Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Let's Talk Rotary Cutters

When I started quilting over 20 years ago,  I remember picking out a cutting mat/rotary cutter set as a  Christmas gift for someone to give me, probably my mom or sister.  It was a small Fiskars mat and the classic gray rotary cutter.  I soon graduated to a larger mat and got actual rotary cutting rulers, but I loved the cutter and kept it.  

Flash forward to January 2016--my faithful cutter's blade closing button broke off.  I was quite sad since I'd used it exclusively for 20 years.  But I'd seen a cute color variation of the Fiskars and had stashed it in case of something like this.

The replacement cutter is the same style, with the exception of the piece that tightens the blade; it is now a cute flower shape.  And it is in my very favorite shade of pink.  What's not to love?

Apparently, a lot.  From the start, the cute little flower piece did not hold, so the blade would suddenly become really wobbly and loose.  So I checked it every time I cut (which, since doing the 365 Challenge this year, is A SUPER LOT!) and tightened it back up as necessary.

The blade doesn't seem to stay sharp as long, but then again, I have been doing a lot more  cutting than normal this year, so not sure if it's a coincidence or not.

The thing that finally killed it for me is that the blade started snapping shut randomly while I was cutting.  I thought maybe I just needed to replace the blade, but that did not fix the problem.  I read online reviews of the cutters and saw many comments from people who had similar issues, going back as far as five years.  Unfortunately, I also saw comments that they'd contacted Fiskars and gotten zero response.  This is in line with past experiences I'd had with Fiskars when I was seeking guidance to resolve issues with other products--I either got no response or an unhelpful, suck-it-up-type response.  

This is just so disappointing to me.  I LOVED my old cutter and it lasted a really long time.  I haven't even used this pink one for a full year yet.  As much as I love how this one looks, it is just not a quality piece of equipment.  I cannot be cutting and have the blade continually snapping shut.  Sooner or later it's going to cause an accident.

Comparison of my rotary cutters.
So I went back to Jo-Ann Friday and got the aqua Olfa cutter.  The grip is not as comfortable for me, but the blade feels so much sturdier and it doesn't snap shut.  I resisted buying an Olfa for years for two reasons--one, I loved my old cutter, and two, I HATE the shade of yellow they use.  Yellow is probably my least favorite color, especially as it goes from school bus yellow into the mustard shades.  This new cutter does have some yellow, which I do not love, but at least the rest is a pretty aqua shade.  

Olfa, if you are out there reading, please, please, please make some cutters with no yellow.  If you made a bright pink and white one, I'd be right there buying at least one.  And maybe make some cutting mats that aren't chalkboard green.  Thank you so much!

In other news, I decided to measure and label my leftover batting pieces.  The stack looks neat and tidy now, but unfortunately the sizes are not very useful.  They are all really long and skinny. I suppose I could make a "Frankenbatting" but the thought does not appeal.

I sent out my mini for the B & C Christmas Barn Quilt swap and it was delivered yesterday, but the recipient hasn't acknowledged it yet, so I guess that will be revealed next week.  I haven't received mine yet.  I also made a surprise gift for an IG friend as a pick-me-up and mailed that this morning, so I'll share it next week as well.

I really need to get into my holiday sewing.  And more doll clothes things.  I need to catch up on the 365 blocks yet again (is it the end of the year yet?!), catch up on the Fig Tree Mystery Sampler (again), and get a bunch of stuff quilted. The weather has turned decidedly winterish and it makes me so cold and LAZY!  I also need a money tree, so if you find one, send it my way! 

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