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Introduction to Rotary Cutting Tools
Rotary Cutting Tools

Just three of the numerous types of rotary cutters available to quilters.

© Janet Wickell

Using Rotary Cutting Tools

Rotary cutting is one of the most time-saving skills a quilter can master, because it eliminates the need to mark and cut individual patches of fabric. Not only does rotary cutting speed up quilt assembly, if done correctly it will most definitely enhance your accuracy.

Rotary Cutters

Rotary cutters resemble pizza cutters, with an important difference--their blades are razor sharp so they can slice through fabric. I'll never forget how frightened I was many years ago when my seven-year old daughter came to me crying, her hands covered in blood. She had found a new rotary cutter, which I thought was tucked away safely, opened the package and proceeded to cut construction paper. Thankfully, her cuts weren't deep. She's 23 now and just purchased her first rotary cutter.

Many styles of rotary cutters are available, all with different shapes of handles and a variety of protective sheaths. In general, larger rotary blades allow you to cut more layers of fabric at once--but cutting too many layers at a time can destroy your accuracy, so get plenty of practice before you stack loads of fabrics. Replace the rotary blade when it no longer makes a swift, clean cut through the cloth.

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