Tuesday's Tip - Rotary Cutter Basics

Posted by Bianca Howell on

Whether you are a quilter, sewist or crafter, you probably use a rotary cutter. Rotary cutters help with accuracy, speed and efficiency. Plus, they're just so handy! In fact, your creative world was probably turned upside down when you first used one - and it's hard now to imagine a time when we all had to rely solely on scissors.

rotary cutter basics from owl & drum

So, as we use our rotary cutters in most projects, it's time to share some of the basics of rotary cutter care and use:

  • Keep it sharp. Your rotary blade should always feel like its gliding through butter. Whenever you feel you are having to press harder to cut your fabric it is time to replace your blade.
  • Always use a cutting mat. This may go without saying, but you always want to make sure you have a cutting mat under your fabric when using a rotary cutter. It will protect your surface underneath, as well as prolonging the life of your blade.
  • Cut away from you. It's safer, you get a nicer cut and it helps when trying to apply even pressure.
  • When not in use, close the safety. It's always best practice to set the safety on your rotary cutter when not in use - especially if you have "little hands" in your house.
  • Cut standing up. Cutting your fabric while standing up will allow you to put your body weight into the cut. Plus, while you are standing over your fabric you will have a better view of the fabric you are cutting.
  • Apply even pressure when cutting. This helps to give you a straight and even cut and - in the case of cutting through multiple layers - it will prevent you from having to go back and cut those gaps that did not get cut.
  • Throw your blade away safely. I like to use blades by Olfa. These blades always come in a handy, plastic yellow case. Whenever I'm ready to replace my blade, I put the old blade in the case and throw away. Easy.

So that's another Tuesday's Tip from the Sew Very Modern blog in the bag. We hope you enjoyed it and check out next week's helpful advice, too! 

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