Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Cut Above

OK, so I feel I need to talk about cutting implements...I would have told you to invest in a good pair of sewing shears, but your brother took care of that! His Christmas gift of a pair of Gingher (pronounced with 2 hard G's) shears was truly noteworthy! He obviously knows to get the best for his big sis! Good shears are worth their weight in gold when it comes to sewing, and certainly worth protecting. When you were growing up, I let you all know that NO ONE touched my sewing scissors. Ever! And so you should make sure anyone in your household respects your shears too. Use them only for cutting fabric (and pattern paper)...nothing else! You should have another pair of regular scissors around for paper and other things. I have known people who have pad-locked their fabrics shears together so no one else could use them, but I never had to resort to such tactics. I would keep them in a place away from the general office supplies.

I wouldn't recommend you ever sharpen them yourself. Fabric and quilting stores offer that service occasionally and truly the only time I have availed myself of that is after I tried to sharpen my shears myself! That should tell you something! One tip that I can give you is to tie a thin (1/4") and short ribbon around one handle loop of your scissors. That way when you go to a class or workshop or retreat you can identify yours right away. (Kinda like identifying luggage!)

Other implements of cutting include rotary cutters. I know you have had some experience with them. I can't emphasize enough how sharp they are. Do take care to keep your fingers...or anyone else's fingers or toes out of the way! Yes, I do mean toes...sometime I'll tell you about that one! :)

All for now...happy sewing!!


  1. Quick question...how do you know when you need to replace any given cutting implement? I don't think I'm at a point of needing to just yet, but then again I'd probably keep using needles for years if you didn't tell me to replace them every 6 sewing hours. :-)

  2. The quick answer would be...when it doesn't cut as well as it should. Having said that, you probably need to replace a rotary cutter blade when it skips threads as you use it. There are "sharpeners" for blades, but my experience with them has not been noteworthy. I just look for the 50% off sales and stock up so I have backups. I never know when my frustration with skipping will reach a "tipping point". :) As for shears/scissors, you won't need to replace them, but may need to have them professionally sharpened. If you take care of them, it will be a while before you need this done. Again, when the shears aren't cutting well is when you should consider this. Sewing machine needles take more (ab)use than hand needles do and the stitches may show if the needle isn't sharp. Mostly with hand needles, the time I have to replace them is when they bend.