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Thread: Cutting mat - left to right or right to left

  1. #1
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    I'm a self taught quilter so I may very well have taught myself a bad habit. I like measuring and cutting from right to left and bottom to top (ie I place the lower right corner of fabric in the lower right corner of mat and slide my ruler to the left as I measure out to cut). I was OK with this until I bought a new cutting mat.

    My Omnigrid (old mat) has horizontal markings that begin with 1" in the lower right corner and the vertical markings have both 1" in a small font and the large font is the reverse marking (24").

    I bought a new mat recently to cover my entire board. It's not a self healing mat - it's the other type (made by Beba). Anyway, I didn't notice that mat is oriented to the left - both the vertical and horizontal markings for 1" are ONLY in the lower left corner. If I want to measure in both directions from the right I have to count backwards!! Wish I had noticed this when I bought it. If I flip it to the opposite side, the horizontal markings are left to right but the vertical markings are top to bottom. No where on the mat do the 1" markings meet at a corner.

    So I wondered ... does anyone (other than lefties) cut from left to right? I looked at quite a few mats online just now and there seems to be as many right to left as there are left to right.

    Argh ... I just went and marked my new mat with a magic marker to see if that will end my aggravation.

    Omnigrid mat
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    Beba mat
    Name:  Attachment-197326.jpe
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  2. #2
    Super Member Rose L's Avatar
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    Right to left here! I'm right handed.

  3. #3
    Super Member trif's Avatar
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    Most of the time it's just us Lefties that cut left to right, I have just learned to adapt like with everything else. Good luck. If you haven't purchased one yet the ergonomic rotary cutter for Lefties is worth the money. Mine is a Martelli brand but I think there are others available.

  4. #4
    Super Member greenini's Avatar
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    Umm, I've always been told not to use the mat to measure with, but I must confess I use mine at least to line it up and then use the ruler to cut. How about if you used a fine sharpie to write the correct numbers under the incorrect ones? Or maybe every other one rather then all?

    It's interesting, I just bought a new mat and haven't used it much myself, I need to check and see how the numbers run, I bought an Alvin after I saw glowing raves, here I think.

  5. #5
    Super Member valsma's Avatar
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    I tend to cut right to left because it is easier for me as a right hander. I was reading through a begginers quilt book I had and it said to line fabric up and cut from left to right. I guess it then becomes a matter of preference.

  6. #6
    Super Member trif's Avatar
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    I'm looking at your green mat again if you turn it so the large 23 is in the left lower corner and the large 123 are going from lower left corner up it would be perfect because above the large 23,22,21 etc. You have 1,2,3. That is a great mat. Then you can cut left to right and no backwards counting.

  7. #7
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    I don't use the numbers on my mat. I measure with my ruler. Lay fabric on mat straight cut on my left lay ruler on fabric line up horizontal line on ruler with bottom and top folds of fabric. Slide to my right until I have say 2 inches under ruler cut with right hand raise ruler. have 2 inch strip. Does this make sence to you?

  8. #8
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    Hi Sue, I only use the lines on the mats to help line up my fabric. I don't use the mat lines to cut by. I use my rulers to measure and cut the fabric. I don't cut near the lines on the mat. I even sometimes angle my fabric for cutting if cutting small sections so as to not continually be cutting on the straight lines of the mat.

    Pam M

  9. #9
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    I can honestly say I cut both ways, mostly it depends which side of my cutting table is cleared off :) :) I ALWAYS count twice so I can cut once, and it doesn't matter to me about the numbers.

  10. #10
    Senior Member lyndaloo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terryl
    I can honestly say I cut both ways, mostly it depends which side of my cutting table is cleared off :) :) I ALWAYS count twice so I can cut once, and it doesn't matter to me about the numbers.
    Same here!

  11. #11
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trif
    I'm looking at your green mat again if you turn it so the large 23 is in the left lower corner and the large 123 are going from lower left corner up it would be perfect because above the large 23,22,21 etc. You have 1,2,3. That is a great mat. Then you can cut left to right and no backwards counting.
    The green mat isn't the the problem - that one has 1" horizontal and vertical (vertical is in a smaller font) on the lower right corner.

