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Thread: Using grid lines on cutting mat?

  1. #1
    Super Member sewingsuz's Avatar
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    Using grid lines on cutting mat?

    I am left handed and lay my fabric on the mat and use the lines on mat to line up my fabric and lay my ruler down on the mat and line the ruler up with the lines top and bottom of the mat to cut. A person at the guild told me never to use the lines on the mat to measure. I have been doing my cutting this way for ever. Is this wrong? I don't know how I would do this otherwise. Thanks for your help.
    Suzanne
    Asking a seamstress to mend is like asking Picasso to paint your garage.

  2. #2
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I use mine in that fashion too. I've measured the lines on the mat against the ones on my rulers, and they're the same, as they should be.

  3. #3
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    I have also heard not to use the lines on the mat as they may not be accurate, but...I still do, I learned that way and it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
    granna of 5

  4. #4
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I use mine all the time. If it works, it works. It's just another of the many things some people will say "never" do or "always" do. You've got to do what works for you. If you are happy with your results, why change?

  5. #5
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    It sounds like it is working fine. I wouldn't worry about it. The only problem might be if the measurements weren't right on the mat, and I think that would be unlikely.

    Dina

  6. #6
    Super Member sewingsuz's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the your answers. I am an old dog and thought, I am not going to start over , if it works.
    Suzanne
    Asking a seamstress to mend is like asking Picasso to paint your garage.

  7. #7
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    Do you have problems that may be caused by the way you cut your fabric? If not do it the way you want! I use the lines on the ruler as much as possible because cutting on the same line on my mat can cause problems to my older mats. putting cut ridges in or even removing some of the lines by cutting away small amounts every time you cut. (these are not self healing mats, I've never had one of those) just remember to keep the fabric you want to use under your ruler. If you are cutting left handed keep non used portion of fabric to your left. line up correct line on ruler with the raw edge, an make your cut like always. Just do what works for you and enjoy the process!

  8. #8
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    My personal opinion is that if you are consistent with the way you cut, it should all come together perfectly! If you were to use 2 different ways to measure and cut, then I can see some problems arising.
    JMHO
    ~Sheriann~💖 BabyLock Ellisimo 💖 Husqvarna Viking Designet 1ESS 💖 BabyLock Imagine 💖 Janome Jem Platinum 760 ♥ Beloved Gram's 1924 Singer Treadle 💖 1937 & 1953 Singer Featherweights #IAMSEWBLESSED ♥

  9. #9
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    Your ruler is more accurate. You should use two rulers to square up your fabric then cut using your ruler not the mat grid.

  10. #10
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    Compare the measurements on the rulers you use to those on your mat. If they are the same you have no potential problems. And as has been mentioned already...if you aren't having problems with your blocks fitting together you are probably doing ok.
    Cheryl Robinson
    http://www.silverneedlestitching.com
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  11. #11
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Use mine all the time with no issesmy rulers line up perfect with my mat, do whatever works for you, I ignore the quilt police
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  12. #12
    Super Member gzuslivz's Avatar
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    I use mine, too. What you want to do is use the same measuring tools all throughout your project. That will ensure consistent sizes.
    Faith is not about everything turning out OK; Faith is about being OK no matter how things turn out.
    Renee

  13. #13
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    I use the grid lines to line up the edge of the fabric on and double check the ruler measurements against the grid lines before I cut. I too know the lines of the rulers are the same as the grid lines. My sewing or cutting hasn't been off unless I was using the wrong measurement on the pattern. (Ugh! more than once!)
    I line up the straight edge of the fabric. Then I use one ruler on the right side (I am right-handed) to line up my measurement needed along that straight edge of the fabric. (The left edge of the ruler will be onto the fabric.) I make sure the fabric edge is exactly on the measurement of the ruler. Then I take another ruler on the left side and butt it up against the ruler on the right. Double-check the measurements up and down the rulers against the grid lines on the mat for accuracy, slide the ruler on the right out of the way, and cut the fabric on the edge of the ruler that was on the left. Becomes habit to use the ruler markings and to use two rulers for accurate measuring and cutting. When I do it this way I can place the fabric anywhere that is convenient on the mat. Doesn't matter how big of fabric pieces I am cutting, I use 2 rulers for measuring and cutting. For me, the mat grid lines are just for straightening up the fabric, but all the measuring and cutting is done using rulers. I learned to do it this way because lining up the fabric to the 0 marking on the mat drove me nuts. May sound anal but I have to have the measurements on my right, because I am holding down the ruler with my left hand.

