Rotary Cutters

The art of quilting is really in the care and precision, both in the planning stage, and for the stitching.

These days you can buy wadding to sit between the back and face fabrics, and stitch through to create the quilt finish. If you secure the three sections, i.e., the back cloth, the wadding, and the face fabric at strategic points, you can then appliqué the decorative pattern on the face fabric.

Rotary cutting is more precise than using scissors. The cutters are extremely sharp, and need to be used with care – definitely something to be kept out of sight and access for youngsters.

When you use a rotary cutter you need a proper cutting mat that won’t get ridged from the blade and won’t damage the blade either. If you use a damaged mat, the cutter can slide off course, which could mean that your fabric wouldn’t have the straight edge you need. The cutters should always have their blades closed when not in use, and the guard in place whenever you are not using it.

Even experienced quilters and crafts people have managed to cut themselves, so it is essential to ensure you have the right mat, that the cutter blade is only open when you are actually using it, and that blade and mat are kept clear of bits and pieces. Do take care when using the cutter, and don’t allow your attention to wander or you risk cutting yourself, and worse – getting blood on your lovely quilting fabric.

Most people working with soft furnishings of all descriptions have an iron and ironing surface in their work space. Pressing fabric to create your seam lines makes assembling pieces and blocks that much easier. Having said that, many people do prefer to finger press the edges of the smaller pieces, and when all is said and done, it is personal preference and skill level that informs your decision.

However, for rotary cutting, when you need to create the cross fabric line for cutting, it does make it much easier if you use the iron. Before you cut the cross line, fold the material selvedge edge to selvedge edge and ensure the material lies smooth with the grain of the material in the fold. Then fold it again so the first fold and the two selvedge edges are aligned.

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