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Ellie Brown shares rotary cutting tips, including equipment choices, basic technique, and how to safely change and dispose of used blades. If you have problems running the video, click here for troubleshooting tips.
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Rotary cutting has revolutionized quiltmaking! Were it not for these wonderfully handy gadgets, millions of quiltmakers would not have joined the quilting craze. Using cutting tools safely and accurately is very important, so we want to share a few tips for beginning rotary-cutters.
Step 1. After being cut or torn at the store and then washed and ironed
Keeping selvages even, scoot fabric along with your fingers until it falls perfectly straight. The raw edges where fabric is torn will probably not match up.
Step 2. Lay fabric on cutting mat with folded edge toward you and raw edge to be straightened facing right (left-handers facing left). Place 6″ x 24″ rotary-cutting rule on fabric, aligning one of the crosswise measuring lines along the fold. Pressing down firmly on the ruler with your left (right) hand, cut upward, or away from yourself, along the rule edge. Some people prefer cutting part way, stopping the cutting motion but not lifting the cutter, moving the left (right) hand up, then finishing the cut.
Step 3. Turn cutting board around so that newly straightened edge is facing left (right). To cut strips, find line on rule to match width of strip desired. Place this line exactly on cut edge of fabric and cut strip.
Rotary Cutting Frequently Used Shapes
Perfect squares: Align 1 or more strips of the same width and trim ends to get an even starting point. Make cuts the same width as strips were cut.
|Half-square and quarter-square triangles: A square cut once diagonally makes 2 half-square triangles: a square cut twice diagonally makes 4 quarter-square triangles.|
Rotary Cutting Strip-Pieced Patchwork
|Strip-piecing refers to rotary cut strips of specified widths being sewn together on long edges to make strip-pieced units.|
|When creating strip-pieced patchwork, it is wise to press seam allowances in opposite directions so that long units can be layered for cutting quickly and will later be easy to sew. In the photo, seam allowances were pressed toward the light floral fabric on both strips.|
|Strip-pieced units are cut apart, segments positioned to make patchwork, and sewn together.|