Monday, November 16, 2009
Circles~Experience in Cutting Required
The rule for today is....read the directions....if they have adequate directions! I played this weekend with making circles. I first used the hard plastic circle template. No directions required but I wasn't wild about the positions I had to get into to make a complete circle. I didn't want to move the fabric. Maybe if I had one of those cutting mats on a lazy susan type thing this would be my first choice.
My second tool was the WonderArc. Years of sewing? Familiar with putting patterns on folds? Yep! No need to read the directions. I thought. My first circle was flat on one side. Hey! What is going on here? And what is the purpose of the square in the middle of the template for each size?. Read the directions....okay, not all the directions but some of the directions. Oh! The fabric needs to be folded in quarters not just in half! And I did get a perfect circle but I'm cutting just one at a time. The rotary cutter will be the way to go.
How enamoured are we with rotary cutters? What time savers! I did think it would be simple enough to use that if I just scanned the directions I would be able to practice and then make 56 circles in quick time. The directions were adequate....but I missed reading one line "remove the safety cover from the spike". I struggled, I tried to be logical, I tried putting most of my pressure first just over the blade, and then over the (what I considered) the pivot point and I tried putting more pressure towards the end of the "measurement slide" (their term) Darn! That pivot point kept moving!
So instead of thinking "user error" I thought "inadequate directions" and turned to the Internet. I found a site that reviewed the Olfa cutter...the original one was CMP-1 and it didn't get a very good review. The reviewer said that the CMP-3 solved most of the problems. Immediately I thought "Hmpph! That is the problem. I've had this cutter for years (literally) and hadn't even taken it out of it's package it must be the old version." Back into the sewing room...at least feeling that I wasn't the only one that had a problem with CMP-1. But guess what? I DID have the CMP-3. Back to the Internet and the review. Let's see...what didn't I know? I didn't know that there was a spike...not just that black knobby thing I considered the pivot point...all I had to do was pull that black knobby thing off and there was a pointy spike. It worked much better for holding the fabric in place. AND.....with CMP-3 you could slide the handle to a position that gave YOU better leverage. Whatever your cutting style. Give me a break! How clever of them! So now things are making sense. But still, after about a dozen circles, I am not comfortable using the circle cutter. It will take more practice. You have to cut fairly slow or your fabric bunches up ahead of your blade. The reviewer suggested that you consider using use a light fusible interfacing to stablize the fabric. I don't want to do that. I think it will be a while before I feel comfortable enough to cut more than one circle at a time. It will be a while before I feel proficient using the Olfa cutter.
I am impatient and ready for good circles. For now, WonderArc wins! Today I have begun machine quilting the flannel quilt and sewing the red. white & blue quilt blocks and rows together. Maybe tomorrow I can cut some "real"circles for my circle quilt.
Be sure to try something new once in a while...but READ the directions!
Posted by Quilty Conscience at 12:39 PM