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5 Reasons Why Quilters Love Rotary Cutters

Summary

Most quilters use rotary cutters and absolutely love them. But why is the rotary cutter the preferred choice for quilters?

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5 Reasons Why Quilters Love Rotary Cutters

When you first start out in quilting, it's easy to get carried away buying all manner of gadgets and gizmos. Not all of them are essential though and it's all too easy to get confused and lost in a maze of plastic rulers, templates and sewing machine feet.

5 Reasons Why Quilters Love Rotary Cutters

 

You don't need to buy all the quilting equipment straight away. The great thing about quilting is that you can add to your supplies as and when needed.

There is one gadget that quilters simply can't live without though. The very first tool all new quilters should purchase is the rotary cutter.

Quilters love rotary cutters because they are more accurate than scissors. Here's why:

1. Can cut through many layers easily

The preparation time for quilting can be time consuming. Even the smallest quilt will need the parts for each block to be cut out. The rotary cutter can cut out a whole stack of the same sized shapes. All in one go. This can seriously reduce your prep time. It's also better for your back. Less time stooped over a cutting table means more time quilting and less time easing out the stiffness in your muscles.

 

2. Rotary cutters slice from top down so are more accurate

Cutting through fabric from the top down, removes the need to lift the fabric away from the cutting surface. The fabric will be less likely to slide. This makes it easier to get that clean, accurate cut necessary for precise points on your triangles. Scissors have to slide one blade underneath the fabric causing it to part company with the cutting table. Increasing the chance of a sidewards slant to your cut edges.

 

3. Easier to get close to the cutting line

A rotary cutter only has one blade whereas scissors have two. The scissor action needs space for the two blade snip to work. This makes fine cutting with scissors a bit of a fiddly challenge. You're back to lifting the fabric up and away from the cutting surface. The rotary cutter works the same way as a pizza cutter. You push down on it as close to the cut line as you need to be and watch it glide through the pizza. I mean fabric.

 

4. All of the blade cuts.

Some scissors can have dead spots that don't cut. You're either just using the tip or the middle, never the whole blade. Trouble is, that dead spot can snag on the fabric. The snagging can drag the fabric causing jagged cut lines. Not pretty. Or accurate enough for quilting.

Scissors

 

5. Going round curves is a piece of cake.

To get clean curves with scissors, you're back to the fiddly fumbles, where fingers, thumbs and scissor handles all seem to get in the way. Rotary cutters simply roll around any shape you want to cut out, easily and without hassle. Unlike scissors which will simply drive you round the bend.

All in all, rotary cutters are easy to use, incredibly accurate and super speedy. It's no wonder so many quilters wouldn't be without one.

And there's a bonus reason why you need a rotary cutter. They are cute and look a lot like little pizza cutters. And who doesn't like pizza right?

 

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Glossary

Block
The basic unit of a quilt top, usually square but can be rectangular or other shapes. Blocks can be pieced, appliqued or plain.
Cutter
A quilt that is so badly damaged or worn that it's only purpose now is to be cut up for other craft projects.
Drag
Caused by the weight of the quilt pulling while you are sewing. Drag can result in your quilt being distorted when it is finished.
Easing
The act of pinning and using your fingers to adjust adjoining units of uneven lengths so they match for sewing.
Rotary Cutter
A very sharp tool that looks like a pizza wheel which is capable of cutting through multiple layers of fabric.
Stack
An easy way to create quilt blocks with unique kaleidoscope designs. These designs require a set of identical pieces cut from a print fabric. Rather than finding and cutting each piece individually, a quilter can cut and layer a number of large, identical print rectangles to make a stack.

Same As: Stack-n-Whack, Whack
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Quilting Contessa
Quilting Contessa is a collection of various authors around the world that have submitted articles for the QuiltingHub 'How To' quilt wiki.  These are authors that do not write enough to have their own authorship, yet provide valuable content for the site.  If you wish to submit an article, contact us on QuiltingHub.
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