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Thread: cutting fabric

  1. #1
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    i was wondering if anyone has ever had this problem. unfortunatly i am not one of the lucky ones to have that nice sewing room. i have to cut out on my kitchen or dinning room table and put my sewing machine on the table also. but i have noticed that when i cut, i seem to have more slipping with the ruler or fabric. but if i put both of my knees on a chair i seem to get a better grip on things. someone told me that it looks like i may need to use a shorter table. although i don't think my tables are that tall, i have noticed it seems to be a little easier and sore on the knees after awhile.


    jeanette

  2. #2
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    I had that problem until I stuck little bits of the sandpaper on the back of my rulers. They have little dots you can buy, I couldn't find any when I was looking, so I went to Home Depot and bought a fine grain sand paper that had adhesive on the back. My fabric doesn't slip, and I don't have to put a ton of pressure on the rulers now.

  3. #3
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    I don't have a sewing room either. It makes every project more difficult when you have to stop and put everything away and then drag it all back out again. It seems to me that a shorter table would be harder on your back. I am anxious to see what others have to say.

  4. #4
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    Most people find a higher table is easier. When you have to bend over, it's not only hard on your back, but you have a tendency to lean on the ruler, which causes it to move.

    If you work with a sharp blade so you don't have to push as hard, it's easier to keep straight.

    Fold your fabric so you don't have to cut all the way across that width. I usually fold into quarters (as it comes off the bolt, then bringing the fold to the selvedges) so I don't have to cut as far. It's easier to keep straight that way. Also, work with your fabric close enough to you so that you don't have to reach for it.

    Press down on your ruler, FLAT, instead of pushing or leaning on it. I hope you can picture what I mean by that. Straight down.

    I prefer Omnigrid rulers and can't stand rulers with stuff on the back that prevents me from manipulating it into place. I took a good class from Debbie Caffrey at Quilt Market a few years ago. She supplied us with Omnigrip, which is like clear "window cling" stuff. You know those peelable seasonal decorations? Anyhow, you just stick it on your ruler (it just "adheres" - it is not sticky) and then you can slide your ruler around all you want. But the instant you press DOWN on it, it STICKS to the fabric. This stuff is EXCELLENT!

  5. #5
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    i have tried the dots and it helps. i guess i just feel like i am looking more down on top of my project.but deffinatley hate all that moving and dragging stuff around.hopefully someday we will move and get a bigger place. one big room that i can call all my own.



    jeanette

  6. #6
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    If you have an island or available kitchen counter, that often makes a great cutting area!

  7. #7
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    Mom put the little scratch guard pads on the backside of her ruler, you know the little circular felt ones (maybe made by Scotch?). Seems to work well for her and I've thought of doing it myself now that I'm quilting and cutting en masse.

  8. #8
    jumperfamily's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danna738
    I don't have a sewing room either. It makes every project more difficult when you have to stop and put everything away and then drag it all back out again.
    I don't have a sewing room and use my large table in the dining room. I don't put it away, though, when I'm in the middle of a difficult or large project. My husband has learned not to complain when he comes home to find dinner on TV trays!

    Shelly

  9. #9
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    Sewing room, schmowing room... I make due in a small one bedroom. My kitchen table bears the brunt of the hobby, but it extends to almost every corner of the place. I've set the machine up on the coffee table and use the kitchen table for cutting. Fortunately my kitchen and the table is large, unfortunately I love to cook so the process of clean up after each hobby is ongoing. C'est la vie! :wink:

  10. #10
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    Well, I don't have a sewing room right now either. DH and I are in the process of moving and then I will just as soon as we get moved in. Right now, I am also using the dining room table for cutting and that is also where my machine is located. It looks like a sewing room in our dining room. LOL. A sewing room is what you make it! I love my sewing room to be messy, as it means I am working, when it is neat and tidy I can't find a thing. LOL. Sort of ironic, huh? I did buy that sewing/cutting table from Joann's and am planning on using that as soon as we get moved, it is higher than the dining room table so I'm anxious to see how I'll be able to cut on it.

  11. #11
    lin
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    I used to have to sew in my dining room too live2teach, and I even had my design wall up in the dining area so from the minute you came in my house you knew I was a quilter! LOL Thankfully I was able to convert one of the kids' rooms into a sewing room when they grew up and moved out. It was the first time I'd ever sewn anywhere that wasn't out in the open. And I tend to be very messy when I'm involved in a project, so I'm glad I can finally shut the door on it all! :D

    I still use my dining room table to hand baste my quilts so what I do is put two blocks under each table leg to lift it up to a better height so I don't hurt my back so much. I think it would be better to have it up a bit for cutting too. I feel I have more control when the table isn't so low.

