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Thread: Possible Silly Question

  1. #1
    Junior Member yweinst's Avatar
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    Possible Silly Question

    So I've now quilted a few quilts and I've tried various ways of measuring to cut my fabric, using the ruler for my lines and using the mat lines for my measurements. So my question for all of you is how do you measure to cut so that everything comes out "perfect"?

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    TruCut Rulers and matching rotary cutter. http://www.graceframe.com/site/rotarycutting/ruler.
    Cheryl Robinson
    http://www.silverneedlestitching.com
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

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    Senior Member kaelynangelfoot's Avatar
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    I use the ruler, make sure its all square and then cut measuring on the ruler.

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    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    there is no perfect, but if you use the same way every time, you get closer. it's not just about the ruler. your sewing seam matters as well, maybe even more.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

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    I use the lines on the matbto line up my fabric and ruler, if that makes sense.

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    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I only use the marking on the cutting mat for general cutting or to line up the crease. I try and use the same ruler for the entire project. Different brands of rulers can be off just a bit.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

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    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    That's why I use the Go die cutter. At least my cuts match each other perfectly. I took a precision piecing class and the most important thing after accurate cutting was to sew S L O W as slow as one stitch at a time. If the fabric pieces to not match like they are suppose to, stop and find out why. Don't keep sewing more. It seemed like it would take forever to make a top this way but the more I did it the better I got at piecing. No frustration of miss size blocks made up for the extra time.
    Got fabric?

  8. #8
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    I used to use my mat to measure ... and I always had problems. Now I always use a two ruler method.

    note ... I'm right handed. Reverse if you are left handed

    First ... get a nice clean straight edge on the right side of your fabric.

    Now ... place your 'cutting ruler' to the left of where you want to cut. Place your 'measuring ruler' to the right of your cutting ruler and use this ruler to measure from the straight edge on the right side to the desired length (ie if you need a 6" strip - place the 6" mark on the right edge of the fabric). I like to use as large a measuring ruler as possible to make sure that my 6" is the same at the top of the strip and the bottom of the strip. If I'm cutting length of 26" I'll use a 12" ruler. Make sure that the edge of the fabric sits directly under the 6" marked line. Using rulers with thin lines helps.

    Now hold your measuring ruler in place and slide your cutting ruler up against the edge - making sure it is square to the entire edge of the measuring ruler. Check your measuring again to make sure it didn't slide. Hold your cutting ruler firmly and remove the measuring ruler. Now make your cut along the edge of the cutting ruler.

    If you are cutting something that has already been cut on one side (ie cutting the squares from a strip) I will make sure that my measuring ruler is square to both the top and bottom cut edges when I measure. If it is off a little ... I will re-square the right edge of the fabric until my measuring ruler squares up to all three sides (top, bottom and right) then slide my cutting ruler into place and cut.

    I have also switched to Creative Grid rulers and LOVE them!! I have 12.5, 9.5, 6.5, 4.5 squares and a 24" rectangle and a little 2.5 X 6.5 rectangle. Since I got these I have not used any of my other rulers.

    I would be remiss if I did not mention that I learned this method from Sally Collins "Mastering Precision Piecing" book and video. If you want to learn more about all the little things that can make piecing precise (very important when doing little pieces - which is my passion) then I highly suggest that you get the book and the video.
    Last edited by DogHouseMom; 03-10-2013 at 07:09 PM.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

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    Personally, I think the most important factor is to use the SAME tools/method throughout a project. Consistency is the name of the game. I use the lines on my mat to line up fabric but use the measurements on my ruler for cutting. Unless it is for a cut larger than my ruler then I am forced to use the mat's markings. I don't like the 2-ruler method of measuring - too much slippage for me, plus I don't have 2 of the same manufacturer's rulers so the mat markings work. Those pieces usually are then sub-cut, so I might have a tendency to cut a little on the 'heavy' or larger side (i.e. might end up 12 1/8" vs a true 12") but I can usually use my other rulers to sub-cut to the exact measurements. EXCEPT when doing half square triangles...those I always cut larger (the inch measurement vs the 7/8" measure) and then trim down. Works better for me.

