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Thread: Ripped My Border Strips But Still Got Curves! Why?

  1. #1
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    Ripped My Border Strips But Still Got Curves! Why?

    After reading through some posts on the board, I decided to try ripping my long border strips. Ripped down the long selvedge edge and I really liked the results...except that so far, two out of six have a slight but distinct curve at each end. Ever had this happen? Is it something I did during the ripping process? I'd sure appreciate some input on this. I was really excited about doing it this way cause it sure seems like I can't cut through more than one fold without getting the dreaded "V." Thanks!
    http://www.thingsthatarenotperfect.blogspot.com/

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    In my opinion, ripping isn't all it is cracked up to be. froggyintexas

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    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    Have you tried starching and ironing them? Possibly the threads are just pulled a little bit and they'll straighten out. This is a guess--I've never ripped fabric but other quilters recommend it. Good luck!
    Imagine all the people living life in peace...(John Lennon 1940-1980)

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    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    I don't rip fabric ever. I just starch it, pressit straight, and use my trusty roller cutter and rulers! I've never had a problem with wavy borders.
    I used to be "hot", now it's just "hot flashes!"

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    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Here is what I have heard from teachers, but have not tried. the trick is to sew from the middle down to each side and not from top to bottom which is what creates waves. try it what can it hurt

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    Super Member sewingsuz's Avatar
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    I don't really like to rip the fabric. Does not seem neat to me. Just would rather cut.
    Suzanne
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    When I rip long pieces, I always leave a little extra fabric so I can trim off the stretched edge. Try ironing your strips and see if that helps. Are both edges of the strips ripped? If just one edge is ripped you will see a difference (curve) or at least I have found this to be true.

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    I never tear my fabric, and have never had wavy borders. I measure my quilt through the center, and cut my borders to fit.

  9. #9
    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wishfulthinking View Post
    After reading through some posts on the board, I decided to try ripping my long border strips. Ripped down the long selvedge edge and I really liked the results...except that so far, two out of six have a slight but distinct curve at each end. Ever had this happen? Is it something I did during the ripping process? I'd sure appreciate some input on this. I was really excited about doing it this way cause it sure seems like I can't cut through more than one fold without getting the dreaded "V." Thanks!
    First ~ 2 out of 6 sides????~ could you mean 2 of 4 side, that have slight but distinct curve at each end.
    Second ~ I'm a visual person ~ can you share a picture of your concern? I am having trouble trying to figure out your 'curve' problem. Usually on boarders it 'waves', which we can get when we don't measure, measure, measure, multiple times (never the edge), and average those measurements, then cut the boarder piece that average length measurement. Next, pin many times to make sure that the boarder 'fits'. Finally sew on the boarder.
    Third ~ ripping . . hmm ~ I have mixed feelings, but understand your apprehensiveness of trying to cut a long boarder pieces. How wide is your boarder? Also 'some' fabric do not tear 'nicely'

    Sorry to ask more questions, but like I said earlier, visuals help.
    Last edited by grammy Dwynn; 02-15-2012 at 08:11 PM.
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    Thanks to everyone who has answered, but I think I did a poor job describing the problem. I do not have wavy borders. I ripped a total of eight strips for two borders. So far, I've only starched and pressed six of them and two are curved at the end. Thats why I said two of six. I just haven't pressed the last two yet! The four that were perfectly straight have been sewn onto the quilt center and they're great, no wave, etc. So, I think I might like the technique, but for the two with the curve at the end and wondered if I could have done it in the tearing process. Should you tear just a little bit at a time? Or just start at one end an give it one big rip down the length? I just tore about six inches at a time. Hope this makes sense now!
    http://www.thingsthatarenotperfect.blogspot.com/

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    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    I understood your question, but have no answer. I am afraid to tear borders because there is not enough width, and the possible stretch factor, although I do tear my backings for easy squaring. Good luck!
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    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I tear my border strips longer and cut the curve ends off. I had a physic major explain it as the end of the threads had no place to exert the tearing energy created so they curved. ??? Just cut them off.
    Got fabric?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    I tear my border strips longer and cut the curve ends off. I had a physic major explain it as the end of the threads had no place to exert the tearing energy created so they curved. ??? Just cut them off.
    Thanks Bella! That kinda makes sense, I think. So maybe more careful ripping would be the answer. I'll try it again on another project & see what happens.
    http://www.thingsthatarenotperfect.blogspot.com/

  14. #14
    Senior Member Kat Sews's Avatar
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    When you rip fabric and it curves at the ends it may be that the end got twisted from the pressure of the pulling. This can often be corrected by pulling the curved part diagonally to straighten the threads that have become askew.

