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Rotary cutter and mat - can you please talk me through it?

(11 Posts)
MsPrufrock Thu 19-May-11 20:43:11

I understand that having a cutter and mat will be helpful. Also perhaps a quilting ruler? I am just starting to do more sewing, and cutting out material is Doing.My.Head.In. Measuring squares on material that moves around... trying to pin down pattern pieces and then cut without it all slithering around. I imagine having a rotary cutter will help...
... will it?

I kind of need someone to tell me why it might help, or whether it won't, and to just tell me what kind of cutter and mat I need. Oooh, and whether I need a quilting ruler, and if so what one. Look - just boss me around. Give me links and say 'buy this'!

FYI I am sewing a mix of stuff: want to do some toddler-bed size patchworking, am sewing cushions, want to do more applique, and also some children's clothes.

Very grateful for someone telling me what to do helping me.

Hopefully Thu 19-May-11 20:53:53

It will help millions and millions. It made so much difference to my sewing when I got one - quilts were accurate all of a sudden, and clothes looked better.

I have an Olfa 45mm cutter (a good in between size - a smaller one can be useful for fiddly stuff) and an Omnimat (mine is 36"x24", which is really useful, if you have the space). My rulers are (I think) mostly Omnigrip ones. A good one to start with is a 6" x 18" or 24", as you can cut across the full width of a big mat. cotton patch has a good range, and they do some kits of mats and rotary cutters. Quick delivery too (although I've heard they are a bit snobby in real life. Store is nowhere near me though).

Oh, and using weights to cut patterns, rather than pins, is way easier, and very doable when you have a cutting mat. Less distortion than from the pins.

I use my mat and cutter for most stuff I cut, including quilts and clothes for me and the kids.

Does that help? Anything else I can tell you?

HattiFattner Thu 19-May-11 20:58:53

ditto what Hopefully said: they make a huge difference in time and accuracy/quality of the cutting. Well worth the money.

I also have an olfa 45mm and an omnimat. two quilt rulers - a 12" square and an 18" by 5".

MsPrufrock Thu 19-May-11 21:05:22

Hopefully - that is EXACTLY what I needed to know! Sounds silly, but the places where I learnt to sew face to face (from my mum, school, and then a one-day course I did last year) all didn't use rotary cutters and mats, so I felt totally bamboozled. I did go online briefly, but saw there were loads of different kinds, felt overwhelmed, and left it. If I knew someone in real life I'd just ask them, and probably buy what they had!
Will get onto cottonpatch, perhaps with a view to asking for stuff for my birthday.
Hattifatner - also v. helpful, thank you.

rockinhippy Thu 19-May-11 21:08:02

Agree they are far better than scissors for most things - I

don't do quilting myself, but have used them for years both professionally & at home - most design rooms use them for sample making - thats how accurate they are - samples have to be spot on to size within a cm

I too have olaf, I also have the mini stanley knife type blade that you can get with some of the cutters - great for cutting notches on clothes etc - the only thing I would add to hopefuly post is don't use them to cut organdie/organza as it blunts the blades smile

HattiFattner Fri 20-May-11 08:21:39

mrprufrock, if you have a hobbycraft near you, they sell everything you need - I love cottonpatch but I find their service is soooooooo sloooooooow.

Kryshees Mon 23-May-11 16:22:05

hobbycraft has all you need to, and actually fairly well priced.

Buy the biggest mat you can afford and house!!! As you will use it all.

I cut farbic in piled up layers, about 6 or so. I can cut heavy weight fabrics, leather etc.

I use mine without the rular (the rotary cutter that is) when doing curves and cutting out patterns, much easier, but oh boy is it sharp!!! must be very careful.

I also brought the olfa cutter, with the red button that locks the blade. Perfect incase of little ones gettin anywhere close to it.

coldcomfortHeart Wed 25-May-11 22:17:33

I am about to embark on rotary cutter/mat purchasing too so this thread is great- I have already got a quilting ruler (from Cotton Patch actually, who weren't slow or snobby in my experience!)

It's a universal ruler- metric and imperial which I needed as so much quilty stuff is imperial but I do my own designs in metric. I often have to wrest it from primary school teacher DH actually- he thinks it's amazing too!

MsPrufrock Wed 22-Jun-11 13:51:03

Ok, just done big order of cutter, spare blade, mat and quilting ruler.
Am pathetically over-excited.
Thank you so much for all your help and recommendations - amazing.

MsPrufrock Sat 25-Jun-11 10:50:48

Squeeeeeeee! cutter and mat arrived. Tried them out last night and hopefully, when you said 'it will help millions' you were so right! Hurrah.

Totally in love with quilting ruler, too. Made cutting out a long strip of contrast fabric for my lining a total breeze, rather than a pita.

Now all I have to do is not cut off a finger by accident....

Tangle Sat 25-Jun-11 14:12:20

Can I join in and ask a stupid question?

I keep eying up rotary cutters and mats, but I've got a few concerns:

- Things I tend to make include clothes for DD and (hopefully) clothes for me. If I'm looking at a long, full skirt I can see I'd have to move it all around quite a lot (unless I got a monster huge mat at £100+ - and I think DH would have a fit if I did that!). Does anyone else do this and find it to be a problem, or is it OK. Or is there a sneaky method that means you don't have to?

- How do you do the notches? Do you go round them with the rotary cutter? Or snip into the fabric?

- How do you put other marks on? If its all weighted rather than pinned, how do you mark up multiple layers without getting things in the wrong place?

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