Thursday, May 22, 2008

Runs (Faster) With Scissors

For an I Spy Quilt

Can anyone give me some tips for using the rotary cutter? I need a remedial cutting class.

One problem is that the plastic ruler slips ever so slightly throwing off my straight line. Another problem is that the cutter jumps or skips causing an uneven cut. It has even jumped up on the ruler. I don't think I am a reckless "rotarian." I try to be careful.

Scissors on the other hand have always been my friend. My students often tell me that I am a good cutter. Granted, third graders are pretty easy to impress. I remind them that I have had a lot of practice. Actually, I'm so old that I went to school in the days when elementary school was all about cutting things out. It's not so much about the crafts today.

Anyway, after cutting out the squares for my I Spy quilt with the rotary cutter, I was very disappointed to find it time consuming, and awkward. I went back last night and used a post it note for a pattern and some good old scissors. Ahhh, much better.

I am pretty motivated to get going with this project after seeing this news feature about Delta airline employees who make quilts for a children's hospital in between flights. I fly quite a lot and have just recently flown cross country with Delta. It was quite a nice flight. Seeing how they make hundreds of quilts a year makes me even happier to have given them my business. I must confess, that right now we have to fly with the best price, so I am not particularly brand loyal. Still, if you want to feel good about someone in the airline business these days, take a few minutes and watch this clip.


Jodi Ohl said...

Hmmmm...maybe a metal ruler wouldn't slip as much?? Now mind you, this is coming from a non sewer so I don't know how much stock you wanna take in my

Have a great Memorial Day!

Captain.Laura said...

There are a few tricks to using the rotary cutter + plastic ruler combo successfully:
-stick some grip tape to the underside of the ruler. This will help keep the ruler from sliding so much
-Spread your hand out REALLY wide when holding the ruler. Press down hard. Unfortunately, the ruler-holding works best when you put your fingers *almost* in harm's way. It's really scary at first, but you get used to it.
-Make sure you have a sharp blade in your rotary cutter. Dull blades cause you to push down harder, increasing your chances for slippage.

There is definitely a learning curve involved in using the rotary. Keep trying, and eventually it will become second nature. Have fun!