Friday, June 19, 2015

How much do you cut?

When you start to make a quilt, how much fabric do you cut? I know that some confident quilters cut all the pieces for the entire quilt right at the beginning. I know my quilting self well enough to know that I can't do that. 
I cut as I go along because:
 a) I don't enjoy the cutting process as much as I enjoy sewing, so I spread that chore into little time bites, and 
b) I change my mind as I go along and as inspiration strikes, and couldn't do that if I already cut all the fabrics.
But one thing I do know is that when I start cutting a large quilt, I always change my rotary cutter blade. You never realize how dull your blade is until you change it and compare how much less pressure you need to cut through fabric with a brand new sharp blade.
So my question is, what do you do with all your old blades (beside store them in a jar)? I keep hoping there will be a new revolutionary blade sharpener that will let me get more use out of these old ones.

24 comments:

  1. I just toss them, unfortunately. But I do buy them on Amazon or at Harbor Freight, so they don't cost me near as much as in a craft store.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I too toss mine. I should change my blades more often, I know that.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I bought a shaper from connecting threads so my blade lasts four times longer. It was pretty cheap and was worth every penny. I found I could only use one blade per quilt and therefore pretty expensive. Blades here in Canada are quite expensive.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I bought a shaper from connecting threads so my blade lasts four times longer. It was pretty cheap and was worth every penny. I found I could only use one blade per quilt and therefore pretty expensive. Blades here in Canada are quite expensive.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I keep mine also for the same reason. But I do use a old cutter and old blades when I trim paper pieced blocks or cutting freezer paper for templates. I agree cutting is not my favorite but a new blade really helps.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Like most, I will use the bladed until I can not cut with it any longer. I try to catch them on sale, but even then only able to buy 2 or three. I was thinking about get one of the shaper things, but was not sure how good it works.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have a stack of pre-cut cardboard squares (old backs from legal pads) in the studio. When I change blades, I sandwich the old blade between cardboards, tape the edges closed, write SHARP on the 2 large sides and toss it. I use a Martelli ergo cutter and buy replacement blades in 10-packs.

    ReplyDelete
  8. IF I cut too much at the beginning of a project I always regret it. Life changes and so do my quilts as they evolve.

    ReplyDelete
  9. there are sharpeners for the blades but I haven't bought one yet - an electric one is the best I have heard. My used blades go in a empty candy tin and in the drawer of the cutting table.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I try to cut everything all at once because I can't keep my cutting table clean enough to cut as I go! I have a can that I put my blades in. Whenever it gets full I'll toss them. I bought my last batch of blades from Harbor Freight so I'm not as bothered by the expense now.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have a blade sharpener, the manual blue plastic twist kind, and it does extend the life of the blade, but they never seem to last as long as I'd like

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have a lot of scraps already cut into my fabric food chain, but if cutting for a certain project I do it in steps much because of the same reasons your list. My SIL's brother sharpens our blades - not sure how, but we have been working off the same 5-blade package for over a year now. When they get dull, they go in a marked 'used' Olaf blade case and passed on to him and they come back in a few days. But I have a drawer full of new blade cases (sales) should we need them.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Nothing like a New Blade! I cut as I go too. For my Mystery I did with Debbie Caffery I had to cut it all so it would fit in my luggage. I left the extra fabrics at home. Scary if I made a mistake. I have my used blade in an Eclipse Gum container.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I dispose of my blades. I have never heard good things about the sharpeners. I just consider blades part of the expense of quilting but do try to find them on sale.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have a couple of those yellow packets that blades come in...I put the dull blades in there till it is full and then dispose of them like other sharp objects. We are lucky to have a place to do this. I also think we have to look at blades as a throw away item for our quilting. We need them and there is nothing else out there that does as good a job. Your jar is a good idea though!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have a bad habit of not changing my blade until I HAVE to. I do have a blade sharpener. So far, most of the time, either hubby or oldest son has been nice and sharpened the blades for me. I have a small tin that holds my old blades until I have enough to sharpen. I just hand it over to one of the guys, with a bottle of sewing machine oil, and, they sharpen (nice guys). Now, to get around to changing my needle on the machine......

    ReplyDelete
  17. Fold aluminum foil several times and then cut through it. It sharpens the blades so you can get a little more use from them.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Our stitchy club has a sharpener but it doesn't do the small blades, think it just does the one size. I haven't used it but we can sharpen our blades at each meeting if we want to.

    ReplyDelete
  19. i cut as i go to, because i might decide to do different blocks in my quilt

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have done both. Cutting everything in advance if I am pretty sure I want to make the quilt "as is" helps me keep moving on it. But I do run into things I want to change at times. I don't enjoy cutting and many times I just cut as much as I can endure and then start sewing. : )
    I am ashamed to admit that I was gifted an expensive electric sharpener by the Grace Company a year or so ago, and I have never tried it. It sharpens three sizes of blades and has fine and coarse stones for different degrees of dullness of the blades. How lame is it that I haven't even tried it?!?

    ReplyDelete
  21. I cut it all at once. I find I get more done that way. Take an afternoon to cut and then when I get a few minutes here or there I can sew. My old blades unfortunately get thrown in the garbage. There is no place to take them and I don't have a sharpener.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I have very little space, so each step gets done and then I move on. Cutting is no different. I usually design my own patterns, so I always go over the math several times during the design phase to make sure everything will work out. Then I don't have to worry about cutting something wrong (as much as I would).

    ReplyDelete
  23. I bought this blue blade sharpener on amazon but haven't tried it yet, it had good reviews.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have the TrueSharp electric sharpener by TrueCut. I like it. I get a lot more use out of my blades now.

    ReplyDelete