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Rotary Cutter
MissSongbird Send a Message
I just read something about the levels of quilting skill. And the advanced beginner said the they would know how to use a rotary cutter.

My question is why is a rotary cutter so important? I own a rotary cutter, but I find I can cut better and straighter with a pair of scissors. Why are they so essential to quilting?
2/15/2011 6:14:04 PM
Marilynsgrammy Send a Message
they didn't have rotary cutters in the 1800's and made beautiful quilts....

my first quilt I used scissors and templates, it turned out fine... I do love my rotary cutter and use it most all the time when cutting fabric... and have put sand paper dots on my rulers to get them not to move while cutting...

it's really a matter of choice... I have seen a quilt you made and it was so cool... I wouldn't worry too much about what a magazine tells you you need, you seem to have the knack....

2/16/2011 6:24:19 AM
auntjana Send a Message
Herriman, Utah
Like Chriss said - they made beautiful quilts in the early days!

But I am one that likes accuracy - and you can achieve that with the rotary cutter - it speeds up your cutting time and makes it so you can mass cut several layers fabric accurately - I find that templates have a tendency to loose there shape after a few tracings - BUT - there are times that you have to use a template -

If you are afraid of slipping and cutting yourself - get one of those Klutz gloves - they are made with fabric that stops the blade from cutting through to you.

Also, Invisigrip helps your rulers from sliding - it creates a little more friction on your fabric - so when you hold down the ruler - it tends not to slip and move as much - these both might help you.

2/16/2011 9:15:05 AM
Thanks guys.

I don't like using it because it doesn't seem to work for me. My rotary cutter can barely cut through one layer. It will cut some parts and not others, making me have to go back and re-cut making the edges all jagged.
2/16/2011 9:18:54 AM
Flystitch Send a Message
London UK
Miss Songbird. Sounds like your cutter could do with a new blade.!!
2/16/2011 2:21:13 PM
I haven't really used it that much though...only a few times.
2/16/2011 4:52:50 PM
Marilynsgrammy Send a Message
here are a few things I have learned.....

sometimes you get a crummy blade and it needs to be replaced....

if you buy a multi pack of blades its very easy to grab two instead of one... make sure you only have one...

try turning your blade over and see if that helps.....

sometimes it helps me to remove the blade and clean up the cutter... lint gets trapped in it and makes it wonky sometimes.

and... here is the thing I didn't think of till someone at my LQS mentioned it.... they do wear out... the screw thing that holds the blade on does wear out...

2/17/2011 5:12:30 AM
gramajojo Send a Message
Sheridan, IL
also, make sure you don't have 2 blades in there. I know it sounds silly but I put a new blade in one time, and I tried and tried and tried to cut, but with the same results as MissSongBird. Then I saw a show with Alex Anderson where she described the exact same thing and come to find out she had accidentally picked up 2 blades and put them in. So, I took my cutter apart and what did I find? 2 blades. They seem to be so thin that if you aren't paying really close attention, you could pick up 2 and not realize it. After you take one out, it cuts like a breeze.

2/17/2011 12:25:19 PM
I will have to check about having 2 blades in it. They (or maybe I) may have stored an extra blade in there.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll reply back with the outcome once I try that.
2/18/2011 5:23:26 AM
Ok, so I looked at my rotary cutter and there is only one blade in it. I'm going to go buy some remanents to practice on and maybe buy a new blade for it if I have to.
3/5/2011 8:53:00 AM
Ok, well when I went to go get fabric from my aunt last night she gave me some blades, because I had told her before that I was having trouble with my rotary cutter. I going to try them out (the next time I cut fabric...which should be in a few days).
3/15/2011 9:30:02 AM
Marilynsgrammy Send a Message
how old is your cutter? maybe you just need a new one? hope the blades work...
3/15/2011 2:20:58 PM
My rotary cutter is about a year old, but it has only been used like 3 times.
3/15/2011 3:40:56 PM
Joannequilts Send a Message
What kind of cutting mat do you have??? That can make a world of difference! You need a good, self-healing mat.

I found this out just recently. I bought one of those padded things for ironing..the portable ones..and the other side is a cutting mat. My blade skipped alot on it..

3/15/2011 3:44:15 PM
The mat I use came with my rotary cutter.
3/15/2011 6:17:07 PM
Marilynsgrammy Send a Message
ok.. new question... are you pushing hard enough on the cutter to cut... the reason I ask is because I gave my aunt a cutter and showed her how to use it and she didn't even put pressure on it so her fabric didn't cut...

after taht you have me stumped....

hope you figure it out
3/16/2011 4:34:19 PM
I'll try that. Thanks!
3/16/2011 6:43:05 PM
toekeyotow Send a Message
Indiana Joan
I have a 4' by 5' mat on my quilt table, I have all my rulers lined on the under side with the invisagrip and I don't have any problems with the material slipping under the ruler. A new blade just might be the ticket. I tried that suction cup handle thing and it didn't work for me, I just wasted $18.00 on the thing.
3/17/2011 5:18:27 AM
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