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    all i can think of is when you clipped the fabric before tearing it you may have done the cut on a slight angle. otherwise it should tear straight. try pressing them. if i ever tear, i tear wider than i need and then trim down.

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    I made 75 square dancing dresses with ruffles on the bottom of the skirts. I tore ALL the ruffles, with no bad results. My trick was to clip the salvege edge at the beginning and also at the very end...got some distortion when trying to just rip past the edge. I did do a no-no after 10 dresses, I cut into the cut end about 6 inches deep every 8 inches across the width, had a friend help me to hold every other cut and we just walked away from each other. All ruffles had to be roll-hemmed and then ruffled, so this eliminated alot of cross seams! I never had an issue with ripping, do it for all borders/sashing over 2" wide! Never starch anything, don't like to iron before using the fabric and am a little lazy regarding all the prep work everyone does. I am, however, a perfectionist regard the final product, so it works for me! Linda

  17. #17
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    I don't rip fabric, but was wondering if the pieces that curved still had selvedge on the one side? It might make a difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kat Sews View Post
    When you rip fabric and it curves at the ends it may be that the end got twisted from the pressure of the pulling. This can often be corrected by pulling the curved part diagonally to straighten the threads that have become askew.
    Right Kat Sews. I just finished pressing the last two strips and one of them had just the very slightest curve and I straightened it out, I think, by pulling it back into shape during the pressing.
    http://www.thingsthatarenotperfect.blogspot.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by thimblebug6000 View Post
    I don't rip fabric, but was wondering if the pieces that curved still had selvedge on the one side? It might make a difference.
    I don't think I removed the selvedge till after I'd ripped all my strips. That might have had something to do with it. It's something I'll remember next time.

    I was using fabric from JoAnn's which I've never used before. I don't think it was quite the quality of the rest of the fabrics, but I really didn't see anything wrong with it. Not trying to dis JoAnn. The only reason I haven't used their fabric before is because I haven't had access.
    http://www.thingsthatarenotperfect.blogspot.com/

  20. #20
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I do not like to rip because I still have to trim the ripped edge. That seems like double work for me. Sorry you are having this trouble. Could it be that the strips are narrow and just "appear" to be wavy - they may sew on just fine if that's the case.
    Martina
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  21. #21
    Super Member KathyKat's Avatar
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    Ripping is the best way to get the fabric squared properly. However you may have stretched the fabric sideways slightly at the end of the strips. You can yank them back into shape. I always allow extra so I can then re-trim the edges with ruler and rotary cutter.
    Kathleen, a lass with a bit of the Irish in her blood and a whole lot of Irish in her heart

  22. #22
    Super Member Dodie's Avatar
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    many years ago in high school home ec we were taught to always tear our fabric length wise or the side with the selvedge that was to strighten it upI guess since being taught this that I do it I always tear my borders but about 1/2
    inch wider than I want then I trim the fuzzy edges I don't know why yours got wavy on the end but I tear slow and have never had a problem 100 % cotton should tear very straight

  23. #23
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    I don't believe you said whether or not you measured the border and then ripped. When I rip I always rip longer than the cut border. This avoids a bit of bowing at the end. If however, you have measured and then ripped as stated above, carefully iron and perhaps starch. You need to make sure the one side of the border is not "out of focus" or grain.....If this is the case, then squish it back to the size it should be and work it into the side of the quilt.
    I would pin at the end and then ease the possible bunching into the side. Hopefully this shoud take care of it.
    I sometime will rip wider than required and then trim off the thread edges.

  24. #24
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    Things to consider: Fabric is not what it used to be. And, when the manufacturer rolls the fabric on the bolt, it gets out of shape. Look in the archives for "straigtening fabric".

  25. #25
    Senior Member CircleSquare's Avatar
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    There are 2 problems with tearing: #1. The fabric is not always woven straight. Or perhaps it gets stretched off grain when being rolled onto the bolt - something that happens by huge machines at the mill. You can't count on getting fabric square by tearing it.
    #2. Tearing the fabric damages the threads at the tear. The thicker and better quality the fabric, the more this is true.

    I am a professional long-arm quilter and I try to discourage my clients from ever tearing their fabric.

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