Anyone tried the Simplicity rotary cutter?

vacuumfreakApril 16, 2012

I was all set to go to Joann Fabrics today and buy the Accuquit, but they were out of mats and I wanted to start a project today! So, I ended up getting the Simplicity Deluxe electric rotary cutter instead. The most dreaded part of quilting is cutting and measuring for me, so I thought this would be great.... I thought it would work just like a sewing machine... it doesn't and I could cut a straighter line with a pair of plastic scissors from the Dollar Tree!

I'm thinking about taking this back (I asked about the return policy before I bought it.... what rude employees they have, and they didn't know a thing about the Accuquilt or the Simplicity... acted like I was breaking their arm just because I had a couple questions) and ordering the Accuquilt on Amazon, I know they have all the stuff. I still don't like the idea of being limited to the size of the die, but I've ruined an entire fat quarter with this silly Simplicity thing and I just can't make it cut straight. I tried the different speeds and when I turned it up to the highest one, it grabbed the fabric, bunched it up and cut a diagonal jagged line all the way down the middle before I even knew what was happening! AAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGG! Reviews on Amazon are terrible for this thing, but I wanted to try it anyway.... Live and learn I guess.

Has anyone else had the horror of experiencing this thing?

On a positive note, I got my first Ott Lite today... it's a small one that flips up and runs on batteries and has LED lights.... pretty cool actually. It was reg. 50 bucks, on "sale" for 25 or something like that.... the Simplicity rotary cutters were on sale too, and I can see why! You couldn't pay most people to take one! I remember when I sold sewing machines at Sears, we had one Ott Lite and it was a floor model that was 200 dollars... nobody bought it.

Anyway, I was just wondering if you all had any suggestions.... should I keep playing with this silly rotary cutter or should I throw it through the window of Joanns like they did on the old tire commercials and order an accuquilt instead?

Thanks :o)

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K8Orlando

I would skip any of the pattern cutters and just go with a good rotary cutter, a variety of rulers and a mat. With all the money left over I would buy more fabric! But that's just me. I know there are quilters on this forum who love their Accuquilt.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 6:10PM
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mary_c_gw

Bobby, I know from your other posts on other forums here, that you love machines and devices.

But you are only an occasional quilter - and please correct me if I'm wrong!

This machine isn't worth either the money or the storage space it takes up. It's limited in its application - strips only. And seemingly inaccurate strips at that. I'm sure I could straighten the raw edge and cut 10 accurate strips (from prepped yardage or stacked FQ's) in the time it would take you to set up the machine and begin.

The Accuquilt would be more versatile, but most of the dies are for easily cut shapes. Again, a large expensive object, with expensive dies, and a large footprint for storage. I wouldn't find it faster for strips and squares, and I piece half and quarter square triangles from squares or strips.

Actually, the only Accuquilt die I was ever interested in was the Tumbler, but I have drafted my own. I can flip-flop the template down the cut fabric strip and have essentially no waste. The Accuquilt can't do that.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 10:27PM
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vacuumfreak

Mary, you are correct on all accounts... I do love machines and devices and I only quilt when I gather the courage to measure and cut! I really did want a device to help me with this, I thought it would be easier, faster, and more accurate.... I have 3 rotary cutters, an OLFA mat, and several acrylic rulers, but they always slip and I still don't manage to get straight lines or perfectly even cuts for some reason! So frustrating!

Oh well, I'm going to play with this a few more days and see if there's just a learning curve and if not, it goes back....

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 9:39PM
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geezerfolks_SharonG_FL

vacuumfreak, If you really want to quilt, I think it would be in your best interest to take a beginners quilt class so they can show you how to rotary cut without having the problems you're having. Or there are tutorials online you can watch.

SharonG/FL

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 10:28PM
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vacuumfreak

Sharon, not only have I taken a beginners class, I have made a whole quilt top! And a small table runner that was in a book I bought for beginning quilting. I don't have a picture of the quilt, (but I'll link a video I made about my sewing machine that includes the quilt).... and a picture of the runner.... awful picture, I just took it on my phone to post here, but it hides the blemishes :o)

The thing is, the class (it was probably two years ago) didn't teach technique, it only taught how to make that specific quilt.... and they can't teach dexterity and steady handedness.... I've always been rather clumsy and awkward... Maybe quilting isn't something I should even attempt, but goodness they've just got to make an easier way to cut! I just want to get to the fun stuff and not fool with the work part! :o) I've been toying with raw edge applique too, and that is kind of fun as well... anything that lets me play with the machines...

Here is a link that might be useful: video that has the quilt top I made

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 11:39PM
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K8Orlando

I'm certain that the employees at any quilt shop will be more than happy to give you a couple quick lessons about effectively using a rotary cutter. They'll have the store's supplies there but you can bring your own cutter if you think that would help.

