Sunday, 5 October 2014

Short Follow up to last blog: Rotary Cutter and Cutting Base Rotary Mats. Do I need one?

Short Follow up to last blog: Rotary Cutter and Cutting Base Rotary Mats. Do I need one?

I received many messages after publishing my last blog post: Rotary Cutter and Cutting Base Rotary Mats. Do I need one?  The gist asking me to give the rotary cutter another go.  So I did.   I thought about it for a bit first then decided to compare the cutting task I use most, namely preparing solid colour fabric for using with hexagon paper templates.  

1) The traditional method using scissors: 

Work on ironing board.  Place a paper template on fabric.  Check for more than 5mm seam, snip then rip the fabric into a strip.  Iron fabric then concertina over.  Place template to check for seam allowance then cut using scissors.  Trim any frayed edges if you like a neat look.  Time it takes to make 12  fabric pieces. Took me 2 mins and 20 seconds.

 2) Using a rotary cutter, metal ruler, and cutting mat.  

Iron fabric then fold over four times, place ruler onto guide line. Trim edge of fabric with rotary cutter.  Place template onto fabric, check for 5mm or more seam allowance then using mat guidelines cut using rotary cutter.  Rotate fabric and cut into 12 fabric pieces.  Took me 3 mins and  40 seconds.  


Pictures show same result.  The extra time it took using the rotary cutter was mainly taken up in ironing more fabric than I needed.  I realise I have the rotary cutter the wrong way around in the above image, was taking a photo at the time! 

The rotary cutter is useful and has advantages for many patchwork and quilting tasks.  So I guess its all down to personal preference.  For me using scissors and the sound of ripping fabric is a joy.  


Unknown said...

Stitching fabric is a joy and pleasure to all who love this craft. We will all have our own techniques that work best for us. That is what makes us individuals. But I just need to comment that your inexperience in using a rotary cutter is perhaps why it took you longer to use. Also I would like to note that the ruler you used in the photo is NOT the correct ruler for rotary cutting. You would definitely stand a better change of hurting yourself as it is not the correct thickness to guide the blade. You also did not need to cut more fabric than you required.

For the type of patchwork that you do with English Paper Piecing, scissors are adequate. EPP is meant to be very portable and easy to pick up and put down at any time. Fabric pieces don't need to be cut precisely as the sewing around a template is where the accuracy is crucial.

So, no you don't need one for this application.

Unknown said...

What ruler thickness/type would you recommend Sandra? I would be interested to compare, and experiment further. As mentioned in my blog the extra time was taken in pressing the fabric, not the cutting of it. Had I cut one or two layers, it would have taken longer. Even using my rusty old rotary cutter, I am pleased to say the blade worked very well cutting four layers, good considering its more than 20 years old.

As you say its all down to personal preference, both methods worked well.