Back to Basics - Scissors

So, scissors... They don't seem all that important in the overall construction of a quilt or project, but let me tell you - they are VERY important.

I personally have a couple of pairs. Ideally, I would like to have 3, but I'll discuss more on that later.

So, my tips for a great pair of scissors are:

* Sharp!!! You want to make sure the scissors you use on fabric are really sharp. Any scissor used to cut fabric should NEVER cut paper, plastics, or other materials, only fabric. To get a nice crisp cut on fabric, scissors need to be extra sharp. If you use the same scissors to cut other materials, they can dull quite fast.

* Grip - Make sure the grip is nice and tight, without being too tight. You don't want to have them slip because you've lost your grip mid-cut, but you don't want them to cut off circulation either. Try several pairs out if possible and choose the pair that best suits your hand.

* Size - For different functions, it's good to have a different size of blade (or overall size of scissor):

I prefer to have a small pair for my little sewing kit for traveling and handwork - I actually have a sharp pair of kid's scissors that have a rounded end on them, that way I can take them on planes while traveling, but the blade must be under 4" long).

I also have my standard scissors that sit by my machine for all necessary purposes, trimming batting, cutting threads, etc. This should be the good old go-to pair.

I would also like to have a combination of a longer blade as well as the spring loaded feature for my third pair. This way they usually have the bottom blade stationary and the spring loaded action saves some wear and tear on your hands for long periods of cutting (like trimming back backing and batting from a quilted top). Also, the stationary blade will be a nice feature for this since it is less likely to "catch" on the bottom layer and screw up the "flow" of cutting. The longer blade should also come in handy to cut more with each cut saving time trimming back a large quilt or multiple projects all in the same timeframe. I'm looking for the right pair of these now and I hope to have some soon!

That's pretty much it for the features to look for, but before I go, I wanted to touch on a couple other options:

* I have seen electrical scissors advertised and to be honest - they scare the crap outta me!!! They cut really fast, you don't seem to have even 1/2 the control you do with manual scissors, and if you slip - who knows what damage might happen? I suggest if you're looking into this type of scissor, save the electric bill and your wrist - go for the spring loaded type.

* Sharpening blades - Like the above, there are several electric or "As Seen On TV" grade gimmicks out there claiming you can sharpen your own scissors and then cut through rocks (or something crazy to that effect...) I highly advise against sharpening your own blades. Not only is it dangerous, but more times than not, these gimmicks only damage your blades more than help. Many Local Quilt Shops have either an Event or actually have a service to sharpen blades for you. It's usually not that much money and it'll be better for everyone overall!!!

* Personalization - I know you may be asking yourself - seriously? personalization? Trust me - we have a group of friends that gets together once a month to rug-hook. Almost every single one of them owns the same pair of scissors. So how do you know whose is whose? I have a charm intended for a cell phone I got in Paris on mine, several of the girls got personalized beads with their initials to make their own at a local bead store, but you can use whatever suits you best. Local bead shops are a great place to start, but if your Husband drags you off to the electronic store to bore you to death (Hi Hunny!!!) start looking at the charms they sell by phone cases and phone accessories. They're mighty cute and from now on you'll know which scissors are yours.

So, that's basically it. The ins and outs of scissors. There's more to it than you thought, huh? Well, that's just the start of the Back to Basics segment. I'll be back soon about threads - the lovely luscious world of threads!!!

Keep the ideas coming!!! I have a good amount of topics to start off with, but as mentioned before, I want to teach you want you want to learn, so just let me know! You can shoot me an e-mail at rubybluequilts (at) gmail (dot) com or leave a comment on this post. It's that easy! I'll be back soon! Have a great weekend!

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