Back around Labor Day, I got myself a rotary cutter and self-healing mat (how does it do that?). I’ve been cutting up all sorts of things lately, and I love using the rotary cutter! It’s so much faster, and I’m able to cut much straighter lines. And straight lines for me is a pretty big deal, because I’ve never been so good with the fine motor skills. Just ask my mom. So I’ve been happily cutting away, but I’ve discovered that even rotary cutting takes a little skill. It’s easy for me to stop focusing and have the cutter roll away from the straightedge. So, of course, I did a little internet research on rotary cutting, and here are the fruits of my labor:
Quilt.com has come basic rotary cutting how-to’s, with tips on how to prepare your fabric for rotary cutting, how to cut basic shapes, and how not to cut your finger off. McCall’s Quilting also provides some basic rotary cutting steps, with a particular emphasis on getting your fabric straight (which it never is after being cut at the store, washed, and pressed).
Rotary cutting blades are sharp! Given my clumsiness, I live in fear of the day I roll that wheel of pain over my finger. Which is why I really appreciate About.com’s Top 10 Rotary Cutting Tips for Quilters. Sure, I probably could have figured them out by myself, but now I don’t have to, and hopefully I’ve decreased my odds of injury at least a little bit.
QuiltUniversity.com addressed my specific problem of rolling away from the ruler while I’m cutting. They say, “Keep the rotary cutter’s blade vertical against the edge of the ruler. If the cutter’s blade is tilted either right or left, you’ll get an inaccurate cut. The width of the strip will vary, and the pieced segment will not be the correct size.” Their tips also address how to hold your ruler in place on long strips of fabric (which is useful if you’re like me, and you keep accidentally sliding the ruler around on the fabric!)
I think these links will help me to keep my lines straighter and my fingers attached. I hope they are helpful to you!