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Thread: how to cut long strips straight?

  1. #1
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    how to cut long strips straight?

    I see these patterns that saw cut 2"x42" strips. I wonder how anyone can do that and keep it striaght? I only have a 12x12 cutting board. I have tried it by moving the fabric little by little across my cutting mat but that seems tedious. What better way is there?

  2. #2
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    You could double fold the fabric having four layers to cut through. You need a bigger cutting mat. Walmart has big cutting mats that are inexpensive.
    Got fabric?

  3. #3
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    You could rip that 42" piece or you could piece it. If you are wanting to absolutely cut it you need to buy a larger mat and a longer ruler.

  4. #4
    Super Member fayzer's Avatar
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    I fold and cut on a 18" mat. I use Martelli rotary cutter and non slip ruller for completely accurate strips. That rotary cutter will cut through 12 layers of fabric like butter.

  5. #5
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    The sad fact is, the more times you have to fold your fabric, or move it, the more likely that your strips will be uneven. I agree with the others, a bigger mat would be your best choice.

  6. #6
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
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    I recently needed long strips for binding, so I tore it instead of cutting. Ironing flattened the edges nicely.
    jlm5419-an Okie back in Oklahoma!
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  7. #7
    Super Member mike'sgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TanyaL View Post
    You could rip that 42" piece or you could piece it. If you are wanting to absolutely cut it you need to buy a larger mat and a longer ruler.
    I would rip it.

  8. #8
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    if you get a larger mat, get a good one. not just one that is cheap.
    this should help you too http://quilting.about.com/od/rotaryc...ing_strips.htm

  9. #9
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    The sad fact is, the more times you have to fold your fabric, or move it, the more likely that your strips will be uneven. I agree with the others, a bigger mat would be your best choice.

    Totally agree ... more folds ... more risk for elbows in the cut strips.
    And absolutely, a larger mat is something you will never regret.

    Another help to get really straight strips is to make sure the fabric is well pressed first. A little starch, best press or sizing is good too. Then cut carefully, holding your ruler straight and steady!
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  10. #10
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    I feel I get more accurate cuts when I fold selvage to selvage and then fold again, salvages to fold for 4 layers. My fabric stays more stable and I'm less likely to have my ruler shift. A sharp blade helps a ton too.

  11. #11
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Walmart use sell June Taylor mats, the best mats in my opinion because they are hard surface. Now Fiskars is the brand sold there. Fiskars is a good self healing mat. Olfa is a good brand of mats found in most quilt shop and craft stores. Tuesday Morning stores usually have the Olfa 36" by 24" mats for $9.99. I buy one each time a new shipment comes in before the clueless employee leans them up against the shelf to sell. No use telling them why that is bad. If the store doesn't shelf them right they get a bend, don't buy one if it is displayed with a curve in it. I have mats on every flat table surface in my sewing room.
    Got fabric?

  12. #12
    Super Member fred singer's Avatar
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    very good information given
    Pegg


    Have a great day and happy sewing !

  13. #13
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Bigger mat and june tailor shape cut with the slots You can get the small 12"one at joanns. walmart use to carry JT but they stopped. The bigger 18" one you have to order from joanns. You can still get bigger mats from walmart. The small mats are good for small cutting

  14. #14
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    The key to making sure your cuts are straight, and you don't get that dreaded V, is to make sure your fold is even. Line the fold up on your cutting mat and THEN trim your raw edges square.

  15. #15
    Senior Member YukonViv's Avatar
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    I would (and have) invest in a larger cutting mat...it makes such a difference when you don't have to move your fabric during cutting. Every time I have to move fabric I end up with an error of some sort.
    Vivian
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    www.quiltingunderthemidnightsun.blogspot.ca

  16. #16
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i fold holding the selvedges together, then lay it down. then grab it by the folded edge and let it hang. this allows the folded sides to hang straight with each other. ... just my way of tackling the task.
    Nancy in western NY
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  17. #17
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    If you fold your fabric, it's very important that your folds are even, and that your ruler is at a 90 degree angle from the fold.

    Check every so often to make sure that your strips are still straight.

    I prefer to buy 1.25 yards and cut parallel with the selvage for my long strips. I figure the strips should be on-grain in at least one direction.

    Also, what QuiltnNan said - when the fabric is folded selvage to selvage - there should be no pull/fold/drape/crease lines - shift the ends until the piece is flat. (I've always had a problem knowing how to describe that - but it is THE MOST IMPORTANT step in folding fabric for cutting.)
    Last edited by bearisgray; 07-28-2012 at 09:48 AM.

  18. #18
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Another tip about cutting. If you are cutting two inch strips, re cut every two cuts to straighten the edge, three inch strips, re cut to get a straight edge after every third cut, four inch strips - re straighten every fourth cut and so on. I paid good money to learn this at a very expensive quilt retreat. LOL.
    Got fabric?

  19. #19
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    I agree with misskira. I always line up the selvages, if they are straight, the strips will be cut straight. Adjust the selvages to get out any wrinkles which means you might have to re cut the sides.
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  20. #20
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskira View Post
    I feel I get more accurate cuts when I fold selvage to selvage and then fold again, salvages to fold for 4 layers. My fabric stays more stable and I'm less likely to have my ruler shift. A sharp blade helps a ton too.
    While a larger mat is desirable, you can cut on a 12x12 by doing this. I do when I travel with my cutting tools. I love my June Tailor shape cutter - a ruler with slots to guide the blade, though you don't need that either if you can cut straighter than I do. Put your mat on a very stable surface, fold the fabric twice very carefully, and start cutting. Shake out the first one to see if it is straight, no V in the center and you're good to go. I've only seen one V and that was recently when I was trying to do some cutting while not feeling well. Good luck. You have what you need if you have the mat, a sharp rotary blade and a ruler over 12".

  21. #21
    Senior Member Mickey1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    Another tip about cutting. If you are cutting two inch strips, re cut every two cuts to straighten the edge, three inch strips, re cut to get a straight edge after every third cut, four inch strips - re straighten every fourth cut and so on. I paid good money to learn this at a very expensive quilt retreat. LOL.

    Thanks for the tip!

  22. #22
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    I would definitley get a larger cutting mat if at all possible.
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlm5419 View Post
    I recently needed long strips for binding, so I tore it instead of cutting. Ironing flattened the edges nicely.
    This is the only way I get straight strips-every time.

  24. #24
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    what is "saw cut?"

  25. #25
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    Watch for a sale on self healing matts at 50% off, try 18 x 24 inch size. Thinking you mat is just too small.

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