Cutting and Sub-Cutting Strips
1. First cut a 3-1/2"-wide strip crosswise on the fabric. Assuming you have squared up the fabric edge as described earlier, you can turn your cutting mat clockwise 180 degrees with the newly squared-up edge on your left and the excess fabric on the right. Place the ruler on top of the fabric.
2. Align the 3-1/2" grid mark on the ruler with the squared-up edge of the fabric. (Align only the vertical grid mark and the fabric raw edge; ignore the selvages at the lower edge that may not line up perfectly with the horizontal ruler grid.) A good guideline to remember when rotary-cutting fabric is “the piece you want to keep should be under the ruler.” That way, if you accidentally swerve away from the ruler when cutting, the piece under the ruler will be “safe.”
3. Placing your rotary cutter along the ruler’s right-hand edge and holding the ruler firmly with your left hand, run the blade along the ruler to cut the strip. Remove the ruler.
4. Sliding the excess fabric out of the way, carefully turn the mat so the 3-1/2"-wide strip is horizontal in relation to you. Refer to Squaring Up the Fabric to trim off the selvage edges and square up the strip’s short edges.
5. Then align the ruler’s 3-1/2" grid mark with a squared-up short edge of the strip (the 3-1/2" square you want to keep should be under the ruler). Hold the ruler with your left hand and run the rotary cutter along the right-hand ruler edge to cut a 3-1/2" square. You can cut multiple 3-1/2" squares from one strip by sliding the ruler over 3-1/2" from the previous cutting line and cutting again.
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