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Thread: Need strip widths for making tape with bias bars

  1. #1
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    The "Reader's Digest" version of the instructions on my bias bars: 1"-1 1/2" strip of bias, fold it in half, draw a seam line from the fold line slightly wider than the bias bar, stitch along that line, and then cut off the excess.

    Am I the only one who thinks that method is wasteful, time consuming, and STUPID? Maybe that might fly with your typical stained glass quilt project, but I'm working on 8 wallhangings and each one requires like a football field worth of bias tape.

    One of the images I'm re-creating in fabric:
    [IMG]http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q...s/SariaTWW.png[/IMG]

    Seems like some of the excess fabric could have been used to make tape. And drawing the seam lines on ALL that bias tape...aw HECK NO! I already have my work cut out for me, thank you.

    ctquiltingvideos had a YouTube tutorial on how to use bias bars and the instructions on their bars told them exactly what width to cut their strips and there was no waste. I was wondering if anyone had a set of bias bars that tells you what widths to cut your strips and could tell me what widths I need to make 1/8", 3/16", 1/4", and 3/16" bias tape.

  2. #2
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    My bias bar pkg gives only the 1-1.5 suggestion as well. If I really needed to know, I'd wrap a test fabric piece around the bar and add the seam allowances to it. I rarely use my bars.

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    i got the bias tape makers by clover. the 1/4 in one called for 1/2 wide strips, but that didnt work for me. i cut them at 5/8 instead and they are perfect. you cant do the "continuous" bias with the 1/4. the seams wont fit thru, but it's easier to work with shorter strips, and seems to be faster also.
    i'm eagerly watching you do your zelda quilts. my boys love the zelda games and i've been showing them your projects.
    i just wish they made the 1/8 in and 3/16 in. they are just so easy to use now that i cut my strips slightly wider.

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    The directions r way over my head being a newbie but I love what ur making!!

  5. #5
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ann31039
    i got the bias tape makers by clover. the 1/4 in one called for 1/2 wide strips, but that didnt work for me. i cut them at 5/8 instead and they are perfect. you cant do the "continuous" bias with the 1/4. the seams wont fit thru, but it's easier to work with shorter strips, and seems to be faster also.
    i'm eagerly watching you do your zelda quilts. my boys love the zelda games and i've been showing them your projects.
    i just wish they made the 1/8 in and 3/16 in. they are just so easy to use now that i cut my strips slightly wider.
    I'm glad you pointed that out. The 1/4" tape shouldn't be a problem because there's very little of it and its in shorter lengths. But I have quite a bit of leading that's 3/16 and 1/8 and is continueous. I brought out the Ruto image and measured out the contineous leading on her fin and its more than 40". I think I'll have to get some extra wide fabric to get the lengths of bias strips I need without having to piece them together.

  6. #6
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ann31039
    i got the bias tape makers by clover. the 1/4 in one called for 1/2 wide strips, but that didnt work for me. i cut them at 5/8 instead and they are perfect. you cant do the "continuous" bias with the 1/4. the seams wont fit thru, but it's easier to work with shorter strips, and seems to be faster also.
    i'm eagerly watching you do your zelda quilts. my boys love the zelda games and i've been showing them your projects.
    i just wish they made the 1/8 in and 3/16 in. they are just so easy to use now that i cut my strips slightly wider.
    I'm glad you pointed that out. The 1/4" tape shouldn't be a problem because there's very little of it and its in shorter lengths. But I have quite a bit of leading that's 3/16 and 1/8 and is continueous. I brought out the Ruto image and measured out the contineous leading on her fin and its more than 40". I think I'll have to get some extra wide fabric to get the lengths of bias strips I need without having to piece them together.

  7. #7
    Super Member roseOfsharon's Avatar
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    The 1/8 would be cut at 3/8 .... what I had done with making the bias for my Celtic block ... was to cut a strip from card stock or 3x5 card at 3/8 and placed in the middle of the 3/8 cut and iron each side to the center. Making the 1/8 bias....

    I am not sure what to tell you for the 3/16.... 5/16 and do the same I am guessing.

    I used the mini iron by Clover to press my bias. Used a small ironing mat and sat and ironed away. I cut my bias from fat quarters/ you get quite a bit from one.

