Sewing quilts on quilting machines begins with cutting and trimming the fabric pieces needed to make the quilt top. Whether creating patchwork quilts from 5” fabric pieces or using strips or other shapes for other designs, there are many fabric cuts to be made. The easiest way to cut all those pieces is with a rotary cutter. One of the most important tools used in quilting, rotary wheel cutters make quick work of cutting all pieces needed to create the quilt top that will be stitched together on Juki quilting machines like the Juki TL 2010Q.
The Importance of Using A Rotary Cutter
A crisp, clean edge is important when cutting fabric for any project. Because quilting involves cutting out so many small pieces, using fabric scissors can become cumbersome to do and stressful on the hands. Accuracy can also be harder to obtain when cutting small pieces with scissors. It is quicker and easier to use rotary cutting wheels to get clean, straight cuts and puts less strain on the hands.
These sharp blades can also cut through multiple layers of fabric at a time. This greatly reduces the time it takes to cut out all the fabric pieces required to make the quilt top, which ultimately allows sewists to get stitching with their Juki quilting machines sooner.
Choosing the Best Rotary Cutter and Blades
It is essential to invest in a quality cutter that will last a long time, as these hand tools get a lot of use when piecing fabric to be sewn with quilting machines like the Juki TL 2010Q. The best brands include blades made from tungsten steel that retains a sharp edge longer. They may also be purchased with various ergonomically designed handles to reduce the strain that may occur while cutting out hundreds of pieces or strips.
As for blade size, 45mm is usually suitable for most projects. Larger blades can be used when cutting through multiple layers; smaller ones can be used for smaller, more detailed cuts. When purchasing replacement blades, it is important to purchase replacements made for the exact brand of cutter, as there are many inferior quality blades sold today. Generally speaking, the best rotary cutters and blades will be at the higher end of the price scale. Opting for lesser expensive imitations can result in blades that dull quickly and need to be replaced more often.
Best Rotary Cutter Techniques
To get the best use from quality rotary cutters, it is important to practice effective techniques that will preserve the blade and make cutting many pieces quick and easy. Always have a large, well-lit work table and a durable cutting mat. Have a selection of transparent rulers for measuring fabric and using as a cutting edge to guide the cutter. Use the right blades for the cutter and ensure they are properly installed; when they get dull, replace them. Most importantly, make all cuts while standing, rolling the cutter away from the body in one single, smooth motion while putting pressure on the blade. Always keep the blade at a 90-degree angle to ensure clean cuts.
Rotary cutters are an essential tool that all quilters need to get the best results when cutting out quilt blocks, strips, and other fabric pieces. Careful attention during this step of the quilting process makes project assembly with quilting machines like the Juki TL 2010Q much easier when all pieces are straight and precisely cut. A high-quality rotary cutter is considered an essential purchase for anyone working on these projects, along with great Juki quilting machines!