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Thread: acurate cutting

  1. #1

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    Can anybody hlelp me? I seem to not be able to cut fabric, I have a cutting board rotary cutter (new blade) and non slip rulers always measure twice and cut once no 2 pieces are they same. My friends say I am being too picky any help gratully recieved

  2. #2
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    your not being to picky..how many layers are you cutting?

  3. #3
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    You may (possibly?) be 'tilting' the rotary cutter onto it's side juuuuuust a weeeeee bit.
    Get a 'June Taylor Shape Cut'. Get the largest one eventho it is a few dollars more. You will not regret spending those bucks. I promise!
    The June Taylor Shape Cut has slots in it for you to run your rotary cutter through. The long rulers never fail to slide (for me) and I just can't get a straight cut using them. Just can't!.
    Stand your rotary cutter blade straight up. Practice on scraps or aliminum foil (sharpens your blade at the same time). Watch your blade as you cut and you will see when it is standing the way it was designed to.
    A second thing you can do is be sure you have the rotary cutter screw tightened enough to hold the blade but not so much that the blade won't roll when you are pushing it across the fabric.
    Another thing is the lint that builds between the blade and cutter. Take it apart every now and then, kleenex the lint off and put a drop of machine oil on the round part of cutter where your blade (lies?) lays. (You can put it on that part of the blade instead but don't cut yourself. Extra careful!).
    Can't wait to hear you got the hang of it./Regards, Dorothy

  4. #4
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    Good advice Dorothy!

  5. #5
    Junior Member oldhag's Avatar
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    When I first started cutting my fabric I had the devil of a time using just a ruler and a rotary cutter. I bought a Fiskars paper cutting board with the rotary cutter attached. Easy peasy. Works great and is safe for even my DGD's little hands. I still do a little rotary cutting but I like this method better even more than the JT Shape cut.

  6. #6
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    I agree with DSB that 'maybe' you're tilting the rotary cutter left or right without realizing it.

    How much are your 'off'?

  7. #7
    quiltilicious's Avatar
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    even "non slip" rulers slip. I have to lean HARD on mine to get them to stay still while I cut.

  8. #8
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    Are you using the same ruler?
    Are you lining it up the same each time?

  9. #9
    Super Member LoisN's Avatar
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    I went to a workshop with Pat Speth and she gave us each a little (3 inch) piece of the rubber shelf liner to put under our rulers. Works like a charm. (However, I now have 2 triangles....can you guess?)
    Another thing that I have discovered...I had a ruler with a lip on it to use like a "T" square. It wasn't square. It would be off by 1/8 inch every 18 inches. Not good. Now I use a metal ruler that I can line up on my cutting board all the way across. It is a life saver. Lots more accurate than the first ruler. Hope this helps.

  10. #10
    Super Member Joan's Avatar
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    Starching (or using sizing) when ironing your fabric before cutting helps to make cutting more accurate, too.

  11. #11
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    Are you using the cutting mat as your ruler? They are not accurate. Line up the edges square against one ruler and measure and cut with another - make sure you use the same ruler for all the cutting in a project. Cut no more than 4 layers. Take your time, have a nice bright light, maybe go up a notch on your reading glasses if you use them. I have reading glasses and then I have sewing glasses!

  12. #12
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    I had the same problem when I started. Then I discovered my rotary cutter was set up for a left handed person...I'm right handed!!! If you're right handed, the blade should be on the left side and vice versa. Yes, the instructions probably told me that, but you know............... :mrgreen:

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by amandasgramma
    I had the same problem when I started. Then I discovered my rotary cutter was set up for a left handed person...I'm right handed!!! If you're right handed, the blade should be on the left side and vice versa. Yes, the instructions probably told me that, but you know............... :mrgreen:
    Daaaaaaaaaaa to me!!!!! I didn't know what I was supposed to use the right side for, I just knew I thought I needed to see the blade so I put it on the left side. Guess I lucked out because I am right handed. I have also wondered if the blades have a 'front' and 'back' side or does it make no difference in the cut it gives?/Regards, Dorothy

  14. #14
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    One of the first classes I took for quilting was how to rotary cut.

    1. When rotary cutting strips, never cut more strips then the width of the strip without re squaring up the fabric. For example: Cutting eight 2 1/2" strips, after every two cuts, re square up your fabric.
    2. When lining the ruler measurement line to the fabric keeping the full width of the measurement line on the fabric for every cut will eliminate the need for using a scant seam allowance.
    3. Fabric needs to be pressed and if folded, the open fold should be perfectly aligned to each other like a seam.
    We practiced cutting by drawing lines on the fabric and cutting leaving the line on the fabric. This way we could see where our cutting was veering off or where our ruler was moving. I still draw line on fabric when I'm having an off cutting day. I use the Gypsy Gripper on most of my rulers. It's a must for the long ones. One slip of the ruler can waste a lot of fabric.

  15. #15
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    One more tip...be sure your blade is sharp. You should change the blade after every bed sized quilt, or after 2 small quilts. A dull blade can be a big problem.

  16. #16

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    Thank you all for your replies, I will try everything and let you know how I get on.
    Lesleyb

  17. #17
    Super Member Melinda in Tulsa's Avatar
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    Great tips, thanks.

  18. #18
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I bought invisigrip to put on the back of my rulers, it really helps with keeping the rulers in place. Joann's carries it and the 40% off coupon makes it very affordable :D:D:D

  19. #19
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    also lots of videos on you tube to watch about cutting fabrics accurately

  20. #20
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    When you cut, do you by chance support the ruler in the middle and cut the entire length? If so, you may want to change your approach: Hold the ruler at the end, start cutting - then walk your fingers up the ruler and only cut up to the point where you are strongly supporting the fabric. Also, when you find that you are off, have you measured how much and if the difference is consistent?

    It may also be how you align the ruler. Is the guideline on the edge of the fabric or off the edge?

    One of the ways that I control my cuts is to cut a multiple size. Example: If I want 4 strips @ 2.5" I cut a piece that is 10" wide (4x2.5) Then I know that I can cut that piece down into my 4 subsections. I seem to have less waste when I do that.

  21. #21
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    Many thanks for the refresher course; we do have a tendency to forget the basics now and then.

  22. #22

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    I've had trouble with the ruler slipping, but I've found that if I slow down as I cut, I'm less likely to get slipping. If it does slip, I haven't gone more than a fraction of an inch or so. Then I can realign it and continue with my cut.

  23. #23
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    These are such great tips. I learned a lot here too.

  24. #24
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    I just saw a tip on a youtube lesson. When you put your hand on the ruler, if it's not too wide, place your ring finger and pinky finger on the mat...NOT on the ruler! I've tried it a few times and I believe it really helps!

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