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Thread: OBW--How are you cutting through 6 layers of fabric??? And Keep it Lined UP

  1. #1
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    OBW--How are you cutting through 6 layers of fabric??? And Keep it Lined UP

    I have trouble cutting through just 3 layers of fabric with my Olfa cutter (the medium size one). Plus, how do you keep the 6 layers all steady at the same time?

  2. #2
    Super Member PenniF's Avatar
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    Not being a smart mouth here .. but when did you last change your blade? 3 layers - unless it's really heavy weight - should not be a problem at all. A ruler with something on the back - mine has cork stickers - to keep the ruler from sliding - and a sharp/new blade - should cut 6 layers of regular weight cotton.....tho i usually limit myself to 4 (normal number for twice folded yardage) just for the "it's easier" factor.
    Of all the things i've lost, i miss my mind the most.

  3. #3
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    As Penni said, a new blade for cutting more then 4 layers is a must. I don't care if I changed the blade last week I use a new one. I found the big 60mm cutter is easier to use when cutting more then four pieces at a time. Put something heavy on your ruler. I have a specialty tool for that but a heavy iron will work or a brick wrapped in batting.
    Got fabric?

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    Thanks. I am still a bit of a novice and the blade that came with my cutter didn't cut very well but since it was new I just thought that was how it was suppose to be. Finally, after about 6 months I bought a new blade and it worked much better. It has been another 6 months so I guess I need a new one now anyway. When my blade was sharp, I don't remember ever needing to cut through a really thick stack so I can't remember if it worked good or not. But, from both of you, I gather it will be fine as long as I get a good sharp one. thanks.

  5. #5
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    Yes, a new blade should work wonders for you. As for keeping the layers exactly where they need to be, I actually basted through all six layers at about 6" intervals so I could be SURE the layered cut pieces would match.
    Wendy

  6. #6
    Super Member WTxRed's Avatar
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    Another tip - when you pin through your 6 layers to match your design points, go ahead and pin randomly through the strip since you'll be cutting off what was pinned if you don't. Does that make sense? Do you have pictures to show of the fabric you're using? I love OBW's! And I'm excited for you to see your designs!

  7. #7
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I must be a chicken. I would never cut through six layers at the same time. I do two usually. Sometimes I do four, but mostly I do four for accuracy. I love to cut though. Cutting is my favorite part of the process so I don't mind spending extra time cutting. I think most people don't like the cutting. I do.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  8. #8
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    For sure ... a new blade is a must when you start cutting the 6 layers for OBW.
    As another note ... some blades are not as good as others, and you m ay need to change it more often. Also, if you run into your ruler or pins or other things ... that can ruin a blade and it may only last a few minutes.

    Time installed really tells nothing ... some cut more in a day than others cut in six months!

    ______________

    When you get your OBW pattern/book, you will see that it describes very well how to pin the layers to be sure that they line up pefectly.
    You want to make sure that they do, or else when you do your kaleidos ... well, they won't be kaleidos!

    In the meantime get yourself some "flower pins" ... they are longer and coarser than you use for most sewing, and have a flat head (that's like a flower!). Once they are pinned thru the layers, they lay flat, so that you can put your ruler over, and cut thru.

    Patience .... and a steady hand and you will discover that cutting the layers is not really all that hard.

    If you're worried about cutting the six layers ... practice on some other fabric first, just to help you get the feel of it.
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    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I haven't done one, but I would probably glue-baste the layers together (using pins straight through the design to get the layers lined up probably).

  10. #10
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    My friend will almost lose her breath when starting to cut fabric for a quilt. She is so afraid she will mess up. If I mess up I just say oops and start over. Misscuts are how you get a scrap stash isn't it?
    Got fabric?

  11. #11
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    My friend will almost lose her breath when starting to cut fabric for a quilt. She is so afraid she will mess up. If I mess up I just say oops and start over. Misscuts are how you get a scrap stash isn't it?
    Although for the OBW, a miscut does kind of mess up the whole project.
    Not quite as forgiving as most things we do.


    Good for you AngelinaMaria to reach out and ask first ...
    Remember, knowledge is power!
    Rather than later saying I have a problem.
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    I hold my pin straight up and down, pick a spot in the first fabric, then lift a little and put my pin in the exact same spot in the second fabric, and so on till I have done all 6 layers. I pin about every 3 inches. I start in the center of the fabric strip.

  13. #13
    Super Member Murphy1's Avatar
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    I have made several OBW and lining up carefully with a pin is so important. I pin very carefully and am careful not to move it. When it is all pinned I shake a bit and do check to make sure the pin is in the exact place in all six layers. I don't think I could cut in layers of three. I would make sure that blade is brand new. I am going to be cut a OBW probably next week and that is what I will do. I love, love them. I am making one for a friend for her birthday. I think I will be very busy, but really having fun putting the blocks together.
    Also, don't forget to press the seams open.
    Murphy1
    For our wonderful Golden Retriever adopted in March of 2010.

  14. #14
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    Cutting through 8 layers for a kaleidoscope quilt. We had all pinned theta terms in line. Plenty of pins definitely is the answer as I also made a kaleidoscope where we didn't put many pins in and I can see where the rotations are out of pattern.

  15. #15
    Super Member Bluelady's Avatar
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    I didn't have any problems cutting through the six layers for my OBW. But I think I replaced the blade right before that too.

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    New blades when you are planning to cut many layers, and a large Olfa rotary cutter does make a difference. It takes more strength and pressure with the smaller blade to cut many layers than it does using a larger blade. They glide much easier through the fabric. Use the Grippers for your templates and rulers. You have control on holding down the fabrics. Several sizes are available online for different sized templates and rulers. Placing that pin is very important when doing a OBW to line them up, and I find using the grippers very helpful also.
    You can Google: Gypsy Gripper, quilting rulers.

  17. #17
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    What is a OBW???

  18. #18
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    Thanks for all the advice. I ordered a 60 mm cutter, 5 60 mm replacement blades and 5 45 mm replacement blades yesterday from Amazon (and at great prices too) so I will be well armed with blades to get crisp accurate cuts. My book will arrive on Thursday and my fabric should be on the way today as well. I have flat pins that have a little "button" for the topper. I'm not sure they are quite as flat as the "flower" pins. I haven't ever actually used these and I'm not sure how it will feel with a ruler laid on top of them so I'll have to play around. Also I'll need to put some rubber grippers on my ruler as well (I normally like it to be sliddy but will need grip for this so I'm hoping I can remove them when I am done with this project).

  19. #19
    Senior Member lindy-2's Avatar
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    new blade definitly ive cut through 12 layers at once and dident have any problems but i had a new good quality 45mm blade.

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    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    OBW = One Block Wonder

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    Would you say the brand name Olfa is a "good quality" (as opposed to the generic ones people buy at Freight Harbor) or is there a higher quality brand I should be looking at?

  22. #22
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngelinaMaria View Post
    Would you say the brand name Olfa is a "good quality" (as opposed to the generic ones people buy at Freight Harbor) or is there a higher quality brand I should be looking at?
    Yes! you should be fine with Olfa brand products.
    It's probably the most common for quilters.
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    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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