Getting Snippy

The January meeting of my modern quilt guild featured scissors. You could say we were at the cutting edge. Groan. At any rate, we were tasked with bringing in our favorite cutting implements.  I thought this would be a somewhat boring topic, but it turned out to be really interesting.

Who knew there were old wives tales about sharpening scissors?  The group consensus was a mild “it works somewhat” for sharpening rotary cutter blades with aluminum foil. (You run the blade over folded up foil until the foil is in shreds.)  For sharpening scissors yourself a whetstone is best, and some scissors’ manufacturers sell one created for their products.  Apparently some members have their scissors sharpened by a guy at a local farmers’ market.  So look for him at the seasonal Highland Square open air market.

Many folks felt Gingher scissors were the gold standard and they’d last a lifetime.  One darling Gingher thread clipper provoked much scissor envy.

thread snippers

However, many members expressed satisfaction with Fiskers shears and applique scissors.  They work for right and left handers and the spring action reduces hand fatigue when you’re cutting for a long time.  One person put in a strong recommendation for Karen Kay Buckley scissors for their sharpness and tiny serrated edges that grip the fabric.

As to rotary cutters, the newer version of Olfa cutters with a more ergonomic handle was preferred.  Folks were intrigued by the specialty blades available for pinking and waves.

pinking blade

I know it’s fun to cut wavy edges on fabric for fused applique.  Just be careful of your ruler’s edge, unless you want it all nicked up.  Oh, that reminds me of a tip from Laura Wasilowski about these fancy blades.  Turn over your cutting mat to the blank side when you use them as they can take little divits out of the mat.

Then, after objective talk about the merits of various cutters, the group turned its attention to scissors as decorative objects, and boy is there a lot of scissors lust out there.  Scissors with handles lined in hot pink, scissors with large polka dots, shiny scissors, teeny scissors – all were objects of someone’s desire.

Gingher scissors

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