Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rotary Rules

I guess I should call them "Rotary Things You Might Want to Try" because the great thing about quilting is there are no rules!
1 - When you're cutting strips, the first thing you have to do is straighten the edge of your fabric. This evens up the edges and gives you a cut perpendicular to the fold - and you'll never have a "V" in your strip.

Here's how I do it - Fold your fabric as it comes off the bolt. You can only have one fold - if you fold it again you're actually dealing with 3 folds and trying to cut perpendicularly to all - impossible!

Place a small ruler on the right, lining up one of the horizontal lines with the fold. Butt your long ruler up to it on the left.
Remove the small ruler and you're ready to cut! (Reverse everything if you're a lefty)
2 - When I'm cutting long strips parallel to the selvedge, I trim about 1/2" from the selvedge and cut as many strips as I need the length of the ruler. Then I scoot the fabric towards me and continue to cut the length of all the strips. I've cut strips across the whole width of the fabric this way!
3 - Do you need to cut a strip wider than your ruler? Just butt up two rulers next to each other to get the width you need. Add carefully!
4 - How about some "Power Cutting". If you need to cut lots of strips one size, instead of picking up the ruler after each cut, just keep adding your strips together. For example - if I'm cutting 2" strips, I can cut at 2", 4" and 6" before removing the ruler and strips. Quick!

5 - You can do the same thing when you're subcutting your strips. Even more powerful is lining up 2 or 3 strips together and cutting them all at once.
Voila! 12 squares in no time!
Thanks for coming to school today!


  1. Great tips Cindy - I am a lefty so thanks for the inclusion!

  2. I've not tried the last two tips! Thanks!!

  3. Thanks for the tips. I used your border tips for finishing a quilt yesterday.

  4. Believe it or not, this is the hardest part of cutting for me! If you wash the fabric first, you never get that nice, crisp fold. I can never get a good straight fold back - any ideas? (Sorry I have to sign this as anonymous - I've goofed up my google account.) Sue H

  5. Hi Sue H - I also wash all my fabric. When I fold it and press it, I don't worry too much about getting the edges or the selvedges perfectly even again. I just do the best I can and square up the edge to the fold. If you're cutting a lot of strips from the fabric, you may find you have to make a new straightening cut at several points. Hope that helps!


Thanks so much for taking time to comment!