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.
ROTARY SAFETY TIPS
- 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.