Do you “up-cycle”? Learn how to turn your fabric stash into wearable art, decorator items and more using traditional and contemporary techniques.
Places are still available for the workshops next month (Oct. 11 & 12) in Strathalbyn, SA.
Fibre artists who are all members of both the International Guild of Handhooking Rugmakers (TIGHR) and the Australian Rugmakers Guild (ARG) will meet in “Strath” to offer you an interesting weekend of workshops, discussions, and great company!
Don’t miss on your chance to learn this craft or expand your current skills
I’ve had a range of emails and comments regarding the cutting machine mentioned in my last post and I thought I’d try to summarise what I’m hearing.
The few people who have purchased/used it have complained that the blades dull quickly (and so don’t cut) or that the cutter doesn’t cut a straight strip.
A few thoughts (and I have not used this machine or even seen it demonstrated although I may ask the next time I’m in Spotlight):
Whenever you buy any product that uses disposable parts, whether it is a battery, gasket, bulb or cutting wheel, it seems sensible to me to order several (or even a quantity) when you buy the product. This is particularly important when it might be a “hard to find” or unusual part. So….don’t expect a cutting blade to last “forever and ever”.
My understanding is that this cutter is for – and used by – people who are quilters and scrapbookers. With that it mind I can understand why it is so important to cut an accurate and straight piece of fabric/paper. However, for those cutting wool or other fabric for hooking, a slight variation doesn’t really matter…unless of course you are a hooker who demands a perfect cut…a cut that is still pretty difficult to achieve with a pair of scissors or a cutting mat. It’s up to you.
Finally, even with the expensive fabric cutting/wool splitting machines that we can buy from O/S the fabric used is always an issue and has an impact on the cutting consistency and how quickly the blades can dull. With these expensive machines the general recommendation is that you only cut wool or fabric that is mostly wool since, wool doesn’t dull the blades as quickly and the machines are not designed to cut lightweight synthetics or other fabrics. (Remember..I’m speaking in generalities here).
Things it would be interesting to know:
1. Can this machine cut wool? What weight?
2. Does cutting synthetic fabric dull the blades faster than wool?
3. Does another sewing machine company other than Singer make a machine like this?
OK….I don’t want to give up on this cutter too quickly if it has the potential to cut certain fabrics in narrow strips,
After you have been hooking projects for a while, many of you are tired of using scissors or the cutting mat and rotary cutter, after all “I just want to hook – not cut!”
If you are faced with this frustration and tempted to buy a fabric cutter (also called a fabric/wool splitter) from one of the overseas, online shops you are confronted with the obvious drawbacks about the cost (international shipping alone is very expensive for an already expensive machine) and how to decide “which one” you want to buy (particularly since parts and maintenance must also come from overseas).
I have noticed – but hadn’t found anyone who used one until recently – that there is a fabric cutting machine made by Simplicity for sewers/quilters and it is available in Australia from places like Spotlight, Lincraft and online.
According to the Simplicity information, the machine:
Cuts fabric, paper, canvas, and more by pressure
Adjustable guide for cutting strips from 3/8″ to 2 1/4″
Lightweight for easy portability
Blades will last longer than traditional rotary blades
Eases the strain on wrists, especially when you have 100’s of strips to cut (such as cutting strips for rug hooking
Ships with straight blade and pinking blade
Here is a YouTube video of what this machine looks like and how it works.
The promotion says that it will cut “canvas” but I don’t know what that means….I wouldn’t be surprised if it would cut lightweight wool but I don’t know about heavy blankets. It might be worth checking on if you want a cutting machine for your projects.
As with anything that requires blades, I suggest you order a quanity of them when you buy your machine because these machines probably don’t have long-lived blades.
Sorry for the long break in writing my blog, and I thank you for your patience! I thought I would bring you up-to-date on a few of the projects I’ve managed to finish and I’ll update you on what the “Sunshine Coast Rug Crafters” have been doing.