I’ve got two short posts this week. I separated them because they are on two different subjects. You can find the other post here. I made a discovery this week – I unwittingly did a Consumer Reports type of test to find the best rotary cutter and I have a clear winner. Background first:
I wrote last week about making kits for my Houston students. Every student will have a kit of quilt sandwiches to work with at the Houston Int’l Quilt Festival. By the way, you can still sign up for my classes. See my summary at the end of this post, with links to each class.
I am thrilled to report – I’m finished, all 425 sandwiches!
I have been teaching at the Houston show for 7 years, this will be my 8th. One thing I know: you MUST be organized! So much can go wrong at a major show and students kinda don’t care – they paid a lot of money to get there and a lot of money to stay there and a lot of money for their class. They expect the best. I choose to make kits so that each student has the right quantity and quality of materials to work on the subject in class without lugging it in their suitcase. It is a ton of work, but worth it.
I have a system that works well for me: I make each student’s kit, then stack those with strips of paper in between each one for easy separation in class. I wrap the stacks in Press’nSeal, write the number of student kits and create a Press’nSeal handle for easy transport. Teachers have to lug huge amounts of teaching materials long distances and a grab ‘n go set up makes that a lot easier.
There we go, ready to send to Houston for a zillion dollars, once I get the green light that we can send.
I cut up 8 bolts of Kona into 15″ squares, which put my rotary cutters to the test:
I had some help (thank you Becky, Donna and Nancy!) at one point, so I loaded up my various rotary cutters with new titanium (snort!) blades and started on my cuts. Without meaning to, I created kind of a Consumer Reports type of scheme and there was a clear winner:
The Quilters Select cut longer, better and easier by far than the other two. All had brand new titanium blades, cutting the same fabric on the same mat. It was a no-brainer.
So here’s what’s weird – I’ve had the QS cutter for awhile and it didn’t bowl me over. It’s much heavier than the others and I guess I thought that made it harder to use. When you’re cutting up 8 bolts of fabric, you want to be using the best tool and this is it.
Another note: your mat makes a difference too. I learned this awhile ago too – the white plastic “JoAnn’s mats” (no-brand type mats) will dull your blade more quickly than the Martelli mats will. Granted, the Martelli’s are way more expensive, but once you cut on them, you’ll notice the difference and wonder why you didn’t get one sooner. Because we deserve the best, no? Funny thing is I don’t care for their ergonomic rotary cutter; I found it to wobble when I made my cuts. Many prefer them, so that may be just me.
I’ve got some openings in my Houston classes. You can sign up by clicking directly on the link which will take you to my class’ page:
Mon, Oct 25 Fabulous Free Motion Fills ‘n Frills 1 – 4 PM, 6 – 9 PM
Tues, Oct 26 Feathers Four Ways for Domestic Machines 9 AM – 5 PM
Wed, Oct 27 Machine Quilting Forum 1 9 AM – NOON
Wed, Oct 27 Lecture, the Beauty of the Imperfect 4 – 5 PM
Th, Oct 28 Machine Quilting Forum 2 9 AM – Noon
Fri, Oct 29 Yes You CAN Free Motion Quilt! 8 AM – 4 PM
I’ll link up with: