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Thread: Rotary cutting,....ugh....

  1. #26
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Any block that has a point is tricky to square up so the point isn't lost. Once you master keeping the points sharp the rest is gravy.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donna - Batiks
    I hate cutting with rotary blade when it is a longer piece. I have a ruler I bought at Wal Mart for $30. You can not always find it there and the quilt shops say they won't sell it because there is no profit BUT! if you have trouble with wobbly/wonka cutting this ruler is great. The blade is ATTACHED to the ruler! You can't cut "off". It's also a 24 inch ruler so yeah! Large pieces! It's made by Fisker's. I would not trade it for the world!
    See if you can find one because I got it when I was a new quilter because the rotary really scared me and with this WOW! I have been quilting about 10 years and still go to it first.
    Also check your quarter inch on your foot for sewing. If you are squaring your blocks it's probably that!
    You can find that "roto ruler" at Nancy's Notions. I have one too. Bought it years ago and have used it for many projects that weren't quilting (I have a posterboard dedicated blade for my kid projects. I love precise cuts.) It uses the normal Fiskar 45 mm replacement blades. LOVE IT. It is the go to cutter for long straight cuts at my house.

  3. #28
    Senior Member OdessaQuilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stefanib123
    Odessa, you are not being a bit "snippy", this is exactly what I'm looking for! Everyone's responses are great and I'm sure will be big help!

    You are correct in saying its not really my sewing the seams right. My problem is when I go to put the pieces together to sew them, they aren't the same size.

    I'm going to carefully go over everything you guys have said, and see if I can't figure it out.

    Or maybe I should just give it up and use my Cricut, LOL!
    Glad we could help you. Don't be afraid to cut more than one layer at a time. When you get really good, you will lay 2 fabrics together, fact-to-face, and cut so you don't have to move them at all before sewing the seams. Talk about a more accurate method!
    :wink:

    I've been doing this a long time. Just recently discovered I've got about 8 or 10 45mm rotary cutters. :shock: Who knew? :shock: And I used to teach beginning quilting, so I would always try to work with my beginners and teach them how to use the rotary cutter so they didn't have to be afraid of it. Is it sharp? Yes. Will it cut you? You bet. Do you have to use it? No. But if you want clean, accurate cuts, it was the best method we had for a lot of years.

    It's all a matter of getting familiar and comfortable with your equipment. You'll get this! I know you can do it. And WE want you to be successful, too.

    Odessa

  4. #29
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    Odessa, I wish you could be here to instruct when I decide to try rotary cutting! I bought and tried one years ago when they first came out and it was a disaster!! Haven't used it since!! I need to learn to use one, cutting with scissors is really hard now.

  5. #30
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Always, always, always!!! Measure TWICE, cut ONCE. I have been positive I'm right, and been 1/8 or 1/4 off, and that ruins it!!

  6. #31
    Senior Member OdessaQuilts's Avatar
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    clem, it's not difficult! Honestly, it's not. My best recommendation is to take some muslin or inexpensive fabrics that you won't be too concerned if the cuts are not immediately perfect, and just start.

    There is one thing that really gets me, though, about these TV quilters, in that I see them just putting the selvedge edges together and doing the rotary cuts. What they don't tell you is that the selvedges don't always run perpendicular to the cross-wise threads of the fabric. So when you cut, you still end up with wonky cuts sometimes.

    Maybe I need to do a tute on this? At least show my method? I've never done one, so don't hold your breath, but I'd be willing to try it ...

    Happy quilting (errrrr, I mean, "cutting")!

    Odessa

    [walks away, shaking head, muttering to self "....now, what in heaven's name have I gotten myself into here?.......just gotta help the newbies, don't I?....if only I wasn't such a giving person......oy!........]

  7. #32
    Super Member fireworkslover's Avatar
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    Make sure you are holding your blade perpendicular to your fabric when you cut. Tipping it one way - in or out, will make a big difference in the end.

  8. #33
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    I've found that I have to be consistent in where I stand in relation to the ruler. I found that by shifting a little left or right changes the way I line up the markings. It doesn't sound like much but I can be off by 1/16 for a few cuts and that starts showing up very quickly when the seams don't line up. Frustrating. I now have a small rug that I stand on to mark my position in front of the cutting area to make sure I stay in the relative vicinity. I know this sounds way too picky for some but it works for me.

  9. #34
    Senior Member Moon Holiday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stefanib123
    I am having problems! I've been practicing and practicing my rotary cutting and somehow its still "off".

    I've searched all the threads on here, follow all the tips and still when I put my blocks together, they still aren't exact.

