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Thread: How do you use a template with a rotary cutter?

  1. #1
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    How do you use a template with a rotary cutter?

    I've read through the archives looking for ideas about using templates with my rotary cutter, but am still left with questions.
    What I want to know is how others handle templates when cutting pieces. When cutting shapes for applique, I pin my pattern to the fabric and use scissors to cut around it. But, when cutting odd shapes with straight edges, I'd like to use my rotary cutter. Then I begin to run into problems with the pattern moving as I reposition my ruler. Do you use tape to hold templates in place? I can't imagine gluing to the fabric, but must confess to being tempted. Tracing doesn't seem to solve the problem but instead adds the inaccuracy of line thickness and ink or other substance on my fabric.
    I think I'm stuck somewhere in my past life of sewing clothing and all that cutting out of patterns! Mostly the templates I use are paper with the pattern printed on it that I then cut around. Pinning doesn't work because the pin then interferes with the ruler.
    Barbara

    Samuel Johnson - Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed, not by strength but by perseverance.

  2. #2
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    I just watched a fons and porter show that adressed this. They put a small cutting mat on a large one...cut 2 sides and then turned it to cut 2 more. The other thing they did was use a glue stick to hold a template in place - the thin kind you can make yourself. I also have heard of gluing fine grade sandpaper to the template - that helps hold it in place and not slip - have not tried any of this, but it sounds good.

  3. #3
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Sandpaper ... you can buy dots of it in the hardware store. Saves cutting and glue already there.

    Perhaps some 2-sided tape on your template?

    I don't use paper templates, though when I have had templates in acrylic, a small rotary cutter zips around the edges pretty quick.

    If they are templates you'll use a lot, for a very low cost, a glass cutting shop could cut them easy enough for you. Mine puts a hole in them, so I can easily string all together that are a set.

    I've also heard of folks using old tupperware lids, or yogurt lids, etc. to cut out templates, so they have something more substantial than a piece of paper .... that I'd soon cut it up with the rotary cutter!
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  4. #4
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    You have for more patience than I!!! I have several templates and tried to do a Dresden Plate but gave up after the inaccurate cuts. I love quilting so far, but I dread "cutting" so I decided to splurge on the AccuQuilt go. I hope this works better for me if not I guess I will give up quilting!!
    Merry Christmas!!
    Lisa

  5. #5
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    I take tape and wrap it so that the sticky side is out and tape the ends together (hope that makes sense). Then I put them between the template and the fabric. When it stops sticking, I just make more til I'm done.

  6. #6
    Super Member MaryMo's Avatar
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    Does anybody draw around templates and cut out shapes with scissors anymore?
    Make it a scrappy happy day!

  7. #7
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    Trace your template onto the paper side of freezer paper. The shiny side of freezer paper can be temporarily fused to the fabric with your iron. The rotary ruler should be able to be either placed right at the edge of the shape for rotary cutting or on the 1/4 inch mark on the ruler and cut to add the seam allowance. The template can then be peeled off and used a few more times before it loses it's stickiness. I think this would be your best bet on a template that wouldn't shift as you cut. Good Luck!

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    if i have a template, i tape it to the ruler and then place and cut... this includes one strip and multiple strips...for instance, when cutting the windmill...i sewed the 'blade' fabric in a strip to the 'sky' fabric and then marked the template with the line where they were sewn together.... tape face up (so you can see thru the ruler) to the ruler and then line up line with seam...cut and done....the 8 seam block just became a 4 seam block... love it!!!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member barb55's Avatar
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    That is what I do .You can see through the tape but can't the sandpaper.

    Quote Originally Posted by yngldy View Post
    I take tape and wrap it so that the sticky side is out and tape the ends together (hope that makes sense). Then I put them between the template and the fabric. When it stops sticking, I just make more til I'm done.
    Barb

  10. #10
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    Trace your template onto the paper side of freezer paper. The shiny side of freezer paper can be temporarily fused to the fabric with your iron. The rotary ruler should be able to be either placed right at the edge of the shape for rotary cutting or on the 1/4 inch mark on the ruler and cut to add the seam allowance. The template can then be peeled off and used a few more times before it loses it's stickiness. I think this would be your best bet on a template that wouldn't shift as you cut. Good Luck!
    I also agree with Tartan, the freezer paper works great on both straight edges and cut with a rotary cutter or for a template that has curves and is cut with scissors, and can be reused a number of times
    The biggest risk is the one not taken

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