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Thread: "Shocked" and "Horrified" expression was SO worth it!

  1. #1
    Senior Member sandrab64's Avatar
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    "Shocked" and "Horrified" expression was SO worth it!

    I'm helping my friend make her 2nd quilt. We searched high and low for this particular guitar material and finally got the 2 yards we needed. I needed to cut a chunk off and as she was facing me I made a little cut with the scissors and then proceeded to rip the rest of the fabric. The shocked and horrified look on her face was so funny when she saw me do this! After she got over it, I said she should try it too and get out some aggression! She loved it! Oh, the joys of quilting!
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    Sandra B

  2. #2
    Super Member MaryMo's Avatar
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    Although I haven't torn fabric in years, it might be fun on some days ... enjoy the experience! looking forward to see the quilt that uses that fabulous guitar fabric.
    Make it a scrappy happy day!

  3. #3
    Power Poster gabeway's Avatar
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    Sounds like great time!
    Wayne & Gabriele, the married quilters.

  4. #4
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I have never torn fabric, I think maybe I'll Have to give it a try!

  5. #5
    Super Member quilts4charity's Avatar
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    Yep, good therapy...LOL!

  6. #6
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    the first time i saw someone tear my fabric I almost had a heart attack. I have torn some but would not want any torn that I pay lots of money for. I hate all those threads! that is how I cut my thumb with my rotary cutter. i'd torn a length for border and then went to trim 1/8 of it off! ouch!!

  7. #7
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I don't see the shock of tearing fabric. It's fabric. LOL I always tear borders. No way I'm going to cut long strips with scissors or rotary cutter. And I don't like to piece borders so I tear lengthwise what I need per quilt side. A quick press and I have perfectly straight strips.
    Got fabric?

  8. #8
    Super Member NikkiLu's Avatar
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    Last year at the Paducah Quilt Show we went to Eleanor Burns tent sale - she actually had four locations in Paducah during the show - anyway, they all tore the fabric. The lady that was tearing mine said that they absolutely could not stand and cut all of that fabric, that their hands would be so blistered and sore - so they just snipped it and tore it. I don't remember any of mine being particularly stringy, etc.
    Nikki in MO

  9. #9
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    Ok, dumb newbie...you really ARE "ripping" it when you say "ripping" the fabric! And all this time, I thought "ripping" was when you used scissors and didn't have to actually "cut" but "slid" the scissors through the fabric (like they do sometimes in the fabric store when they use that metal guide and a really good pair of scissors.
    I GET IT!!! (insert the dopey-idiot smiley here).

  10. #10
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    Good quality fabric tears nicely: but you can hear the fabric cry!

  11. #11
    Senior Member sewplease's Avatar
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    I worked part time in a quilt shop for 3 glorious years and we also tore the fabric. It can be so crooked on the bolt sometimes. We would always allow a little extra for the small distortion along the torn edges. I haven't seen anyone in a store tear fabric in years. Like BellaBoo, I always tear my borders the length of the fabric.
    Laura

  12. #12
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I tear quit abit.. it's the fastest way to get the straight of grain. I rather enjoy a good rip!

  13. #13
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    Back in 1978 I made 75 square dance dresses for a club. There were miles and miles of red ruffles, narrow ones for the sleeves and wide ones for the bottom of the skirts. I tore and tore and they were wonderful. I would make clips along the cut end of a bolt of fabric at the designated widths I needed, tear down about a foot, grab every other strip and hand it to a friend. We then walked away from each other the length of the room and then went again! I sat and hemmed them, she ruffled them, they went into baskets by size (2", 7", 9", etc.) and got applied to the skirts and sleeves. Took WAY less time then cutting, I can't even imagine doing it with scissors (this was before rotary cutters were common). I still rip and shock people all the time!

  14. #14
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    I don't often tear fabric. It seems to want to get it out of square and then have to pull corners to correct it. If I do tear, I will usually trim the edge and so what have I gained
    , more work. Pet peeve is to buy a printed fabric such as a toile and discover it is to be not on the straight grain crosswise. The, I tear viciously.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    I don't see the shock of tearing fabric. It's fabric. LOL I always tear borders. No way I'm going to cut long strips with scissors or rotary cutter. And I don't like to piece borders so I tear lengthwise what I need per quilt side. A quick press and I have perfectly straight strips.
    I do the same. No problems with it.

  16. #16
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I just tore some last night, a favorite thing to do! I have a long length of black that I need some piecing and some borders from. I didn't want to cut off length for the piecing and leave myself short on the borders so... I tore off a long 6" strip.