    The problem is the Bebe mat. One side has horizntal numbers right to left - the other left to right - which is good - BUT the side with the R to L horizontal markings has the vertical numbers in the opposite direction. The only corner that has 1" marks meeting is the lower left corner. Must be a left handed mat :)

    I used a magic marker and re-marked it so it makes sense!!

    And yes ... I use my mat to measure. I don't want to be dinking around with two rulers to keep in place to measure and cut. I have a hard enough time making sure the one ruler I'm cutting with doesn't slip.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lyndaloo
    Quote Originally Posted by Terryl
    I can honestly say I cut both ways, mostly it depends which side of my cutting table is cleared off :) :) I ALWAYS count twice so I can cut once, and it doesn't matter to me about the numbers.
    Same here!
    I use mine for cutting only i use my rulers

  13. #13
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I cut left to right, I am right handed, never thought of doing it the other way

  14. #14
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    I use the lines on the mat to line up the fabric and for measuring fabric length and width. If squaring the ends I cut with the fabric to the left but if I'm cutting fabric for piecing I measure with my ruler and the main fabric to my right. It just seems natural to me that way. Plus I think I was taught that way?

    I am mainly a right-handed person although I have always done sport related things left-handed. Don't know if this is why I cut fabric the way I do.

  15. #15
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I use it whichever way is easiest. I also ignore the 1 and often count down from the higher number if it is more convenient.

  16. #16
    Super Member M.I.Late's Avatar
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    I think if it suits you best, ignore their markings and write your own. No point in setting yourself to have to count every inch every time you want to cut. I never use the number 1 anyway. I usually start at 2 or 3 so I am sure I am absolutely straight up and down and side to side. So for an 8" strip for instance I start at 2 and cut to 10. Never did re-mark it because I like to vary it so I'm not always cutting at the same position. If you put blue painters tape on it, you can shift it over from time to time, so you're not wearing at the same exact place every time either. Best of Luck!

  17. #17
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I turn my mat over and use the plain side. The lines on the rulers and the lines on the mat were too confusing for my brain. I only use my rulers to measure.

    At a quilt quild meeting, I was told to cut straight away from body for accuracy. It makes sense.

  18. #18
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    I never use the markings on my mat. I hold down my ruler with my left hand and rotary cut with my right hand, on the right of the ruler to get a straight edge. Then I rotate the matt and measure from the straightened edge to cut my sub units on the right. Can you tell by how many times I've said "to the right" that I am very right handed and left hand challenged? Go figure, two of my sisters are left handed.
    Looks like a real nice mat and I hope you can make it work for you. The marker sounds like a good solution. Quilters are pretty ingenious!

  19. #19
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    I was taught that cutting by the measurements on the mat was inaccurate. Due to the thickness of the lines, are you measuring by the outside of the line or the inside of the line? That was why my first quilts were hard to fit. My strips were not really equal. So I always use my rulers and I cut all pieces for a quilt with the same 6x24 ruler. I square up with a 12.5 ruler. This way all blocks are exactly the same. Even a 16th of an inch can make a difference.

  20. #20
    Super Member gzuslivz's Avatar
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    I'm right-handed and cut left to right. I only use the lines on the mat to line up the fabric. I was told once that the markings on the mats aren't always accurate, so I never used them.

  21. #21
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose L
    Right to left here! I'm right handed.
    Me too.

  22. #22
    Super Member TonnieLoree's Avatar
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    I use them for getting a straight line to begin with. After that, sometimes I even cut on them diagonally, using my ruler for cutting. Depends on how much clutter I have to move. :twisted:

  23. #23
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I cut from both ways, depending on what is more convenient at the time. :D:D:D

  24. #24
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    yes, I do as well. trim fabric on right hand side. move ruler over to the left re: how many inches I need to cut then make my cut. I can't seem to start from the other directions. :)

  25. #25
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    The only thing I use the lines on the mat for are to make sure my fabric edge is straight across. I never use the actual measurements of it.

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