Are you interested in cutting precisely and neatly the fabric when making your quilts? The least frustrating way to get a quilt that looks and fits together well remains to cut your quilt pieces accurately.
And the best way to cut pieces accurately always remains to cut carefully with great attention to detail. You can easily cut smaller pieces of quilting fabrics with a pair of scissors if you do not have a good cutting table in front of you or when working at different angles.
Although carefully cutting your quilting pieces might take a little more time, the resulting quilt will be worth the extra time you spend.
Thankfully, some tips will allow you to get accurate cuts using common household tools (scissors and regular rulers). This article will offer you 20 tips for using your rotary cutter to cut your quilting fabric so that you get the best results.
20 Tips for Easy and Accurate Quilt Fabric Cutting
Cutting the fabric to make a quilt may sound like a simple task. However, I want to highlight a few tips to avoid making mistakes when using your rotary cutter to cut quilt fabric.
- If you are using a quilting machine, make sure you have enough room for handling your quilts, and it is best to choose a quilting machine that offers drop-in tables that allow your machine to sit flush with the work surface.
- To ensure your safety, it is advisable to make the cuts while standing and keep your body at a safe distance from the blade. On the other hand, you will also ensure a more precise cut when standing since the perspective at that distance is different.
- The pressure exerted on the blade is also important. If the blade is sharp, you won’t need to apply much pressure. However, if you need to exert more pressure than you should because the blade is dull, you should change it.
- To make an exact cut, you should avoid holding the blade at an angle as you can have accidents. Therefore, it is recommended that the blade be held perpendicular to the ruler.
- To avoid errors when measuring and cutting, it is recommended that you always use the same ruler or rulers from the same brand. In this way, the cuts will be more exact. However, to help keep the ruler from moving, you can also use grippers to hold it when cutting.
- To help get even more accurate cuts, use the line of sight on the ruler. Before cutting, you can verify using them, and thus, the cuts will be exact. This can avoid future headaches.
- The correct use and handling of the ruler are done with the fingertips and not with the palm. This is very beneficial as it will prevent the rule from sliding easily. Generally, the index finger, middle finger, and ring finger are used.
- To cut correctly, hold the ruler in the desired position without cutting beyond that. In case you need to move your fingers and prevent the ruler from moving, it is advised that you leave the cutter in position, perform the movements with the corresponding fingers and then continue cutting.
- For the ruler to follow the correct course for the next cut, it is recommended that you avoid moving the ruler on the fabric and choose to lift it and place it directly where you will cut. This will prevent you from cutting incorrectly as the fabric sometimes moves.
- Another trick that avoids mistakes when cutting is to move the mat. This means that it is convenient to adopt the mat to the desired position instead of the fabric.
- To make sure your cuts are straight, another good tip is to keep the edges clean.
- This is perhaps one of the most important tips, and it is that you always use your dominant hand to make the cuts. Using your other hand will not only be uncomfortable, but you will also avoid making inaccurate cuts. Pay attention, and you will avoid a lot of headaches.
- To do not damage the cutting surface and the rotary cutter blades, you should use a mat. Place it on a large surface so that the cutting mat can stretch well.
- Get ready your fabric for cutting, i. e., starch it a little to give the fabric a crispy texture since this way, and the cut will be easier.
- It is important that the edges of the fabric match. Each quilter has a favorite way to do it; this means that there are different ways that you can use to obtain the same result. The goal is to get the edges straight before you start making the appropriate cuts. Use the method that best suits you.
- When cutting multiple layers of fabric simultaneously, be sure to cut according to the type of fabric. This is because all fabrics are different and all are more easily cut than others.
- Keep in mind that depending on the type of rotating blade you have, it will be the layers of fabrics that you can cut. So if your blade is 60 mm, you can cut up to 8 layers at once. On the contrary, if your blade is 45 mm, you cannot cut more than 4 to 6 layers (depending on the type of fabric), and If the blade is 28 mm, you cannot cut more than 2 layers of fabric once.
- To help your rotary cutter run longer, it is advisable to clean it regularly to avoid jamming when spinning on the fabric.
- When you notice that the blade does not cut well, it is a sign to change it since you can damage your fabrics. Also, when the blade lacks an edge, it cannot do its job easily, and after all, the rotary blade should give you the ease of cutting. By way of information, in order for your blade to keep its edge for longer, you must use it to cut only fabrics and not paper or other similar materials. If you do, then you should change it more often.
- To know if the blade is correctly installed, never touch it with your fingers, first roll it up with the mat and move the blade to see if it has a fluid movement. In case you feel that it does not rotate freely and that you must press for that to happen, then you should move the screw a little so that the blade rotates well. Also, it is important that you verify that the cutter is only working with a single blade since sometimes it happens that it comes with more than one blade installed, but since they are so close together, it is not possible to see them with the naked eye. Inspect well to confirm that you are using only one blade. Last but not least, when throwing away the old blades, you should wrap them with cardboard and use adhesive tape to take care of those who handle the waste.
How Do You Cut Fabric for a Quilt Accurately?
As with any sharp tool, always cut away from your body. Also, cut while standing – not only may your cuts be a little off, your perspective is different from a sitting position.
While cutting, apply even pressure if you have to bear down to make the cut. Then it may be time to replace the blade.
How Do You Make Fabric Easier to Cut?
Press your fabric well with plenty of steam before you make a single cut. It’s so much easier to cut accurately without any creases in your fabric.
Many fabrics shrink a little in steam (or the wash), so make sure it has shrunk (if it’s going to) before you cut, or your finished piece is going to end up too small.
How to Cut Fabric Straight?
To cut it straight is very easy. You can take a ruler with a 90-degree angle (if you have one).
Lay the ruler on the fabric so that one side lines up with the selvage edge and the other side crosses the fabric at a 90-degree angle. Hold the ruler firmly and draw a line with a marker.