  14. #14
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    When I was in the learning process, one of the first classes I took, my sister in law and I were cutting and using the lines on the mat. The girl who taught the class told us that the lines were not accurate, since that day I do not cut any pieces for a quilt using the lines on the mat, but use my ruler. Now that does not mean that things always line up perfectly, they do not at times. That I blame on my 1/4 inch foot on my machine. I have a time of positioning it just right and a line of tape to get the 1/4 inch. I have found when I start out with something new, as quilting was, if I am shown the correct way I keep on doing it. Just my thoughts. I do use the lines when I want a rough bit of accuracy for some things.

  15. #15
    Super Member tesspug's Avatar
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    My grandmother cut her quilts using cardboard templates and a tape measure. If it works, it works. Let them do their's the way they want and you do yours the way you want.

  16. #16
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    I just measured my ruler vs mat tonight...they are the same...use the mat to measure all the time. If it ain't broke...don't fix it! Go with what works for you.

  17. #17
    Super Member Knitette's Avatar
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    This is the way I was taught. I'm a newish quilter and someone showed me the ruler method which I now mostly use.
    I do however 'revert' when I've got a big piece to measure and occasionally for straightening.
    Do it the way you like best and are happiest with.
    Lang may yer lum reek. (I'm a knitter - hence - 'Knit-ette'. Confuses a lot of people!)

  18. #18
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    I use the lines on the mat if I am cutting a strip larger than my ruler. The lines on my mat are rather wide and I'm not sure I always line the ruler up in the same spot so I'm concerned about inconsistencies. I prefer to use the lines on the ruler if possible.

  19. #19
    Senior Member rush88888's Avatar
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    it's a personal decision...i use a ruler. i would think that one reason would be that the fold of the fabric is hard to hold down in position to the grid.
    Last edited by rush88888; 01-27-2013 at 04:23 AM.
    "perfection is the enemy of done."
    "the secret to having it all is knowing you already do."

  20. #20
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Jenny Doan uses her mat as a ruler all the time and she's an awesome quilter. She's featured in 'Quilting Quickly' this month. She has so many videos out and has a thriving online and mortar quilt shop. If she does it, it can't be wrong! She's left handed also.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  21. #21
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    When I started using the mats and rotary cutters, the board didn't have lines...now when I get a board that does, I don't use them. I use the lines on the ruler. Much more accurate.

  22. #22
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    As the self healing mats get older, they do "dry out" Then you might have a problem. I was told to soak mine in water, then dry it off, lay it on a towel and allow to air dry. Never lay it in the sun though. It worked! Great way to re-new your cutting mats. Helps with the self healing.

  23. #23
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    nah, there are no "shoulds" if you are happy with the results.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  24. #24
    Super Member gzuslivz's Avatar
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    I say to use whatever technique works for you. However, it is a good idea to square up as you piece. That way you will know two things: 1) that your cutting is accurate; and 2) that your sewing is accurate.
    Faith is not about everything turning out OK; Faith is about being OK no matter how things turn out.
    Renee

  25. #25
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    The main reason why a ruler is more accurate is because of the size of the marks on the mat - they are much thicker than on the ruler. As many others have said, if you are consistent in the way you cut and you have experienced no problems, why change. When you do use the mat, try to be consistent in where you put the ruler - left side of the mat line, right side or center.
    Kate

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