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Thread: rotary cutting

  1. #1

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    When rotary cutting,my peices turn out smaller than I intended them to be. Just a few threads most of the time, sometimes almost 1/8 th of inch. What am I doing wrong?

  2. #2
    Leslee's Avatar
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    :)

  3. #3
    Leslee's Avatar
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    ...sorry, I goofed with my last message to you! I'm new at this, much better at quilting, I promise! I think we've all had problems with rotary cutting now and then. When cutting the longer strips of fabric, my guide would sometimes slip by the end of the cut and those tiny bits do add up. Have you tried walking your fingers (carefully!) along the guide while you cut? Having an absolutely flat, solid cutting table and a new blade can also make a difference. Hope this helps!

  4. #4
    Donna's Avatar
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    I had the same problem only probably double cuz I use so much pressure all the time. So I bought an item called InvisiGRIP at JoAnn Fabrics. It is a clear film, like a saran wrap, only sturdier, that clings to the underside of the rulers and that seems to help a lot. You get enough to do several rulers.

    Donna

    Oh, and the new/sharp blade makes a really, really big difference.

  5. #5
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    I hope I can make what I am about to say so it is understandable.
    When I am after accuracy, I will use 2 rulers.
    Line up the one that I am going to use my rotary cutter against and the second one backed up to the first one to make sure it is where I want it to be. A big square ruler works good for the second ruler.
    This works especially good when cutting widths of fabric that you later going to sub-cut.
    Joyce

  6. #6
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    I had this problem when I first started using a rotary cutter, I later learned that the line of the ruler at the left edge of the fabric should be on top of the fabric, not next to it. :oops:

  7. #7
    Senior Member foxxigrani's Avatar
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    I am not claiming to know anything but found when I started, the hardest thing for me was using the ruler and rotary cutter to get my strips, I had the usual V and still do sometimes in the middle of the fabric, or my strips would be off thus my blocks wouldn't be right. Still haven't mastered the accuracy of my blocks but I am getting closer. And what I found to be true and helps the most, first of all is practice. Second is laying it on top not beside. You can always cut down if its just a shade to large but can never add to. Hope this helps you but mostly it will come in time. Practice practice. Oh and that strip or even sand paper glued to your ruler will also help with the slippage. Good luck

    Rita

  8. #8

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    About rotary cutting, you might also check to see that the line on your ruler actually covers the raw edge of your fabric. Some times we just get the line close to the raw edge but not actually on it. Try it and see.

  9. #9
    Senior Member mary705's Avatar
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    that is what I also learned to make sure I do, have the line of the ruler on top of the fabric. You can consider that your thread line. It doesn't seem like much, but you have that tiny bit repeatedly, and your squares will be smaller than intended.

  10. #10
    Donna's Avatar
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    I hope I am not going to get into too much hot water with you folks but I sorta have a question. If you are "making" a quilt, say twin size, and you use the same mark to cut all, then you use a different ruler for squaring up and you find all your squares are 1/8 inch smaller than they should be, does it really matter? Unless your quilt has to be a perfect size, for whatever reason, it seems to me that as long as it is close to twin, or whatever size you are making, that should be okay. Is my line of thinking off the chart?

    I am relatively new to quilting so I am just asking, not stating.

    Donna

  11. #11
    Boo
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    Senior Member Boo's Avatar
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    Donna, please excuse my laughter, but we are not the quilt police! Your post actually sounds like you are afraid you will be arrested! LOL Relax, quilting is not meant to be a science. If you need rules of quilting let me give you my two best ones. Rule #1 enjoy yourself. Rule #2 finished is better than perfect everytime.

    An eighth of an inch is going to matter during the constuction of a block. But consistency is going to matter more. If your finished block is smaller, just make sure all your blocks square to same size and you should not have a problem. Yes the finished size of your quilt will be smaller, of course. Remember that every 8 seams will subtract an inch. You may want to reread the tips posted in this topic. These are the voices of experience and there is no reason to attempt to reinvent the wheel. :lol:

  12. #12

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    As a general rule I try to use the same ruler throughtout the cutting process. Once the blocks are all pieced as long as they all are the same it doesn't really matter any more. Relax and go ahead and put the blocks together. If you have sashing or borders make sure you cut them to fit you blocks or quilt top size and you'll be fine. Another thing I thought of about your size differance, have you double checked your 1/4 in. seam allowance? Not all 1/4 in. feet are totally acurate.

  13. #13
    Jane Sisk's Avatar
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    Hi there,

    Welcome to the site, you are going to love it. I do a lot of strip quilting, most of my strips average 2 1/2 inchs. I found a 24 in ruler at walmart that has the cutter built into it. It has been wonderful. You can multiple layers and it is so much faster. Just square up your fabric and then start cutting. Oh by the way, it cost 24.95 but has been worth every penny to me.

    Jane Sisk
    Tucson, AZ

  14. #14
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
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    Hi Sasafras!

    The only time that 1/8" would really matter is if you are making a block as part of a group project. Then it's easier for the person sewing everybody's blocks together if they are all the same size.

    We all have our own "PPM" - Personal Private Measurement - as Mary Ellen Hopkins says. As long as you're consistent, your blocks will fit together & if you decide it's smaller than you wanted to be at the end....add another border or another row or round of blocks!

    Have fun!

    sue

  15. #15
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    For almost every block, it would matter. For log cabins that are strip-pieced, nine-patches, four-patches, or other blocks where every single piece is the same, it wouldn't matter, but as soon as you start making blocks with different pieces in them, like an Ohio Star or a Goose in the Pond, or if you have triangles, you will run into trouble pretty fast.

    I don't measure from the cut edge of my fabric. I measure by positioning the fabric straight on the cutting mat and then aligning the markings on my ruler with the lines on my cutting mat. This also keeps my fabric "square", self-correcting each time I make a new cut.


  16. #16
    Catherine's Avatar
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    Sasafras, to keep your rulers from slipping when cutting I went to WalMart and bought a pack of Felt Pads, in the hardware dept. there is 84 little round dots, to a pack. after sticking these to each corner, I wait a day or two them remove them, they leave a film that will keep your ruler from slipping when rotary cutting. Cheaper, I think then buying this from JoAnn's.

  17. #17
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    That's the way I do it too. Not that everything comes out perfect every time. My girlfriend took a class and the teacher told them to ignore the lines on the mat and just use the ruler. I could never do it that way! But she is a newbie and is trying to do as the teacher said.

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