Friday, April 17, 2015

Sewing Tools

I bought my Janome sewing machine only this year in January. I will write another post explaining my sewing machine and how and why I decided to buy this particular sewing machine.

When I finally bought the sewing machine, I wanted to begin sewing immediately, that is just my nature to get into the thick of things and begin working. I had been reading up some blog posts about quilting and knew that I wanted to try some quilting before venturing out into sewing garments.

So my first set of tools that I bought included this friskars cutting mat set. The set included an extra large mat, a clear acrylic ruler and a rotary cutter all for a discounted price of $27, originally priced at $55. It seems like the set is still on sale on amazon. Using the cutting mat at first seemed very alien and on reading experiences from other crafters in the community is seems that this is not unusual. I watched a couple of videos and figured out the techniques in using the cutting mat and the acrylic rules and the rotary cutter to cut fabric. All the three items in the set are needed to cut fabric for the purposes of quilting. The rotary cutter slides along the ruler and gives clean edges.I am sure the mat and the rotary cutter could be used for cutting other materials like paper and leather too.

Although I did purchase these friskars scissors too, the rotary cutter is a big step up from using scissors to cut fabric. It totally revolutionizes the process of cutting fabric precisely for purposes of making quilts. The rotary cutter, with its super sharp blade made it extremely easy to cut through nine layers of fabric, something that I had to do my first nine patch quilt. I would exercise extreme caution while using the rotary cutter, so far I have not had any accidents but have read of several mishaps. I use my rotary cutter only for fabrics just so that I do not dull the blades, just like keeping a separate pair of scissors only for fabric.

I love using my cutting mat, the grid lines make it convenient to align fabric correctly and precisely before cutting. Both the surfaces of the cutting mat have grid lines and could be used to cut fabric. I used the cutting mat to iron my pieces once, only to realize that the mat does not behave well with heat. Thankfully the slight warping was not permanent and the board regained its original structure when cooled. Henceforth no heated surfaces come in contact with my board. I also store the board flat so that it does not bend or fold.

I am very pleased with my first purchase, I feel it was money well spent and would recommend this super value for money deal to anyone thinking of doing some serious crafting.

I have a whole list of other quilting tools to buy, like these rulers that would make it so much easier to cut squares. I would love to hear about your experiences using rulers and which are your "must-haves" for quilting.

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