  12. #12
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    I don't have my own room either, I have to use the dinning room table and put it away when I'm done. I refuse to start cutting unless I know I'm going to finish though, and maybe dinner will be buffet style and eaten in the livingroom that night. lol I dream of my own room, even have plans for it already.

  13. #13
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    Luckily, we have a little breakfast table in the kitchen, this is where we eat our meals. The dining room is only used for family gatherings, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc. I sew so much every day that there is no way I could put it away when I am finished. If I did put it away everytime, i would spend my whole day running back and forth, lol.

  14. #14
    Super Member blahel's Avatar
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    soooooo... I am not the only one having problems with my ruler slipping...I thought it was just my skills slipping!!hehehhe and being new to quilting my last little wallhanging took me...drum roll... 3 months to make! :roll: I would start by getting my fabric ready which took ages, lining up my ruler to get it perfectly straight which took ages and starting to cut and then it would slip then i would have to start the process all over again, it was so exhausting and time consuming that i would never get much done each time, hence why it took so long to make, but hey i can only improve :!:
    I dont have a sewing room either i just share the office space with my husband and my lovely Bernina has to sit on an old school desk which wobbles and when i sew everything slides of the side and i am forever looking for my unpickers etc.. but am hoping that i have been good enough for Santa to bring me a horn quilters sewing cabinet..and oneday when one of the kids moves out i could even have my own sewing area or if my carpenter husband builds me a sewing room if the kids decide to stay home but better not be greedy and ask for too much at once...

  15. #15
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    BE GREEDY. :wink:

    seriously, though, don't wait for Christmas to replace that desk. if it wobbles enough to cause things to fall off, you're risking damage to your sewing machine. compare the price of your Bernina to the cost of a more stable table. could carpenter hubby turn his skills toward fixing that desk while you wait for the horn? whatcha think?

    i also let the ruler slip if i get in too big a hurry when i cut. all the other suggestions about the little grippers on ruler bottoms are good ones but - as an individual - i don't like the idea of anything that might make it harder to move the ruler around on the fabric when i want it to. the only thing that works for me is to (1) take my time; (2) pay attention to where i position my noncutting hand on the ruler to hold it down. the closer to the far edge of the fabric i place my hand to hold down the ruler, the less likely it is to slip.

    i have a lovely collection of wonky strips because i often forget #1. :shock: :lol:

  16. #16
    lin
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    blahel, I've been quilting for nearly 16 years now and my ruler slips at least once a day. Like Patrice, I sometimes get in a hurry and don't pay attention to how I'm holding the ruler under my hand and...whoops!...there is goes. I've gotten pretty good at recognizing when it happens though. I used to just cut it so fast I didn't realize it had slipped and then I'd wasted a strip of fabric. I'm more careful to be mindful of how the ruler is acting now. I could probably make a bed-sized scrap quilt from all the strips I've screwed up over the years! :lol:

  17. #17
    Super Member Joan's Avatar
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    i have a lovely collection of wonky strips because i often forget #1.



    glad I'm not the only one with a collection of "wonky strips"---taking your time is the best advice (one that I sometimes forget when I am "over eager")

  18. #18
    Super Member Celeste's Avatar
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    OOOh! This just happened to me and believe me, I didn't like it at all! I really thought I was being so careful!

    Thanks for sharing your stories and tips! Sometimes I get discouraged too easily. :oops: :cry:

  19. #19
    bj
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    A tip sent in to Fons and Porter (don't know which show or year originally, but it replayed the other day) was to put a little rubber cement on the backs of your rulers. It isn't very thick and keeps ruler from slipping. It just peels up when you want to remove it. Be sure it's dry before you use the ruler :)

  20. #20
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    I ran into the problem of my ruler slipping, tried the little rubber sticky things on the back, didn't like them. I used to do all my cutting on the island in my kitchen, but it was too high for me, I'm vertically challenged. :D

    When I finally had my sewing room it was great except I had nothing to use to cut on, so my husband built a cutting table and an extra wide, six foot long ironing table the perfect height for me. I was thrilled, then my 6' 3" son informed me that people get shorter when they get old. lol This would be the same son who asked me if he poured miracle grow on me would I grow taller.... lol :)

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