No More Ruler Slipping!
Just when I think I have every ruler I could ever need, a new one becomes available that I can’t resist!!!
A few month’s ago I put out a request on this blog from my friend Barb who was having problems rotary cutting. I didn’t get any responses – until this email from Barb herself 🙂 :
“A while back I asked you if you had any great ideas for cutting fabric since my vision has deteriorated. I know you were asking around, but since I hadn’t heard anything from you, figured that you were having about as much luck as I was in trying to find something that would help.
Yesterday, while at our Tuesday morning quilting group, one of my ladies shared a gift she had received for Christmas–it may well be the answer. I am sending you the link (it has a great video demonstrating the tool and how it works). I tried it at quilting yesterday and it is amazing! If you know anyone else who is having problems with vision and cutting their fabric, you might want to share the link with them.”
I went to the site, watched the video, and was very impressed! I have many students who struggle with the ruler slipping while cutting. If you fit into that category – you’ll want to know more about the Quilter’s Slidelock™. It’s a very clever tool. It has rubber snubbers and springs:
The rubber snubbers are retracted in the normal ruler position, so the tool can slide easily across the fabric.
But when gentle pressure is applied to the handle, the rubber snubbers go down, touch the fabric and hold everything in place so there is no ruler slipping while cutting the entire length of the Slidelock™!
I’ve tried it and it really works! The video on their website is very good and you can order your own Slidelock™ from their site: http://www.quiltersslidelock.com/.
Since this is my blog 😉 , I want to share some thoughts of mine about rotary cutting, along with my preferred way to use this wonderful tool.
Many quilters like to line their fabric up with the lines on the cutting mat, then line the ruler up with these lines also.
I find I’m not as accurate with this method because there are three entities to keep track of: mat, fabric and ruler, and if the fabric moves without my notice, it’s easy to get “V” strips. This is the way the Slidelock™ is used in their instructions. When I rotary cut, I prefer not using the lines on the cutting mat, instead I simply align the ruler with the fold of the fabric. In this way I only have to watch the ruler and the fabric, and if I cut perpendicular to the fabric fold, I always get straight strips.
Now be aware that there are no measurements on the Slidelock™ – making it more of a tool than a ruler. With just a little bit of noodling, I came up with a technique I’m really liking. Please remember, this is just my opinion, everyone needs to try it out and decide which method they prefer 😀 .
I started by marking a line at the bottom of my Slidelock™ perpendicular to the cutting edge.
I then aligned this mark with the fold of my fabric to square the fabric up (I’m demonstrating in a right hand fashion, but it is easy to reverse this technique for lefties).
Push down on the handle to engage the rubber bumpers,
Don’t you love the way the edge of the Slidelock™ glows? This makes it very easy to see what you’re cutting! Now that the fabric is squared, it’s time to cut strips. There’s no need to turn the cutting mat, or walk around the table. Simply grab a 6″ x 24″ ruler and line it up on the right side of the fabric (this is different then we’re used to, but stick with me 🙂 ). I’ve decided to cut a 2 ¼” strip.
Butt the Slidelock™ up to the ruler, then press down on the Slidelock™,
slide the ruler away,
It is helpful to continue to align the perpendicular mark at the bottom of the Slidelock™ with the fold of the fabric to make sure you’re always cutting perpendicular to the fold (even though I neglected to do so in the pictures above – sorry).
Whichever method is used for the Slidelock™, the original, or mine, I feel it is a great tool that fixes a very common cutting problem.
I’d like to send a big thank-you to Barb for telling me about the Slidelock™.
Thoughts or opinions??? I’d love to read them in a comment to this post. Thanks!