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Thread: Squaring up queen size backing

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Squaring up queen size backing

    Good morning everyone! Well I am having a hard time squaring up a large single piece of fabric to go on my Gracie quilting frame. I have been folding, cutting one way , then go back and do the other end but it is not coming out perfectly square. I have not done a large quilt before so I am not sure how to get this queen sized fabric square and everything I read says to make sure it is suared up perfectly! Any advice from anyone would be appreciated as I am getting frustrated but I am not going to give up (I hope). There is so much fabric that when i fold and cut not all of the cuts come out straight. What am i doing wrong? Advice, suggestions, short cuts will be appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jude by the sea View Post
    Good morning everyone! Well I am having a hard time squaring up a large single piece of fabric to go on my Gracie quilting frame. I have been folding, cutting one way , then go back and do the other end but it is not coming out perfectly square. I have not done a large quilt before so I am not sure how to get this queen sized fabric square and everything I read says to make sure it is suared up perfectly! Any advice from anyone would be appreciated as I am getting frustrated but I am not going to give up (I hope). There is so much fabric that when i fold and cut not all of the cuts come out straight. What am i doing wrong? Advice, suggestions, short cuts will be appreciated. Thanks!
    You're cutting. Snip and rip. Perfectly straight every time.

  3. #3
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Careful with all your cutting and re-cutting and re-cutting ......... or else you'll soon have it too small!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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  4. #4
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    How do you folks square up a large piece for backing? Also I should add I don't scissor cut, I rotary cut. So tearing will straight huh? I will try that.. For some reason tearing the fabric freaks me out but I will gladly get over that if it tears straight! Then do you trim off the loose threads? Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    I rip the yardage for my backings
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  6. #6
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    When I'm working with wide backing fabric, I tear.

    If it's a pieced backing from a customer, and I don't know that all of the pieces are on grain, then I have to cut. What I do is take one edge that is fairly straight and drape it over the rails of my longarm. Bring the opposite side up to meet the first edge (the fold is now hanging down near the floor). Move that second edge left or right as needed until the fold is hanging straight with no pulls or bulges. Don't worry if the left and right edges are aligned or not, those are the ones you will be trimming.

    Now bring the fold up to align with the edges that are draped on the longarm rail. Again move left or right so the newly formed fold is hanging straight. You should now be able to take this piece to your cutting table and square off the right and left edges. Use the folded edge (with no raw edges showing) as a guide and cut the sides off at a 90 degree angle.

    If the top and bottom edges also need trimming, you will need to open up the piece and repeat, this time using your newly straightened edges along the rails.

    It does make it easier if you have a helper to do this, but I know from experience that it CAN be done alone!!

    Andi
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  7. #7
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    Before you rip....check what the grain looks like. It will rip straight on the grain but sometimes that means a 1/2 snip at the bottom can end up 3 or more inches out at the top. I don't have a LA but I think if I did, I would buy the large backing fabric and leave the selvages on for the straight edges and trim later.

  8. #8
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Tearing along the selvage edge is the lengthwise grain ans easier to rip straight, not so sure about the cross grain. It cna be a pain sometimes, I just do the very best I can. Sometimes easier than others. Good luck.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  9. #9
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    Or, if you want a realllllly tedious method - align as AndiR says, getting your single fold straight to one side and/or top/bottom edges of the total piece. Then, find your widest edge that is off, and bit by bit, pull the short threads from that 'un square' corner until you get to a single thread the length/width of your entire piece. That will give you a truly straight-of-grain edge to then work from.

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