More Notions that Work Together
In order to get the best cut possible, I start with a quality cutting mat, rotary cutter, and a ruler.
When I first started sewing/crafting I thought all mats were essentially the same, but I quickly came to realize that there are some very important differences. I do use an inexpensive basic mat for crafting as I use it more for surface protection against hot glue and punch tools. However, when it comes to getting the best results when cutting my fabrics, I invested in a high quality mat and love the results!
High contrast grid lines as well as multiple lines for inch increments and angles make laying out your fabric a breeze. You can cut true bias strips, squares, triangles, and then square up your blocks to just the right size to complete your project.
The other "must have" is a Self-Healing finish on my mat. There are several benefits to this type of mat. Unlike other mats that get rough after extended use, it provides a continually smooth surface cut after cut. This finish also extends the life of your rotary cutter blades which is a big plus! Another unexpected plus is that it is not slippery like the other mats, which can save from cutting mistakes on fabric.
I have a few of these mats in various sizes for my cutting table, next to my machine, and of course, one for traveling to sewing classes- all worth the investment!
The next notion in this trio is a required tool in my sewing room-a rotary cutter.
Rotary Cutters come in variety of shapes and sizes. I started with the basic and most common 45mm size. I then added to my toolbox an 18mm and 28mm for getting into smaller places and a 60mm for cutting into multiple layers of fabric.
For me, the option of having a left handed cutter is really important, so that is typically the first thing I look for- then I narrow my choice based on the other options. Some of the options are: Ergonomic handle, grip (soft or formed), and the way the blade retracts. Each manufacturer has it's own special offerings, and I have a favorite from several brands. It is really important for you to find what works best for you.
The final notion featured here is the "Get Squared" Ruler. I have a couple of sizes (shown above) that I use often. I discovered these years ago when I had been introduced to fussy cutting. What a game changer for me- no more hit and miss after measuring multiple ways to get just the right look and size. The inner opening is designed for you to zero in on a specific area which you would like to feature in a block or project. The "teardrops" allow the blade to make a complete cut of the inner square. The outer edge of the ruler is great to square up a block accurately. It uses a three color marking system to help you quickly identify measurements 1"-1/8".
Inside and outside, this ruler is wonderful!
Having the right tools is so important in getting the desired results, and I hope you will see some of the benefits to these great notions!
Smiles, Sandra of Inspired Remnants LLC InspiredRemnants@gmail.com