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-   -   How many of you use cutting mat lines when cutting fabric? (https://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f1/how-many-you-use-cutting-mat-lines-when-cutting-fabric-t92154.html)

nursie76 01-20-2011 06:54 AM

Ok...so I just watched the first 2 segments of the new Quilty show on QNN TV. It features Mary Ann Fons daughter, Mary. Quick little show for newbies. In the second episode she teaches a friend how to use a rotary cutter, teaching her to line up the ruler with the grid lines on the cutting mat.

SO...now I am wondering if I have been doing it wrong (or harder, or less precise) all along? I was taught to use my ruler for this. However, she was cutting 2" squares by placing the bottom straightened edge of the fabric on the left/right (horizontal) line of the mat and then lining up the ruler with the correct north/south (vertical) line on the mat and then using the ruler as the straight edge, cutting.

Do any of you do it this way? Is it more or less precise? Inquiring minds want to know....

mom-6 01-20-2011 07:00 AM

Sometimes I will use the lines on the mat and sometimes I'll use only the lines on the ruler. If it is a measurement wider than my ruler that's the only way it can be done! For the ones that are within the ruler's width I usually don't bother with also lining it up with the lines on the mat.

Maggie_1963 01-20-2011 07:01 AM

I kind of do, but I also use the vertical lines on my ruler and match them up with the vertical lines on the mat, haven't had a problem yet! I have learned to take more time cutting, the more precise it is, the better the work turns out and matches up correctly. I think that is a key to all of quilting is to not rush, sometimes hard for me because I can't wait to see the finale!

Lacelady 01-20-2011 07:01 AM

I have always done it this way - lining up my fabric on the mat, then putting my ruler over all of the fabric except the part I want to cut away, aligning it with the markings on the mat.

I read all the reasons why I should put my ruler on the piece I wanted to cut off, and it never made any sense to me, especially if I wanted to only cut off a small piece.

raptureready 01-20-2011 07:01 AM

Close enough for me. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. My quilting instructor says not to but I didn't listen to everything my mom told me either. Maybe should have.

suebee 01-20-2011 07:02 AM

I always use my lines on my mat. This is the only way I can be sure my fabric is cut accurately.

Granna of 5 01-20-2011 07:02 AM

I use to use the lines on my mat until I read on this board that they are not always accurate, so now I use my ruler.

DebraK 01-20-2011 07:03 AM

I do it that way. but you have to make sure you have a good and accurate mat.

nursie76 01-20-2011 07:05 AM

Hmmm...maybe I will have to give it a try...

Lisa_wanna_b_quilter 01-20-2011 07:12 AM

I use the lines on the mat, but the lines on my ruler do match it. I line the fabric up on the mat, place the ruler on the fabric and match ruler lines to mat lines.

crashnquilt 01-20-2011 07:17 AM

The key here is just be consistent! If you cut using the lines on you mat then continue the whole project using the mats lines. If you use the ruler, use the same ruler throughout the whole project to insure better accuracy.

All rulers do not match. And usually they do not match the lines on your mat. My Fiskars ruler lines do not match exactly to the lines on my Omnigrid rulers. Albeit the difference is minute, when working on a project that bit of minute will rear it's ugly head.

Favorite Fabrics 01-20-2011 07:24 AM

All tape measures do not match, either...

Nor do any of these necessarily agree with the little ruler markings on the front of my sewing machine tables. And those of course do not agree with each other!

Holice 01-20-2011 07:25 AM

all lines on mats are not consistent. should not use them for accuracy, only if a smidgen doesn't matter. Some turn the mat over not to confuse the cutting. Most do not suggest using lines on mats. Also if you do notice which side of the line you use for measuring. measure this to see what the measurement is.

Terryl 01-20-2011 07:27 AM


Originally Posted by Lisa_wanna_b_quilter
I use the lines on the mat, but the lines on my ruler do match it. I line the fabric up on the mat, place the ruler on the fabric and match ruler lines to mat lines.

This is me too, my ruler and mat are the same brand and the lines match.

Conniequilts 01-20-2011 07:28 AM

I have to use the lines on the mat. The ruler markings are to busy for me and my eyes cross. I have not had any problems doing it that way.

Rachelcb80 01-20-2011 07:29 AM

I've heard many times not to use the lines on my mat but I do anyways. Gotta admit though, I always felt a little guilty. :) Why would the lines be there if not to use?

nursie76 01-20-2011 07:31 AM


Originally Posted by Rachelcb80
I've heard many times not to use the lines on my mat but I do anyways. Gotta admit though, I always felt a little guilty. :) Why would the lines be there if not to use?

That is so funny! I have used them a couple of times...and I felt really guilty too! :roll:

deema 01-20-2011 07:33 AM

I didn't think there was any other way to do it...? lol I often cut folded fabric. I line the fold (or straight edge) up on the horizontal line, then match the ruler lines with the mat lines. It seriously never occurred to me that I could cut without using the mat lines...

TexasGurl 01-20-2011 07:34 AM

I always cut by the ruler, not the mat. Most quilters I know do the same, some use only the back side or a plain, no-grid mat. Your mat and rulers may vary so if you use both in your cutting, you will have some differences.
Make a clean cut/start edge and then move to the right to make your cuts, using the ruler only (or the left, if left-handed) Hope this helps! :)

RkayD 01-20-2011 07:36 AM

I use the lines to match up with my ruler...but I mostly use the QuiltCut and it uses all mat because there are no lines on the ruler. =)

imjustme 01-20-2011 07:37 AM

this is what i do to.


