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Thread: help with cutting perfect squares

  1. #1
    boomwooshblahh's Avatar
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    I just finished designing a quilt I'm going to make. It's going to be made up of a bunch (384 to be exact) of 2in squares. Last time I made a quilt with just sqaures I had problems with my cutting--the squares need to be perfect and I guess I'm just not enough of a perfectionist. I can cut squares perfectly if I do them one at a time and really take my time, but I couldn't do that for 384 different squares. Does anyone have any tips for cutting a lot of even squares? Whenever I try cutting through more than one layer of fabric at a time it seems to get off just a little and the square isn't perfect.

  2. #2
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomwooshblahh
    I just finished designing a quilt I'm going to make. It's going to be made up of a bunch (384 to be exact) of 2in squares. Last time I made a quilt with just sqaures I had problems with my cutting--the squares need to be perfect and I guess I'm just not enough of a perfectionist. I can cut squares perfectly if I do them one at a time and really take my time, but I couldn't do that for 384 different squares. Does anyone have any tips for cutting a lot of even squares? Whenever I try cutting through more than one layer of fabric at a time it seems to get off just a little and the square isn't perfect.
    Do you use a rotary cutter and cutting mat? If you do lay your fabric on the cutting mat and trim one long edge. Measure over and cut a 2" strip. Repeat this until you get to the other edge. Now lay one strip on your cutting mat and cut every 2" until you use up the strip.

    I don't think I get an accurate cut with cutting too many at one time either but I find I can get an accurate cut with 2 layers at a time. It helps hurry up the process a little.

    Don't know if htis works for you but it is a suggestion you could try.

  3. #3
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    What are you cutting? Scraps, fat quarters, yardage, or a mixture? Do you already have the (whatever) fabric in house?

    With this many squares, it may be beneficial to either buy precut or have them cut for you using one of the die-cut machines. Keepsakequilting has precut shapes. May be your local quilt/fabric store has the accucutter and cuts for a fee.

    Otherwise, I'd suggest using Rhonda's rotary-cutting directions. You may want to break the cutting into multiple sessions so your hand won't get tired and your eyes won't go wonky.

  4. #4
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    Rhonda gave good instructions. I personally would strongly recommend starching before cutting. Also there is a tool made by June Taylor, that is a clear plastic square with rounded corners that has slits in it every half inch for a 12 inch span. Terrifically easy to use, I use mine all the time.

  5. #5
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Try this: Cut 4" strips first then the 2" strips from those. The general rule is you need to re square up the fabric cutting edge after cutting the amount of strips that equal the width of the strips. ex: 4 inch strips re square up the cutting edge after 4 cuts. Cutting 2 inch squares you will have to re square up the cutting edge every 2 cuts for perfectly square shapes. I learned this in a quilting class long ago. It could help.

  6. #6
    Super Member MollieSue's Avatar
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    I've got the June Taylor "Shape Cut" slotted ruler too. I think it was about $18 at Walmart. I use it all the time!
    The only issue with it is if the size isn't based on .5", if it's 7/8, I cut on the next biggest slot, then cut down very carefully. lol!!!
    But I'd strongly suggest getting this slotted ruler if you're able. It's made quilting sooo much easier for me! :-)

  7. #7
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo
    Try this: Cut 4" strips first then the 2" strips from those. The general rule is you need to re square up the fabric cutting edge after cutting the amount of strips that equal the width of the strips. ex: 4 inch strips re square up the cutting edge after 4 cuts. Cutting 2 inch squares you will have to re square up the cutting edge every 2 cuts for perfectly square shapes. I learned this in a quilting class long ago. It could help.
    I never knew that !! I'm glad I "tuned in" tonight. (or rather, this morning)

  8. #8
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    I guess I'm no help as I do cut mine one at a time.. :roll: just call me pokey...lol

  9. #9
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Whew !! Loretta. The seam police must be on patrol at your house. It's no wonder your work is so gorgeous. You go, Girl. :lol:

  10. #10
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    I use a template and rotary cutter for everything I do. But I don't do big quilts either. I think I would still use the template. I don't get perfect squares if I do too many layers but 2 or 3 layers works for me.
    I don't have the room to lay out fabric to use a long ruler.

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