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Thread: help!! problems cutting

  1. #1
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    i am having problems cutting my fabric straight no matter what i try-looks like i took a wrong turn when i'm cutting

  2. #2
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    What tools are you using? Scissors? Ruler & rotary cutter?

  3. #3
    Super Member Murphy's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome to the board from Iowa. Can you expand on what the problem is and what you are using for tools now?

  4. #4
    Super Member ssnare's Avatar
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    I have the same problem and I use the rotary cutter and the ruler. It seems the ruler moves, even when I am holding it and if I fold the fabric, it comes out shorter on one demension.

  5. #5
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssnare
    I have the same problem and I use the rotary cutter and the ruler. It seems the ruler moves, even when I am holding it and if I fold the fabric, it comes out shorter on one demension.
    you might try little non-slip dots or sandpaper dots on the back of your ruler

  6. #6
    Member memaw4's Avatar
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    You might try ironing your fabric first too. That might help. Also use a sharp razor blade in your rotary cutter. Don't try to cut a long strip with one cut.

    What I mean is...walk your hand up the ruler. Start your cut...stop...walk your hand up the ruler.....start cutting again. This way your ruler won't move. Hopefully your cut will be straight on.

    Please let us know if this helps.

  7. #7
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    i'm using rotary cutter and a ruler-i'm holding the ruler down tight as i'm cutting-its a brand new rotary cutter

  8. #8
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    I have problems, too, if I do not put 'anti-skid' sandpaper dots on my rulers. Sometimes If I hold the ruler down too strongly, it will shift on the other end.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jan in FL's Avatar
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    I put those little rubber dots on all my rulers recently and it made all the difference in the world and my problem was completely resolved.

  10. #10
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    I understand your problem, had the same problem too until I bought an ALTO 2 cutting board. I was pushing the material without realizing I was doing so. Also make sure you don't bend bend your rotary cutter when you cut, I also was doing this without noticing how I was holding the cutter. There's a lot to pay attention to when you cut, take your time and you will get better as you go along.

  11. #11
    Super Member mimiknoxtaylor's Avatar
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    I've also been having issues with cutting straight strips lately. Just yesterday realized one huge problem- too much INFO! That's right I've been watching & reading about "correct" techniques for cutting. I've been sewing for & quilting for 44 yrs. with good success. Went back to cutting using my "incorrect" technique & wha-la - problem solved.

  12. #12
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    along with the little dots, I find the suction-cup handle (one you would put on your shower wall as a grab-bar) really helps to stabilize my ruler. They come in different sizes, too. Good luck!

  13. #13
    Super Member mimee4's Avatar
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    If these are long cuts - do you "walk" your hand up the ruler? That helps to keep it straight.

  14. #14
    Super Member Happy Linda's Avatar
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    I had this problem just yesterday, I had the screw on my rotary cutter backwards.

  15. #15
    Power Poster debcavan's Avatar
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    My hands are small so I have problems with the ruler. There is a clear sheet that you can buy that is suppose to help but the smaller the hands, the harder it is. So I have put felt pads every 1 1/2 inches on my ruler just on the edge I use for cutting. It also helps me know which edge to use since my ruler is 8 1/2 inches wide and I want to use the numbers starting with whole inches.

    Also I am height impared. This also contributes to the trouble cutting. I am cutting on a table meant for an average sized person. The pads which I get at the dime store or Walmart are very thin and in the department that has the things to put on the bottom of vases and the back of frames.

    Some people put on pad at each end. I put them all the way down. it helps my fabric from pushing ahead as I am cutting. Sometimes I just don't get that blade changed and just need to do one cut. That will sound familiar to a lot of us quilters.

    I hope you have found a solution that works for you. There are many of us who have solved the individual problem we have.

  16. #16
    Super Member Sierra's Avatar
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    There is a new ruler for cutting that has something that pushed down and grabs the fabric... I just ordered it and hope it works. I have arthitis and it hurts to push hard on the ruler. It's called "quilters slidelock", it's not cheap, but for some of us it is worth the cost.

  17. #17
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    Power Poster k3n's Avatar
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    Are you splaying your fingers on the ruler, cutting up level and then walking along as others have said? Also, keeping your little finger on the mat NOT on the ruler will stop it slipping.

  18. #18
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    I had that problem until I started putting sandpaper dots on the under side of my ruler. A dot of rubber cement in several places (let it dry good) works also and is less expensive. Then double check that you are using the correct measurement at both ends of the ruler. Put your hand on the end of the ruler closes to you. Cut as far as your finger tips and pause. Move your hand up and cut again as far as your fingertips. Keep going until you've cut all the way across. It seems slow, but you'll get faster and more accurate as you get used to it.

  19. #19
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    Is your ruler slipping around while you are cutting? I had this problem and tried the little dots, walking my hand, etc. none worked. I decided to try weighting it down and used large vegetable cans in plastic baggies so as not to mar the fabric. That was better, but not great because they were hard to manage with my arthritis. My DH suggested using my hand weights and that was the perfect answer for me. The shape of them makes it easy to move them and the weight 3 to 5 pounds are not too heavy.
    Another problem was that the rotary blade was not smooth even though it was brand new. I bought another and it is fine. I hope someone's suggestions will help you end this frustrating issue. :)

  20. #20
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    I use the sandpaper dots, they work really well at keeping your ruler (s) stationary.

  21. #21
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    I use an item I call a stripper. Only can make 1/2", 1", etc but sure helps cut straight.

  22. #22

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    All the suggestions above are good, but one thing you might want to check is that your fabric is streight before you lay it down to cut. Take the fabric and at the top hold the salvage together, does it fall salvage to salvage all the way down? If not shift it until it does. Yes you will lose some fabric, but at least your cuts will be streight.

  23. #23
    Junior Member JOMARIE's Avatar
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    There is a clear non skid paper to put on your ruler.

  24. #24
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    It also makes a difference where you're standing. Position the fabric so you don't have to reach too far across. I like to cut parallel to the edge of the table so I can hold the ruler secure all the way across, walking my hand as others have suggested. Also, while you're paying attention to all these hints, don't forget to watch your fingers. Those rotary cutters are sharp!

  25. #25
    Super Member margecam52's Avatar
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    On folded fabrics...when you unfold them & they are not a straight line...it's possibably from the fold not being even.

    when you fold the fabric (this for multiple folds mostly, not just a single fold)...check each fold...pinch the very edge of the fold...you should not be able to feel the different layers...the fold layers need to be tight against one another..If not...your strips will probably unfold crooked.

    When cutting short distances (less than 20 inches, or the length of your ruler), hold your hand with fingers spread out...place your fingers (including your thumb) onto the ruler....if you can, have your pinky off the far end of the ruler (for rulers less than 7 inches wide)..this will help keep it from moving...cut only the amount that is the size that your hand creates...stop, move your hand up...cut again. You don't need to press down super hard, nor do you want to push down super hard with the cutter...If I'm going through multiple layers (I just cut through 8 layers doing strips)..I rock the cutter back and forth a bit as I cut..still just cutting the amount that corresponds to the size of area my hand can reach.

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