Saturday, November 01, 2014

A New Cut Above!

On the Left --Irene's Martelli Ergonomic rotary cutter -- the strange thing I always passed by in workshops when one was offered for me to use as a demo, because I was too stuck in a rut to learn something new on the fly.

It's different.  It looks weird.  It takes a bit of learning.  I am a creature of  habit.

On the right is my trusty blue Dritz cutter.

I’ve used this cutter for years and years --- it has a push down release on the blade guard, and I like the rubber grippy handle when cutting.  It’s comfortable for my hand, I like the weight of it.

I like the 45mm blades.  Often times the smaller blades are too small to do the job I want to do through layers ---

The bigger 60mm blades?

Well I can dull those by running over a pin just as quickly as I can dull a 45mm blade – and the 60mm blades are more expensive and dull just as quickly.

I’m a creature of habit and I don’t often change something that is working for me, but just this week – I have given a cutter of a different variety a go.


Trimming paper piecing!

I’ve been sewing the past few days at Irene’s house.  While I’m used to standing to rotary cut at a table that is about counter-top height, Irene’s table is much lower than mine as she is quite shorter than I am – so it makes sense.  But at the same time cutting at a short table was hard on my back, and I took to trying to sit down to cut.

It didn’t work!  The angle was all wrong with my blue cutter, I couldn’t get my wrist into a comfortable position…..


I thought that maybe this funny Martelli thing with the bent handle might just do the trick!

And it did!  It kept my wrist in a neutral position and made it really easy for me to trim up my sawtooth triangle parts for my Bear Paw units while sitting down to cut---

Guess what I’ve got on order for when I get home?

I’m not saying that I will totally abandon my favorite blue rotary cutter – but there is more than ONE way to do the job, and this is why we have more than one kind of screw driver. 

Or more than one golf club in the bag.

Or more than one pair of shoes in the suitcase in the trunk of the car as we are on our way to Houston today to start this cruising adventure!

I took a lot of photos yesterday …we visited the Alamo, three missions, and the basilica, getting home late on Halloween night after pedicures and some last minute clothes shopping.

There was no time to do a blog post last evening, and photos need to be edited down to do what we saw justice, so those are up and coming.

It’s a 5 hour drive to Houston where we will be picking up Irene’s friend Michelle at the airport.  Later on I’m meeting up with our friends Michael and Harriet, and nearly 3 year old Michelle who is about to become at big sister! 

It’s going to be a chaos of driving, airports, switching cars, seeing friends and being dropped off at the hotel where we catch the shuttle to Galveston the next morning.

I am so ready for this cruise to begin!

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  1. That odd shaped cutter looks interesting. I have a lot of hand trouble and pray I can keep them working so I can keep on sewing! I agree about the 45mm blades and the price. The only time I sit to cut is at my rotary mat with the tiny Fiskars cutter, and it isn't often. Have a great cruise. Treat yourself kindly, even though you are working.

  2. I have that rotary cutter and while it took awhile to get used to I absolutely LOVE it now. It's ergonomically better for me because I was starting to have carpel tunnel due to work related repetitive motions. This resolved that issue. They are not "cheap" ... I think I paid $36 for mine but the blades are the same as any other rotary cutter. I think you'll be pleased with your new "toy". Enjoy the cruise (well deserved) and will look forward to your "at sea" posts! Travel safe!

  3. I have been looking at those lately and really want one. There's some videos on how to use them too on you tube

  4. Anonymous8:31 AM EDT

    Since you're going to be in town, you're going to stop at the QuiltFest, right? You can't not go if you're here!!!


  5. Appears to only be righted handed?

  6. Linda Lipe, I think there is a left-handed version too.

  7. Can't wait to hear more about this cutter I'm like u I have the one I like and it's the one I like but would love to try one someday. Safe travels

  8. I use the same Dritz cutter as you for the same reason although I also use the 60mm, mostly for cutting orders for the shop. I get the blades for both off of ebay for very reasonable prices. I too am a creature of habit and I "don't fix what isn't broken" lol. That said, maybe I will have to give that cutter a try :-) See you tomorrow! I am heading to the airport soon with Houston as my destination!

  9. I've been using the Martelli cutter for several years and I LOVE IT - arthritis forced me to change, but I've never looked back!

  10. Kathy Tabke9:27 AM EDT

    I hope you enjoy your cruise because I see where winter has arrived in the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina!

  11. And yes, it comes right handed and left handed - from Amazon sellers and from other online sources. I don't think I have EVER seen one sold in a quilt shop, though. No clue why - they should be!

  12. Once you've gotten used to the cutter, I'd urge you to invest in the Martelli circular rotating cutting board. I bought both these products about 7 years ago and I still say thank you every time I use them. The cutting board sandwiches a circular ironing mat between itself and the base...double duty. Worth every penny.

