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# Thread: If you need a quarter-yard... exactly a quarter-yard...

1. Originally Posted by Loretta
If I owned a quilt shop, and was cutting fabric, I would measure 1 extra inch on every cut automatically. When the customer sees that, it gives a good impression as opposed to watching a clerk measure "on the line" over and over. Just my thought on cutting for the public. Its the best advertisement yet for a shop.
I like the way you think, Loretta. It makes a quilter nervous to see ppl, trying to stay right on the line. Many times, the cutter doesn't sew or quilt, and that extra inch can mean a lot for a quilter. I don't like walking tightropes...eeek! :wink:

2. Originally Posted by bearisgray
Originally Posted by Loretta
If I owned a quilt shop, and was cutting fabric, I would measure 1 extra inch on every cut automatically. When the customer sees that, it gives a good impression as opposed to watching a clerk measure "on the line" over and over. Just my thought on cutting for the public. Its the best advertisement yet for a shop.
I agree up to a point - but should there be an extra inch if someone is only buying 1/8 of a yard, and only ONE extra inch if someone is buying 10 yards?
You make a very good point, big, and here is why I say that: I try to watch my fabrics when being cut, to catch any flaws, but sometimes you do get distracted. I think a percentage, depending on the total purchase makes a lot of sense. Maybe an extra inch up to 1/2 yard, then add another 1/4" - 1/2" per each yard? let's see, for 10 yards, that would be an extra 3 1/4"? that's not a lot extra, when your getting a sale of 10 yards.
10 yds. + 1" + [ 9 x 1/4" = 2 1/4"] = 3 1/4" extra. sounds fair.
10 yds. + 1" + [9 x 1/2" = 4 1/2"] = 15 1/2" more.
hmm, sounds good, but they ain't gonna go that far.

3. hmmm, when I posted my answer, I didn't realize you were a shop owner, I think what your doing is just fine. I would be very pleased.:D

4. OOOOHH, all of this back and forth about preciseness is making my brain itch. I know I am probably over-doing it, but I always buy too much. Rarely do I buy 1/2 yard of fabric. Actually I can only remember ONCE buying half-yard pieces for the first grand daughter's graduation quilt. I shopped around for lots of pinks in many values and tones. Other than that it's always been at least a yard. Usually 2 or 3 yards.

And as for the fabric being off grain, I suppose I've not reached that height of professionalism yet. I'm too old to worry about if my pieces are a little off grain. And that is why some of your quilts are so gorgeous and mine are so-so.
When I made garments (and taught garment construction), being on -grain was of utmost importance. When I quilt, it's for relaxation. I'm not going to stress myself out if things are a little wonky. I hope I'm not cast out of the "club" because of my confession. :lol:

5. Originally Posted by GailG
And as for the fabric being off grain, I suppose I've not reached that height of professionalism yet. I'm too old to worry about if my pieces are a little off grain. And that is why some of your quilts are so gorgeous and mine are so-so.
When I made garments (and taught garment construction), being on -grain was of utmost importance. When I quilt, it's for relaxation. I'm not going to stress myself out if things are a little wonky. I hope I'm not cast out of the "club" because of my confession. :lol:
I always buy an extra 1/4 yard of each fabric or a few extra quarters if it a kit. As a newbie, everything I cut and sew is usually off just a little, just like me :D and like you, I don't worry about it because this is for my enjoyment. I am also pretty sure we won't be cast out.

6. i don't worry about off true. i believe it will stay that way and not drag anything along. anyway, by the time it's quilted, it would have to be superman to move through those stitches. i've never had a problem.

but i still buy extra, just because.

7. I do wash and dry my fabrics before cutting them.

After washing the fabric, the way the grain is, is the way the grain is.

I don't try to fight with it or "straighten" it at that point. (I've tried a few times.) The fabric just goes back to the way it wants to be.

Maybe back in the "olden days" - we all agree that was in the 1800's, right? -
that "straightening" was worth the effort.

8. I just left my LQS, and they threw in an extra 1/4 yard, because it was the last on the bolt. On my second cut, they gave me the last half yard at 40% off, also the end of the bolt . While I agree, that neither was necessary, I will definately keep going back because it was a great gesture!

9. I've had that happen to, and it is such a nice gesture!

I've also been to stores (especially some of the chain stores) where if I don't pay for the last one inch left over from what I wanted, the clerk will cut it off
(or have to charge for it)

Now, that does NOT create good will.

