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Message Board > Quilters' Corner > Using a Rotary Cutter ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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Using a Rotary Cutter
How Can I Improve?
Kippysan
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Kippysan
Intermediate
CT
Member since 4/19/11
Posts: 273
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Date: 12/5/12 11:29 PM

My rotary cutting skills stink. Really bad. I get along just fine with a pair of scissors and I've never had problems cutting fabric accurately with scissors.

But the rotary cutter. OMG. The stupid ruler frequently slips from my hand - just a little bit - but we know that little bit can have a big affect when you're cutting out quilt pieces.

And the blade. Again. OMG. I can go through 2 new blades, just cutting out a queen-size quilt. I think that means I am not applying the appropriate amount of pressure when I cut.

I was wondering if I'm the only one who has this problem. Has anyone else gotten frustrated with the rotary cutter and gone back to using scissors to cut out blocks?

Is there another darn book I should read that can help me?

Kippy

Stitchsdm
Stitchsdm  Friend of PR
Intermediate
AUSTRALIA
Member since 5/13/12
Posts: 187
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In reply to Kippysan <<


Date: 12/6/12 4:41 AM

You are not alone!!! Same as you, grat with scissors, deadly with a rotary cutter. Even took the top off my finger earlier this year

------
Canberra, Australia

Dressmaking, Machine Embroidery, Quilting
Stitchsdmsewing.blogspot.com.au

Life is short. Make the most of it.

PortlandMaine
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PortlandMaine  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
ME USA
Member since 1/29/11
Posts: 2181
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Date: 12/6/12 4:52 AM

It took me about 2 years to be able to learn how to cut a straight line -- most of the time. Im a very slow learner.

I made lots of free form quilts with applique to avoid cutting straight lines.

------
Quilting up a storm!

Sewmissy2
Sewmissy2
Intermediate
MO USA
Member since 12/5/10
Posts: 124
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thumbsup 2 members like this.
Date: 12/6/12 8:45 AM

Tips for rotary cutting:
1. Put that static cling stuff on the bottom of your rulers so that they don't slip as easily. Omnigrid makes it and you can buy it at JoAnns with a coupon.

2. Use those "Klutz" gloves from Fons and Porter if you even think you might slip and cut your finger..I know more than one person that have cut themselves BADLY with a rotary cutter

3. Double folding the fabric makes for a shorter cut and I have started doing that. Fold carefully for the second fold, folding the original fold up to the selvedge. Pressing this makes for a better cut.

4. Hold the ruler carefully with your left hand (if you are right handed) with fingers spread out and put your pinky finger outside the ruler on the left to steady it on the table.

5. Do not press down hard with the rotary cutter when you cut..if you need to, you need a new blade. Pressing hard is what makes you slip and hurt yourself, or make a crooked cut. You should be able to use just medium or light pressure to cut through those 4 layers. Square up the cutting line as often as necessary if you feel it is going a little crooked.

6. If all else fails, invest in an Accuquilt cutter. : )

------
Designer 1, bought in 2000
Simplicity 350 serger, bought about 1997
3 Tajima Neo single head embroidery machines
Digitizer by profession
Embroidery software: Tajima DGML by Pulse (commercial) also know Designer's Gallery and Floriani for home use.

lgrande
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lgrande  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
MT USA
Member since 1/18/12
Posts: 1546
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In reply to Sewmissy2 <<
thumbsup 1 member likes this.


Date: 12/6/12 9:06 AM

You mean this stuff?
I never had much luck with that, my ruler slipped despite it.
What I do like and use on all my rulers is
ruler grips.
For me, these little grippy dots work every time. I think I got mine from Nancy's Notions.

------
Linda

Bernina 830LE
Brother Dreamweaver VQ3000
Bernina B530
Janome 6600P
Pfaff 1209
Babylock Evolution
Janome 644D

bessiemae
bessiemae
Intermediate
OH USA
Member since 4/15/06
Posts: 267
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Date: 12/6/12 9:46 AM

I use silicon "grippy" dots on the underside of my rulers.

Also, am very picky about which rulers I use. Some of them simply are poorly marked for my brain.

------
Brother Innovis NX650Q; Brother Nouvelle 1500; Brother CS6000i; Brother 1034D

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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OH USA
Member since 12/3/06
Posts: 6873
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Date: 12/6/12 11:28 AM

How to Use a Rotary Cutter.

I have been using this cutting system for over 30 years and here are few of my observations:

A more upright position of the handle will give more pressure on the blade and better cutting.

Lint can accumulate under the blade and make the wheel seem dull when it is just the lint slowing down the roll of the blade.

When changing the blade, make sure you do not have two blades as the packing oil can cause them to stick together.

Wear a Klutz glove if you wish - have one but seldom use it.

Temporary spray adhesive such as Sulky can give a bit of stickiness to the back of the ruler. It will not harm the fabric and comes in two types; air soluble or water soluble.

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

Julkane
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Julkane  Friend of PR
Intermediate
PA USA
Member since 9/14/07
Posts: 689
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 12/6/12 11:46 AM

This may not be true for all but what I found, that since I am only 5'2", the standard cutting table of height of 34 or 35 inches is just too high for me.I was reaching at the end of the fabric and going off line. So I got a cutting table of 30 inches high and my cuts are much straighter - may not work for others but it was a key point for me.

------
Elna Excellence 740, Pfaff Quilt expression 4.0, Janome 300E, Brother 8500D, Babylock Ellageo, Janome 900CPX CoverPro, Brother 5234 Project Runway Serger, Singer Treadle, Singer 66, Singer 99

http://juliannasjourney.blogspot.com/

Rainer
Rainer
Advanced Beginner
NY USA
Member since 10/5/10
Posts: 342
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Date: 12/6/12 4:14 PM

Try This Handheld Grip..

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00292BPII/ref=oh_details_o05_s01_i01

Kippysan
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Kippysan
Intermediate
CT
Member since 4/19/11
Posts: 273
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Date: 12/6/12 4:30 PM

Thanks very much for your responses. I think I need to focus on two suggestions:

the first is that like Julkane, I'm only 5 foot 2 and my cutting table is too high. I'm going to lower the table.

the second is the amount of pressure I'm applying. I am going to back off on the pressure and try to let the blade do the job.

I'm going to practice on some scraps.

Thanks again.

Kippy

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