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

  1. #51
    Senior Member stefanib123's Avatar
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    I have one last question:

    Are there some people that just don't like using a rotary cutter? I know someone said so earlier in this thread.

    I think its entirely possible that some people just can't do it. Like some people can't whistle, LOL!

    Sometimes, I think its just easier to use scissors.

  2. #52
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    It doesn't sound too picky at all, it sounds like a brilliant suggestion to me!

  3. #53
    Senior Member OdessaQuilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stefanib123
    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.
    Yay! Isn't it amazing how we can use our "big girl words" and "indoor voices" and it suddenly makes sense as you try to put it into practice?! ;)

    Seriously, I'm glad the suggestions that have been made here for you have been of help. Good to know.

    As for doing a tute, thanks for asking. I will look in to this. But I will not have time for it until at least next week some time. Am in the middle of "wedding wars" :!: -- have a wedding cake and 2 birthday cakes to complete tonight, deliver tomorrow, and then try to get the house back in order on Sunday. After that I may have more time... Certainly some of us are "visual" learners and it may help someone else who is struggling with these same issues.

    stefanib123, congrats on figuring it out. Keep practicing, you will get better and faster. Eventually you will be doing precisely what those TV quilters are doing, zip, zip, zip, all done! 442 perfect squares! It just takes time, practice, patience, and the willingness to re-check yourself before you make a cut.

    Odessa

  4. #54
    Senior Member Jshep's Avatar
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    When starching, what kind of starch do you use?

  5. #55
    Member Gael's Avatar
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    I'm new here. What does "HST" mean? (There are too many abbreviations on these message boards.)

  6. #56

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    I bet I am not the only one on this board that can cut for hours and have "perfect" results every time so I know that you can learn to cut with great accuracy. This is the sort of skill that is hard to describe and learn with words. The very best way to learn is by seeing. I heartily suggest that you follow the good advice to go to your LQS and ask for some help. Leave your things in your car and ask first or call and ask. They may have a time in the week where you can bring in your problems and they will help you for a modest price. Not really a class.
    Debra B.


    I hope that this will help you to have a better cutting experience. Good luck and let us know how you make out!

    Odessa>

  7. #57

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    I suggest you check your mat. My problem was a warpped mat.

    Lucy

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gael
    I'm new here. What does "HST" mean? (There are too many abbreviations on these message boards.)
    half square triangle (that one took me a while to figure out, too)

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by OdessaQuilts
    I agree with Donna, I thought it could be your seams, but then I went back and re-read your original post. If I understand correctly, you are discovering problems when you put 2 pieces together to sew them, right? If that's where you're noticing the problem, there are fixes.

    First, are you holding your cutter so the blade is straight up and down? You do not want to "angle-in" toward your ruler, as this will give you an "off" cut. If one cut is angled and the next one straight, your block is going to be "off".

    Secondly, why are you only cutting one layer at a time? A 45mm blade can easily cut 4 layers without difficulty. If you've got your fabrics laid out nicely, you can certainly get accurate cuts easier (I believe) with more than 1 layer of fabric. (Please don't take this as a "snippy" comment, I'm just trying to understand...)

    When you cut, how are you holding the ruler? Many people put a lot of downward pressure on the ruler, which can actually move it during the cutting process. Obviously, you don't want that "shift" to happen, so use a lighter touch. Also, one of the things I hit upon when I first started rotary cutting is to keep the heel of my hand and my little finger just off the edge of the ruler. This gives me a little more security in "feeling" if the ruler is drifting.

    Don't apply too much pressure from the blade up against the ruler. This can also cause shifting of the ruler and therefore, a "wonky" cut piece.

    A sharp blade is very important.

    Also, if your pieces are off by a thread or two, it should be okay. Lay them together so they are as centered as they can be, and sew with a 1/4" seam just as you normally would. If you are seeing a thread or two of the underneath fabric, it's okay - just use that edge to line up on your machine/foot/line for your 1/4". If the two pieces are more than a couple threads off (like perhaps 1/8" or more), you should re-cut.

    Finally, if these tips don't help you, I'd recommend that you go to your LQS, if you have one nearby, and ask someone there for some help. I wouldn't recommend a big chain store, because sometimes they're just too busy. But a LQS is there to provide SERVICE TO THE CUSTOMER. They WANT you to be happy and successful, because that is what will keep you coming back and their doors open! Ask if you can bring in some fabrics and your tools and have someone watch you cut. They may be able to pick up on something that we can't necessarily "see" from this board and the help will be invaluable to you.

    I hope that this will help you to have a better cutting experience. Good luck and let us know how you make out!

