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Thread: How accurate are you with cutting?

  1. #31
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    I am from the very old school. I tear my fabric for borders etc. You end up with a lot of strings if the fabric is fairly loosely woven but you know it is straight. It is really hard to cut long strips straight because you have to fold the fabric in order to fit it on a cutting surface.
    I have one of those big cutting tables in my basement but have moved my sewing operation upstairs. In my current sewing room I have a bedroom type dresser what used to be called a tallboy. It orginally had legs that I had my husband cut off. It is now perfect height. It makes my cutting and ironing surface at 36.5 inches. After 40 years of sewing and quilting I have a lot of back, neck and wrist issues. I also suffer from a rare autoimmune disease that causes weak muscles. The dresser is not only the right height it offers lots of storage for my quilt notions, markers, rotory cuts, stabilizers etc. It even holds my secret stash of chocolate. I purchased two of those wire kitchen food wrap holders and hung them on the sides. They hold my rolls of embroidery stablizers and one section holds my little travel iron. Over the dresser I mounted one of those potlid hangers from the dollar store. It is a great place to put many of my rulers etc.
    When I figure out how to attach photos to this site I will send some of my sewing room set up.

    mpspeedy

  2. #32
    Senior Member Missi's Avatar
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    I tear too when I have lots of yardage, but I can still end up with dog legs, elbows, whatever you want to call them. I find myself after cutting 5 or 6 strips have to resquare up everything and this ends of wasting fabric.

  3. #33
    mgshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DreamXer
    When I cut, I go slowly too. I use a 1/4" seam foot to help with sewing. When I'm finished a block, it never seems to be the size it's supposed to be... about a 1/4" off. I don't know what I've done wrong.

    Oh, how do you stop a ruler from slipping? I think that might help with more accurate cutting for me.
    You can buy little stick on sandpaper dots to put on the back of your rulers. Some of the rulers already have them on when you buy them and I still add a few more to it.

  4. #34
    Senior Member Roben's Avatar
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    Omnigrid puts out a clear plastic product called InvisiGrip that I have on all of my rulers. It's clear so it doesn't interfere with seeing the ruler markings, and it just clings to the rulers so no sticky stuff to worry about. It really does keep the rulers from slipping. A 1 yd roll did a dozen of my rulers in various sizes and shapes. I use a couple of the Olipfa rulers too, and the lip does help.

    In my travels, I came across one tip that I can't remember where I heard it from but it has helped a lot - choose your cutting mat lines, or the ruler lines but never mix the two. If they vary, the cuts will be off. I keep the piece I'm cutting under the ruler, and to keep myself from getting confused by the lines on the mat I just turned it over.

    I had problems getting straight cuts, and then I watched someone straighten the fabric by matching the selvages and letting the fabric hang in the air to see if it was straight along the fold (and then sliding the selvages along one another until it was straight.) It was new to me! I started doing that, and discovered that all fabric is not created equal - some of my fabric was shockingly distorted when I tried to straighten it this way. I can't imagine getting a straight cut out of wonky fabric.

  5. #35
    DreamXer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roben
    I had problems getting straight cuts, and then I watched someone straighten the fabric by matching the selvages and letting the fabric hang in the air to see if it was straight along the fold (and then sliding the selvages along one another until it was straight.)
    Does that mean you are lining the selvages up with the fold so the two are parallel?




  6. #36
    Senior Member Roben's Avatar
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    Yes - the selvages are matched at the top and the fold is hanging below parallel to the selvages. I keep one finger between the selvages where I am holding them so I can slide them along each other until there is no bowing in the hanging part of the fabric. Does that make sense? LOL

  7. #37
    Senior Member Nita's Avatar
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    I think the accuracy with cutting all depends on the type of quilt you are making. For instance, if I'm making Yellow Brick road, I don't get my knickers in a twist about cutting because I know how "forgiving" that pattern comes together. But, when I made last years Thimbleberries sampler quilt, I knew I had to be very exact in order for my blocks to turn out the indicated size. Regarding cutting: I am a nurse and so I'm concerned about ergonomics and the long term affects that bad posture, etc., can have on the body. Joann's sells a wonder cutting table that is just the right height. It is a "drop leaf" style table, so it folds up to the size of a postage stamp when closed, but provides more than enough space for cutting when opened fully. I might have exagerated a bit about the postage stamp part :roll: , but, seriously, this cutting table takes up very little space in my sewing room when folded up. Hope this helps ~ Nita

  8. #38
    sewin'sam's Avatar
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    I usually cut slowly & with GREAT care (I think??) then when I start putting it together, I find that the size is way off???? Don't know HOW or WHAT I'm doing wrong?? I have been garment sewing for more years than I wish to admit & am used to dealing with 5/8" seams, where you CAN be off a little & it doesn't matter but now with quilting for about 2 years, I think it's the 1/4" seam that scares me! Plus, I think I over-iron! I, too end up ripping, re-cutting & resewing with 1/8" seams! My end result always looks fine but lots of 'blue' words go into it! haha! I am also a perfectionist, I hold myself to perfect seams, etc & when it doesn't come out right I have a fit! But I look at others & mine is just as good if not better! So don't be too hard on yourself, it's supposed to be fun & relaxing! :roll:

  9. #39
    sewin'sam's Avatar
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    I've had a table like that for years & wouldn't trade it for anything! Still get backache if I stand too long but for most times, it's perfect! Mine has a shelf under it which is nice for storing patterns or whatever?? :lol:

  10. #40

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    Nov 2007
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    Hi all,

    This is one of the most frustrating parts of quilting for me, and, making blocks for two years I still have not mastered the cutting or sewing. These past two weeks I have taken all advice and made some practice blocks, noting where I placed my ruler, line off the fabric, on the fabric - also took the time to make several seems on my machine til I "got the perfect scant quarter inch seam".

    The first block I had the line just off the edge of the fabric..........no, not right. I think that block will be a 5 1/2 inch when completed in a quilt, not the 6" I was aiming for. The next block came out just fine, using the line on the fabric. Now what happened with the actual quilt block for the wall hanging I am making............ grrh... Thought I had measured and sewed exactly like my second block, but it is almost a 6 1/2" block.

    I have come to the conclusion that I will not ever be able to make more than one actual correct size block and I will now adjust to what comes out. I just will never be able to be in any swaps (I think that is where the quilt police live). Even so, I do enjoy the piecing process more than anything and I thank God I am flexible with some things in my life.

    Donna

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