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How to cut perfect squares

How to cut perfect squares

Old 09-02-2007, 05:41 AM
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I am going to start my first quilt and I would like to know how to cut perfect squares so that the measurements come out correct. Also how do you stop the thread from being pulled into the bobbin and what is variegated thread? Can anyone help me? Thanks in advance for your help.

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Old 09-02-2007, 06:18 AM
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Taperava, first of all, let me thank you for your questions. I will answer the easy one first. To keep the thread from coming loose or being pulled into the bobbin, always hold the thread tails when you start sewing. Let go after a couple of stitches. When doing alot of piecing, such as squares together, do not remove each piece, but rather butt the next pair against the finished pair and keep sewing. This form of production sewing saves on thread and time. I take my line of sewn blocks to ironing board and clip them apart as I press the seams. You can also end with a folded scrap, so the thread is still engaged. Just clip last block from that scrap, while leaving the scrap in the machine. Then when you sit down to sew next batch, just butt it against that scrap piece and keep going.

Ensuring square blocks is not difficult with a square up ruler. I have many sizes, and use the ruler closest to size of intended block. Sometimes, you can luck out and have a ruler and block the same size. Either way, you will begin by cutting a strip the width of the square you need. Using your ruler, line up the top and bottom, top on the edge of strip width, and bottom on the line of the square size. The it just a matter of cutting one side. The size of the block should be lined up with the lines on the ruler. For example, if cutting a 4" block, 1st cut a strip 4" wide the width of fabric. At this point you will have a strip 4" by 40-45". Cut the selvage off using your ruler so you can be sure it is straight. At this point, you now have three sides of your block already cut. I would then take my 6" square up, line up one side against the top of strip, bottom should line up on the 4" line, and move the ruler until the edge lines up with 4" line on the side. Engage your rotary cutter, keeping fingers out of way! That one cut will be repeated until you can no longer make a 4" square on that strip. You will now have 40 4" squares which will finish as 3.5" sq. when sewn.
I hope you find this information helpful. Let us know if we can help you with any other questions.
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:58 AM
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Taperava,
I can't add anything to the wonderful cutting directions that Boo gave you, but I can tell you that variegated thread is one that is NOT just one color, but changes color along its length. They can be any colors, from shades of blue to rainbow colors. Here is a link to showing some variegated threads:
http://www.threadart.com/shop/category.asp?catid=41

Happy Quilting!
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Old 09-02-2007, 09:07 AM
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Thank you, ZYX, I missed that part of the question. LOL Glad you caught it. Sometimes I think I need a keeper. :lol:
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Old 09-02-2007, 09:29 AM
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And you might not know what a rotary cutter is. I didn't a year ago. Now I is a whiz at it.

Rotary cutters take the place of your large fabric sheers. You lay out your fabric on a special cutting mat (self healing) and using acrylic rulers, accurately measured, you cut your strips of fabric, extremely precise.

Here's my little secret, don't tell any of the women around here, but... I don't own a pair of sheers. I have a small pair of scissors I bought in a $1 store (for $3.00 !!!) for snipping threads at my machine. That's it.

Hope this helps.

tim
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