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Thread: The long cut

  1. #1
    Steve's Avatar
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    Having worked on only small pieces thus far, this is my first time cutting a large length of fabric; I need two - 68 x 3 Ĺ inches long for the border of a table runner, plus the accompanying backing. Iíve a three-yard length of fabric and want to cut it parallel to the selvage, but how do I accurately cut a piece this large? The thought of quickly messing up this much fabric with my rotary is giving me the willies. Can anyone guide me in this
    process?

  2. #2
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I am afraid I can't help you, I still struggle with this one and I do not want to be the one to steer your rotary wrong :lol: I bet by morning you have a few replys on this :D Can't wait to see it!

  3. #3
    Steve's Avatar
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    I may just go ahead and measure and mark the fabric at key spots to make sure I'm on target when I cut. I've read several articles in books but they never mention piece size.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    Steve, that is going to be a long piece, hopefully someone with more skill than I can help you with that. I know you have to watch out for it swaying on you. Don't give up....you did a great job on the candle holder piece and I'm sure you will on the runner :lol:

  5. #5
    cynde's Avatar
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    I made a king size quilt in a class once and the teacher told me to just rip the fabric. It was scary, but I just held my breath and did it. It worked fine, the only problem I had was the edge was not a perfect clean line to work with when sewing it to the quilt top.

    I think I just nicked the fabric right beside the selvedge, then nicked it again the right distance from the first rip.

    Of course I was not working with fabric that had a border type print, that would have to be perfectly on grain to work.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
    joy
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    I could tell you, but it is best to ask Patrice.... she would tell you better than I can....

  7. #7
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    hmmmmm ... i've only tried once to cut one long strip for a border. so of course i picked something with a slippery finish on top.

    one thing i did some time ago was track down and purchase a 36" rotary ruler. i needed a 9 foot stretch, so i still had to fold the fabric. i put my mat on the floor and used my knee to hold the ruler in place. i probably had an elbow or two but i tend to not worry about such things unless the ruler slips waaaaay out of wack. i lay the strip down, line up the edges that are straight, pin it all in place, then ignore the elbow and focus on the straight line formed by the other piece of fabric or the top.

    the long rip is certainly a sensible way to go, but i'd do a test rip first in case the fabric isn't woven evenly enough. clip about a half inch inside the selvage and rip down the length. measure to verify that your ripped strip is the same width all the way down. if it is ... go for it. if it isn't, clip and rip another inch to see if that comes out even. if it doesn't, you'll have to ignore the grain completely when you cut.

    if you have a tile floor you can also do what i do when it's time to square up a top. run a straight line of string, held down at the ends with masking tape. line the first edge of your length of fabric up under the string. tape it into place with little bitty pieces in just a few places. measure and cut down the length in sections, moving the mat and keeping the ruler straight as you go.

    (for a top i run all four strings using a carpenter's squaring ruler to form a frame the right size. then i move the top around underneath until it's centered the way i want it and trip carefully along the string.)

    there's also the method used to mark straight lines on walls with a chalked, weighted string. tape a piece of weighted string to the wall near the ceiling. the weight will cause the string to hang straight. once the string has stopped moving, pull it taut and carefully tape it in place at the bottom. pull the string in the middle and let it snap back against the wall. you'll have a nice straight line. if you've lined up and taped your fabric to the wall under the string, you'll end up with a guideline to reference when you lay the fabric flat for cutting. (unless you're crazy enough to try cutting up the wall. :lol: )

    all of which leads back to my tendency to ignore the little elbows. :wink:

    P.S. thanks, Deb, for the compliment. i hope i just earned it. :P :?

  8. #8
    Country Quilter's Avatar
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    Rip it! I always rip along the salvage, especially for my bindings. And Patrice is right...some fabrics don't rip easy, depending on the blends.. so do a test....if it is 100% cotton it should rip just fine tho.

  9. #9
    Carla P's Avatar
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    There is not an easier way to do a long cut than the methods described by these ladies. BE SURE to listen to them about the test rip if you choose this method, especially on darker fabrics, as some of them tend to have a light colored or even white "glow" along the ripped edge, which may extend beyond your seam allowance. I'm sorry I am not explaining it very well, but if you ever see it, you'll know what I am talking about. Good luck!

  10. #10
    Super Member azdesertrat's Avatar
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    what about folding it in half? that would give you only half of the length a more managable amount

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