Road invited Patricia Simons of Quilters Rule International to present one of its new $5 Lectures. She shared how her company makes rulers, templates and mats and gave some handy tips on how to care for them too. Speaking to a full room, it was evident that Patricia was both passionate and knowledgeable about these tools.
When investing in durable rulers, Patricia gave three important features to consider. She said that rulers will last longer if they are
● Molded instead of cut out of plastic;
● Have their lines injected instead of silk screened on;
● Have a clear coating protecting their marking instead of just having the ink speed dried.
Patricia mentioned that many quilters misunderstand the durability of mats. There is a notion that mats are self-healing; that cuts and scratches are able to magically fill in thus preserving the life of a mat. But Patricia pointed out that because mats are made of non-living materials, there is really no way a scratch or cut can totally disappear. The ability for a mat to last over time is due more to the care that it is shown. Some tips for extending the life of a cutting mat include:
● Only use a sharp blade. Dull blades will damage a mat.
● Never push harder with a sharp rotary cutter than is necessary to cut fabric.
● Cutting repeatedly on the same line will erode the mat on that line and cause it to bubble or warp. Move your cuts around.
● Wash your mat occasionally with warm soapy water to keep it clean.
● While you might have bought your mat rolled up, it is best to store your mat flat
● Keep mat away from direct sunlight or excessive heat sources for long period of time.
Handy tips for keeping some of the most used quilting tools in tip-top shape.