Moda Bake Shop Basics: Rotary Cutting

Join Oda May today with a few tips for rotary cutting!
Rotary cutting is an essential part of quilting (thank goodness! I would hardly get anything done if I had to cut everything out with scissors. Patience is not my strong point.) Rotary cutters are also probably the most dangerous part of quilting. I personally have the quilter’s trademark squared off index finger so I’ve come by these tips honestly.


  • Always cover the blade with the built-in cover when you set it down. Every single time – even if you’re just setting it down for a second. Make it a habit.
  • Always cut away from your body.
  • Replace your blade when it stops cutting well. Working with a dull or damaged blade can cause you to cut in an unsafe manner – using excess pressure to cut through your fabric, etc. and that’s a recipe for disaster.
  • Only use the rotary cutter for its intended use.
  • Keep your fingers well away from the edges of templates and rulers while cutting. You don’t want a squared off index finger like me. (Plus blood stains can ruin your beautiful fabric.)


  • Plan your cutting before you start to minimize waste.
  • Press and starch fabric before cutting.
  • Square up fabric edges before you start cutting.
  • Use the lines on your ruler or template for a straight edge, not the lines on the mat.
  • Save yourself some back pain by cutting on a counter-height surface.

Did I leave anything out? Let us all know your safety and cutting tips in the comments!

Safely Sewing,

Oda May

Oda May

Oda May

The Moda Bake Shop is a division of Moda Fabrics that provides online recipes which you can use with the wide range of Moda Pre-cuts. All sizes and types of projects will be featured from various designers and shops. Tutorials for various Moda projects sheets will be illustrated with step by step pictures. Some techniques and products will also be featured throughout, so check back often for what is "baking" here at Moda Fabrics.
Oda May

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