10. Originally Posted by bearisgray
I do wash and dry my fabrics before cutting them.

After washing the fabric, the way the grain is, is the way the grain is.

I don't try to fight with it or "straighten" it at that point. (I've tried a few times.) The fabric just goes back to the way it wants to be.

Maybe back in the "olden days" - we all agree that was in the 1800's, right? -
that "straightening" was worth the effort.
what she said :roll: :roll: . when fabric was woven here it was rolled and steamed truer. now.... it is what it is. and...

bearisgray - you must be talking about joann's, right? they do that all the time. if you don't pay for it, they will cut off a sliver or say they can't sell it and leave so little. you have to take the whole piece or none. :evil:

11. I think it depends on the clerk - there were a couple of associates that were so stingy that if I saw they were cutting, I'd leave the store and not buy anything.

I've actually (hold your breath here) had a manager at WalMart give me a few inches extra.

And others that cut it to the nearest thread - on their side of the mark!

I've also had clerks try to stretch the fabric before cutting it.

I forgot to add to my washing post earlier - the fabric may have been cut "straight" - perpendicular to the fold and selvage - but after washing the ends may or may not be even if one folds the fabric selvage to selvage.

So many of the directions say "fold your fabric in half - -- " It's important that the fabric is not wrinkled at the fold line - forget about lining up the cut ends -when the fabric is folded, it should lay smoothly and have no wrinkles - this is where "straightening/truing the ends comes in.

12. Many of my experiences with Jo-Ann's haven't been pleasant. Out of dire necessity I return, much to my chagrin.

I am always astounded at their cutting. What's worse is that this stores table has the groove and they still can't cut it straight!

When and wherever I buy fabric I add on extra to cover it not being straight, shrinkage and all as I prewash everything.

I join the club when it comes to cutting and I don't overly stress about it.

13. Re: bearisgray

yes. to be truly true, the threads in fabric should be at right angles, even after washing. if they're not, and you fold with no drapes at the foldline, you can lose a lot at both ends. the longer the piece, the more you lose. if you needed 18"and got 16" , you're 2" short of what you need. i buy extra and after washing, i cut it the way it wants to go, 'cause it won't go where it doesn't want to. if that means off true, then so be it. in the 50's when i started sewing, you could pull one thread across the width of the fabric and boy! it was straight across. i haven't seen that in ages.

that's why i don't let clerks rip my fabric. when the grain is off true, the rip follows the grainline and is also off true, so even before washing you lose inches at both ends. after washing, mama mia! conversely, the lengthwise grain is almost always true.

btw, that's why so many stores prefer to cut. they don't want you to see how off true the fabrics really are. for instance, at my joann's, they refuse to rip. flat out refuse. even the kona. they're not taking chances.

14. I have bought few patterns, so I'm not familiar with how the various designers are about their fabric requirements.

I believe some have generous requirements, and some are down to the nearest quarter-inch.

Anyone know how to tell which kind of designer made the pattern one is interested in?

15. I usually make my first cut on the lengthwise grain - that way it improves my chances of having it "on grain" in at least one direction.

16. a number of members have said that they were not given enough in kits,
but, i, too, wonder about requirements when you are providing your own materials. i almost always buy more than enough, but when i've decided at the end to change a border, for example, i sometimes run out. then i become creative. i think you have to plan for the worst and add the extra to your stash.

17. Originally Posted by butterflywing
Re: bearisgray

yes. to be truly true, the threads in fabric should be at right angles, even after washing. if they're not, and you fold with no drapes at the foldline, you can lose a lot at both ends. the longer the piece, the more you lose. if you needed 18"and got 16" , you're 2" short of what you need. i buy extra and after washing, i cut it the way it wants to go, 'cause it won't go where it doesn't want to. if that means off true, then so be it. in the 50's when i started sewing, you could pull one thread across the width of the fabric and boy! it was straight across. i haven't seen that in ages.

that's why i don't let clerks rip my fabric. when the grain is off true, the rip follows the grainline and is also off true, so even before washing you lose inches at both ends. after washing, mama mia! conversely, the lengthwise grain is almost always true.

btw, that's why so many stores prefer to cut. they don't want you to see how off true the fabrics really are. for instance, at my joann's, they refuse to rip. flat out refuse. even the kona. they're not taking chances.
As I said, this is why I want it ripped. If it is not straight and can not be made straight, I won't use it in anything but crafty stuff - tablerunners, some wall quilts, pillows, etc.

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