    You may find it easier to work with short pieces than a really long one. Hide your starts and stops at a point where it is covered by an overpass or under another bias piece. I hope that makes sense.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying_V_Goddess
    Quote Originally Posted by ann31039
    i got the bias tape makers by clover. the 1/4 in one called for 1/2 wide strips, but that didnt work for me. i cut them at 5/8 instead and they are perfect. you cant do the "continuous" bias with the 1/4. the seams wont fit thru, but it's easier to work with shorter strips, and seems to be faster also.
    i'm eagerly watching you do your zelda quilts. my boys love the zelda games and i've been showing them your projects.
    i just wish they made the 1/8 in and 3/16 in. they are just so easy to use now that i cut my strips slightly wider.


    I'm glad you pointed that out. The 1/4" tape shouldn't be a problem because there's very little of it and its in shorter lengths. But I have quite a bit of leading that's 3/16 and 1/8 and is continueous. I brought out the Ruto image and measured out the contineous leading on her fin and its more than 40". I think I'll have to get some extra wide fabric to get the lengths of bias strips I need without having to piece them together.
    a 40 inch length shouldn't be a problem. Most fabric is 42 or 44 and since you will be cutting on the bias, the pieces will be longer, but my brain can't do the math right now.

  9. #9
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roseOfsharon
    The 1/8 would be cut at 3/8 .... what I had done with making the bias for my Celtic block ... was to cut a strip from card stock or 3x5 card at 3/8 and placed in the middle of the 3/8 cut and iron each side to the center. Making the 1/8 bias....

    I am not sure what to tell you for the 3/16.... 5/16 and do the same I am guessing.

    I used the mini iron by Clover to press my bias. Used a small ironing mat and sat and ironed away. I cut my bias from fat quarters/ you get quite a bit from one.

    You may find it easier to work with short pieces than a really long one. Hide your starts and stops at a point where it is covered by an overpass or under another bias piece. I hope that makes sense.
    It makes sense. But there's longer pieces of leading that are uninterupted and can't be worked in smaller pieces.

    Here's an example of what I mean. This is the Ruto window I was talking about a couple posts ago. I marked some of the longer pieces of leading (I did miss marking her other arm). The leading I marked in red is the one I measured to be more than 40". Its 3/16" leading and I wonder if I pieced two strips together to get the desired length if the seam from joining them together would create too much bulk since the bias tape will be so thin.

    [IMG]http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q...s/RutoLINE.png[/IMG]

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    all I can say ......is wow!
    your wall hangings are awesome.
    I tried my hand at Stained glass on my window
    and decided...I don't have a steady enough hand
    and with fabric ...I might have to try some day.
    Be sure to post when your done I will be looking forward to seeing them.

  11. #11
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlotte625
    all I can say ......is wow!
    your wall hangings are awesome.
    I tried my hand at Stained glass on my window
    and decided...I don't have a steady enough hand
    and with fabric ...I might have to try some day.
    Be sure to post when your done I will be looking forward to seeing them.
    I'll probably post some in progress photos in the next couple weeks. Took a couple on what I'm working on now with a diaposable camera. Right now I'm working on tracing the images into butcher paper. Each of my images span across nine sheets of paper taped together and they turned out slightly pixely when enlarged. So I'm tracing them to clean up the linework and so that they're not on a bunch of sheets taped together. I've started on Nabooru the Spirit Sage and I've put about four or five hours into it...I'm only just almost halfway done! lol.

  12. #12
    Super Member roseOfsharon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying_V_Goddess
    Quote Originally Posted by roseOfsharon
    The 1/8 would be cut at 3/8 .... what I had done with making the bias for my Celtic block ... was to cut a strip from card stock or 3x5 card at 3/8 and placed in the middle of the 3/8 cut and iron each side to the center. Making the 1/8 bias....

    I am not sure what to tell you for the 3/16.... 5/16 and do the same I am guessing.

    I used the mini iron by Clover to press my bias. Used a small ironing mat and sat and ironed away. I cut my bias from fat quarters/ you get quite a bit from one.

    You may find it easier to work with short pieces than a really long one. Hide your starts and stops at a point where it is covered by an overpass or under another bias piece. I hope that makes sense.
    It makes sense. But there's longer pieces of leading that are uninterupted and can't be worked in smaller pieces.

    Here's an example of what I mean. This is the Ruto window I was talking about a couple posts ago. I marked some of the longer pieces of leading (I did miss marking her other arm). The leading I marked in red is the one I measured to be more than 40". Its 3/16" leading and I wonder if I pieced two strips together to get the desired length if the seam from joining them together would create too much bulk since the bias tape will be so thin.

