure 4.

Figure 4.
Workspace showing both the original patches we exported,
on the right, and the Imported patches on the left.

14. Delete the selected items on the right.

Note: The patches on the left can now be cut with the rotary cutter tool.

15. In the Tool Bar, select the Rotary Cutter tool .

16. Test the patches by cutting them into two sections with the Rotary Cutter . See Figure 5.

Figure 5. Workspace with both patches cut.


Create Patches using the Effects menu option Join to use with the rotary cutter backdoor export.

1. Draw the shapes you wish using the Bezier Curve, Freehand, line and in Quilt-Pro 4 ONLY you can also use the .

2. To join the patches, use the Select tool and drag across the lines you wish to join.

3. Go to the Effects Menu and select Join.

4. To cut the joined patches with the rotary cutter, repeat steps 6-16 in previous exercise.

line break

To e-mail Frank with a thank you, click here
About the author of the Quilt-Pro Series, Frank Smith

line break