I started with some squares and a cookie cutter (to make appliques). I decided to fuse the squares to some interfacing to try this the way I've seen many people do it online. I'll try to find the tutorial & post the link. What a cool technique. Ingenious, actually. The only downside is that it was super thick, especially once I put appliques on there and then machine quilted it.
By the way, that's my favorite ruler shown. The Nancy Crow Quickline. Don't know why, but it just feels right.