There are cutting pads available in sizes 12" X 12" up to 60" X 36". These cutting pads will make cutting any piece easier. Having a good sized flat surface to cut on is a key to cutting the pieces accurately.
With these pads you can use a table, desk or the floor as a cutting surface without the worry of ruining the surface.
The mats are marked off in 1" squares both horizontally and vertically. The edges are marked off in 1/8 or 1/4 increments. Most have angle lines usually at 30, 45 and 60 degrees. When you are cutting larger pieces these grids enable you to make accurate cuts.
There are many different cutting guides on the market for the quilter to choose from. If you are a beginner and trying to decide which of the many to purchase one that is at least 22 inches long and 6 inches wide should serve you well.
This will enable you to cut strips across the full width of most fabric without having to double it and give you the width to cut most strips and enough to hold while cutting.
If you can find a guide with a nonslip strip on one side, that is even better. Most of these will be marked with diagonal lines for cutting other shapes as well.
Specialized cutting guides are available for almost any shape you will want for a quilt. They will be marked off for different sizes and seam allowances.
If you are doing a quilt with diamonds, triangles, octagons, or any other shape these guides will help make sure that you cut your pieces accurately.
When you actually begin to cut your fabric you need to decide what cutting utensil to use. Traditionally scissors were used to cut quilting and garment pieces.
Today there are other options available. Probably the most popular cutting tool today is the rotary cutter.
The rolling round blade allows you to quickly cut pieces in any shape and through a few layers of fabric. There are many different manufacturers of the rotary cutter but they all work about the same.
Make sure the one you decide on has a blade that is replaceable as you will need to keep a sharp blade in the cutter. Using the rotary cutter and a guide as described above will enable you to cut just about any quilt piece you will need.
For cutting odd shapes a straight blade can be a very useful tool. The ones that allow easy blade replacement make the job easier. The straight blade allows you to get in deep corners and around odd angles without cutting deeply into the surrounding fabric.
Having a seam ripper at hand is important as well. If you are sewing anything sooner or later you will have to take a seam out.
There are some other specialized cutting devices designed specifically to cut strips. They allow you to cut strips straight and accurately in a speedy fashion.
There are several different manufacturers and if you decide this is a useful tool you need to decide which one will work best for you.
So do you need a pair of scissors? ABSOLUTELY ! Having a good, sharp pair of scissors in different sizes is still an important part of your quilting equipment.
There are going to be corners that need a small, sharp, pointed pair of scissors to cut so that it will lay flat.
While scissors may not be the tool of choice in most circumstances with quilting, they are still a vital tool to have.