The assumption has been that everyone knows what a rotary cutter is. In case you don't, it is a cutting device, introduced to sewers in the mid-1970s, that looks like an advanced pizza cutter. It must be used in conjunction with a special protective mat under the fabric. The popularity of the rotary cutter skyrocketed when it was coupled with thick acrylic rulers for long smooth cuts.
At the time [Volume 4 was] printed, there are three sizes of rotary cutters available. Most often, I use the medium cutter (which was until recently the large cutter). However, with some of the smaller template shapes, it is sometimes easier to use the small rotary cutter. With many fabric layers, I use the large cutter.
If you prefer to trace around templates and cut shapes with scissors, you can still take advantage of the precision of Perfect Patchwork Templates. A good pair of bent-handle shears can cut multiple layers of fabric without disturbing the layers. You may still want to begin with strips, just to save time. Some quilters like to press the stack of fabrics first, believing it helps prevent shifting during cutting. Others pin layers together.
Tracing and scissor cutting may be easier on odd-shaped scraps and when you want to position printed fabric motifs in a certain part of the shape.
Excerpted from the Encyclopedia of Patchwork Blocks, Volume 4 published by Michell Marketing, Inc. ©1998 Martha G. Michell