Over the years, I have jumped into new hobbies without putting much thought or research into them. Now that I’m older and supposedly a bit wiser, I have become more frugal in my spending. Not wanting to waste any money on items we did not need to get started in our quilting endeavors, I turned to the Internet. At first, I watched quilting videos on YouTube to see what tips quilters gave, tools they were using and generally how to create the top layer of the quilt.
I knew the first three items I would be purchasing: Rotary Cutter, Rotary Mat and a lipped ruler:
As much as it sucks forgetting coupons at home, it also helps keep tabs on my spending. Because of the cost, I almost bought a much smaller cutting board until deciding to go home and print a 50% off coupon. While home printing off the coupon, I watched some YouTube video’s of someone cutting to see they were using a 36″ x 24″ rotary mat which at regular price cost a lot more than the smaller mat but was about the same price with the 50% off coupon! The same was also true with the rotary cutter only initially we picked up what we thought was a smaller rotary cutter to realize it was meant for paper and not fabric. Whoops!
I am glad the ruler we picked up at the same time as the rotary mat has a lip (I think this one of the tips I read about on a blog). I hook the lip on the top edge of the cutting board and then work on lining the edge up with the lines of the rotary mat, laying it down flat before firmly placing my hand on it in preparation for cutting. So long as the ruler does not move and I am able to cut in a straight line, having the lip catch on the edge of the rotary mat gives me one more “check” in ensuring I cut a straight line.
Having these three tools in hand, I started using our “fugly” fabric to practice my cutting. My partner kept trying to get me to start out with our good fabric but I did not want to waste it getting used to cutting. With the amount of oopsies and wiggly first lines, I am certainly glad (as I believe she now is) that I elected to start off with the cheaper fabrics we have. The only drawback I have found with it, is that it is flannel and tends to stretch a bit.
After spending a few days of cutting, we both decided a sewing machine would be the next step in our quilting endeavor.