Cutting Tips with The Grace Company
Hi! I'm Beth and today I'm sharing some tips and tricks for cutting! Accurate cutting is so important! Without accurate cutting, you can't have accurate blocks. We usually hear quilters say cutting is their least favorite part of making a quilt, but the right tools can make all the difference! The Grace Company makes this TrueCut cutting system where all the tools work together to give you the best results.
First let's talk about rulers. These TrueCut rulers have built in holes to see and hold fabric (or use the holes to mark right through the ruler!). They're also made with chip-resistant plastic to make them more durable than other rulers. I know my acrylic rulers do get chipped (especially right on the edge) so that eventually it's not a nice straight edge. This makes it really hard to keep a nice consistent line.
Here's a tip if you're having trouble seeing the marks on your ruler due to a really busy fabric - just flip the fabric over and cut from the back! That should give you much more contrast.
The best part about these TrueCut rulers is that they have a raised edge for safety and accuracy. It's much harder to cut yourself because the lip will keep your fingers away from the blade.
And of course you'll need a rotary cutter for your ruler! You can use any rotary cutter with these rulers or you can use the TrueCut rotary cutter designed to work with the ruler edge. The great thing about the StraightCut Rotary Cutter is that the guide on the rotary cutter fits on the edge of the ruler to prevent slipping and keeps the cutting from veering off as you cut. This cutter comes with both the ruler track and a piece to swap out so you can use it without the guide as well.
You should be replacing your rotary cutting blade often for the best cuts. It's not always obvious when to change the blade, so here are a few clues that your blade is dull or has a nick.
When you cut, there are tiny threads left every so often and it's not fully cutting the piece. If you find your wrist or hand hurts after cutting, it's probably time to change your blade. The push button blade release on this TrueCut rotary cutter makes it quick and easy to change your blade. It's also a lot safer because it has a magnet to help load a new blade. Simply hold the cutter over the blade and it will pick it up. This really cuts down on handling the blade so you're less likely to be cut.
Another thing to watch for – over time, your cutting mat can have grooves worn into it, which means your blade doesn't have a good surface to cut on for clean cuts. So, if you notice them on your mat, like we see here, flip it over if it's double-sided (this TrueCut mat is), rotate it so you're cutting on the opposite end, or it may just be time to buy a new mat!
To make cutting quick, especially when you're cutting many of the same-size pieces, you can layer multiple pieces of fabric on top of each other. I suggest no more than 3 layers at a time - any more and the fabric can start to shift while cutting.
Another thing that can really help with accuracy is these TrueGrips non-slip adhesive rings. If you find your ruler is slipping a lot when you're cutting (I find it happens most often at the end of a longer cut), then you can add these to the back of your ruler. These provide a non-skid surface to any ruler, but have a nice thin design and are safe for fabric and mats. They really grip the fabric and make it much harder for those slipups to happen! They're transparent too so they won't get in the way of seeing your fabric.
If you're looking to make circles instead of straight cuts, try this TrueCut 360. This is the easiest way I've found to cut precise circles! Simply select the size of circle you want (it cuts from 2" to 12" diameter circles) and lock the center. (Make sure you slide the lock bar so the blade can cut the fabric) Then spin the handle around to cut for a clean and accurate cut. It's so quick and easy!
So if you're struggling with cutting, then trying some of these tips should help! Just remember that the right tools can make cutting so much easier, more accurate and more enjoyable! Check out all the TrueCut tools available at graceframe.com.