How To Cut Fabric For Quilting Safely & Effectively


Cutting your fabric correctly and safely is an essential skill for quilting, sewing, and just about everything else a seamstress might do. When you first get into quilting, you may be cutting your fabric by with regular fabric scissors, or be missing some of the other critical tools for the job. 

Here are the basics of cutting quilting fabric

What You'll Need:

Before you're ready to start cutting strips of fabric, you're going to need a few tools to not only make the job more comfortable, but that will also make your cuts more precise and clean. 

  1. A Rotary Cutter - A rotary cutter is much more accurate than scissors, and makes cutting your fabric quick and straightforward. 
  2. A See-Through Ruler - We suggest getting a 6-inch by 24-inch ruler, that size is small enough to be convenient, but big enough for most projects. 
  3. A Self-Healing Cutting Mat With Grid Lines- These can be bought online for relatively cheap. We suggest getting the biggest one you can find that fits on the table you're planning on cutting on. 

Prepping The Fabric:

Before you get cutting, you always want to make sure the fabric is prepped. 

The most important part of prepping your fabric is ironing it. You want a flat, smooth surface with which to cut. This ensures your cuts are straight and even. 

The next thing you want to do is to fold the fabric (if needed) with the grain. You'll know your fold is with the grain if the material lays completely flat when its folded. If you fold on an angle, the fabric will be stretchier after its cut and make uneven pieces over time. 

Cutting The Fabric:

Lay out the fabric you want to cut on your mat, checking to make sure that any folds are flat and with the grain. 

Using your see-through ruler, line up the bottom of the fabric at a 90 degree angle to the vertical lines on the ruler. If you have a grid, you can also make sure the bottom of the fabric is straight against a horizontal grid line. 

Measure out the width of the fabric you want to cut, then take your rotary blade and slowly roll it UP the fabric (away from you), pressing firmly with your shoulder muscles. 

>> Related Content: Best Long Arm Quilting Machine

The Right Size Strips

The size of the strips you cut depends on your project, but generally speaking, 2-inch strips are a safe bet for most projects. 

Use the mat and your ruler to get perfectly symmetrical strips of fabric that you can use in your quilt.

Now it's your turn!

Do you have your own method of cutting fabric for quilting? Let us know in the comments section below!

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