Did you know that 10% of the world’s population is left-handed? Happily, I am in that minority. I don’t think I’ve had any problems growing up left-handed other than the fact that most things, from working gadgets to bound books, to doorknobs, are entirely made for right-handed people. And I’m grateful that no one tied my left hand behind my back to force me to become a right-hander!
Part of our left-handed brilliance is that we move through this right-handed world using tools backwards, looking awkward when we try to bat a ball right-handed because your Mom forgot, for a moment, that you were left-handed, getting ink smudges on our hands when we write, cursing the rings on a binder because we can’t get our left hand closer to the left hand margin of the paper! If you are left-handed, you get it. I’m sure we adapt more easily out of necessity.
As a quilter and lover of hand stitching, I have also adapted to those aspects of sewing that favor right-handers. I use scissors in my right hand. But I prefer to use my dominant hand when I can, especially when I’m cutting fabric and precision matters. Most rotary cutters, however, are pretty forgiving; most, when flipped from the right to left hand, work fine. The best ones allow lefties to flip the blade to the opposite side of the head. This is a really important feature, because it makes the rotary cutter much safer to use.
My biggest brain cramp comes when I’m ready to cut my fabric. To this day, I have to think far too long about where to put my ruler on the raw edge of my fabric. (It’s the same thing with a fork and knife; which one goes in which hand?)
When squaring up fabric and cutting strips:
- keep the ruler under your right hand
- keep the rotary cutter in your left hand
- cut the right-hand edge of the fabric
- work from right to left as you cut strips, moving the ruler to your left to reposition it for the next cut
What tips do you have to share with other lefties? Let us know in the comments below!