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    I use the june taylor cutting matts. there r slots for lining up edges and cutting. as long as fabric is strathat's cuts are great!!! g

  11. #11
    Junior Member narnianquilter's Avatar
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    A lot of patience, and when I ran out of that my husband bought me the accuquilt go! Besides that, a rotary cutter, mat and the same ruler for everything went a long way!

  12. #12
    Junior Member yweinst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom View Post
    I would be remiss if I did not mention that I learned this method from Sally Collins "Mastering Precision Piecing" book and video. If you want to learn more about all the little things that can make piecing precise (very important when doing little pieces - which is my passion) then I highly suggest that you get the book and the video.
    Thank you for the recommendation. I'm a visual learner so I'm definitely checking out her book and possibly if I still need help the video.

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    Junior Member homebody323's Avatar
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    I use the june taylor rulers too as well as a number of other rulers. I too only use the mat for lining up. One thing I didn't see mentioned was that when I line up the ruler along the cut edge I include the width of the line. Makes a big difference.
    Meaning when you line up that broken line on whatever measurement you want, include the space you can see between the breaks and align with the right edge of the black dash line.
    I'm not all that perfect at anything, but I have a friend that is as perfect as you can get with everything she does (will tear out if it's 1 thread off) and that's the way she showed me to cut out.
    Sally Dolin
    Rock Island, IL

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    you know that is actually a great question! it took me a couple of projects to see that the measurements were actually off. I have not grasp the full concept of measuring with the ruler, but I do agree is comes with practice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yweinst View Post
    So I've now quilted a few quilts and I've tried various ways of measuring to cut my fabric, using the ruler for my lines and using the mat lines for my measurements. So my question for all of you is how do you measure to cut so that everything comes out "perfect"?
    You buy an Accuquilt Go!!!!!!!!! Believe me I know!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. #16
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    If you always use the ruler lines to measure you will be far more accurate. I think you have been measuring some with the ruler others with the mat if you look carefully you will see they give a very slight different measurements. Over a quilt this will add up to inches.
    Mat to square with lines but cut using ruler.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  17. #17
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I couldn't cut straight until I bought a June Tailor Shape cutter, but if I didn't have it, I would use my 24 1/2 X 6 1/2 ruler and learn not to let my cutting wander away from the ruler on the far end. I use my cutting mat upside down so there are no lines. I don't find the lines accurate and they are too distracting with all the lines on the rulers. I get a more accurate cut using a normal ruler if I double fold the fabric so I'm only cutting 11" instead of 22".

  18. #18
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I only use the cutting mat lines for the lining up of the fabric after I have checked it for being on fold correctly. With cutting I either use a ruler or my Alto's Quilt Cut2.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

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    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I use my rulers only - not the mat.
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

  20. #20
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    and line up with the left or larger side of the line on the ruler.

  21. #21
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    Use the same ruler to cut all
    the pieces in the project, so everything is measured against the same standard. I only use the lines on the mat as a GENERAL measurement, not to measure accurately. For example, if I need 2 1/8" for a binding, I measure with the ruler. If I need about a 2" piece for paper piecing, I can use the mat.

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    Rulers, rulers, and rulers. I use the 5 X 23 inch ruler to cut my strips. Then smaller rulers to subcut these strips into the pieces I need. After the block is pieced I use a square up ruler.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sewmary View Post
    I use the lines on the matbto line up my fabric and ruler, if that makes sense.
    Ditto on that...fabric edge on mat board line, then place ruler on fabric and line up..

  24. #24
    Junior Member yorkie luv's Avatar
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    I used to use the lines on the mat, then I read to use the ruler. Since I started using the ruler my pieces are more accurate. I also use the June Tailor Perfect HST ruler to square the pieces. That has made a huge difference.

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    God only makes perfect, things that are not perfect to you just put character in the quilts

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