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    How do you keep steady pressure

    Hi all! This is my first time in this forum. I am a quilting/sewing newbie.This is my first attempt and I have only Jenny's tutorials as my guide. I am working on a nine patch baby quilt for my new grandson. I am having a really difficult time keeping steady pressure on my ruler and rotary cutter. I am noticing a lot of slippage and differences of up to almost ½ inch. I have recently sewn on the boarders (after watching Jenny's video pausing it, working on mine then unpausing and following along...) and because of a cutting mess up, (yet again) I have to go buy more fabric! FRUSTRATING! Any suggestions would be so very welcomed!

    Dayna
    Dayna

    #2
    Re: How do you keep steady pressure

    There are many methods for preventing it, I have an O'Lipfa ruler for my long cuts. It has a lip edge that hangs off the mat for a perfect straight cut. Look on Amazon, they're not expensive, $15-$20. Or you might try the little sandpaper buttons from the quilting section or your LQS. I have them on every corner of my smaller rulers. They work great for me.
    "She who dies with the most fabric wins"

    Ecclesiastes 9:10 "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom."

    Julie
    :D

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      #3
      Re: How do you keep steady pressure

      I was taught to lay my hand flat then raise up and apply pressure with my finger tips

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        #4
        Re: How do you keep steady pressure

        Another option is to have your hand positioned so that some of your fingers are on the fabric on the non-cutting side of the ruler. I think there are multiple products that can go on the underside of your ruler to help hold it in place - sandpaper dots, other gel type dots and clear sticky sheets.

        Welcome to the forum!
        Lisa

        M*QC forum is full of the best people!

        I'm not just buying fabric, I am supporting the economy...

        A bad day in the sewing room is better than a good day at the office.

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          #5
          Re: How do you keep steady pressure

          If you are using a longer ruler be sure to 'walk' your hand down the ruler, as you're cutting, to hold it in place.

          You may be able to find some helpful videos on you tube.
          Shirley aka buckeyequilter
          I work to support a sewing habit that I don't have time for, because I work!

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            #6
            Re: How do you keep steady pressure

            Dayna,
            I had the same problems just a couple of months ago....This is something that takes practice, honest. It has to do with being able to apply pressure from your entire "hand" that's holding the ruler.
            I have trouble downloading photos here. I just spent some time taking photos to show you how I did this to start with. I put something "heavy" on the ruler, to help hold it in place.
            If you would send me your ( PM me ) your email address, I would be happy to send you the photos I took showing you HOW I held the ruler down when firs cutting fabric. ( Believe me those first few tries I wasted fabric.....Good thing I practiced on old fabric I didn't care about !! )
            Just answer the PM I just sent to you ....giving me your email address and I will send you the photos ( with written instructions ) I think I might make a video tutorial for this.....
            Anyone else who is a newbie and wants to see the photos I have taken on how to weigh your fabric down when first beginning to cut your fabric, just PM me, and I would be happy to send you the photos I mentioned about, and how I did this.

            With practice, you will master cutting your fabric ...really you will
            my user name here is redcaboose1717
            I am sending you a PM Message right now.
            Smiles,
            Jacqueline ( Sugar ) Dorer-Russell
            http:\\www.sugarssmilinpapercrafts.BlogSpot.com

            "I miss the me I was when you were here"

            Comment


              #7
              Re: How do you keep steady pressure

              Another suggestion......if you put something heavy on the acrylic ruler ....it will hold it securely. At first I put my Big Shot ( Sizzix Die Cutter machine ) on the rule to hold it securely.....THAT really helped. Then using a smaller ruler AT TIMES to practice, I finally got used to using the LARGER ruler without weighing it down with the BIG SHOT ( die cut machine ) ....You have to FIRMLY press you hand down on the acrylic ruler, and then carefully inch your hand up ......making sure you press with your hand ( firmly )

              When I first started I also noticed that at the very "start" where I begin to cut ( at the bottom....) I wasn't pressing hard enough and had to return to cut the bottom.....

              This is just something you have to practice.....
              Jacqueline ( Sugar ) Dorer-Russell
              http:\\www.sugarssmilinpapercrafts.BlogSpot.com

              "I miss the me I was when you were here"

              Comment


                #8
                Re: How do you keep steady pressure

                Something I have noticed is its easier to cut if the table is the right height. If the table is too low, I get a back ache. If its too high I don't have the leverage to put pressure on the rotary cutter or the ruler. I found I can't cut sitting down but standing at the dining room table is just right. I made a small cutting platform for the cabinet in my sewing room, one side is plain plywood with the mat on it. The other side is plywood covered with a bit of batting & fabric for ironing. The two pieces are separated by 4 dowels, one in each corner. Works well for small cutting jobs.
                May the road rise up to meet you...
                May the wind be always at your back...
                May you be in Heaven a half hour before the Devil knows you're dead...
                Patt :icon_wave:

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                  #9
                  Re: How do you keep steady pressure

                  I agree with those suggesting you move your hand along the ruler as you cut. I was trying to do it in one long zip up the ruler and toward the end my ruler would slide. I also use a narrower ruler so part of my hand/fingers is on the fabric.

