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Cutting Large and Trimming Down

Cutting Large and Trimming Down

Old 07-02-2021, 12:19 PM
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I was asked for some clarification on this concept and realized that I am self-taught and don't know if there are books or videos or people that specialize in teaching others. Maybe some of you know some resources. Maybe some of you are resources and can add some tips.

While a lot of what I do now turns out to be vision adaptive, it actually started out as more accuracy faster, easier, and ultimately more fun even with the extra steps.

Short form (for me anyway) is that not all geometric shapes are the same -- but squares and right triangles are generally pretty easy to work with. Mostly I just cut each piece about 1/4" larger than directions/block diagram might call for -- it is important to keep in mind that (2) 1/4" = 1/2 total extra which is plenty extra. I already pressed each step and was checking my subunits for quality control when I decided to go large. I typically cut from strips or scraps and I'm not really wasting much fabric in the long run, not more than one extra strip or so per project.

Basic theory: I can cut down, but I can't cut up.

Goose units are a great time for this. I could trim off wonky corners but I couldn't make up shortages, and since I was already handling and trimming the units, why not make it worth the trim??

Here's my latest Goose units showing the made and pre-trimmed with the positioning template. If you are like me, don't use it for cutting! Line up the ruler next to it, remove the plastic and trim away.
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Old 07-02-2021, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Iceblossom View Post
..........since I was already handling and trimming the units, why not make it worth the trim??
With you on this!
I definitely make FG, HSTs, QSTs larger to cut back. And yes, would sooner have a reasonable piece to trim (not ridiculously huge!) rather than a few threads.

Crisp, sharp corners and edges piece together oh so much nicer than raggedy wonky ones, while producing better looking finished blocks when combining the pieces.

Yes, some extra wastage happens, but oh so much more worthwhile for the more desirable results.
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Old 07-02-2021, 03:27 PM
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I try to make large and square down everytime. Not always possible but it does make a nicer block.
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Old 07-02-2021, 03:38 PM
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I'm with you. I would much rather sew big, cut down, and have a nice looking unit rather than try for exact accuracy and end up sewing more units than I need just to get enough units that are good enough. Seems like I waste more fabric when I cut and sew for a unit to not need trimming than when I cut big and trim.
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Old 07-03-2021, 03:14 AM
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Same here, as I have learned that if I make HST's bigger than what I need and trim down, they allways come out right.
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Old 07-03-2021, 03:47 AM
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I prefer trying to sew to the correct size for most things, though I agree that it's better to be too large than too small; I use a very scant seam allowance and often need to do some trimming. For flying geese and square in a square units (which are always wonky for me) I like using the Deb Tucker trim down rulers.
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Old 07-03-2021, 04:18 AM
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Do this all the time with HST. I would rather make just a wee bit big and trim them, than to make just them just right and find they are wonky or have stretched through stitching and pressing. I either end up trimming anyway to fit or trimming to a smaller size that won't fit for the pattern at hand.
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Old 07-03-2021, 07:38 AM
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I agree extra is much better. I don't understand the mindset of but it wastes fabric. How much food do you scrape off dishes after each meal?
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Old 07-03-2021, 09:47 AM
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When cutting with a rotary cutter and rulers I always cut larger do my piecing and cut down. That is a standard for me. I can never cut straight triangles or seams so I always need to square things up to be precise. I bought the Accuquilt system a little over a year ago and have discovered the perfect cuts help me out better thought I still find it necessary to trim down sometimes as my 1/4" is sometimes not the Accuquilt 1/4". It all works out though and the accuracy is what is important thing. You can't make something larger but you can always cut down.
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Old 07-03-2021, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by joe'smom View Post
..........square in a square units (which are always wonky for me)......
..........Paper Piecing to the rescue for SIAS perfection!
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