Sue Pelland Designs

Specializing in rotary cut appliqué

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Tips & Tricks

Blade position

Your rotary cutting blade may want to get caught on the smallest of the curves, particularly the 2.5″ curve of the Leaves Galore Template. This may result in jagged edge cuts, and the nasty sound of cutting into your template edge.

When I cut, I do not keep my blade exactly straight. I shift the blade slightly to the right when cutting curves. This technique is not something I do consciously, I guess it just comes with practice. Keep practicing and you will get it!!  Practice with the larger curves first, and work your way up to the smallest curves.

Use a sharp blade

A sharp 28mm blade is a must! Dull blades will push the fabric as you cut, resulting in a jagged cut.

Fabric preparation

Cheap, gauzy fabrics are hard to cut. Crisp, tightly-woven fabrics work best. Spray-starch your fabrics to give them a more crisp finish if they are flimsy.

Use the right fusible

Mistyfuse is the perfect fusible for use with the templates. It is thin and dry when applied, not thick and rubbery like some fusibles. This will help you cut more layers at one time. If you have a different fusible, try cutting with fewer layers if you are having trouble.

Use the proper fusible position when cutting

Cutting with the fusible side down will help to eliminate shifting of your fabrics during cutting. The fusible will grip the mat better than the fabric alone. The fusible also helps eliminate shifting between layers, so I recommend stacking all your fabrics with fusible side down. (There are times when you need to cut fusible side up, just be careful of shifting!)

Prevent your fabric and templates from shifting

The best grabbers to add to your template are True Grips from the Grace Company (you can find these in my Shop). I use a lot of these dots on my templates and they really help! Invisigrip is another option, and you would need to cut the edge with your template to give it the right curve. You adhere invisigrip to the underside of your template, and it helps prevent slipping. Another way to prevent slipping is to have half of your left hand on the template, and half of your left hand on the board as you cut. Walk you fingers up the template as you cut, to make sure you are placing pressure on the area of the template you are cutting.

Use a self-healing mat

Your mat makes a difference! Using a self-healing mat works best with the Leaves Galore templates and all cutting templates. The harder mats (or old mats) are not as forgiving. They may give you trouble with cutting all the way through the layers. Try a softer mat. I like the green or blue ones.

Working right to left

I am right handed, and I work from Right to Left, with the bulk of my fabric on my left. Some people work with a different set up especially if you are left handed. Try my methods. When giving instructions, I am assuming you are right handed and are working from right to left. If you have a different way of working, you may have to modify my instructions to suit your needs.