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Thread: Accurate rotary cutting on cutting mats.. can you help me?

  1. #26
    Senior Member renee765's Avatar
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    To be honest, I really wish my piecing was accurate enough that a thicker line on a cutting mat made a difference! I try to be very accurate, but 1/16th of an inch either way is rounding up or down to me.

    Maybe my inconsistencies are consistent?

  2. #27
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    Cut three strips
    Sew them together
    Press them
    Measure them and see what you get
    Make adjustments if necessary

  3. #28
    Super Member cwessel47's Avatar
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    I never use the lines on the mat, except to get the fabric basically square to begin with. I cut a straight edge, then use my rulers. If the piece you are cutting is wider than the ruler you are working with - use two rulers. My 12 1/2" square comes in really handy for this. I line up the cut edge to the little spaces in the ruler markings ( at the inch marks). Works for me! Consistency......

  4. #29
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    See...this is just why I haven't been successful. No matter how much (I thought) I was doing it right/the same way, my squares were never consistant. I am certified math handicapped. Perhaps I really should take lessons instead of "winging it"

  5. #30

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    I can cut ok, it's my sewing that gets screwy. I made yellow brick road blocks and I used the "shape cutter". It's a large square thing with 1/2" slots for cutting, it worked amazingly well. There is a smaller one with 1/4" slots too. I just stacked a couple layers of fabric, trimed and away I went. Depending on the width of the strip you can cut several before moving the ruler. Give it a try on old scraps.

  6. #31
    Senior Member thseabreze's Avatar
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    I use both, the lines on the cutting mat to line up 2 sides of the fabric, then I use my ruler, to cut..it works fine and I have not had any problems with things being straight, and i am new to all of this, so if ti works for me..it should work for anyone just about.

  7. #32
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathy
    EVERYONE will tell you, "do not use the lines on your mat for measuring" they are good for keeping your fabric straight but use the same ruler to do your measuring.
    RIGHT! What she said! Mat measurements are not precise, so don't depend on them for piece measurements. Use a good quality ruler.

  8. #33
    Super Member TexasGurl's Avatar
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    Don't recommend EVER using the MAT lines/grids to make cuts ... ALWAYS use your ruler to measure AND to cut by.
    Rulers give you more accuracy and I've seen mats that are not even correct in dim.
    Always use the SAME RULER or set of rulers when cutting too ... changing around can make a difference ! :)

  9. #34
    Senior Member stefanib123's Avatar
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    See this thread:

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-59056-1.htm

    There is a TON of help on there.

  10. #35
    Senior Member sewhappy30's Avatar
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    Thank you all so much for your help.

    I'm going to try using my ruler only to measure with, and just have the mat for my table protection.

    The mat I'm sure was my problem after reading some of your post. I used it to measure and my ruler to line up and cut.

    I debated about asking this question because I knew what I was trying to ask but couldn't explain it very well on here. Thank goodness you all understood.

  11. #36
    Member Linda Toon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewhappy30
    My question... When cutting on my mat, the line's are thicker than my rotary blade of course, so after I have everything lined up do I put my ruler on the line or on one of the sides of the line to get the accurate measurement I need.

    I find myself doing different each time, that's why my measurements are off I'm sure.

    I know this is probably not clear what I'm trying to ask, but if someone understands and knows which way is accurate please tell me.



    For example: If I need to cut it 15", which way would be the most accurate to get that? On the 15" line or on the side of the line, and if on the side, which side right or left?

    This is something I've struggled with for a long time. If I knew the right way to do it, it would make my sewing life so much easier. Help!

    This is the same question I've wanted to ask. Thanks for all the answers.

  12. #37
    Log Cabin Quilter's Avatar
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    I do not use the lines on my mat for measuring. Rulers for that. I use the lines for keeping the fabric straight on the mat.
    Also, I learned in a quilting class, that you should use the same brand of rulers for a project and not intermix. I don't know how true that is.

