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Thread: Cutting Strips Lengthwise

  1. #1
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Cutting Strips Lengthwise

    I just watched a Judy Martin video on YouTube where she says she cuts all of her strips on the lengthwise grain. According to her, it makes everything more stable and your blocks will come out better. I have never heard of doing it this way. Do any of you do it that way? Do you see a difference if you do?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ULIM...eature=related

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    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    It's true that the lengthwise grain is more stable than the crosswise grain. However, I achieve sufficient accuracy without having to cut that way.

  3. #3
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    I sometimes cut my borders from the legthwise grain before starting on a quilt pattern. For the interior of the quilt I do try to cut my sashing on the legthwise grain of the fabric if possible. If it is a directional print that sometimes doesn't work. So I guess my answer is sometimes yes, sometimes no.

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    I think that's a good idea for borders and sashing strips, as already mentioned, especially if the quilt will be hanging, because there is less stretch in the fabric in that direction. But within the body of the quilt, as I see it, it makes no difference, since any blocks you cut will have 2 sides which are on each grain, lengthwise and crosswise, no matter which way the original strip was cut.

  5. #5
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    I cut across the crosswise grain for sashing because it is simpler for me to figure out how long binding/sashing pieces that i can get out of a certain length of fabric. Everything in my stash would be consistent.
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i cut my borders and sashing on the lengthwise grain only so they don't have to be pieced. i don't hang my large quilts, so stretching is not an issue. however, once the lenghtwise backing is on the quilt and the quilt is quilted, the quilt, IMHO, is pretty stable anyway. as for smaller pieces, i work slowly for accuracy, so don't feel any need to change my widthwise stripping/cutting.
    Nancy in western NY
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    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    I cut my borders and binding on the lengthwise. Some of my patterns specifically give that direction. It makes sense since there's less piecing that needs to be done on long pieces.

  8. #8
    KR
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    I usually plan for lengthwise cuts for strip piecing, sashings and borders, figuring anything I can do to reduce the possibility of any distortion is helpful. Only exception would be when the fabric design would look better with a cross grain cut.
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    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Yes I try and cut long strips lengthwise except for bindings which need a bit of give. These i cut WOF.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    Marti Michell does it that way too and she is one of the pioneers of quilting. I have done it and I see no difference when I piece my blocks. However I do cut lengthwise if I want long strips of fabric or if I want my borders to be just one piece.

  11. #11
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    I prefer to use the WOF for piecing as I'm not quite so accurate as QuiltnNan, and with the little stretch on the crosswise cuts there is a little "give" for fudge factor, and the lengthwise doesn't give you that, I do cut borders on the lengthwise if I have calculated that into the fabric purchase.

  12. #12
    Super Member Helen S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa_wanna_b_quilter View Post
    I just watched a Judy Martin video on YouTube where she says she cuts all of her strips on the lengthwise grain. According to her, it makes everything more stable and your blocks will come out better. I have never heard of doing it this way. Do any of you do it that way? Do you see a difference if you do?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ULIM...eature=related
    Thanks so much for this post! After reading through the comments I feel very enlightened!

    The instructor in the one class I took had us cut everything WOF. I am currently working on a quilt that the sashing appears to have stretched in some areas. I've nearly finished quilting the other parts of the quilt, but not the sashing. I think I'll try using my steam iron held just above it to see if it will sort of "suck back into shape" before I begin quilting that area. (seems to help after hemming a blouse if that area was stretched at all during hemming)

    Since I haven't cut the borders yet, from this point on I will be cutting borders AND sashing LOF.
    Being skinny isn't easy, so I gave up and opted for being sexy instead. (aunty acid)

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    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Say you cut your strips on the LOF grain, then cut into squares. 2 sides of the squares will still be on the WOF grain.

    Say you cut your strips on the WOF grain, then cut into squares. You still have 2 sides on the WOF grain. What's the difference? Nothing!

    Of course, Marti uses a lot of templates so maybe she feels she can place one side of her template on the straight (LOF) grain if she cuts LOF. Seems to me she could do the same with WOF grain strips.

    When we're talking pieced blocks, I don't see a lot of 'gain' on the grain, LOL!

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  14. #14
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Jan, I'm so glad you said that. I kept thinking in my mind that a square would always have 2 sides LOF and 2 sides WOF, but the video made me question myself.

    I can certainly see cutting LOF to get long borders and sashings. I just don't do it because I can't seem to manage long lengths on my small mat very well.

  15. #15
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    If the patches you're using are not squares, cutting with the long side on the grain really does make a difference. I do this with all log cabin strips, including the ones in my avitar. If you're cutting squares, then of course there's no difference.

  16. #16
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    If the patches you're using are not squares, cutting with the long side on the grain really does make a difference. I do this with all log cabin strips, including the ones in my avitar. If you're cutting squares, then of course there's no difference.
    Dunster,
    This is a great idea for Log Cabin strips! As much as I love and make log cabins, I wonder that I've never thought of cutting the strips this way first off. Habit is SUCH a funny thing!! Doh!

    Jan in VA
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