  13. Anonymous10:07 AM EDT

    I have three of those cutters and wouldn't use anything else. I have carpal tunnel and I would have to quit quilting if they didn't have those. And you don't need the big 60 to cut through layers. You will love this cutter. Takes a quilt being cut to get used to it but worth it. Peace Sue Idol

  14. Yay! See you two shortly! Drive safe!

  15. I bought the Martelli cutter in 2011 after I had wrist surgery. I only used it for a couple of months and couldn't get used to it. I passed it on to a friend with arthritis. I think the safety blade was what bugged me about the Martelli. My favorite cutter is a 1988 OLfa with no safety cover. I like to live dangerously.

  16. They make right -handed and Left-handed ones. They run specials so sign up for their e-mail newsletter. I have three and I love them. Sure Iuse others at charity quilting, but then my wrist hurts afterwards. They give out awesome bags at the HoustonQuilt Festival and good sales there too. And, they back their products!!!

  17. Pat
    I was recently given this rotary cutter by my daughter. I am left-handed, but rotary cutting usually bothers my upper back and hands! This rotary cutter was extremely easier to use. I like the bent handle...Puts the pressure in a different place. Not that I will be giving up my old Olfa straight handle...but, I think I will be changing my rotary of choice!

  18. I have two of those cutters, and they are great (other than the blades that ship with them are pretty awful.) Much less strain on your wrists and arms... I gave one to a friend and she couldn't adapt; but I love mine.

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  20. IT must be how the person adapts to these cutters. I bought one. Tried and tired of use it.
    Never was happy with it at all. The blade jutting out ike is does etc made me very nervous. I like my blue DRITZ, like the one shown. The blade is more nested in behind a guard.
    Take care with these.
    Smiles, JulieinTN

  21. I saw this same cutter being used my Linda Franz. I was thinking about getting one but wasn't sure it would help out for my RA hands. Well thanks you your review, I think I will get one for myself and see if it makes my cutting easier. Happy Hands-Happy Sewing. Enjoy your cruise looking forward to your blogs and photos.

  22. Loved mine for years. Have several...traveling, cutting table, and sewing table.

  23. Love my Ergo 2000. Have had one for 14 years. The titanium blades stay sharp for a long time, barring any unfortunate contacts with pins. You won't regret it. Good prices on the blades online fairly often. I picked up a 10 pack recently for the same cost as a 5 pack.

  24. I saw your post on this cutter and purchased one at Festival. Can't wait to try it.

  25. I have repetitive joint injuries, so I'd like to try this. But I'm ambidextrous so I need something I can use in both hands, sigh.

  26. I usually like to stand too but this week I have been cleaning and cutting useable sized squares, sitting down. Results...lots of squares cut but a sore wrist on the hand that holds the cutter! hmmmm do you suppose I was at a wrong angle!?!

  27. Vickie H11:53 PM EDT

    I also have the Martelli cutter, mat & circle mat & love them. sing up for the emails & you will get advance notice of sales. The next ones are 11/25-12/3 & 12/26-27. Don't know what they will have on sale yet. Sales are usually 40-50% off. There is also a coupon code AC1404 thru 12/31 for 25% off.

  28. I love mine! With carpel tunnel, I makes cutting easier even when I am sitting at a Bonnie Hunter workshop in San Diego! I continue to work on My Blue Heaven (with pinks & greens) and Winston Ways (with black, white, turquoise & gold). My elbow is free. ha ha
    BMOTR…Yes, it is available for us lefties.

  29. Thanks for telling us about the new rotary cutter. I always used the fiskars rotary cutter but switched to the new olfa splash one a few months ago. Usually it works great but since I had both knees replaced 7 months ago, I too have been sitting to cut fabric a lot of the time. I've noticed wrist and forearm pain so I think I'll try the Martelli cutter and see if that helps. You have the best tips! Thank you.

  30. I'm a lefty and I bought this "new" style rotary cutter several years ago. I like it when I'm doing a lot of cutting at a time and it is easier on my wrist and shoulder. But I'm ambidextrous when rotary cutting so using it can sometimes be less efficient and for smaller daily use I love my Olfa cutters!

  31. I love all my Martelli products. The cutting mat is exceptional. Mine is 4 years old and still in great shape.
    Enjoy the cruise. I sure wish I was going...(sigh).

  32. Bonnie, love, love the Martelli rotary cutter. It takes a little time to get the hang of not having stress on body parts by using the Martelli. Have had two for so many years and only use the old rotary cutter when I need a small blade cutter. By the way, mine is designed for my being left handed. The best one for left handers that I have found.

    Bon Voyage. So sorry you have to leave the US to quilt. lol

  33. Anonymous2:23 PM EST

    Leslie Kemberling

    I bought the cutter only because I needed it to go with the Martelli rulers. I had troubles with my old rulers slipping when I cut long strips. You know how a 24" ruler tends to slip out a little at the very top end of the cut, even with Invisigrip? Martelli makes rulers that absolutely won't slip. I love using this cutter with their 24" ruler for cutting strips.

  34. You can buy both right or left cutters Ergo 2000 for 14.99 from ConnectingThreads.com


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