    [IMG]http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q...s/RutoLINE.png[/IMG]
    Ok ,,,, Here is what I see: Or a question of what I see :)

    The red lines are continuous... ok but is it red around the face?

    If not, you can do the red in two pieces... if I am seeing right.. and even if it is red around the face.... You can do each side up to the top of her head and the part that goes around her face (head) will cover the end piece of the other... do you see what I mean?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
    Super Member roseOfsharon's Avatar
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    And if you are saying each piece for the side of her and her face/head are each 40" of bias... then work with three 40" pieces :) I don't think you will need to seam if done as such.

    Sharon :)

  14. #14
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roseOfsharon
    Quote Originally Posted by Flying_V_Goddess
    Quote Originally Posted by roseOfsharon
    The 1/8 would be cut at 3/8 .... what I had done with making the bias for my Celtic block ... was to cut a strip from card stock or 3x5 card at 3/8 and placed in the middle of the 3/8 cut and iron each side to the center. Making the 1/8 bias....

    I am not sure what to tell you for the 3/16.... 5/16 and do the same I am guessing.

    I used the mini iron by Clover to press my bias. Used a small ironing mat and sat and ironed away. I cut my bias from fat quarters/ you get quite a bit from one.

    You may find it easier to work with short pieces than a really long one. Hide your starts and stops at a point where it is covered by an overpass or under another bias piece. I hope that makes sense.
    It makes sense. But there's longer pieces of leading that are uninterupted and can't be worked in smaller pieces.

    Here's an example of what I mean. This is the Ruto window I was talking about a couple posts ago. I marked some of the longer pieces of leading (I did miss marking her other arm). The leading I marked in red is the one I measured to be more than 40". Its 3/16" leading and I wonder if I pieced two strips together to get the desired length if the seam from joining them together would create too much bulk since the bias tape will be so thin.

    [IMG]http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q...s/RutoLINE.png[/IMG]
    Ok ,,,, Here is what I see: Or a question of what I see :)

    The red lines are continuous... ok but is it red around the face?

    If not, you can do the red in two pieces... if I am seeing right.. and even if it is red around the face.... You can do each side up to the top of her head and the part that goes around her face (head) will cover the end piece of the other... do you see what I mean?
    No, no, no, no. The leading is all black. I just marked the continuous lines in a different color so I could better show where.

  15. #15
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roseOfsharon
    And if you are saying each piece for the side of her and her face/head are each 40" of bias... then work with three 40" pieces :) I don't think you will need to seam if done as such.

    Sharon :)
    The side fins measured 45" and around her head was 34". Give or take. But Ruto isn't the only one I'm working on. There are 7 similar designs each with at least a couple long leading.

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    somewhere I saw how you make a continuous bias strip out of 1 yd of fabric.

    Hmm trying to think it out. Maybe if you started with a longer length of fabric, the same as the WOF, you are going to use it all anyway, on your various projects.

    cut the selvedges off your fabric. cut fabric in half diagonally.

    now you have 2 "half squares" sew them together into a diamond, you know, the straight edges of the left one forms the left side of a "T", the right one forms an "L". sew the up & down edges together. The bias edges are to the left & right.

    now bring the other straight edges together into a tube, offset it the amount you are cutting. So there's a leading "rabbit ear" and a trailing Rabbit ear, both the width you want to cut. you cut along the first bias edge, and end up at the trailing rabbit ear bias edge.

    cut it on the width you want. The cut will spiral around the tube, on the bias. As big as this tube is, if you have a 12 or 18 inch mat, slide it into the tube & ruler cut it.

    Since you are only using black, and you need a variety of widths, you could make one of each.

    If you dont want to do that, the thing is bias, anyway, I doubt it would cause you any problems if you switched to different widths as needed.

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    Super Member roseOfsharon's Avatar
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    Flying_V_Goddess

    I don't mean to be insistent... but I keep looking at your picture here, and still knowing that what you have outlined in colors is black...I still see where you have options to start and stop at points by hiding under another bias. Are each of those pieces over 40"? How big are the blocks? or is this the whole quilt?

    See on each side of her where you have it highlighted red... each side is independent ( can use it's own piece of bias to complete that portion.. ending where the highlighted part that goes around her head and face. I wish I could show you! lol or at least see it ! :)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltmouse
    somewhere I saw how you make a continuous bias strip out of 1 yd of fabric.

