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Thread: Cutting direction

  1. #1
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    Cutting direction

    What's the best way to use a rotary cutter? Should one make vertical or horizontal cuts?
    I tried searching the archives, but evidently no one has asked this question.
    Pat H
    Carencro LA

  2. #2
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    You cut straight forward, away from yourself.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen View Post
    You cut straight forward, away from yourself.
    That is generally the best way - especially for a beginner.

    I'm right-hand dominant, so I can cut fairly easily straight forward with my rotary cutter on the right hand side of the ruler, and I can also cut from right to left fairly easily with the cutter on the 'far side' of the ruler.

  4. #4
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    You cut away from yourself in case you slip. Fold your fabric until the width can fit onto your cutting matt. I lay my extra yardage on the table so there is no drag to distort the folded fabric. Make sure the selvages and the folds stay lined up. Trim the first edge off and discard. I place my ruler on the fabric and make a little teepee with my left hand on top of the ruler. Make sure that all fingertips and thumb are well back from the ruler edge. I use my right hand with the rotary cutter to cut away from my self along the ruler edge. Close the rotary cutter and gently pull the cut piece to make sure it is cut all the way through before moving the ruler.

  5. #5
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    As long as you cut away from yourself, you can cut the fabric in any direction you desire. I have no problem in cutting out circles when I need them.

  6. #6
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I recently spent about an hour with a quilting friend, teaching her a piecing technique. She cuts towards herself. Let me tell you, it DROVE ME NUTS!!! And my mom is a beginning quilter, she keeps putting down her cutter with the blade locked open - another thing that drives me nuts! I am getting her a new cutter that closes automatically for Christmas - she is very accident prone and I just know someday she's going to call me from the ER.

  7. #7
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    Yes, definitely cut AWAY from yourself with the rotary cutter (or any other sharp blade, really). I do as Tartan does with extra yardage on the table to elminate distortion. That said, I also go to the 'far' side of my cutting table to cut the first 'straightening' cut then I don't have to flip fabric to be able to measure from the cut edge for my subsequent cuts.

  8. #8
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    I think that it is easier to cut verticle than horizontal. When I try to cut horzontal I tend to cut crooked. Always cut away from yourself. Many cutter are adjustable for righty or lefty. I do not use glove like Fons and Porter do. No cut fingers yet (knock on wood)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish View Post
    I recently spent about an hour with a quilting friend, teaching her a piecing technique. She cuts towards herself. Let me tell you, it DROVE ME NUTS!!! And my mom is a beginning quilter, she keeps putting down her cutter with the blade locked open - another thing that drives me nuts! I am getting her a new cutter that closes automatically for Christmas - she is very accident prone and I just know someday she's going to call me from the ER.
    Maybe you should get it for her NOW?

    I do like those that automatically close when the cutter is put down.

  10. #10
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    Yes..I like my Olfa! I can lock it in ready mode or lock it in closed mode. I don't usually have a problem with cutting a straight line as long as I use a ruler. Most of my cuts have been vertical (away from me) but if I have a small surface to cut on, I will also cut horizontally. I do know it's hard to see where you're cutting when you have the cutter on the far side of the ruler, but I make sure that it's snug against it before cutting.
    Pat H
    Carencro LA

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