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                    #10
                    Re: How do you keep steady pressure

                    I don't know what type mat you have, but I have better luck with the green Olfa mats. I bought a grey Quilt Mate that has a handle built in and never use it-too slippery, much more than the Olfa.
                    I also keep my hand near the left side (I'm rt handed) with a couple fingers off the edge and on the mat or fabric to keep it from slipping. When doing long cuts, I bend over and put my forearm on the mat, again with a couple fingers off the edge to stabilize it. There's also a clear film you can get for the rulers, but I've never used it.

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                      #11
                      Re: How do you keep steady pressure

                      I bought a small roll of "Clear Grip". It static clings to the back of the ruler. Works great, but it does take practice specially with the longer rulers. I also walk my fingers up the ruler as I cut and that helps a lot too.
                      Sometimes I wake up Grumpy!
                      Other times I just let HIM sleep.

                      Lynn

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                        #12
                        Re: How do you keep steady pressure

                        I would invest in the June Tailor Shape Cut ruler. Watch the video below. I love it. There is another, a bit more expensive, ruler just like it but larger for more that 12 inches of cutting.

                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pETsJf2nNQE

                        Another must have ruler is the June Tailor Half Square Triangle (HST) ruler which will allow you to make perfect HSTs every time. In the video she says to cut a 5 7/8 square. I just cut it at 6 and have a tiny bit more to cut off when squaring. Also, I use this ruler to square up squares from 1 1/2 up to 6 1/2 regardless of whether or not they are HSTs.

                        June Tailor Introduce the Half Square Triangle Ruler - YouTube

                        You need your 6 by 24 ruler for cutting things like borders. Be sure you stop after cutting a short amount and crawl your finger up the ruler until you finish the cut. Putting the non-slip stickers on the ruler will help, too.

                        I also like the Creative Grid rulers. They have a lot of specialty rulers and square up rulers.
                        Last edited by madampolo; January 23, 2014, 07:05 AM.
                        Joyce "She who dies with the most fabric wins!!"

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                          #13
                          Re: How do you keep steady pressure

                          You also might think about placing some of the dots on the ruler that helps it grip the fabric, they make several different kinds and I have used many of them, they sure help me.

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                            #14
                            Re: How do you keep steady pressure

                            I use a Creative Grids ruler. It has nonslip dots in the back. I also use the Gypsy Gripper I got for Christmas and I like it.

                            Amazon.com: Creative Grids Quilting Ruler 6 1/2 inch x 24 1/2 inch: Arts, Crafts & Sewing

                            Amazon.com: The Original Gypsy Gripper: Arts, Crafts & Sewing

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                              #15
                              Re: How do you keep steady pressure

                              I have tried the stick on sand paper dots on my rulers. For me they were practically useless. I have tried the ruler with a lip on it. While better than the sand paper dots it is awkward to use, and really only works for some cuts. For example you can't use it to make diagonal cuts. I have one OLFA non slip ruler. It is slightly frosted looking. It cost more than a regular ruler, but it really doesn't slip. Unfortunately I couldn't afford to replace all the rulers I had already purchased with non slip rulers. Learning how to walk your hand up the ruler will help with those long cuts. But a ruler can slip even on a short cut where you don't need to walk your hand up the ruler.

                              I have had good results applying the Invisgrip film to my rulers. You can apply Invisigrip to any shape ruler. You can purchase Invisigrip at most craft stores like Joanns. It comes in a roll (round tube), usually found near the cutting rulers.
                              '
                              My last tip is if you have to make a lot of cuts the same size, or if you are tired or are being constantly interrupted so you can't focus, or if you absolutely can't make a cutting mistake (like you have no more replacement fabric) than I add the extra safety margin of putting post-it sticky notes on the underside of my ruler. If I need to make a 2" cut I peel of three post-it sticky notes as a single unit and place them on the 2" line on the underside of my ruler. It makes a small lip that butts up against the fabric. This small lip helps stop the ruler from moving away from the fabric.

                              Hope this helps.Posi-it-notes.jpg
                              Stash Treasure Acquisitions Beyond Life Expectancy. My stash keeps me STABLE, oh yeah.... and dark chocolate.

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