Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How to Find the Perfect Scissors for Free-Cutting

One of the hallmarks of a well constructed fused art quilt is the quality of your edges. In fusing, edges of fabric shapes need not be covered with stitching by machine or by hand. This means that when you create art with fused applique, your edges may be seen.

(It's sort of like that old adage of wearing clean underwear- you always want to appear at your best no matter the circumstances.)
One place I store my scissors and rotary cutters. (I really must clean off this table.)
To achieve really clean cut edges on your design elements, use really sharp tools. Sharp, comfortable scissors are so important to the fuser. Dull scissors fray the edges of fabric shapes and fatigue your hands.
My favorite pair of scissors right now is the 5" knifeblade scissors by Kai. Why you ask?
  • Because they maintain their sharp cutting edge for a long time.
  • They are sharp from the base of the blade to the tip.
  • The blade length is just right for cutting small dots and other free-cut shapes in one clean cut.
  • And most importantly, the handle fits comfortably around my gigantic thumb
Just a quick note to mention that Leaf of Faith from Gayle of Michigan is our winner of yesterday's Name That Quilt Contest. Congratulations Gayle. I'll send you a lovely gift soon.


    cindy said...

    Being a scrapbooker I know the importance of tools, and being sharp is a cut above, or better cut. I'm not familiar with the Kai and will check them out. Thanks,

    Gayle from MI said...

    Thanks! I can't wait to see what you send me!!!

    WoolenSails said...

    I need new scissors or find a person who sharpens them. Seems someone is using my scissors when I am not looking and ruin the blades;) I love scissors with sharp points for the small pieces.


    Linda said...

    I will have to give those a try. I have their little embroidery scissors.
    I have found that if I buy several pair of $1 Fiskars (made for children, but about 6 or 7" long and with points) at Back to School time, they work beautifully for a long time. When they get dull, I just put them in the paper scissors drawer and pick out a fresh pair. Cheap! Are you horrified? (I am an applique artist, so I do a LOT of cutting. Hey! They work really well!)

    Lisa said...

    Thank you for this tip! I'm cutting out a lot of fused pieces for a big pattern that has me trace the pieces onto the wonder-under and then cut them out. I'm going to order a pair of your Kai scissors and I'm wondering if it's okay to use them through the paper and fabric or maybe that is what is dulling my scissors to begin with (not that they are fabulous scissors). Or perhaps I need to re-read your instructions on how to transfer the pattern onto fused fabric so that I don't have to cut through the paper too. I hate the frayed edges!!! Help!

    Blue Ridge Mountains said...

    I discovered the Kai scissors about 6 months ago. I bought the 5" and what they call their quilting scissors. I think they are the best It's hard to convince new sewers to spend some extra money on good scissors.

    Elizabeth said...

    I am going to a quilt show this weekend and I am going to look for some Kai's there! hopefully somone will run some show specials!!
    I also need a new blade on my rotary cutter as I have nticed some not so perfect edges now that I am hand stitching!!!!

    Elizabeth said...

    Well DDUH!!!! Forget that last statement I will just buy the scissors from you!!!! and perahps some more thread and a pack of needles. As a May birthday also I ahve some money burning a hole in my paypal!!!

    LOLA said...

    As an art teacher I can tell you that scissors dull very quickly when cutting paper. I always told my students to have 2 prs. of scissors, one for paper, one for cloth. And to keep them very sharp. And Laura, you are one of the first people I have seen who knows HOW to hold a pair of scissors to cut. I teach this to my little kids as well. I really enjoyed your blog!