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Rotary Cutting strips, squares and rectangles

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Workshop notes

In order to rotary cut strips from a piece of fabric you first need to give yourself a straight edge; you can do this by making the ruler do the work and lining up one of the horizontal lines with the fold of the fabric, take the safety catch off the rotary cutter, place next to the ruler, on the board, even pressure cut down and away, safety catch on. If you find that there is too many lines on the front of the board, you can use the reverse of the board which is usually plain.

Once you have a straight edge, you should refrain from moving the fabric (because this will destroy the straight edge you have just cut) so either walk round to the other side of the board, or turn the board round. Now line the line on the ruler which is the size of the strip you want, say 2 ½”, with this straight edge, so that the strip of fabric you want is now under the ruler and protected, hold the ruler firm, safety catch off the rotary cutter, place on the board before the fabric, even pressure down and away alongside the ruler, safety catch on.

Remove the strip you have just cut – NOT the rest of the fabric.

For more strips, repeat.

To make strips into squares, again make the ruler do the work and line up one of the horizontal lines on the ruler with one edge (either top or bottom) of the strip, line up the size of square you want, say 2 ½”, with the cut edge on the left, and cut on the rh edge of the ruler.

Repeat for more squares – you can cut through multiple layers

To make rectangles, place the ruler as above but the line to lineup with the cut edge will be greater than 2 ½”, say 9”, cut up the rh side of the ruler.

Always remove cut piece to avoid disturbing the rest of the strip – this allows you to just move along the strip to cut more.

With accurate cutting you are halfway towards having accurate patchwork; the rest is in the sewing – see how to achieve a ¼” patchwork seam.

Rotary cutting patchwork

The rotary cutter was designed to cut through multi-layers of fabric, quickly and accurately, allowing you to get to the fun part of sewing your project, whether by hand or by machine.  The various styles of rotary cutter all basically do the same job, but the different sizes of blade, equate to the number of layers they will cope with.

Do not economize on the blades though;  a blunt blade is potentially dangerous, and while you might struggle to cut the fabric, it can still rip through your skin like a thin papercut.

Basic Patchwork Skill

Rotary cutting problems solved with this easy guide to cutting cutting strips, squares and rectangles;  the rotary cutter is a brilliant piece of equipment but needs to be treated with respect( it is very sharp) but once mastered your pieces are cut quickly and accurately which means you can move on to the sewing - which is the fun part.

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