Hop into a time machine and travel back 400 million years. You won’t find humans or even dinosaurs that far back, but you will find sharks. Why have they lasted so long? Probably because they’re totally rad.
Sharks have up to 3,000 razor-sharp teeth at a time, and when one falls out, it can be replaced in as little as one day. Their senses – sight, smell, and hearing – are insanely powerful, and they can even detect the electric charge of other living creatures.
They never stop swimming and they never really sleep, they just cruise through life like the undisputed kings of the sea. Click HERE to learn how to make an applique shark quilt that is least as awesome as those razor-toothed beasts!
Rob’s intricate applique quilts are certainly a masterpiece, and we’ve put together a quilt kit to help you make you’re very own! Click the button below to check out the tutorial and shop supplies.
I began work on the Shark Applicutter more than five years ago, and the reason I invented it was a safety issue. I had started using the smallest rotary cutter I could find, an 18mm, to cut out the shapes used in my Endangered Species project. These quilts featured an “up close and personal” portrait of each endangered animal and required a lot of intricate cutting. As we all know, necessity is the mother of invention, so I started using my rotary cutter in a new way, holding it like a pen instead of using an overhand grip. When I used it this way, I could twist and move it more freely, but it had a few drawbacks. I started teaching my classes with the 18mm rotary cutter, but I noticed that many people were struggling to cut with it safely and accurately due to arthritis and other issues. As I listened to their concerns, I realized that adding a bump, like the dorsal fin on a shark, would make it safer to use and more accurate.
While I was on a teaching trip in Hawaii, I found myself sitting on a beach in Kona, mulling over a few ideas when inspiration struck me. I looked over at this chunk of old surfboard sticking out of the sand next to me and suddenly realized that I could use resin to make an amazing handle for the applicutter. At the same time I had been working on the rotary cutter handle back home, I was also making plastic water bottle spaceships with my son. The two projects came together in my mind right there on the beach. My son and I had been adding these little plexiglas wings onto water bottles and as I looked at that surfboard I realized I could make a handle from the same materials. Right when I got home, I went right to work creating the first prototype and immediately proved to myself that it worked fantastically. Now all I needed was a company to make it.
I saw a need in the industry for a better tool and a safer tool and I feel really proud of what I’ve created. It took a couple years for everything to come together and by the time I was about ready to sell it at quilt market, I began talking to people at Missouri Star Quilt Co. about the Shark Applicutter and they helped open the door. It was actually part of my interview when I joined the company. I had a silver, James Bond briefcase with me and I presented my product to them. They thought it was genius! I was ecstatic to join the MSQC family as the face of Man Sewing, and amazed that they believed in my product and in me.
It has been a five-year process to bring the Shark Applicutter to where it is today and the time just flew by. I had been so busy with everything else in my life that I felt like God helped me from start to finish. It was such a fun mission for me to take on; it has really been a fantastic ride. I can’t wait to see where it will go from here!
I knew the first ever Sharkapalooza Week at Missouri Star Quilt Co and Man Sewing had to be special, and what better way to celebrate this fintastic week, than with a FREE Shark Applique Design download!
To make this project, I grabbed my trusty Shark Applicutter, a Colors of Moda–Blues Fat Quarter Bundle, and some Heat N Bond Feather Lite and ironed on some fusible before I dove into cutting! Once I had all of my pieces ready to go, I went directly to my sewing machine…I couldn’t wait to see this shark come to life! After sewing the appliqué, I used a remaining fat quarter as a backing, added some batting and created a shark sandwich! Then came my favorite part, the free motion quilting! I added some splashes and waves to give our Shark friend a fun place to hang out!
I had a whale of a good time creating this applique design, and I’m sure you will too! I turned my Shark Applique into a 18.5” by 17.5” wall hanging, and I think this design would look great on nautical-themed quilts, pillows and more!
If you want to see how the project came together for me, check out this stop-motion video on my Man Sewing YouTube channel!
I cannot begin to say how excited I am to share this news with you. My new Shark Applicutter rotary cutter is now available for purchase (at missouriquiltco.com)! This product has been in my head for years and I am so happy to finally be able to share it with all of you! This cutter is the perfect tool for applique and other detailed projects! The 14mm blade is the smallest available, perfect for those curves and tight angles.
Watch the video to see it in action!
The Shark Applicutter makes intricate cuts easier and more exact with these great features:
Adapts for left or right hand.
Soft, comfortable grip.
Finger-protecting safety fin.
14mm blade that slices with incredible accuracy.
Designed for applique, but great for any project.
I can’t wait to hear about your experiences once you get to try it out for yourselves! It’s available at Missouri Star Quilt Company HERE.