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Which do you use for cutting

Which do you use for cutting

Old 05-04-2021, 10:23 AM
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Default Which do you use for cutting

The lines on the ruler or the lines on your cutting board? What's prompting this question is that I managed to chew through a fiskars cutting mat in 10 months. i use ruler markings to cut and I' m extremely happy with my accuracy. I hate to change my technique but it's getting expensive on cutting mats. Which do you use and why? Also if any of you have cut old mats what have you used to cut them? Large double-sided cut into six mats (twelve really) that fit on my cut/iron station could save me money.
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Old 05-04-2021, 11:20 AM
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I use my ruler lines to cut. I can see where it would be hard on a mat to cut on the lines.
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Old 05-04-2021, 12:08 PM
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I also use the ruler lines. I don't use my large cutting mat. I buy a smaller cheaper mat and cut on that.
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Old 05-04-2021, 12:15 PM
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Cutting mats aren't always accurate, especially when they get older and more cut up/used. For larger cuts, maybe try the 2-ruler method of cutting.

My friend the quilt shop owner (you can imagine how fast she'll go through a cutting mat!) had a 1/2 yard sheet of plexiglass cut. They etched lines for an eighth of a yard, quarter of a yard, third of a yard, etc. Doesn't matter where she is on the mat.
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Old 05-04-2021, 12:35 PM
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Mostly the lines on my ruler. It just seems so much easier.
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Old 05-04-2021, 01:13 PM
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Funny I'm the opposite, I mostly use the mat. But whatever method I use I stick with it for the whole quilt so if one is off it all equals out. But I do often check the mat with the ruler and it always matches and my mat is maybe 10 years old. I just bought a new one since there are a couple areas where it's wearing a bit and I want to be ready if I need a new one.

One silly question, are you using new blades often? I hear dull blades can damage the mats. I'm horrible with changing out my blades, but I've only just recently gotten a few lines that won't go away.
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Old 05-04-2021, 01:49 PM
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Never ever use the lines on your mat for quilting. Just don't do it. Not so much from accuracy, but because it will seriously decrease the use/lifetime of the board. You will over use portions and not use others, and you will make lines that eventually will lead to skipped threads.

When I start with a new quilter, I turn over the mat to the unmarked side and teach them how to cut correctly using rulers, that plus the need for a reliable seam allowance are the two biggest starting points for sewing.

Be aware as well that different rulers are designed slightly differently, whether you cut on the line or next to the line. For most of this, it doesn't matter much but yes -- read the directions that come with your rulers.

And change your blades often! If you are pressing down so hard your shoulder is sore, you should have done it a few months ago!

I need to change mine, it was getting dull and then I just ran over a hidden pin and it's time to go. Our fabric and time are more valuable, but them on sale -- like when I get stuff from Amazon I check on the current price and whether I should order a few more or not.
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Old 05-04-2021, 02:04 PM
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I completely agree with Iceblossom. The only time I use the cutting mat lines is for a quick rough measurement. And there is no reason why you have to use only one side of the cutting mat. Just like fabric, you bought both sides so go ahead and use them. I have 1 old mat that I use if I have to cut batting. Batting fuzz is really hard to get out of/off a mat. I have tried many different things and find a plain white pencil eraser works the best.
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Old 05-04-2021, 02:30 PM
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I only use the lines on the mat if I'm cutting something big (like setting triangles).

I use the ruler for most things but I try and remember to move my positioning. So if you have to cut 5 inch squares, don't put the squares close to the 5 inch line. Plunk the strip down a little askew, use the ruler for the 5 inch line and cut that way. Adjust it a bit every few cuts too. Then you aren't running over the same place on the mat over and over again. Sometimes I even flip my mat over!

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Old 05-04-2021, 02:39 PM
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I use the ruler lines, I do use the lines on the mat for lining up the fabrics. I believe I read somewhere NOT to use the lines on the mat for cutting. But, in 10 months going through a mat is pretty bad, do you have a new blade in? Are you pressing harder than you have to in order to cut? It takes me 2-3 years in cutting before I even start needing to think about getting a new mat.
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