All About Accuracy: Part One- Fabric Cutting

All About Accuracy: Part One- Fabric Cutting

Dear Geraldine,

I would love to hear your advice on accurate cutting and accurate seams.

I know this sounds like Quilting 101 but sometimes a refresher course is good for the soul.

I love your comments and your quilting community! Keep up the awesome work!

-Brenda from the Blog Comments

Dear Brenda,

Thanks so much for your comment- Know that I am listening to you all!

That's a fantastic topic for new and experienced sewers alike. I've been sewing since the dinosaur ages, but I have been known to get in a hurry on a project and get sloppy on both my cutting and seams.

As I have 'sew much' to say on these topics, I've decided to break it into two parts:

Today, I'm going to give you 15 of my top tips on accurate cutting.

If you'd like to download this guide, I've made a PDF for reference:

Top 15 Tips for Accurate Fabric Cutting

  1. Use Sharp Tools: Ensure your scissors, rotary cutter, and blades are sharp. Dull tools can lead to jagged edges and imprecise cuts.

  2. If You Haven’t Yet, Invest in a Rotary Cutter: Rotary cutters provide clean, straight cuts. (Make sure to get one with a safety guard.)

  3. Use High-Quality Cutting Mat: A good cutting mat provides a smooth and stable surface for cutting and protects your work surface from damage.

  4. Measure Twice, Cut Once: Double-check your measurements before cutting to avoid mistakes and waste.

  5. Straighten Fabric Edges: Begin by aligning the fabric selvage and straightening the edges to ensure a square starting point.

  6. Use ‘Grippy’ Rulers and Templates: Invest in clear, non-slip rulers and templates for accurate measurements and precise cutting.

  7. Utilize Cutting Marks: Marking tools such as fabric markers or chalk help ensure confident cuts and accurate shapes. (Don’t be afraid to mark fabric before rotary cutting too.)

  8. Consider Grainline: Pay attention to the grainline of your fabric and align your pattern pieces accordingly for better drape and stability.

  9. Cut Single Layers Whenever Possible: For precision, cut fabric one layer at a time, especially when working with intricate patterns or delicate fabrics. It’s not always about speed. And if you make a mistake, it won’t be with several layers.

  10. Pin or Use Clips: Secure fabric layers in place with pins or clips to prevent shifting during cutting, ensuring accuracy.

  11. Take Breaks: Cutting fabric requires focus and attention to detail. Take breaks to avoid fatigue, which can lead to errors.

  12. Keep Workspace Clean: A clutter-free workspace minimizes distractions and allows for smoother, more accurate cutting.

  13. Check Blade Alignment: Before cutting, ensure your rotary cutter blade is properly aligned with the ruler edge to maintain straight cuts.

  14. Use Templates for Repetitive Cuts: Utilize templates or mark rulers with colorful tape for frequently used shapes to ensure consistency and save time.

  15. Test Cuts: Perform test cuts on scrap fabric to adjust cutting techniques and ensure desired results before cutting into your main fabric.


I hope this helps everyone with cutting accuracy on their future projects. Stay tuned for next week when we talk about the second half of Brenda's topic: Seam Accuracy!

As ALWAYS, readers, I welcome your additional advice in the comments. 

Happy sewing! 


Reading next

Struggling with Quilting Confidence?
All About Accuracy: Part Two- Seams


Cindy Lacy

Cindy Lacy

Regarding cutting, would love to have you make a Love Sew ruler in the 12.5 × 7.5 with the strip cutting lines on the 12.5 inch side. I cut a lot of 2.5in. squares; the large one is great for cutting 2.5 inch strips out of the WOF, but unwieldly to use to subcut into the 2.5 inch suares. So would like a ruler for subcutting that doesn’t slip on the fabric. Now that would be FANTASTIC!!!

Rosalinda Bittner

Rosalinda Bittner

I’m thinking of possibly buying a cricut machine , but someone told me that I would have a lot of scrap Can you use these machines so that you can cut without wasting. Also are there good machines versus BETTER machines. I’m in Canada , so shipping is sometimes an issue

Janet Werner

Janet Werner

No matter how I try to do it right and follow all the P & Q’s I flub everything up. I’m going to start from scratch and follow you to the T.



Can you just purchase the pattern. As Beautiful as the quilt is would not match my colors. Would love to be able to purchase just the pattern. Thank You!

Donna LaVergne

Donna LaVergne

I love this pattern, but I don’t want a kit. Is just the pattern available for purchase? I like using my own fabrics and colors

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