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Thread: Accurate Cutting? Need some help

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Accurate Cutting? Need some help

    Hi All-

    I am about ready to SCREAM! Now, mind you I am an OCD/ADHD type of person who LOVES perfection and quilting/cutting fabric has become quite a humbling experience because there is SO much human error involved..it drives me nuts! HA!

    ANYWAYS, I am wondering how to improve my cutting skills to make everything else line up correctly. Trust me, I have improved SO MUCH from a year ago. Some factors I am wondering about..does the CUTTING TABLE matter? I currently cut on one of those plastic fold up tables, and yes, the table is very sturdy, but when you press on the top, it does have some "play" to it..would a wooden table make a difference at all? Secondly, I ALWAYS have a sharp blade, so that isn't an issue, and I really try to triple check and square up EVERYTHING before making the cuts.

    Advice or tips would be GREAT! Thanks, JC

  2. #2
    Super Member thrums's Avatar
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    The bounce can affect your cutting.

    Check to see that your mat is clear from embedded lint and that there aren't any ridges or nicks in it.

    Is the height of your table comfortable for you? I put risers under mine.

    I find the harder I try the more mistakes I make. Sometimes I just have to walk away for a few minutes and sing a little ditty.

  3. #3
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    is the table too low? I cut on a counter top height cutting table. It is an old wooden door, so there is no give in it either.
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  4. #4
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    Ok, so maybe I should look into finding a solid wooden table to cut on? That might make a difference and then go from there. My mat is pretty new and has a lot of life left in it.

  5. #5
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    Something else to check is whether you have any nicks or shaves on your ruler. One of mine had that problem on one side. Apparently I had 'dinged' it while trying to cut oh, so precisely.
    legendarycandles.com
    Just discovered I qualify for FABLE (Fabric Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy)

  6. #6
    Senior Member vwquilting's Avatar
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    Cutting is one thing but square you blocks after sewing them, and press you strips and make sure they are straight.
    Yes a hard surface and no b.ounce makes a big difference

  7. #7
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    When you hold down the ruler, do you hold it in the middle? I used to hold mine in the middle and it would shift on me just a tad. Now I hold down the lower third, cut up to where I still have good control, then walk my fingers up the ruler, hold it down and cut some more. Sometimes I only need 2 changes, sometimes 3.

    I also stopped layering too many layers of fabric. Cutting fewer layers gives me better results.

    Sometimes - depending on the pattern, I may cut a piece oversize and trim it down precisely.
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

  8. #8
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I thought I was a pretty good "cutter" but still had some ... imperfections that just made me NUTS! till I started to starch my fabrics... What a difference it makes in everything ! Because I am so NUTS about it ... I use an immersion method .... I mix ( two parts water to one part starch) from a starch concenrate (Stayflo .. blue bottle ..Walmart) them soak the whole fabric in the mix ( I use a 1 gallon plastic bucket) .... really saturating the fabric then hang dry on a drying rack.. Then iron then cut... Try it ... I think you will like the results. It extra steps but when I don't do it ... I regret it. When only a few inches of a fabric is needed I use a sponge type paint brush and just paint the few inches of the end of the fabric . Then cut the required strip.
    Last edited by Lori S; 02-22-2012 at 04:55 PM.

  9. #9
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    a good cutting table- made for that- that is situated at the correct height for you is a must-
    starching your fabrics also helps-
    the film that is added to rulers (or dots) to keep them from slipping help also.
    patience-
    not trying to cut too many layers at a time-
    practice
    all make a difference.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  10. #10
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    If your rulers don't have a non-slip surface on them, glue a few thin strips of fine sandpaper to the side that goes against your fabric. Always put your rulers straight up and down on your fabric, never slide them across the fabric. The suction cup handles made for seniors to help them in and out of the bath make great holders for your rulers. They are sold in the notions sections, but cost less when sold as aids for seniors on Ebay.
    Last edited by TanyaL; 02-22-2012 at 05:36 PM.

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