    Odessa
    Wow, thanks Odessa - I have been having the same problem, and now I know it is because I am putting too much pressure holding the ruler down... Again learned something new... :)

  10. #60
    sockmonkeyNH's Avatar
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    Try using a ruler with a lip. That's all I use now and get very accurate cuts. The lip locks onto the bottom of the mat and keeps the ruler from moving so much.

  11. #61
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    Take note of how the lines on the ruler line up with the edge of the fabric. On the Omni there is a blue line with yellow on each side of it. Try to place the ruler the same way each time. Cut with the rotary cutter short distances and carefully move the hand holding the ruler. If you try to over reach the ruler will slide. It can also help to have the thumb and 2 fingers on the ruler and the other 2 fingers on the mat to help stabilize it. It takes practice and patience. Good Luck.

  12. #62
    Super Member katiebear1's Avatar
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    I think it just tyakes patience and practice and also very shap blades. But be carefull!

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by OdessaQuilts
    I agree with Donna, I thought it could be your seams, but then I went back and re-read your original post. If I understand correctly, you are discovering problems when you put 2 pieces together to sew them, right? If that's where you're noticing the problem, there are fixes.

    First, are you holding your cutter so the blade is straight up and down? You do not want to "angle-in" toward your ruler, as this will give you an "off" cut. If one cut is angled and the next one straight, your block is going to be "off".

    Secondly, why are you only cutting one layer at a time? A 45mm blade can easily cut 4 layers without difficulty. If you've got your fabrics laid out nicely, you can certainly get accurate cuts easier (I believe) with more than 1 layer of fabric. (Please don't take this as a "snippy" comment, I'm just trying to understand...)

    When you cut, how are you holding the ruler? Many people put a lot of downward pressure on the ruler, which can actually move it during the cutting process. Obviously, you don't want that "shift" to happen, so use a lighter touch. Also, one of the things I hit upon when I first started rotary cutting is to keep the heel of my hand and my little finger just off the edge of the ruler. This gives me a little more security in "feeling" if the ruler is drifting.

    Don't apply too much pressure from the blade up against the ruler. This can also cause shifting of the ruler and therefore, a "wonky" cut piece.

    A sharp blade is very important.

    Also, if your pieces are off by a thread or two, it should be okay. Lay them together so they are as centered as they can be, and sew with a 1/4" seam just as you normally would. If you are seeing a thread or two of the underneath fabric, it's okay - just use that edge to line up on your machine/foot/line for your 1/4". If the two pieces are more than a couple threads off (like perhaps 1/8" or more), you should re-cut.

    Finally, if these tips don't help you, I'd recommend that you go to your LQS, if you have one nearby, and ask someone there for some help. I wouldn't recommend a big chain store, because sometimes they're just too busy. But a LQS is there to provide SERVICE TO THE CUSTOMER. They WANT you to be happy and successful, because that is what will keep you coming back and their doors open! Ask if you can bring in some fabrics and your tools and have someone watch you cut. They may be able to pick up on something that we can't necessarily "see" from this board and the help will be invaluable to you.

    I hope that this will help you to have a better cutting experience. Good luck and let us know how you make out!

    Odessa
    Your post really helped me with my cutting. Thanks. I did ask @ my LQS and was told to loosen the screw. Made a world of difference also ... finger tight for me was too tight!

  14. #64
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    Are you using a mat for you measurements? Or the ruler? I have a mat that is not true to size. after few mistakes, I realized the problem.

  15. #65
    Super Member AnnaK's Avatar
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    Odessa, you rock!

  16. #66
    Senior Member BizyStitches'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?
    Could it be your 1/4 inch seam might be off. Have you checked out Accuquilt GO cutters. It makes life so much easier. Good luck.

  17. #67
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    there is one thing you can try. I don't know what it is called, but it is a ruler with a "lip" at the top and you slide it along the cutting mat. or you can turn it upside down and hold it at the top and it won't move. It helps me to make straight cuts and I just wish I could get it in all sizes!

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by OdessaQuilts
    I agree with Donna, I thought it could be your seams, but then I went back and re-read your original post. If I understand correctly, you are discovering problems when you put 2 pieces together to sew them, right? If that's where you're noticing the problem, there are fixes.

    First, are you holding your cutter so the blade is straight up and down? You do not want to "angle-in" toward your ruler, as this will give you an "off" cut. If one cut is angled and the next one straight, your block is going to be "off".

    Secondly, why are you only cutting one layer at a time? A 45mm blade can easily cut 4 layers without difficulty. If you've got your fabrics laid out nicely, you can certainly get accurate cuts easier (I believe) with more than 1 layer of fabric. (Please don't take this as a "snippy" comment, I'm just trying to understand...)

