Video 5: Squaring Up the Fabric Edge: Left-Handed Two-Ruler Technique
Learn how to square up fabric using a left-handed rotary cutter and two rulers.
This is the two-ruler rotary cutting method for left handers. You'll take your fabric and lay it down on your cutting mat, selvages at the top. Then you're going to take the bottom folded edge and match it to the selvage edge. And smooth that out, so you have the four thicknesses of fabric there. Then you're going to take a large square ruler and you're going to place it on top of the fabric. What you wanted to do is select a line on your ruler and have it align with your folded edge of the fabric. You don't want to pay attention to the lines on your mat, because those aren't the lines we're going to be using. We're going to be aligning it with the lines on your ruler. You'll want to have maybe about an inch to a 1/2 inch of fabric showing. Then what we're going to do is take a second ruler and we're going to abut the two rulers next to each other. And what we want to do is make sure that there are no gaps between the two rulers. Now when you get ready to cut, you're going to be cutting with this ruler, and you want to make sure that everything is even, so make sure there's no gaps there. We're also going to put our hand up with our fingertips on the ruler itself. And if you want to have your pinky off to the side, if you feel like that will give you a little more stability, you can do that. You don't want to have your hand flat on the ruler, because then it can slip and slide around. So you want to make sure when you're ready to cut you've got your fingertips up and that will give you the best pressure on the ruler. Now we're ready to remove the large square ruler. And now we're ready to get our rotary cutter. Now you want to make sure that the blade is always protected and retracted when you're not using it. When you're ready to use your rotary cutter go ahead and retract it so that the blade is showing. You're going to put your hand on the ruler (remember your fingertips and your pinky off to the side, if you want). And the important thing is you're going to be cutting away from yourself. So you cut away, and then you go ahead and place that blade so it's retracted again. Then we've got this piece that we've cut off on the uneven edge. We've squared that edge up. And now we're going to go ahead and cut our next strip. And again, we're aligning it on this edge and this line on the ruler, because we just trimmed that and know it's a nice straight edge. Go ahead and pick up your cutter, open up the blade, and get cutting away from you. It's always a good habit to get in to right away before you put the cutter down is to put the blade away. And then you cut your nice even strip.