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11 year old and a rotary cutter

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    11 year old and a rotary cutter

    My daughter wants to make a quilt. She is 11 and can sew a straight seam, pin fabric, and press. She asked if she could cut the fabric with the rotary cutter. I said no, not yet. I'd like for her to learn all things quilting, but the rotary cutter part scares me a little. Should I teach her to use it or hold off and just use pre cuts for now? I've cut myself with one, and I'm very careful. Any thoughts from fellow quilters? I'd say she's average on the safety scale...a bit absent minded at times.

    #2
    Re: 11 year old and a rotary cutter

    I just cut my finger today with my cutter. It happens. I would explain how the cutter works, let her check out how sharp it is and then let her try it. If she cuts herself she will probably survive just like the first time she got the bath water to hot. As much as we'd like to, we can't put them in cotton in a box.
    sigpic

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      #3
      Re: 11 year old and a rotary cutter

      Is a GO! cutter cheaper than the ER and more fun than screaming and tears? Something to ponder....

      That's really a personal call. I'd definitely make her wear a protective glove and take the blade out and do some training runs to drill in closing the blade cover every single time and making sure to be able to focus on the task at hand. I'll tell you, a girl I grew up with could've handled one at the age of four or five I'm certain, she was just born old and wise lol! Really, it's no different than using a knife in the kitchen. By that age I could handle a lot more than that, safety wise. It's all about safety first and how willing you are to teach it thoroughly, as well as being aware of any lapses in judgement and being able to pull back and say hey we need to stop and go back and learn this part again before you get to use the blade again.

      Be careful; you'll soon be the one being caught out not closing your blade!

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        #4
        Re: 11 year old and a rotary cutter

        I dont like my grnddaughter using one either. But she does have one that auto closes. She does know how strongly I feel about safety when using one. So, as was said, we have to trust them at some point.
        Karen
        Life is short - Live everyday to the fullest

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          #5
          Re: 11 year old and a rotary cutter

          I was going to suggest a safety glove and the auto closing cutter as well,and make sure she understands how serious an injury can be.She could also cut with scissors,that's how I did my first few quilts.
          :icon_wave:Joan

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            #6
            Re: 11 year old and a rotary cutter

            I let my girls use a box cutter on a mat at that age for school projects and they did fine. I'm watching a kids bar-b-que challange and they are using knives and grills at 11 and 12. Just try it out before you get all worried.
            🌺 Lorie

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              #7
              Re: 11 year old and a rotary cutter

              Look at it this way, in only 5 more years, her parents will likely be trusting her in the driver's seat of a vehicle. I say explain to her how to use it, let her watch a few videos of how to cut with one, and supervise the first few times.

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                #8
                Re: 11 year old and a rotary cutter

                My grandgirl has only used precuts at my house and she just turned 15. That said, she just took home-ec in school (yes, they still teach it at hers!!), so maybe next time I'll see. She hasn't wanted to use one yet. Now her nine year old sister, Alex....she's all about wanting to sew. She does not follow direction and does what she wants....last time, she nearly sewed MY finger!!! She just tried talking me into it again the other day when she was here. I told her maybe during Christmas break.
                pat.

                No rain....no rainbows!


                sigpic

                If you can't be nice.....BE QUIET!

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                  #9
                  Re: 11 year old and a rotary cutter

                  A caution about the auto closing cutter. I have one made by Olfa. I cut myself on it. Yes, it does automatically "close", but that is really just covering the blade. It is not locked, and in my case, I forgot that it wasn't locked. As I was putting it away (at a class) I picked it up, and with only slight pressure it opened enough to cut my finger. That experience has caused me to avoid using that cutter, and to prefer those that have to be manually closed and locked at the same time.

                  I am going to be dealing with the same issue with my step-grandaughter. I am going to discuss it with her parents, and definitely insist that the safety glove be used. Izzy is a pretty cautious girl, but she won't be 11 until November. Even if she does rotary cutting, I think it would be safer if she was still under supervision at the time.

                  BTW - there is a book by Angela Walters called "Get Quilting with Angela and Chloe" - https://www.amazon.com/Get-Quilting-.../dp/160705955X It is geared for children ages 8 - 14. It covers all the basics of quilting, and guides you through projects from simple pot holders to a larger quilt. There is raw edge applique, how to attach binding (although I don't use her method!), and even free motion quilting. I think it is a good guide to follow when teaching someone how to quilt.
                  If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.- Zig Ziglar

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                    #10
                    Re: 11 year old and a rotary cutter

                    Every child is different. You know her best. I did not trust my youngest at that age but that was because of his personality. I did all cutting with the rotary cutter but let him do the actual sewing on his pillowcase.

                    The cutting glove sounds excellent. If she is the type to listen to instruction (mine wasn't) then let her try it with you supervising. I was cooking in the kitchen by myself at 8. But that was different times. I was also taught as a young kid to use a razor blade to rip seams open. Never heard of a seam ripper back then. And I never cut myself. But I would never let my youngest use a razor blade!
                    Vonnie

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                      #11
                      Re: 11 year old and a rotary cutter

                      Thank you everyone! The safety glove is a great idea.

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                        #12
                        Re: 11 year old and a rotary cutter

                        I have switched to the Kai rotary cutters. They do not cut unless you apply pressure and I like that a lot! I also have the O'lipfa guards on all my cutting ruler because I cut myself really bad two years ago and I never want to do that again, ever!! If you are able to go to a show where there is a Kai booth, check out their rotary cutters (and scissors, oh and eye brow trimmers!) and you will fall in love, just like I did!
                        pat.

                        No rain....no rainbows!


                        sigpic

                        If you can't be nice.....BE QUIET!

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                          #13
                          Re: 11 year old and a rotary cutter

                          A few years back, there was a very helpful young man who worked at Keepsake Quilting. He wasn't allowed to cut fabric with a rotary cutter until he was 18. They said it was a requirement of their insurance carrier. Just food for thought.

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                            #14
                            Re: 11 year old and a rotary cutter

                            Oh, if you do let her use it, don't let her be shoeless or in sandals. I had a friend who dropped one on her foot opened and cut herself.

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                              #15
                              Re: 11 year old and a rotary cutter

                              I had a conversation with my granddaughter today about cutting. Apparently she was frustrated because she was trying to do cutting while sitting at the table. She complained to my daughter it was not cutting. So my daughghter went over (she is standing) and cut and of course all was good. Important lesson for kids. Do not cut with a rotary cutter sitting down. She has more control and of couse better cutting angles standing up. What is interesting is she has never seen me sitting down and cutting. It is not something I do. Big lesson learned for her today.
                              Karen
                              Life is short - Live everyday to the fullest

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