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Thread: Cutting squares, help the newb!

  1. #1
    Cupcake's Avatar
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    It's Cupcake again :) I think I figured out that I will need 11+ yards of fabric to make my first project. (CW throw 60X60)

    Thing is ... I have never cut pieces out of such a large piece of fabric before. I'm not even sure how to pre-wash it? I have a small Japanese washing machine. :oops:

    Can you think of any tips to help me cut 8" squares out of a huge piece of fabric. I have a rotary cutter, a large table, a clear plastic yard stick and a one yard mat.

    P.S. Is muslin okay to use? I am thinking so hard I think I smell smoke... haha!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rachel's Avatar
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    fold the fabric in half, selvage to selvage and then lay it on the cutting board, cut an 8" strip (you need 8" cut squares right?), then cut the strips into blocks. clear as mud??? tee hee

  3. #3
    Cyn
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    Super Member Cyn's Avatar
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    I would think cutting the big pieces smaller, zig zag the edges, wash, starch and then cut into smaller ones is the way to go.

  4. #4
    Super Member Rebecca VLQ's Avatar
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    Are you SURE you need 11 yards? I'm not sure of what pattern you're talking about...

    Sometimes what I do to cut a bunch of squares of the same fabric is to fold it in half so the selvedges match, then fold it again into fourths, making sure the selvedges match and ALSO the folds are parallel to each other. MUCHO IMPORTANT. If these two conditions are met, lay your fabric so the folds line up with the inch marks (this way you're getting a perpendicular cut), trim the selvedge off, and measure to 8" and then rotary cut! Then, after you get your desired number of strips, line the cut edge up on the horizontal line, measure 8" and use rotary cutter and ruler VERTICALLY and you will have perfect squares! As long as your blade is sharp and you line the top edge(s) on the horizontal line, you can cut several squares (layers) this way.

  5. #5
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I had to look back at your last post to discover that by CW you mean Cathedral Windows. (My first guess, Civil War, was incorrect.) Please look at this tutorial before buying the fabric, because she gives specific recommendations on selecting fabric and explains why. She also gives directions on calculating how much fabric, and your 11 yards estimate is pretty good.

    http://hyena-in-petticoats.blogspot....-tutorial.html

    I've never made a CW (now I'm using the abbreviation too!) quilt, but it's on my list. Good luck with yours!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebecca VLQ
    Are you SURE you need 11 yards? I'm not sure of what pattern you're talking about...

    Sometimes what I do to cut a bunch of squares of the same fabric is to fold it in half so the selvedges match, then fold it again into fourths, making sure the selvedges match and ALSO the folds are parallel to each other. MUCHO IMPORTANT. If these two conditions are met, lay your fabric so the folds line up with the inch marks (this way you're getting a perpendicular cut), trim the selvedge off, and measure to 8" and then rotary cut! Then, after you get your desired number of strips, line the cut edge up on the horizontal line, measure 8" and use rotary cutter and ruler VERTICALLY and you will have perfect squares! As long as your blade is sharp and you line the top edge(s) on the horizontal line, you can cut several squares (layers) this way.
    I would love love love to have you show us work in progress photos in a post on this. I always dread doing it because I get the curve on one of the folds. Please? If you do, would you send me a pm so I am sure not to miss it.

  7. #7
    Super Member Rebecca VLQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsb38327
    Quote Originally Posted by Rebecca VLQ
    Are you SURE you need 11 yards? I'm not sure of what pattern you're talking about...

    Sometimes what I do to cut a bunch of squares of the same fabric is to fold it in half so the selvedges match, then fold it again into fourths, making sure the selvedges match and ALSO the folds are parallel to each other. MUCHO IMPORTANT. If these two conditions are met, lay your fabric so the folds line up with the inch marks (this way you're getting a perpendicular cut), trim the selvedge off, and measure to 8" and then rotary cut! Then, after you get your desired number of strips, line the cut edge up on the horizontal line, measure 8" and use rotary cutter and ruler VERTICALLY and you will have perfect squares! As long as your blade is sharp and you line the top edge(s) on the horizontal line, you can cut several squares (layers) this way.
    I would love love love to have you show us work in progress photos in a post on this. I always dread doing it because I get the curve on one of the folds. Please? If you do, would you send me a pm so I am sure not to miss it.
    Will do! :D

  8. #8
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    11 yds is a lot for a 60x60" quilt unless you're talking about the backing and binding too. Even then it might be a lot. Oh well, you can always use the leftovers in another quilt or sell them. I never wash a length of fabric over 2 1/2 yds long. It gets too tangled. You can serge both ends to prevent keep if from ravelling or cut it with pinking shears.

  9. #9
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raptureready
    11 yds is a lot for a 60x60" quilt unless you're talking about the backing and binding too. Even then it might be a lot. Oh well, you can always use the leftovers in another quilt or sell them. I never wash a length of fabric over 2 1/2 yds long. It gets too tangled. You can serge both ends to prevent keep if from ravelling or cut it with pinking shears.
    Raptureready - I thought it was too much fabric too, until I realized it's a cathedral windows quilt. They do use up a lot of background fabric, but that serves as backing and batting too.

  10. #10
    Cupcake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster
    Quote Originally Posted by raptureready
    11 yds is a lot for a 60x60" quilt unless you're talking about the backing and binding too. Even then it might be a lot. Oh well, you can always use the leftovers in another quilt or sell them. I never wash a length of fabric over 2 1/2 yds long. It gets too tangled. You can serge both ends to prevent keep if from ravelling or cut it with pinking shears.
    Raptureready - I thought it was too much fabric too, until I realized it's a cathedral windows quilt. They do use up a lot of background fabric, but that serves as backing and batting too.
    I thought it seemed like a LOT as well, but I don't have a long arm or access to one. So, I thought that a CW pattern would be a nice way for me to start out and end up with something finished and useable.

    I honestly have no idea what I'd do with a quilt top after I finished one at this point. *shrug*

    It looks like I should get some pinking shears for sure. I'm honestly a little overwhelmed by the prospect of cutting 225 squares out of that much yardage. I have looked for pre cut squares and it seems so much more expensive.

  11. #11
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Tear your fabric across the width in multiples of 8 into more managable lengths to wash and then cut it. When you tear give each section an extra couple of inches for trimming off the edges. After it's washed and ironed fold it selvedge to selvedge and make sure the fold hangs in a straight U shape. Then fold the fold to the selvedges to make it narrow enough to cut.

  12. #12
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    there are some ideas online -
    http://hyena-in-petticoats.blogspot....-tutorial.html
    http://quiltzine.com/cathwindow.html
    http://sometimescrafter.blogspot.com...al-window.html
    http://april-makingendsmeet.blogspot...-tutorial.html
    now if you don't mind wasting a tiny bit of your fabric, you could take your yardage and measure over 9 inches and clip the fabric and then tear it across. then take that strip you just tore off and press it and then cut your squares from that.
    that way you wouldnt' have to handle all that yardage and fold and try to cut across it.
    good luck.

  13. #13
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    first cut it into manageable sizes, like into yard pieces. but are you cutting the whole 11 yards into 8" squares? or are you cutting borders & strips too? you could cut the fabric into the length you will need for your borders and set that aside, figure out the amount you need for your your squares and work with that size piece. fold it carefully making sure everything is lined up straight, you should be able to cut easily through 4-8 layers of cotton fabric if you have a new blade in your cutter.

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