  13. #38
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathy
    EVERYONE will tell you, "do not use the lines on your mat for measuring" they are good for keeping your fabric straight but use the same ruler to do your measuring.
    I cringe when I see people do this....straighten your fabric and then (right handed?) line your ruler up on the inches you need with the line of the fuler ON THE FABRIC...not butted up to it but on the fabric. works everytime

  14. #39
    Bev
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    Super Member Bev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sadiemae
    Are you saying that you line your fabric up with the lines on the mat? I don't use the lines on my mat, I always use the lines on my rulers.
    Ditto here. I've been told so many times by workshop/class teachers NOT to, that I have been traumatized!

    8-)

  15. #40
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    which line you choose to line up with; inside of line, outside of line really does not matter as much as consistancy! if you choose to line up with the outside edge of the line then everytime you cut you should do it that way. the reason you are having problems is because you are not being consistant. once you decide how you are going to always do it then you need to measure the actual cut piece and determine if doing it that way means you use a scant 1/4" or a regular 1/4" consistancy is the key :)

  16. #41
    Senior Member janquilts'ncrochets's Avatar
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    I beleive it was Leah Day's site that I saw when cutting use the full line included in your measurement. That includes both sides. Haven't tested it, but I have wondered about this for years myself.

  17. #42
    Senior Member janquilts'ncrochets's Avatar
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    Just read my reply to you & wasn't very clear in my answer. I should have said the lines on the ruler, not the matt. Many others said not to use the matt for measuring I completely agree.

  18. #43
    Senior Member janquilts'ncrochets's Avatar
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    Just read my reply to you & wasn't very clear in my answer. I should have said the lines on the ruler, not the matt. Many others said not to use the matt for measuring I completely agree.

  19. #44
    Senior Member AnitaSt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobbin along
    I turn my mat to the blank side, then square up the edge i plan to cut from. I take a ruler and lay it somewhere near where i think I will be making the cut, Then i take a smaller ruler, lay it perpendicular to the other ruler on the fabric, and measure over from the cut edge to the bigger ruler to get the exact measurement. check the measurements up and down the edge ("measure twice, cut once") and cut along the big ruller. Don't know if that makes sense or not, but it is a lot more accurate than using the line on the mat. Good luck!
    Ditto this process...use the back of the mat. It forces you to actually measure and square the fabric itself.

  20. #45
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    Quote Originally Posted by kapatt
    I just wanted to add that when you sew on your quilt, you should first do a test-strip to make sure that your settings on your sewing machine, your cutting and your pressing are accurate. To do that, you should cut two or three pieces of strips equal width, sew them together and then press them. See if the test strips come out at the right width. If they don't, then make the adjustments you need to make so that they are accurate.

    Example...take three 2" strips and sew them side-by-side. After ironing they should measure out to 5 1/2 inches wide.

    Because of all of life's happenings, it can take me forever to finish a quilt. I make periodic test-strips throughout my quilt making process just because the settings can be messed with or changed without me realizing it.
    I think one would be aiming for a five inch wide piece, not a 5.5 inch piece.
    Gotcha! Now I know who to ask for math help....:)

  21. #46
    Super Member chamby's Avatar
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    I use both the mat and the ruler. If the block is 6.5 or smaller I use the ruler mainly which also lines up with the lines on the mat. If the block is larger I use the mat and use the ruler for the straight edge for cutting guide. I really have not had any problems since doing this method.

  22. #47
    Super Member jayelee's Avatar
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    My carpenter brother says you would line up at the edge of the line not on it or over it Because that is a question I have often asked Otherwise you will eventually get significant measurage added He explained that if I were to cut 100 one inch strips and sew them together I would probably end up with up to 5 inches extra in measurement

  23. #48
    Member JustBonnie2's Avatar
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    I only use the mat and have never had a problem. I think because I use the mat ALL the time, it comes back to that consistency thing. I don't know how you would cut a 15" square or an 18" square without using the lines on the mat. I don't have a ruler that big! I think one thing everybody said is right - - BE CONSISTENT!

  24. #49
    Senior Member Phyllis nm's Avatar
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    it depends if you are right or left handed. be consent.

  25. #50
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    I always make sure the thickness of the line on my ruler is completely on my fabric, not just to the edge of fabric but on the fabric. Does that make sense?

    Suzy

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