    When you cut, how are you holding the ruler? Many people put a lot of downward pressure on the ruler, which can actually move it during the cutting process. Obviously, you don't want that "shift" to happen, so use a lighter touch. Also, one of the things I hit upon when I first started rotary cutting is to keep the heel of my hand and my little finger just off the edge of the ruler. This gives me a little more security in "feeling" if the ruler is drifting.

    Don't apply too much pressure from the blade up against the ruler. This can also cause shifting of the ruler and therefore, a "wonky" cut piece.

    A sharp blade is very important.

    Also, if your pieces are off by a thread or two, it should be okay. Lay them together so they are as centered as they can be, and sew with a 1/4" seam just as you normally would. If you are seeing a thread or two of the underneath fabric, it's okay - just use that edge to line up on your machine/foot/line for your 1/4". If the two pieces are more than a couple threads off (like perhaps 1/8" or more), you should re-cut.

    Finally, if these tips don't help you, I'd recommend that you go to your LQS, if you have one nearby, and ask someone there for some help. I wouldn't recommend a big chain store, because sometimes they're just too busy. But a LQS is there to provide SERVICE TO THE CUSTOMER. They WANT you to be happy and successful, because that is what will keep you coming back and their doors open! Ask if you can bring in some fabrics and your tools and have someone watch you cut. They may be able to pick up on something that we can't necessarily "see" from this board and the help will be invaluable to you.

    I hope that this will help you to have a better cutting experience. Good luck and let us know how you make out!

    Odessa
    Thank you for the information, I to have not figured this out. God bless.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by lab fairy
    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.
    Boy, do I need this gizmo!! I looked on Nancy's Notions website and saw what is called a 'Donna Dewberry Strip Cutter'. Is this what you are talking about? I have to sit while I cut, since my back is so bad, and if this strip cutter is what you are talking about, I am certainly going to get it. Thanks in advance for your reply.

  20. #70

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    Hi,

    Have you thought to check your 1/4" seam allowance - sometimes if you are using a 1/4" foot the seam allowance can still be out - you may have to move your needle position to correct this.

    Good luck

    Jennyquilts .

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by majormom
    Quote Originally Posted by lab fairy
    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.
    Boy, do I need this gizmo!! I looked on Nancy's Notions website and saw what is called a 'Donna Dewberry Strip Cutter'. Is this what you are talking about? I have to sit while I cut, since my back is so bad, and if this strip cutter is what you are talking about, I am certainly going to get it. Thanks in advance for your reply.
    It was there a few weeks ago (I swear it was). This is what I was talking about. I'll try to track one down for you. I'm getting a really bad feeling this might be on the endangered species list.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by lab fairy
    Quote Originally Posted by majormom
    Quote Originally Posted by lab fairy
    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.
    Boy, do I need this gizmo!! I looked on Nancy's Notions website and saw what is called a 'Donna Dewberry Strip Cutter'. Is this what you are talking about? I have to sit while I cut, since my back is so bad, and if this strip cutter is what you are talking about, I am certainly going to get it. Thanks in advance for your reply.
    It was there a few weeks ago (I swear it was). This is what I was talking about. I'll try to track one down for you. I'm getting a really bad feeling this might be on the endangered species list.
    Boy that looks pretty nice! It's not what I saw on Nancy's Notions website, but the one you are talking about looks better. Now that I have what it looks like in my mind, I'm going on an all out search for it!!

  23. #73
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    The only places I have found list it as discontinued. You might want to contact Fiskars directly and ask instead of going on a snipe hunt. Most places can usually tell where there inventory is located (for the most part anyway). I hope this helps. Mine has been around for a long time. Maybe Fiskar will be updating something to replace it. It does have drawbacks but for strips it is really sweet.

  24. #74
    Senior Member 4dogs's Avatar
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    I wanta add,too............be sure you have the LINE on the ruler in just the right place..am I making sense? if you move the ruler over a nitch, so you can see the line, then you are not right on the line anymore....maybe someone who talkes better can make this sound more sensible..........duh

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by lab fairy
    The only places I have found list it as discontinued. You might want to contact Fiskars directly and ask instead of going on a snipe hunt. Most places can usually tell where there inventory is located (for the most part anyway). I hope this helps. Mine has been around for a long time. Maybe Fiskar will be updating something to replace it. It does have drawbacks but for strips it is really sweet.
    Thanks lab fairy! I went on Fiskars website and found something similar, however it is only 12 inchs long. How long is yours?

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