    Hmm trying to think it out. Maybe if you started with a longer length of fabric, the same as the WOF, you are going to use it all anyway, on your various projects.

    cut the selvedges off your fabric. cut fabric in half diagonally.

    now you have 2 "half squares" sew them together into a diamond, you know, the straight edges of the left one forms the left side of a "T", the right one forms an "L". sew the up & down edges together. The bias edges are to the left & right.

    now bring the other straight edges together into a tube, offset it the amount you are cutting. So there's a leading "rabbit ear" and a trailing Rabbit ear, both the width you want to cut. you cut along the first bias edge, and end up at the trailing rabbit ear bias edge.

    cut it on the width you want. The cut will spiral around the tube, on the bias. As big as this tube is, if you have a 12 or 18 inch mat, slide it into the tube & ruler cut it.

    Since you are only using black, and you need a variety of widths, you could make one of each.

    If you dont want to do that, the thing is bias, anyway, I doubt it would cause you any problems if you switched to different widths as needed.
    I know how to do that technique...in theory. I've never actually done it. The end result is like piecing together a bunch of strips but without all the work. But I wonder if I had to piece together strips in some way if the seams would create bulk (and problems) for the super thin 1/8" or even the 3/16" bias tape I have to make. I would think those are going to be tricky to work with as it is without any added bulk.

  19. #19
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roseOfsharon
    Flying_V_Goddess

    I don't mean to be insistent... but I keep looking at your picture here, and still knowing that what you have outlined in colors is black...I still see where you have options to start and stop at points by hiding under another bias. Are each of those pieces over 40"? How big are the blocks? or is this the whole quilt?

    See on each side of her where you have it highlighted red... each side is independent ( can use it's own piece of bias to complete that portion.. ending where the highlighted part that goes around her head and face. I wish I could show you! lol or at least see it ! :)
    The image you are looking at is the whole thing. Its going to be about 24"x24". There are going to be 7 similar wall hangings.

    [IMG]http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q...s/SariaTWW.png[/IMG] [IMG]http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q...DaruniaTWW.png[/IMG] [IMG]http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q...ss/RutoTWW.png[/IMG]
    (Saria, Darunia, Ruto)

    [IMG]http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q...ss/ImpaTWW.png[/IMG] [IMG]http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q...NabooruTWW.png[/IMG] [IMG]http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q...s/RauruTWW.png[/IMG]
    (Impa, Nabooru, Rauru)

    (don't have images loaded up for the other two)

    I think I kind of get what you're trying to tell me with Ruto. Like how the fin starts at the top of her head and ends at the bottom of her elbow. Just one of her fins is 45", not both. I know that I can tuck one end of the leading underneath her head and the other underneath her elbow. I guess what I'm trying to say is its a long way between the start and stop and therefore needs a longer strip of bias. And I'm not sure if I can get that longer strip without piecing strips together...and I'm not sure if piecing together would be a good idea since the extra seams would create bulk and I see that as possibly being a problem because the tape is going to be so thin.

    I'm trying to figure out what to do for her head, though, because there's really no definate start and stop. I think I could start in the corner of her head, work my way around until I get back to the starting point, and wrap the end underneath the starting point.

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    I do see that. If you use 40" of fabric, the diagonal length would be 56", with the straight edge seam staggering down through it. So there would be several pieces that are of significant length, 40" - 56". If that is not enough, you need to get 3-4 yards, do the diagonal cut. Fold the fabric with the diag as straight edge & rotary cut your precise width cuts. Every piece would be 56".

    I do understand your OP question is about cutting so wide & trimming. I agree that is a lot of fabric waste.

    :-D I come off as "too" helpful sometimes. Hope I did not offend. Your project is ambitious & it looks like you are having fun (isn't that the whole point) & I am confident they will be stunningly lovely!!!

    As the strips are bias and it is a hanging, and thus will not be washed much. What about a straight cut on your bias strip, and just butt them? The cut will be bias also, so no raveling.

    And the most recent question, about her head. There are several intersections with bolder lines, do your head transition there? The earrings, and that 3 triangle unit are bold.

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    Super Member roseOfsharon's Avatar
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    Flying_V_Goddess,

    It is my thought that you do not want to seam pieces together for the balk of it and also the seam line will show on the front. I am confident you will figure it out and if I can be of any help please pm me. I have visions of doing it and know it will take a bit of patience and a lot of time to applique the bias patterns! A beautiful collection it will make once completed! I hope you will show us your work as you go along and add anything you have found along the way as helps as well. :)

    This is a method that I used...

