Rotary Cutting

Lesson 3

Rotary cutting was invented in 1979 by the Olfa company. They made the cutter with a handle and a blade not dissimilar to a pizza cutter. The circular blades are very sharp and replaceable. They can be bought in different sizes, usually smaller blades are used to cut around corners, while larger blades are used to cut straight lines.

Several layers of fabric can be cut at the same time, making it easier to cut out patchwork pieces of the same shape and size than with regular scissors.

It is important to use a specially designed cutting mat and ruler when using a rotary cutter. The rulers are made of thick acrylic and help achieve those straight lines that are so important in patchwork. Most rulers are transparent and have important measurements on them making it even easier to cut strips evenly.

All these supplies can be found at your local quilting or patchwork shop.

Step 4: Taking care to follow the grain-line on the templates, place templates on the fabric strip aligning two edges of the template and cut using the small cutter. Cut the required shapes for each design. Note that many of the template shapes can be turned on the strip to conserve fabric.

I found it best to then lay out the design before sewing to check I liked my fabric choices. It saves a lot of unpicking later on.

Step 5: Sew pieces together using a 1/4" seam, following the assembly instructions for the block you have chosen.

You are now ready to learn the tips about ironing your seams.

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