Originally Posted by Maggie_1963
I kind of do, but I also use the vertical lines on my ruler and match them up with the vertical lines on the mat, haven't had a problem yet! I have learned to take more time cutting, the more precise it is, the better the work turns out and matches up correctly. I think that is a key to all of quilting is to not rush, sometimes hard for me because I can't wait to see the finale!


CorgiNole 01-20-2011 07:38 AM

I don't use them to measure by, but will sometimes use them to help make sure my fabric is lined up squarely.

Cheers, K

Grama Lehr 01-20-2011 07:41 AM

I go by the old rule, measure twice and cut once!

Lori S 01-20-2011 07:41 AM

Yep I use the lines on the mat. I have worn out my share of mats doing this. But its a habit now so ...

BellaBoo 01-20-2011 07:46 AM

Kinda off topic but still about measuring tools. Did you know a stainless 1 cup dry measuring cup holds more then a plastic one cup dry measure? The stainless cup is considered a baker's measure. It's only the one cup measure the rest are all the same. Weird.

bj 01-20-2011 07:49 AM

I guess I do both. My mat doesn't have incremental marks between the inch lines, so if I need 2.5, for example, I use the ruler. I always use the mat lines for squaring up a wonky block or making that initial cut at the end to get the ends even. I figure the lines are there for some reason, might as well use them!

CorgiNole 01-20-2011 07:51 AM


Originally Posted by BellaBoo
Kinda off topic but still about measuring tools. Did you know a stainless 1 cup dry measuring cup holds more then a plastic one cup dry measure? The stainless cup is considered a baker's measure. It's only the one cup measure the rest are all the same. Weird.

There are also cups you should use for measuring dry versus wet ingredients. Fortunately most of what I cook doesn't get too bothered if I'm a smidge over or under, kind of like I can fix dimensions if something ends up a smidge over or under in a block.

Cheers, K

Julie in NM 01-20-2011 08:11 AM

I cut using the ruler...not the lines on the mat. Just easier for me to fold the fab and then lay the ruler down and cut. Hate cutting so the faster I get it done, the sooner I can start sewing~!!

Aully 01-20-2011 08:18 AM

I try not to use the lines on my mat, because it is so warped in some spots. I just use both sets of lines on my rulers. :)

feline fanatic 01-20-2011 08:24 AM


Originally Posted by CorgiNole
I don't use them to measure by, but will sometimes use them to help make sure my fabric is lined up squarely.

Cheers, K

This is what I do too. I always use my ruler to measure unless the cut needs to be bigger then my longest ruler. Then I use my mat up to 36". I use my mat to square up but use a tape measure to measure out the cut if it is longer then 36" and I measure at least 3 times before making the cut.

davidwent 01-20-2011 08:28 AM

I find the lines on the mat to be too thick to be really accurate
David

amandasgramma 01-20-2011 08:31 AM

I do on anything that has to be cut more than the width of my ruler.....how else would you do it??

LindaR 01-20-2011 08:40 AM

never, never

peacebypiece 01-20-2011 08:53 AM

OK. We are not building rockets here. The "smidge" of difference between the ruler and mat are so small I doubt if it will ruin a quilt. The difference between the ruler and mat cannot be that bad or you would have noticed it before you cut. If you cut the whole quilt the same way, they will all be the same "variance" so won't matter anyway.
Sometimes we seem to be making MOUNTAINS out of little bitty molehills. If you get this hung up on a quilt, you need to relax a bit. Really sloppy cutting is the stuff that makes the pattern pieces not fit right.
Same goes for the 1/4" seam rule. I used to do all my quilt seams with 3/8" seams, because that was the width of my pressure foot on my very old Singer. Nobody noticed. Since all the seams were the same it still fit together, just a tiny bit smaller when finished. My daughter is still using that 35 yr old quilt!

Candace 01-20-2011 08:58 AM

I don't use my cutting mat for anything other than cutting.

Bobbielinks 01-20-2011 08:59 AM

Nope, I never use the lines on the cutting mat.

midwestqltr 01-20-2011 08:59 AM

I use the cutting mat lines to make sure I have a straight cut.

EagarBeez 01-20-2011 09:05 AM

I use the lines as well

Rachelcb80 01-20-2011 09:10 AM


Originally Posted by peacebypiece
OK. We are not building rockets here. The "smidge" of difference between the ruler and mat are so small I doubt if it will ruin a quilt. The difference between the ruler and mat cannot be that bad or you would have noticed it before you cut. If you cut the whole quilt the same way, they will all be the same "variance" so won't matter anyway.
Sometimes we seem to be making MOUNTAINS out of little bitty molehills. If you get this hung up on a quilt, you need to relax a bit. Really sloppy cutting is the stuff that makes the pattern pieces not fit right.

Couldn't agree more!

For those that say they never use the mat lines, how do you measure and cut pieces bigger than your ruler? And can you explain why you don't use your mat to measure? Out of curiousity I put a tape ruler on my mat and it measured correctly with the ruler. Isn't that about as good as you could ask for?

Airwick156 01-20-2011 09:12 AM

I was taught to use the lines on the ruler because they are straight. Where on a cutting mat they can be distorted and cause you to cut your fabric wrong. And I know that for a fact that the mats are squiggly sometimes. I have one of those Ironing board/cutting board ones and the lines on the cutting board side is all squiggly. But then again I only use if for ironing. I never cut on that cutting board side.


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