A bigger blade really IS better?! - Guest post by Trisha Frankland

A bigger blade really IS better?!

Hello again – it’s Trish Frankland (aka QUILTchicken) and today I’m sharing some thoughts as part of the 2017 Back to School blog hop.

BTS 20 Trish Frankland

For years, I’ve avoided the temptation to buy every new quilting gadget that comes into my periphery. You too? Every other shiny tool promises faster, better, sexier results with little to no effort. Plus, you’ll lose 20 pounds and gain lustrous, flowing silken locks. Or not.

Still, I get sucked in. I’ve got a HUGE drawer full of acrylic measuring and trimming tools – many still in the wrappers. Some I’ve bought twice, and still never used.

But for 15 years I’ve been using the same 45 mm rotary cutter that was one of my first tool purchases. I’ve put a fortune’s worth of new blades on it, and it just keeps working. So why would I change my cutter?

Cue the voice of Gudrun Erla! She came to visit my local guild and introduced us to her Stripology rulers. (Did I mention I have a weakness for acrylic tools?) After showing how to use this fabulous tool, she then uttered the advice that changed my world: YOU’RE GOING TO NEED A 60mm BLADE.


See, you cut through slots in the Stripology ruler – so you’re losing cutting depth to the ruler: if you use a 45 mm blade, you can only cut a couple layers of fabric. Step up to a 60 mm blade and now you’re power cutting.

So next trip to the local quilt store I bought a 60 mm Olfa.

WOW is this a slick cutting experience! Not just with Gudrun's rulers. ALL. THE. TIME.

I'm not pushing fabric. I’m not recutting because I missed a section. I can stack fat quarters for days and I’m whipping through layers and layers all at once. I’m a precutting machine! I have 4 quilts cut out and bagged, just waiting for me to carve out time for sewing!

My quilting friends are all like, “Duh.”

I don’t know why it took me 15+ years of sewing to discover the 60 mm rotary cutter, but I have jumped on that bandwagon and I’m dancing a new jig.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some cutting to do …


Thanks for stopping by!  Be sure to check out all the other amazing tips and tricks shared on this years Back to School Blog Hop.

The full schedule is HERE and Robin Koehler: Tips on How to Travel with Handwork is up tomorrow!


  1. I love the idea of slots but can't the ruler slip to the side anyway? I ordered the 6.5" x 24.5". We cut 11" squares for charity quilts and it will be easier for us older folks to handle.

  2. There are grippers in between every slot, plus the ruler's kind of heavy. Short story: no shift, accurate cuts!

  3. I've been using a 60mm since my early days as a quilter. I can't imagine NOT using it!! When I occasionally use a 45mm because we have them available for people at the studio, it just always seems so wimpy. Size DOES matter and Bigger is Better!

  4. I love my 45 mm and it' s one of my favorite tool with the mat.

  5. I use both a 45 and 60. It totally depends on what type of cutting I am doing.


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