Cutting Faux Pas
This was day 2 of cutting with a rotary cutter, and I LOVE a rotary cutter! (Yes, as a matter of fact, I have been living under a rock...I don't get out much except to work and back.)
At any rate, I wanted to know if there was a specific reason that occasionally I'd get wonky cutting lines, or if it's just a matter of practicing?
Sometimes the cut would be about 1/4" away from the straight edge, and the cut line would look like little steps in a row. Other times, it looked like a drunkard was operating the cutter (I assure you, the latter was not the case...at least not today...although I've read that a little wine might solve the problem LOL).
Still other times, despite being OCD about making sure I was 'squared up' before I cut, I ended up with a curve in my WOF strip. What's up with THAT? The most I cut was 4 layers.
Thanks, as always, for the advice/tips.
I often have a problem with the ruler slipping while I cut. I recently bought some new rulers that were advertised as 'non-slipping' and they really work great.
If you end up with a V, it means you didn't fold the fabric correctly. I usually cut a 1/4 inch and they'd unfold and look for the V. No V means I can proceed.
A couple of things -- First, make sure your rotary blade is sharp and not dented, nicked or otherwise damaged. That would cause the "steps".
hopetoquilt is correct about the "V" - your fold isn't quite right. Remember that the way the fabric is rolled onto the bolt is usually NOT exactly true. I think there's a lot of advice about this if you google it.
Make sure the blade is tightened down enough (not too tight though).
I always square my ruler up to the fold and not the selvage end when I am cutting strips. This trick has eliminated that dreadful "V" for me
there are sandpaper dots you can get to put on the back of your rulers to keep them from slipping....also - don't try to reach too far with the rotary..move your hand along as you cut - hold the ruler firmly, cut about 8 to 10 inches then carefully walk the hand on the ruler ahead a bit so that you're now holding down the part of the ruler where you're cutting next. Cut another 8 yo 10 inches and walk your hand up more..
To avoid being 1/4" away from the straight edge, make sure your rotary cutter blade is straight up and down, not tilted away from the ruler. If it's jagged, you may not be holding the cutter with an even pressure. All it takes is some practice.
Make sure you are keeping your cutter at a 90 degree angle to the board. When my mom started quilting and using rotary cutters, she had a tendency to rotate the cutter as she ran it up the ruler, which angled against the ruler and resulted in a cut that was as much as 1/4" off. Also, if you get "stepping", slow down.
you may already be performing correctly, but let's get back to basics...
if you are right handed, the cutter goes in your right hand and your left hand holds the ruler down. if you are left handed, go vice versa, but your rotary cutter blade needs to be changed to the other side.
while you are learning, cut through the least amount of layers of fabric - from front to back...not toward you, but away. sometimes, the fabric shifts.
to practice cutting fabric without a "v" forming, fold over one piece of fabric to form a double layer. don't use the bottom of the ruler as a starting point. instead, start at another point, let's say the half-inch mark. match the mark that appears on both edges of the ruler.
another point: to start with a straight cutting edge, carefully cut to the right of the fabric. when that is square, flip the fabric over and adjust the fabric so that the layers are straight. using your ruler, measure the fabric from left to right and cut it using your rotary cutter.
another point: while you are learning, you might not want to cut long lengths of fabric. this might be pulling your fabric. vice versa for left handed.
when you make sure that the basics are addressed, then you may have different questions.