Helpful Hints

General Cutting Instructions

ROTARY CUTTING

• Blades are very sharp, so keep the safety shield on when not in use. Keep rotary cutters out of the reach of children.

• Always roll the cutter away from your body.

• When cutting, hold the ruler steady. If possible move one or two fingers off the ruler and place on the fabric or cutting mat opposite of the side you are cutting on.

• On longer cuts, periodically stop cutting and move your hand up on the ruler so that it is even with the cutter. Make sure the ruler is still correctly aligned.

STRAIGHT STRIPS

The rotary method begins with cutting strips of fabric.

Step 1. Fold fabric in half lengthwise, matching selvage edges. Hold fabric up off the table and slide the matched selvage edges in opposite directions until the fabric hangs straight with the selvages aligned. If it hangs with a crease or buckle, keep adjusting until in hangs smooth.Straight Strips

Step 2. Lay the fabric down on a cutting mat with the folded edge closest to your body. Align a square plastic cutting ruler, 6” or larger, with the fold of the fabric approximately ½” from the uneven fabric end. Position a 6” x 24” cutting ruler against the left edge of the square, making sure it is placed far enough onto the fabric that a cut down its right edge will slice through all layers. When making all cuts, the fabric should be placed to your right with the ruler covering the strip that you are cutting at the moment. (If you are left-handed, work from the other end of the fabric, reversing the directions.)Straight Strips 2

Step 3. Take the ruled square away but keep the 6” x 24” ruler in place. Place a finger off the ruler to serve as an anchor and to prevent slipping. Make a rotary cut along the right side of the ruler. Use firm and even pressure as you cut. Begin rolling the cutter before you reach the fabric’s folded edge and continue across. You have now trimmed away the uneven fabric edge from the end of the fabric and created a cut edge that is at a perfect 90-degree angle to the fold.

Step 4. Reposition your ruler atop the fabric so it measures your desired cut strip width by aligning a vertical line (or dashes) on the ruler with the cut edge of the fabric. For example, if you need a 2” strip, line up the 2” line on the ruler with the cut edge of the fabric and cut. Open the fabric strips periodically to make sure you are making straight cuts. If not, use the square cutting ruler to realign and square up the edge again.

SQUARES AND RECTANGLES

The strip method of rotary cutting patches quickly yields many squares or rectangles of one fabric.Squares

Step 1. Cut fabric in strips the size of the square or rectangle. If you want 3” squares, cut 3” strips. For a 3” by 6” rectangle, cut either 6” or 3” strips and divide accordingly.

Step 2. Using a ruled square or other cutting ruler, align the vertical rule with the cut edge of the strip. Line up the top or bottom edge of the strip with a horizontal line on the ruler to ensure that your square or rectangle will have square corners (90-degree). Cut the fabric into squares or rectangles the width of the strip.

CUTTING INDIVIDUAL SQUARES AND RECTANGLES

When a strip of fabric will make more squares or rectangles than you need, cut just what you need using a ruled square. You can also cut one or two pieces from several different fabrics at one time. Layer up to four different fabrics and follow these steps.Squares 2

Step 1. Position the square ruler on a corner of the fabric(s). Make two cuts along the edges of the ruler that are on the fabric. Use measurements slightly larger than the desired cut size.

Squares 3Step 2. Turn the separated fabric around and position the edges you just cut at the desired cutting measurement. Make the final two cuts to true up the fabric square or rectangle.