Hiya! Let me quickly apologize for being away too long, lately I’ve been a bit all over the place and it has taken me longer to return here and for that I am sorry 😦 On that note, welcome back to the Quilting Process series 🙂
Now that you have done all the due diligence of choosing the right pattern, the perfect color scheme and have shopped and selected the best quality fabric for your quilting project, it is time to get busy and the next process is the cutting of your precious fabrics !
… The cutting part of the quilting process is laborious and time consuming. You work hard to get the perfect cut – carefully measuring each piece, and enduring hand, arm and back strain as you cut multiple shapes. Your rotary cutter requires you to pay close attention to the blade and ruler while cutting. Any slips of either can cause inaccurate cuts and wasted fabric”…source www.accuquilt.com
But don’t despair, technology has made life so much easier than the times of our forefathers 🙂 Anyway, here are the basic things you need for your cutting process:
- Rotary Cutter: I believe the 45mm is ideal for a start but there’s also 18,28 and 60mm all of which have their peculiar uses. when I got my rotary cutter I was convinced it’s one of the greatest inventions of all time and I still think so but I’m aware there are more advanced cutting tools (such as Accuquilt GO! cutters, Sizzix Big Shot, Brother ScanNCut…) transforming the lives of Quilters all over the world. While I don’t have any of these yet, I am looking forward to investing in one soon and I found this site with very comprehensive comparison of the major fabric cutters.
I currently own three 45mm Rotary Cutters(well 2 as 1 is now damaged).It fell down and now the blade won’t retract or cut anymore 😦 : Guess that’s why it has a lock – to keep the blade safe. Make sure it is locked as soon as you drop the cutter especially if you have kids around or even to prevent it from cutting off your toes if it accidentally falls on them remember they are extremely sharp!
- Self-healing Mat (At least 18˝x 24˝ because it makes your cutting even easier than the 12˝ x 18˝ mat which I started with). There are larger sizes so choose what works best and is available to you. Oh and your Mat needs to be self-healing such that the line disappears after cutting but the logic is that the mat keeps your blade from becoming dull really quickly.
- Scissors (2 pair – 1 for fabric and 1 for paper/template plastic; it doesn’t hurt to have more and you will as time goes on)
- Rulers (at least 6˝ x 24˝ but there are so many different types and really you can never have enough rulers)
- I’ll include Spray starch, your fabrics are crispier and most likely to cut evenly when you give it a good starching and pressing before cutting 🙂
- Most importantly, you need a cutting chart which will be included in your printed pattern, written down if you are working on your own design or up/downscaling another pattern (Cutting Chart is the instruction on sizes and number of pieces you need to cut from your fabric for a particular pattern). If you are not working off a pattern, you might want to make a sampler block to validate your cutting chart before diving fully into your big project.
For those who don’t own any of the tools above yet, I got a fantastic offer on Amazon for this Fiskars Cutting Set which I think is just the perfect set for beginners or even anyone needing to renew or stock up on tools. Again there are so many brands and specs out there but bottom line is to choose wisely in terms of value for your money.
If you are absolutely new to Quilting and don’t know anything about using the rotary cutter, ruler and mat, I suggest you check out some videos on YouTube. You really want to get this stage right,even if you have done everything correctly to this point, cutting your pieces wrongly or slicing the tip of your finger off (all of which have happened to me at some point) can leave you frustrated and take the fun out of your quilting project..trust me on this one 🙂 You won’t believe how much I struggled with using the cutting set when I first started, it was one of my learning objectives when I decided to attend the beginners class. Therefore, don’t stress if you are having a challenge getting the hang of this, remember: Practice makes perfection so practice away. Here are some links you could check out to get you started:
I hope you found some useful information here or subsequently through the included links but I will just leave you with this WISE WORD which I come across every now and then. It is an advise you should adhere to!
Measure twice, cut once!
Thanks again for stopping by and I’ll love as usual to read your opinion in the comment section. The Quilting process continues but until next time, have a great weekend ahead. Have fun cutting into some gorgeous fabrics-I know I’ll be 😀
And I needed to add this update thanks to Melanie for pointing that out – Change your rotary cutting blades regularly…you will always be grateful you did 🙂