Quilt Fabric Cutting Tips
The least frustrating way to get a quilt that looks and fits together well remains to cut your quilt pieces accurately. Carefully cutting your quilting pieces might take a little more time, but the resulting quilt will be worth the extra time you spend. A few tips should help you get your pieces cut so can put a beautiful quilt together with minimum ripping out, resewing, and frustration.
- Cut your material with a rotary cutter. Rotary cutters are easier on your hands and provide you with additional accuracy in cutting.
- Work on a quilting mat placed on a solid, steady surface. Place this mat on a table or counter that remains a comfortable height for cutting purposes.
- Fabric that is lightly starched remains easier to cut than unstarched fabric. Also, make sure you iron your material before you cut. A couple of wrinkles changes the measurements of your material and quilting pattern. Also, prewash your fabric to eliminate shrinkage later.
- Start by squaring off the edges of the fabric you use. It doesn’t matter how you square your fabric off. But it needs to start squared to enable a straight edge for accurate cutting.
- Keep the angles of your patches and rectangles at 90 degrees by aligning the ruler with the leading edge of your fabric. Next, choose a horizontal ruler light and align it to the bottom of your patch. When the vertical and the horizontal lines match, you’ll have an accurately square corner
- When stacking fabrics to cut more than one layer, don’t forget to stack similar materials with the same fabric lines and thicknesses.
- Only stack the amount of fabric that your rotary cutter can cut easily. The number of layers you can easily cut depends on your material’s thickness and the size of your rotary blade.
- To keep your rotary cutter moving smoothly, be sure to keep your cutter clean and dust-free.
- You need to cut with a sharp blade. As soon as your cutter blade gets nicked or shows signs of becoming dull, it needs replacing. To keep your blade sharper for a longer time, only use it on fabric.
- Make sure your blade is placed on the cutter correctly. You can test the placement of your blade by rolling it up and down a cutting mat. The cutter’s blade should move freely without wobbling. You may adjust your blade by loosening or tightening the screw. A slight adjustment in the cutter’s screw can make a world of difference in the way your cutter works.
- Be sure you only have one blade installed if you purchased several blades in a package. Sometimes they stick together. Cutting remains more accurate with only one cutter blade.
- When you cut, you should cut away from your body. Plus, you should cut while you stand for the best accuracy in cutting your quilt pieces.
- Left-handed quilters might need to reverse their fabric and ruler positions when they cut. Reversing your quilting tools enables you to get well-cut quilt pieces.
- Remain aware of your cutting pressure. Your blade should cut your fabric quickly and easily. If it takes lots of of pressure to cut out your pattern pieces, the blade may be dull and need to be replaced.
- Remember to hold the blade perpendicular to the ruler you use. Tilting the blade or the ruler will ruin the accuracy of your pattern piece.
- Please use the same ruler and pattern pieces for the quilt you’re making. Any change in the ruler you use can cause inaccuracies in your quilt pieces.
- Using grippers on your rulers keeps them from slipping.
- Be sure to use the sightlines on your ruler to keep your pattern lines even.
- To keep your ruler from slipping, hold it with your fingertips rather than the larger part of your fingers. Some quilters use their pinky finger to balance the ruler and help prevent slippage.
- Don’t cut any longer than where your fingertips are located while they hold the ruler. If you have to move your hand on the ruler, keep your cutter in place and walk your fingers to the next part of the ruler.
- When you make narrow strips, you can measure out two times the distance needed to make the finished strip. Then cut the required width for the strip, and you’ll have two fabric strips rather than one.
- Instead of sliding your ruler over the fabric, lift your ruler to move it to the next position. Sliding the ruler might move the material and change your measurements.
- If you need to change your position when cutting, move your mat instead of moving the fabric. This action keeps your cuts consistent. Try not to move your material any more than you have to when cutting.
- Clean up your edges occasionally to ensure that you’re cutting from a straight line and not at an angle.
- Cut from your dominant side. If you’re right-handed, cut from your right side. Cutting from your non-dominant side can cause both discomfort and errors in cutting that might mess up your quilt.
- Don’t forget to close your cutter when you’re not using it. Quilt cutting blades are razor sharp. Injuries can occur very quickly. Or you might want to get a cutter that automatically closes when the cutter handle releases. Not only will you prevent injuries, but you’ll protect your valuable fabric, too.
Quilt fabric cutting should stay a creative and straightforward part of the process of making a quilt. To keep your valuable quilting time as productive as you can, and to eliminate frustrating inaccuracies, follow our above steps. Once you get in good quilt fabric cutting habits, you’ll increase the level of pleasure you’ll get from the quilt making process.
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