    I put some sandpaper on the back of my rulers yesterday and that helped a lot with it slipping. I starch the crap out of everything. I'm really careful when cutting, and only cut one layer at a time.

    And I am STILL getting blocks that aren't right! They look fine on my mat but, when I go to put two together to sew them, they are different!

    What am I doing? Or not doing?
    Do you have a ruler with a lip (on one of the narrow ends) that you can catch onto the cutting mat? I got one for my granddaughter and it's made a world of difference because the ruler doesn't slip so her strips are straight.

  10. #35
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    After you've cut and before you move your ruler, check to make sure
    that you made a straight cut. If it's slightly off, now is the time to trim.

    For HST, I agree with quilterguy27. Cut slightly bigger then square up.
    Check out Lneal's post on squaring up HST's. I bought the ruler and love it.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-34271-1.htm

  11. #36
    Senior Member kathome's Avatar
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    Only thing I can think of is that either you are not putting enough pressure on the ruler and it's slipping or else..............

    are you SURE that your cutting mat is really flat? If the cutting mat is bowed then you won't get an accurate cut.

  12. #37
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    Odessa, could you adopt me so I can come live with you? Would ya, huh, huh, huh? I could migrate with the seasons (I don't really like that cold flaky stuff that falls from the sky. So you wouldn't be stuck with me ALL the time. I guess I've lived here in Central Texas too long. :-) )

  13. #38
    Senior Member OdessaQuilts's Avatar
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    lab fairy,

    you just THINK you don't like that flaky stuff! It can be such fun!

    Tell you what: you take my 18-year-old out of the house permanently and you can come for an extended visit!

    Odessa

    (......muttering to self ........ "......now just what in the H*** is DH gonna say about THIS turn of events ......??????????.................)

  14. #39
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    Uh...I just thought I finally got rid of my two when they up and got married. So essentially I'm now stuck with two more! :roll: Exponential growth in seven weeks (2 kids became 4) is just not a fair thing to do to this mom.

    I think I'll join you in the grumbling thing... paying for those college classes, the "hey Mom, will you" calls, can you help me with my homework, ... Do they grow up? They never ask me to cook though. Got them scared of that request. I think it's the bread bricks I turned out for Christmas. :oops:

    I do have to say that I still like the migrating with the seasons idea. Its darn hot down here.

  15. #40
    Senior Member stefanib123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lab fairy
    Uh...I just thought I finally got rid of my two when they up and got married. So essentially I'm now stuck with two more! :roll: Exponential growth in seven weeks (2 kids became 4) is just not a fair thing to do to this mom.

    I think I'll join you in the grumbling thing... paying for those college classes, the "hey Mom, will you" calls, can you help me with my homework, ... Do they grow up? They never ask me to cook though. Got them scared of that request. I think it's the bread bricks I turned out for Christmas. :oops:

    I do have to say that I still like the migrating with the seasons idea. Its darn hot down here.
    I just had this turn of events, too! I have an extra child around now, too, LOL!

    But, there is a silver lining! I've always wanted a daughter, and she is learning to quilt with me! YAY!!! I got her some Tinkerbell fabric today actually I was going to post about. Its a panel and I've got 2 coordinating fabrics, trying to decide how to lay it out for her to do. The panel has one big block and 3 smaller ones. I just don't know how to figure that! I'll post it in a few minutes.

    I'm going to keep this one and get rid of mine,LOL! (just kidding......maybe.....girls are so much cleaner!)

    I'm getting ready to go practice some. It pains me to do this, LOL! I don't have a lot of "stash", so I really love every piece! I think I will try to cut some common size squares so that if they turn out ok, I can still use them.

    I think I'm just not being as "careful" as I think. From what everyone has said, it has to be either me letting the ruler move, or just not having them lined up right to begin with.

  16. #41
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    I've done that. I always have trouble "tracking a line" with my eyes so I use post-it flags to mark my spot on the ruler. I even mark the "point" when I square things up. It goes quicker than refinding my place every time. The only reason I used the flags was because I had them laying around. I use them to mark my place on patterns, etc.

  17. #42
    Super Member wvdek's Avatar
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    Be sure your ruler bottom (nearest you when cutting) and ruler top (furthest from you when cutting) ar on the same line for cutting.

    As you cut, cut about one hand length, stop, walk fingers up ruler checking ruler line, cut again, and keep doing this until you are done.

    As you begin cutting, you come into the ruler edge at an angle and then straighten your blade as you cut. One should not be cutting into the ruler plastic as it nicks the blade. The sharper the blade, the sharper your cuts.

  18. #43
    Junior Member Lilaciris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stefanib123
    I am having problems! I've been practicing and practicing my rotary cutting and somehow its still "off".

