Lessons learned — Slipping ruler

While cutting last night, it seemed the harder I pressed down on the ruler, the more the ruler had a tendency to slip slightly.  I caught the movement and was able to readjust the ruler before cutting, but it happened more than once!   Also, I cut slowly so I could notice any movement and as I would get toward the top of the 11″ fabric, the ruler would start to move just a fraction.    

Rereading the lesson this morning, the things I did RIGHT were: 

   –Fabric was well pressed and starched with Faultless Heavy Starch

   –Cutting mat was on firm, flat surface with plenty of room

   –Fabric was folded wrong sides together, selvege edges lined up, then folded a second time

   –Ruler  was several inches longer than the folded fabric (mine was an Omni-grid ruler 18″ long x 3″ wide.  According to the lesson, a 2 1/2″ to 3″-wide ruler is adequate when cutting narrow strips.


The “Light bulb” moment was when I read that I should “Place ring finger of the hand holding the ruler against the ruler’s outside edge — This helps brace the ruler.” —- Ohhhhh!   Here is how I was holding the ruler compared to the “right” way:


Another thing I didn’t do was walk my fingers up the ruler to keep it straight and accurate.  Here is the correct hand position:



TABLE HEIGHT WAS WRONG — I knew that before I started.  I was cutting on my dining room table — only 30″ high and I am 5’7″ tall.  This may have also contributed to the slippage.   My arm was NOT “extended comfortably at about a 45 degree angle” —  Given my current choices, the dining room table was better than cutting on my wishy-washy ironing board, but neither is “good”.  

Soooo, in addition to correcting my positional mistakes in the future, I am going to try adding some Dritz Clear Fabric Grippers to my ruler.  That lifts the ruler off the fabric, but the grip on the fabric is very “strong”. 

Dritz fabric “grippers” – clear
This evening, I’ll be sewing the strips together — but first need to read all about thread sizes, matching needles to thread size, measuring that 1/4 inch seam, and the various seam guides to choose from.  After I do that, THEN I can sit down to sew. 
I am in the training business, and thus far, this book is very thorough as well as easy to understand!  Two thumbs up to Ms Harriet and Ms Carrie for such a fine job!

2 responses »

  1. I stumbled across your blog linked from Harriet’s blog. You are learning from the best – I took a class with Harriet and Carrie years ago and it was excellent. I love her book Heirloom Machine Quilting. I too have just started blogging. I look forward to seeing your progress as you work through the Academy book!

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