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A dinner to my favorite restaurant in the city is riding on this question - When was the rotary cutter invented and first used by quilters?  It seems like I have had mine for ages, but I know it wasn't around until the 80's.



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Was 1979 to both questions.
The rotary pizza cutter was invented in 1869 ( http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/5428898/claims.html ), but I'll agree w/ Joanne on the date of the first rotary cutter made specifically for fabric.
Strange though - as I have been going through all my old quilt magazines from the early 80's thru 1987 and most of the instructions for the patterns did not call for rotary cutters - just tracing the template on the fabric and cutting them with scissors. I'm talking about 'Quilt World Omnibook'; 'Quilt World', 'Stitch'n'Sew Quilts', even the 'Quilters Newsletter' and 'American Quilter Society reference materials'.

I have been scanning most of these magazines and saving them in PDF format. Most of the pictures are in black and white and the background fabric is usually muslin or white cotton. Wow, these are 'ancient'.
I credit Eleanor Burns and the "Quilt in a Day" series for bringing rotary cutters to the widespread attention of quilters. There may have been others, but it was her books which got me into it.


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