Using a rotary cutter enables you to make quick, straight cuts with reliable results every time. The super-sharp blade is capable of cutting through multiple layers of fabric at once, which is a godsend when you're working on a quilt with dozens (or even hundreds) of pieces. The self-healing mats and acrylic rulers come in many shapes and sizes, so you can find one that works for your workspace (I like the larger mat now, but the small one was ideal when I was living in a tiny apartment without a dedicated worktable.)I bought my original Fiskars set for about $25-$30, and over the years I've added new cutting mats and rulers as I've needed them. OLFA is the other source for excellent cutting tools, rulers and mats for sewers/quilters, and though their prices seem slightly higher, I think it's worth it. (Consider how long you're likely to be using the tools – and how much trouble they'll save you. I use them for all my sewing now, not just quilting, and I've been doing so since 2004. That works out to only $5 a year – not bad!) If you're worried about the expense, it is worth checking the sales at stores like Fabricland/Fabricville, which often have big seasonal discounts, even on notions. And don't discount your local quilting shop – many of them offer packages for beginning quilters. One caveat: be careful. A rotary cutter is as sharp as a scalpel. Never, ever leave the blade open when you're not using it. Keep your rotary cutter out of reach of curious kids. And if you drop it – jump lively! Just a few other notes...
- Have something to add to the discussion about rotary cutters and cutting mats? Please leave a comment!
- If you're looking for a good resource book, I'd recommend The Better Homes and Gardens Complete Guide to Quilting. It's an excellent resource for beginning and more experienced quilters alike.
- Don't forget to add your crafty question for the chance to win one of two copies of Sew What! Bags by Lexie Barnes.
- It's only a few more days until my e-newsletter launches. Don't forget to sign up!