Use the right size ruler for the job!
It’s important to pick the “just right” ruler for a cutting job. If you’re cutting strips for example, most times you want to use your 6″x24″ ruler. For squaring up large blocks, a 12.5″x12.5″ or larger square ruler. And for those half square triangles or small blocks, go down to as small as possible ruler (I love my 6″x6″.)
It’s very important that you are cutting at the proper height. Too low or too high and you’re compromising not only the quality of your cutting, but potentially your well being also! I have found the most success when standing to cut, and being just high enough above the surface.
Keep it clean.
Dust, fibers, cat hair, all these things tend to settle on the cutting mat. Not only is this not so great for your cutter or the cleanliness of your fabric, it can also cause the ruler to seem more slippery. So make sure you wipe down your cutting mat with a damp rag often to keep it clean!
Another key to accurate cutting is providing the right amount of pressure to your ruler. Too little and that ruler will move freestyle, and too tight and you’re risking it slipping out just to get away from you! You need a constant, firm pressure. The easiest way to obtain this is to spread your hand/fingers out a bit, and apply pressure all the way to your finger tips. This distributes the pressure more evenly and gives a larger area of stability.
* Extra tip: If you’re cutting using the 24″ ruler, it’s helpful that once you have move the cutter past the area where your hand is, that you lift your hand carefully and then place it down further up the ruler to ensure the stability continues the entire length. Be sure to check that the fabric you’ve already cut is still lined up with the ruler!
When cutting long skinny strips:
In this case you want to be sure and plant your palm down on the table next to the ruler. This gives you a lot more stability and reduces the slipping that can occur when cutting thin strips.
My final tip?
Much like everything else in life, it’s better when you slow down! Slower allows you to really focus on keeping that ruler steady, which will increase your accuracy AND keep your fingertips attached to your fingers!