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

  1. #51
    Super Member ccthomas's Avatar
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    I can so relate to all "life's happenings" and "forever to finish a quilt." I thought I was the only one.

    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.

  2. #52
    Senior Member GloBug's Avatar
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    I do not use the lines on the mat for cutting,only for lining the straight edge. I always measure with the same ruler { twice } then cut.
    Good Luck :-)

  3. #53
    Senior Member dgrindey's Avatar
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    This has been a problem for me as well. I am always struggling with it so the owner of the fabric shop I go to told me just to be consistent with where you are placing the ruler, whether you follow the ruler lines or the mat lines. I still have problems.

  4. #54
    Senior Member GloBug's Avatar
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    I found for me the trick was measuring twice, then cutting. I think I got this trick from my late husband. He did finished carpentry.
    Also check your seam allowance often. One of my favorite machines is from the 70s and the pressure foot works loose.
    Happy sewing
    GloBug :)

  5. #55
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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!



    I know exactly what you mean, I hope I can explain it to you the way I do it.
    I don't use my mat for cutting, I use my ruler. I was getting mine a little off when I would line the ruler up and cut. I finally figured out what I was doing wrong or at least it seems like it was wrong for me. when I watched a friend cut fabric. She used her ruler and lined the edge of the fabric up with the right side of the ruler line and then cut.If that makes sense to you I was always placing the line of the ruler on the edge of the fabric so that the line was exactly on the edge, but now I place it to the edge and then cut on the outside or right of the line just the width of the lines has made a difference in my measurements. I find my measurements are more accurate than before. I hope this makes sense. I don't know how to post pic. yet or I would post a pic. and show you what I mean. Gerbie

  6. #56
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    I also use the back side of the mat and rulers from the same manufacturer (except for specialty rulers). This stops me from using the lines on the mat and is much less distracting when the mat is just a solid color! The first time I heard of doing this was when I took a workshop with Kaye England - and my cutting has improved a lot.

  7. #57
    Senior Member Boscobd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustBonnie2
    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!
    I agree. I have always used the mat and have never had an issue. Consistency is the clue.

  8. #58
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    i have always used the mat and used thr ruler to cut and have never had a problem

  9. #59
    Super Member Annya's Avatar
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    If you HAVE to use your mat make your measurement on the outside of the line. On the ruler do the same OUTSIDE that will give you a more accurate measurement. I myself would never use the mat as the lines are not always straight.

  10. #60
    Super Member Annya's Avatar
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    I think it should be 4.1/2 inches not 5 or 5.5

  11. #61
    Senior Member mawmawbeve_60's Avatar
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    Yes, I use the lines on the mat for the fabric, but use my rulers to make accurate cuts....and I use 2 rulers for that..one length ways and and horizotal...measure both ways top ,.bottom and middle...and seen your From Charleston WV..I Live In Wayne county WV...good meeting a fellow WVirginian.....lol

  12. #62
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    I've learned to check rulers with other rulers. And the grids on cutting mats and the grids on ironing board surfaces.

    Graph paper is also sometimes "off" and I check/measure it both ways before I will use it for a pattern/template.

  13. #63
    Super Member chamby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustBonnie2
    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!
    DITTO

  14. #64
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    Don't use the lines on the mat.. use the lines on your ruler.. they are much more accurate.. I have used the mat lines a few time for pieces that were too wide for my ruler.. but hardly ever.. jut too hard to get what you want!! Turn the mat over and forget the lines!

  15. #65
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    If you use the "wrong" side of your cutting mat, the side without the lines, you'll find instant improvement. Rely on your ruler(s) alone, you'll have fewer problems. I have always known this, but if using the ruled side, I invariably start to follow the mat lines. It will cause me problems every time.

    grayladym, Missouri

  16. #66
    Senior Member pegquilter8's Avatar
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    I agree, use your rulers. Also use the same brand of rulers for each project. The makers of each brand mark electronically and same brand made to work with same brand----for most accurate cuts. I do not use the lines on mats.
    I use my rulers to square cutting from R to L if L hand, or L to R if R handed. Hope this helps. Been teaching for 22 years now and this is how I always teach my new quilters.
    Hope all this helps

  17. #67
    Super Member Annya's Avatar
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    Early this year an instructor came to show us how to use our quilting tools and she said that every company has their own way to mark the rulers and that we should all have rulers from the same company. BUT you must check and make sure the lines are all the right distance apart and that the lines are straight. She told us of one lady in a class she was teaching who was having problems,so the teacher checked the new ruler(Bought for this class) and found the lines on the ruler were all over the place hence the problems. With this I like to let EVERYONE know the story and ask you 2 things. Make sure all the rulers are from the same place and check to see if they are measuring the same and and are straight.

  18. #68
    Super Member Annya's Avatar
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    Early this year an instructor came to show us how to use our quilting tools and she said that every company has their own way to mark the rulers and that we should all have rulers from the same company. BUT you must check and make sure the lines are all the right distance apart and that the lines are straight. She told us of one lady in a class she was teaching who was having problems,so the teacher checked the new ruler(Bought for this class) and found the lines on the ruler were all over the place hence the problems. With this I like to let EVERYONE know the story and ask you 2 things. Make sure all the rulers are from the same place and check to see if they are measuring the same and and are straight. Also the rulers with the THINNER lines are the best.

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