The instructions for most quick-pieced quilt patterns tell you to rotary cut long strips from selvage to selvage across the fabric's crosswise grain, and that's what we'll cover in this tutorial. Do keep in mind that it's perfectly fine (in most cases) to use strips cut on the sturdier lengthwise grain -- they'll have less stretch and are actually a good alternative, especially when you're learning how to rotary cut.
Rotary Cut Fabric StripsBefore you begin rotary cutting, you'll need to square up one end of the fabric, making its edge a 90-degree angle to the fold.
- Fold the fabric along its length, selvages together. The fold should be straight, with no puckers (selvages might not be perfectly aligned, but don't worry about that). Press.
If you are working on a small rotary mat, you may need to fold the fabric again, making it four layers deep. Beginning quilters should stick to one fold, because each new fold makes inaccurate cuts more likely.
- Place the fabric on your rotary mat with the fold near the bottom edge of the mat and the side to be squared on the left. Align a rotary ruler with the folded edge, its left side near the left edge of the fabric, but with a bit of excess (in both layers) beyond the left edge of the ruler.
- Place a long rotary ruler to the left of the first ruler, edges flush against each other.A horizontal line on each rulers must be exactly matched to or parallel to the fold.
- Remove the right-side ruler. Place your hand on the remaining ruler to hold it firmly in place and roll a rotary cutter from bottom to top along the ruler's right edge. Spread your fingers out to hold the ruler securely, but take care to keep them out of the path of the cutter. The fabric's cut edge should now be at a 90-degree angle to the folded edge.
If you are left handed, work from the opposite side of the fabric, placing fabric and rulers in mirror-image positions.