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Thread: Another Newbie Fabric Fraying question for hand quilters?

  1. #1
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    Another Newbie Fabric Fraying question for hand quilters?

    I am quilting by hand and started my first quilt last weekend. Last night as I was sewing I noticed that the thread kept trying to tangle in the frayed fabric strings. I know I was told do not use pinking shears. However, that brings two things to mind. First if its best not to use pinking shears they why do they sell the pinking shear style blade for the rotary cutting tool? And once I have cutout marked and started sewing would it hurt anything to then trim the ends with the pinking shears? I am marking my sew lines on all of the squares at this point to keep that nice straight line. If pinking shears are a major No No, then what do you ladies do to keep the threads from tangling.

    Thanks everyone. I have learned so much here and continue to obtain new information daily.

    Diane

  2. #2
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    Diane, it sounds like your fabric might be loosely woven.

    When I hand piece, I cut my pieces out with sharp scissors. With a fresh cut, I usually don't have any fraying. If some happens anyway, I just trim the frayed threads off - they're going to have to be trimmed at some point, anyway. Just try and be sure you have enough seam allowance, so it doesn't all fray off.

    As for pinking, I'd be afraid that I'd lose too much seam allowance doing that. I don't know much about pinking, except that I had fun playing with my mother's pinking shears when I was a kid.

    Janet

  3. #3
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    After I cut I spray starch very stiff. That helps mine not fray so much.

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    Ill have to try the spray starch. I used a Brand New rotary cutter. Here is the link like the cutter I bought http://www.connectingthreads.com/too...r__D80979.html So I'm hoping that a dull blade is not the problem.

    It was just aggravating as I was sewing that I also had to keep untangling the thread. I am also using Gutterman thread for had quilting so hoping that's not the issue.

  5. #5
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    You can also use Thread Heaven to help keep your thread from tangling. Slide the thread through the conditioner. I find it really does make a difference. Also, don't use too long a piece of thread. I use about an arm length pieces - either sewing seams or quilting the sandwich. I also have an ancient pair of singer scissors that I bought decades ago that has a very fine pinking edge. They do help with fraying fabric without taking quite as large a 'bite' out of the seam allowance. When using pinking shears or the pinking rotary blade, learn where your inside cut ends up and put the inside cut on the outside edge of your seam allowance. This gives you a full seam allowance regardless of size.

  6. #6
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    I use the pinking blade on my rotary cutter for making a pinked edge on fleece. I would think accuracy in piecing would be very difficult with a pinked edge on cotton. I understand that you mark your seams, but determining where to mark would be a challenge unless you were very consistent with what edge of the blade was cutting.

  7. #7
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    who ever told you to not use pinking shears? and why? i'm sure someone had a reason though i can not for the life of me imagine what it would be.
    also---what is fraying? if you are quilting (a quilt sandwich, backing/batting/top) i don't understand where the frayed edges are coming into the equation---the outside edges? you could zigzag or stay stitch around the top
    what kind of fabrics are fraying? are you using homespuns, or inexpensive loosely woven flannels? the stay stitching would help if that's the case-
    my great grandmother, grandmother, mother, myself, my daughter and granddaughters all use pinking shears all the time- i just can't figure out a reason for the (never use) comment???????
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  8. #8
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    the never use rule is all about piecing accurately which is pretty much impossible to do with pinked edges...they are mostly for dressmaking, etc... you are going to be handling a hand quilted piece for week or months during quilting...i have always staystitched in the 1/4" seam area to hold it all safe... the cross seams are especially fragile if you don't statstitch across them....

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    Did you cut the ends of thread off each piece after you quit sewing? Are they getting in the way of sewing?

  10. #10
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    Thanks ladies for all of the advise. I am using 100% cotton some of the fabric seems to unravel worse than others. Last night I re-starched with heavy heavy starch and that made a bug difference. When I referred to marking the fabric what I did (Keep in mind I'm new to this) Prepped fabric Iron and used Light starch, Cut my fabric with a rotary cutter. Took a ruler and marked the seam lines on all of the squares. Started sewing. When I match squares I have that line on all 4 sides to match up that’s why I was questioning the pinking shears. Because I thought I could go back and trim the ones that were fraying really bad. However, the heavy starch did the trick (Thanks craft Pat).

    I was told not to use pinking shears by a co-worker for the reasons listed above (Like deemail mentioned). I will probably do some of the above tricks. Like stay stitch, heavy starch before cutting next time. I will be sitting down and do the stay stitch. I will probably also look for some of the thread heaven. I'm sure it will help. Yes I am cutting the ends of the thread. And I'm hoping that Gutterman thread is a good quality that I am using. (I'm new so not sure time will tell).

    Again I can not thank you ladies enough for all of the advise that I have received with every question I have asked. As a newbie I truly appreciate everyone taking the time to respond to all of my questions.

    Diane

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