    I've searched all the threads on here, follow all the tips and still when I put my blocks together, they still aren't exact.

    I put some sandpaper on the back of my rulers yesterday and that helped a lot with it slipping. I starch the crap out of everything. I'm really careful when cutting, and only cut one layer at a time.

    And I am STILL getting blocks that aren't right! They look fine on my mat but, when I go to put two together to sew them, they are different!

    What am I doing? Or not doing?
    Sounds to me like it might not be the cutting but maybe it's the 1/4" when sewing

  19. #44
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    Sounds like a 1/4 inch seam problem to me.

    Did you know that the lines on a index card are 1/4 inch apart? Put one line on your 1/4 inch foot edge and stitch. If it is right on the next line over, that is your 1/4 inch seam. If it is off, you need to adjust. Also, a lot of the designers say 'scant' 1/4 inch. This means you need to move your needle over by one click (electronic machines). This accommodates the 'fold' when you press the seam to one side.

    Measure each section of blocks that you sew together until you get consistent. That's what I have to do with complicated blocks and it really helps.

    Good luck!

  20. #45
    Super Member Pamela Artman's Avatar
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    All the tips are great and so true. One thing that wasn't mentioned is to be sure your fabric edge is exactly on the line on your ruler. It's easy to put it just over the line or just under the line. To make sure it's exactly on the line, look at the spaces between the marked lines. ( most rulers have spaces or like a dotted line.) You should see the edge of your fabric in the space going exactly between the center of the lines. Hard to explain, hope you understand. Keep trying everything till you get it right! Getting things exact now will make your future quilting experiences so much more enjoyable.

  21. #46
    Senior Member calicocat's Avatar
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    I think it is not your cutting, either I think it may be your seams. Check to see if your 1/4 inch seam is really a 1/4 inch. I was quilting for nearly 4 years before I actually checked mine and guess what it was not a 1/4 inch. Boy has that made a huge difference in my block size.

  22. #47
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    Odessa would you do a tutorial for us? I think it would really help those of us that are trying to get the cut right. I just love the board and you quilters your really do help us.

  23. #48
    Super Member quilt3311's Avatar
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    If you know someone who has the Martelli Ergo rotary cutter, try it out, I find this one is much easier to hold perpendicular to the fabric. If your cutter is at an angle when you cut it may be causing your problem. Also mark your seam allowance or use a seam guide when you sew. Hope this helps.

  24. #49
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    If you are sitting and looking at your ruler that way your cut will be off. you cant see the upper edge to line it up properly. Look down on your ruler so you can see the entire area your are cutting.Dont use the numbers on your cutting mat/ use the same ruler and rotary cutter.

  25. #50
    Senior Member stefanib123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calicocat
    I think it is not your cutting, either I think it may be your seams. Check to see if your 1/4 inch seam is really a 1/4 inch. I was quilting for nearly 4 years before I actually checked mine and guess what it was not a 1/4 inch. Boy has that made a huge difference in my block size.
    The pieces aren't the same size before I even sew the first piece. I am working on sewing a good 1/4 inch seam, and I'm getting a lot better at that. I bought the foot for my machine that is 1/4 on one side and 1/8 on the other. I've checked it a few times, to make sure, after reading on here that some of the 'so called" 1/4 inch feet really aren't! It is,yay!

    I do appreciate all the tips about the 1/4 inch seams, though!As I said , I'm getting "better" not "exact", LOL!!! So, really, I need all the help I can get ! On all sides!

    Ok....now for the good news! I sat the computer close to me, and read over everyone's tips again. Then I lined up my fabric and started to cut. A few things I noticed:

    1. I put my fabric either on one side or the other of "line", not in the center, and not always the same.

    Solution: Putting my fabric right in the center of the lines. One big problem down, ten thousand to go!

    2. I would put my hand in the middle of my ruler and leave it there holding real tight for the whole cut!

    Solution: "Walking" my hand up

    3. As per problem 2, holding the ruler in the middle WAS making me move it slightly as I got to the end of my cut.

    Solution: See 2

    4. I was tilting my cutter "in" toward the ruler, trying to get as close as I could.

    Solution: Holding it straight up and down

    5. CHECK, and DOUBLE Check that everything is lined up!


    After all this, my cuts are MUCH better! Much, much, better! I think another problem was I was "rushing" through it. I see all these videos of people going "swipe, swipe, swipe,swipe, done! 400 perfect triangles!" And think I can do that too, and.......I can not. I must take my time!

    I even started a few of Rhonda's keychains last night and they are coming out great!

    I want to thank everyone so much! I think I'm going to print this thread off and put it in my how to binder that I keep.

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