  17. #17
    Junior Member Suzette316's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewplease View Post
    I worked part time in a quilt shop for 3 glorious years and we also tore the fabric. It can be so crooked on the bolt sometimes. We would always allow a little extra for the small distortion along the torn edges. I haven't seen anyone in a store tear fabric in years. Like BellaBoo, I always tear my borders the length of the fabric.
    I wish my LQS would rip the fabric. It's such a pet peeve of mine that while I am paying a premium price for my quilting fabric and doing my best to support my LQS, I still all too often get short-changed on my fabric amounts because once I get it home it is so distorted I have to cut a bunch off to get it straight and squared up on grain. aaarrghhhh!!!

  18. #18
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    OK, showing my age. In HS Home Ec we learned to straighten fabric by tearing. It will only tear on the cross grain, not on the bias. Then to make sure the grain line was straight, with 2 people, we stood with the fabric folded in half, selvedges at the top holding the 2 corners of our end of the length of fabric. Keeping the selvedge edges even, we shifted the fabric until it hung straight with no wrinkles. Then, if one side was longer than the other, we dropped that corner and pulled the short side away from one another (like a tug of war) . Rechecked it and worked until the fabric was on grain. This probably will not be too successful on poly blends or any man made fibers that may be heat set in the mfg. process. Not sure why this still isn't done. But no one teaches serious sewing any more. (Do I sound like a grumpy OLD person. tee hee).

  19. #19
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    I tear fabric when I am taking a length off a larger piece. I was told that the tear gives a true straight edge, what I have found out the it does give a true edge, but in some fabrics, the print is not screened on true. Some fabric gives alot of strings, some don't. What I have also been told is that a blend fabric when torn will pull threads (the non cotton threads) and ripple the edge. This has happened to me especially with older ginghams which I now know are a blend.

    Quote Originally Posted by francie yuhas View Post
    Good quality fabric tears nicely: but you can hear the fabric cry!
    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

  20. #20
    Super Member Central Ohio Quilter's Avatar
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    The way to be SURE that your fabric is on the straight of grain. But sometimes it is more important that the pattern of the print is straight than the grain is straight.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by IowaStitcher View Post
    OK, showing my age. In HS Home Ec we learned to straighten fabric by tearing. It will only tear on the cross grain, not on the bias. Then to make sure the grain line was straight, with 2 people, we stood with the fabric folded in half, selvedges at the top holding the 2 corners of our end of the length of fabric. Keeping the selvedge edges even, we shifted the fabric until it hung straight with no wrinkles. Then, if one side was longer than the other, we dropped that corner and pulled the short side away from one another (like a tug of war) . Rechecked it and worked until the fabric was on grain. This probably will not be too successful on poly blends or any man made fibers that may be heat set in the mfg. process. Not sure why this still isn't done. But no one teaches serious sewing any more. (Do I sound like a grumpy OLD person. tee hee).
    Iowa- if it's any consolation, I was just thinking yesterday that I would love to be able to pass down my (new) quilting hobby to my grandkids later in life...but was frustrated about how much I DON'T know, and that information such as you have is so uncommon and not taught regularly anymore. I am going to print & hopefully be able to decipher all you have said here, since it IS valuable information, and shouldn't be lost on a generation. THANK YOU for your contribution!
    Last edited by Teeler; 02-17-2013 at 12:58 PM.

  22. #22
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I wish I had taken more time with my Home Ec teacher. She had knowledge she brought to the class she didn't learn at teaching school! She made sure we knew the right way to pin fabric, trace and sew darts, invisible hem stitch which I use to sew on my binding now, put in a zipper perfectly with a 5/8 seam overlap, ease in sleeves and so much more. It has helped me in my quilting so much to remember all she taught me.
    Got fabric?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    I wish I had taken more time with my Home Ec teacher. She had knowledge she brought to the class she didn't learn at teaching school! She made sure we knew the right way to pin fabric, trace and sew darts, invisible hem stitch which I use to sew on my binding now, put in a zipper perfectly with a 5/8 seam overlap, ease in sleeves and so much more. It has helped me in my quilting so much to remember all she taught me.
    Me too! I still pin and pin things. I struggle with not pinning when I am piecing. She really drilled it in and if it wasn't perfect, you ripped it out and did it over.

  24. #24
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    LOL. Love the guitar fabric!

  25. #25
    Super Member damaquilts's Avatar
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    Years ago most fabric stores tore fabric. They ran it through the little measuring machine that made a little snip in the fabric and tore. I still tear my long pieces such as borders. Or if I have large yardage its much easier to measure, snip, tear then it is to try and futz around with cutting it. At least I know for sure I have a straight edge most of the time . But for someone who grew up with everyone cutting to the barest 1/100th of an inch I guess tearing would be scary..

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