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-99184-2.htm

    Wishing you the best,
    Sharon :)

  22. #22
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltmouse
    I do see that. If you use 40" of fabric, the diagonal length would be 56", with the straight edge seam staggering down through it. So there would be several pieces that are of significant length, 40" - 56". If that is not enough, you need to get 3-4 yards, do the diagonal cut. Fold the fabric with the diag as straight edge & rotary cut your precise width cuts. Every piece would be 56".

    I do understand your OP question is about cutting so wide & trimming. I agree that is a lot of fabric waste.

    :-D I come off as "too" helpful sometimes. Hope I did not offend. Your project is ambitious & it looks like you are having fun (isn't that the whole point) & I am confident they will be stunningly lovely!!!

    As the strips are bias and it is a hanging, and thus will not be washed much. What about a straight cut on your bias strip, and just butt them? The cut will be bias also, so no raveling.

    And the most recent question, about her head. There are several intersections with bolder lines, do your head transition there? The earrings, and that 3 triangle unit are bold.
    No, not at all. Actually I appreciate the feedback. Between the amount of leading, the 70+ colors, and having ZERO experiance in stained glass quilting and very little in applique in general this is a huge project. There's not a lot of info on stained glass quilting. I found like two detailed videos on the subject---one was good, but she bought her tape (with the amount I have to do and at $11 for 12 yards it aint happening) and the other one was the "Linda Everhart technique" (they call it "easy", I call it "cheating"). Its nice to get some feedback and talk things out and being able to see things a little different and see that there's more than one way of going about this. Still don't have my original question fully answered though. lol.

    56" sounds just dandy. I don't think I'll have any leading that's longer than that.

    I don't quite understand what you mean with Ruto's head. Like her earrings and ear fins having bolder lines. By bolder you mean thicker? 'Cause actually the lines that make up the shape of her head, ear fins, and earrings are the same width. And still don't really get how this would could be the transition point. Maybe I'm just not seeing it.

  23. #23
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roseOfsharon
    Flying_V_Goddess,

    It is my thought that you do not want to seam pieces together for the balk of it and also the seam line will show on the front. I am confident you will figure it out and if I can be of any help please pm me. I have visions of doing it and know it will take a bit of patience and a lot of time to applique the bias patterns! A beautiful collection it will make once completed! I hope you will show us your work as you go along and add anything you have found along the way as helps as well. :)

    This is a method that I used...

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-99184-2.htm

    Wishing you the best,
    Sharon :)
    Thanks for the link. I looked over it quickly. I'll take a better look at it later when I'm feeling better (kind of sick to my stomach...tooth ache wouldn't let me eat at all and cousin's funeral was today and cried a lot so I think the combination has made me physically sick). Nice work, by the way.

    Of course I will show my work! The only thing that I have found that might be helpful is the butcher's paper is a great thing to use if you have a large design to trace. I think its 50 feet for $10. Oh and a lightbox is esstential.

    I'm finally done tracing the Nabooru image onto butcher paper. The first half was harder. Literally the first half. I just traced the left side of the image, took the image off the butcher paper, folded the butcher paper in half with wrong sides together, and traced the lines I had drawn onto the right side of the paper. The hardest part about the first part was getting all the curved lines the right width all the way through. If it was a straight line I could just lay the bias bar along that line and run my pencil down each side. Curved lines were a little trickier. It probably took me four hours for the first half and another two for the other. So about six hours. One down. Seven more to go. I think I'll start on Impa next.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying_V_Goddess
    I don't quite understand what you mean with Ruto's head. Like her earrings and ear fins having bolder lines. By bolder you mean thicker? 'Cause actually the lines that make up the shape of her head, ear fins, and earrings are the same width. And still don't really get how this would could be the transition point. Maybe I'm just not seeing it.
    Yes, the leading around the head are all the same width. I just thought if you used those bolder intersections as your transition - beginning/ending spot, any potential variation in the width of the leading for the head might not show, because it's right there next to a wider bit at those intersections. A place for "wiggle room".

    (I may not know what I'm talking about at all)

    As far as your OP question, you already figured out one cut correction, can you play with scraps & find your "actual cut" for your other leadings, without the "trim off" in the instructions?

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