Quilting for Lefties

Back in the doodle days before I could write my ABCs, I remember my mother telling her friends that she found out I was left handed by placing crayons in my right hand and watching me switch them to my left before proceeding to draw.

There are perks and inconveniences of being left-handed: for one, the birdie that you hang out the driver’s side window can reach pretty far! (if you drive on the right side of the road) On the other hand, I’ve learned to avoid writing with pens that I know will get smudge marks on my hand.

For the most part, it’s been easy enough to adapt and thrive in a right-handed world, until I started quilting.

I learned to quilt from “Youtube University” and though the videos taught me so much, there were some things I struggled with and had to figure out on my own:

  1. Rotary Blade – My rotary blade came with a blade attached on the Left side, set up perfectly for those right-handed peeps to glide alongside the edge of their rulers. It took me a few quilts to realize that my fabric would *actually cut* if I switched the blade to the other side. It was an odd moment of realization that was not accompanied by peer validation: no one else is doing it, but would it work for me? Game changer!

  1. Cutting WOF Strips – Ok, I never figured this out from the Youtube videos. Was I to mirror the Right-handed quilter, and what about my cutting mat markings: are they backwards for me? My ruler too? I devised my own way of cutting by using my cutting mat markings until I heard that those markings aren’t even accurate. Check it out below!
I used to cut WOF like this, moving the ruler and using the cutting mat markings.

Left-Handed Rulers

These two rulers have changed the way I cut WOF and trim my HSTs, HRTs, and FGs. Even though it’s just a matter of the numbers being arranged backwards, something that I felt that I could get by without, they have taken a surprising amount of cognitive load off my mind!

Use my affiliate links to purchase my two favorite left-handed rulers by Creative Grids:

6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ ruler – great for trimming
6 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ ruler – great for cutting WOF

Notice the numbers run Left to Right.

Left-Handed Advantages

So far, I’ve collected a few advantages that us lefties might have in quilting:

  1. Due to the singular shape of sewing machines, left-handed people get to handle the bulk of the quilt with their dominant hand when sewing.
  2. If it is typical to pin fabric so that the sharp end faces the throat of the machine, Lefties get to pull out those pins with their dominant hand.

Can you think of any more?! Send me a message and let me know so that I can add to the list!

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