If you are having trouble with your rulers slipping, try using a bit less force. If your blade is sharp, then you don't have to push down too hard on the cutter or on the ruler. Also check to see if your cutting surface is too high because if you can't push DOWN on the ruler it can slide while you are cutting. Lastly, they make neat little stick on dots you can put on the bottom side of your rulers to prevent sliding. I have some that are rubbery and some that are like sandpaper. The sandpaper ones are flatter so I ended up liking those better even though I though I would like the rubbery ones.

And REALLY lastly: there's room in the quilting world for all types and styles of quilting - and there's room for every quilter's preferences. We are giving advice and trying to help simply because we all love quilting and want you to love it too. I actually like the cutting process and enjoy messing with the fabric, as well as seeing how the pieces look and go together as I'm cutting. But if you are happier using a die cutter, then do it. However, I wouldn't waste time on one that doesn't work the way you want it too. Go get the AccuQuilt and be happy!

Kate

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 9:40AM
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colleenny

I have little sandpaper circles on each corner of all my rulers. They keep the rulers from slipping. I bought them online and they work great. Colleen

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 9:49AM
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sunnycentralfl

One thought: pre-cut fabric strips, 5in pre-cut squares and other precuts might be of help to you as a beginning. It would take the aggravation factor out of it.

Try the tutorials by the Missouri Star quilt co.
Hope this helps,
Gwen

Here is a link that might be useful: moda pre cuts

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 10:36AM
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nana_2009

I too sucummbed to buying a Simplicity Rotary cutter...needless to say it was a total waste of money even if it was on sale...luckily I only tried it out on scrap material before trying to cut expensive fabric...I was in the middle of making a double Irish Chain quilt (King sized) and thought the cutter would save time...NOT. I guess that is what I get for not doing my homework in researching the machine first...I ended up going out and buying a better quality hand rotary cutter.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 4:00PM
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vacuumfreak

Thanks for the tips... Speaking of sandpaper, I have seen people who have stuck velcro circles to the bottoms for their rulers to prevent slippage.... My rotary cutters are pretty good.... I have a Fiskars, a Dritz, and an OLFA that I can't find, not to mention a Fiskars one that is attached on a rail to an acrylic ruler and I do buy and change the blades when necessary. I still only cut one layer at a time so that if I mess up, I won't ruin too much.

Nana, it is really nice to hear from someone who has also had experience with this thing. I bought a few extra 99 cent fat quarters because I wanted to play with this machine so I didn't ruin anything terribly expensive, but from now on, I'm only going to play with ugly scrap material!

I did get a glimmer of hope... I found that when I starch the fabric (spray starch, then iron), it works MUCH better, so I'm going to play with that for a while before I decide whether or not to return it....

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 6:13PM
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geezerfolks_SharonG_FL

vacuumfreak, Don't you live somewhere around Orlando? I think a get-together with the Orlando quilters from here on the forum would be helpful. They could, hands on, help you! Get it started Kate!!!! @:)

SharonG/FL

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 9:49PM
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vacuumfreak

Sharon, I do plan to go to some of the quilt guild meetings if they happen to occur when I am off...

The Simplicity goes back tomorrow... It just will not cut a straight line. I've decided what I'm going to do is just use the freaking rotary cutter and quit trying to find short cuts... at least I'll get squares I can use even if they aren't perfect and it's a lot of work... the more I do it, the less it seems like work! My rotary cutter that is attached to the rail and acrylic ruler really is nice, I'm just always looking for a better/easier way... being the gadget freak that I am, I tend to think everything is better with a motor added to it.... I guess that isn't always true :o)

Thanks for the responses :O)

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 3:25AM
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minnie_tx

Since I never heard of this devise I did a google and found this video.
I cn't imagine cutting strips this way unless you had to make million of them

Here is a link that might be useful: demo

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 6:34PM
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mzstitch

I'm glad your taking it back, and everyone gave you great advice here. I want to add in some encouragement too. When I first started quilting I dreaded the cutting stage. Over time it has become one of my favorite parts. You WILL become comfortable with your rotary cutter the more often you do cuts. Sandpaper dots are a necessity. I use them in the corners and more down the sides when it is a long ruler. Make sure your blade is always sharp. Take your time, don't rush it, you don't have to get your whole quilt cut out at one time. Make sure your room has plenty of light. Hobbies aren't supposed to be stressful, so I agree with an above poster, if you are still frustrated, visit your local quilt shop, I'm sure they will be more than happy to make you more comfortable with the process.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 10:03AM
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kathi_mdgd

I just took a sheet of sandpaper and cut small pieces for my rulers and glued them on.No running to the store and spending money i didn't need to spend.They work great!!
Kathi

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 3:53PM
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faytay

Another cutting tip... Try cutting on a slightly higher or lower surface. Being vertically challenged, I know I am much more comfortable (and do a better job) cutting on a desk I have, rather than my diningroom table.
Faye

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 5:34PM
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