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Strip Cutting Issues

Strip Cutting Issues

Old 11-22-2019, 07:12 AM
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I would also consider the surface you are using under your cutting mat. Some surfaces have a little "give" (like an ironing board) while others really don't (an island or countertop).
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Old 11-22-2019, 11:33 AM
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All this information is so helpful! I have a self healing Olfa mat that is not beat up, no nicks or gouges. So, I've another question related.....how can the mat affect the cut? Mine seems to be in good shape, but to be honest, I never considered that as a possibility. I'm relatively new to quilting, just two years or so. So while I've learned tons from threads, videos, and trial and error, I still have so much to learn! I've seen the stripology rulers, and I'm intrigued....are they really that accurate? I would think all those slits in the ruler would make them more likely to shift when cutting.
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Old 11-22-2019, 01:31 PM
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yep the cutting surface matters.....folding tables, plastic taps, ironing boards can develope "bows" in them over time....I finally ended up ordering an ironing board online which was expensive because the ones they had around here developed sagging parts in the surfaces and I was getting baggy yardage when I ironed it.....same with cutting strips on my cheap folding table....I now like to cut strips on my sewing cabinet which is wood or on my wooden heavy folding table...doesn much better so it isn't just ruler that can be causing problems....
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Old 11-23-2019, 09:49 AM
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Some advice for "preserving" your mat... unless I am using the grid lines for measuring use a ruler for measuring and cut in any direction on the mat! This will avoid a lot of problems with ruts as will using a small mat piece (cut from an old big one) for trimming such things as HSTs.

Also if you are just cutting a straight line use the "back" edge of the ruler, it saves a lot of wear and tear, too.

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 11-23-2019 at 06:49 PM. Reason: shouting/all caps
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:40 AM
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You need to line up the folded edges on the ruler and make a straight cut. After cutting a few strips, re-aline your ruler and straighten out the cut before you cut more. You will have much better results
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:02 AM
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In addition to making sure your rulers are still square and your cutting surface is not bowed (note: A folding card table is never a good cutting surface but I've seen them used often), consider ergonomics.

I find I cut long (width of fabric) cuts best standing up at my dining room table, smaller and trims I can do fine sitting, but I have a long torso and relatively short arms and skew long cuts while sitting. A taller friend of mine found standing at her kitchen counters made a huge improvement in her cutting accuracy.

And one more mention about straight of grain. It's one of the reasons I believe in pre-washing and typically I rip off one side before washing so I know where the straight is. Cuts are often off grain by up to two inches. Some of it is because of the way the fabric is made, and then wound on the bolt, some of it is the cutting. Back in the day of home ec classes, we were taught how to pick out a thread for the straight edge, trim along that line and then tug on diagonal corners to straighten. I was taught that straight of grain was important and sometimes it is...

On the other hand, with modern woven fabrics straight isn't such a big deal for the most part. I happily fussy cut fabric all the time with no attention to the grain at all. Some people believe being slightly off grain is beneficial, yes it is true that my squares are so square they are right on grain, but if your fabric is so flimsy you need to worry about threads shedding then you shouldn't be using them.

With smaller pieces (yard and under, including fat quarters) I wash them in my normal wash (warm) with like colors and unscented soap. I've dye checked anything I'm concerned about, but usually not an issue with commercial fabrics. I want them to be roughed up a bit and come in contact with the other pieces. When they come out, I give them a good "snap" (you will know it when you hear it!), and toss them in the dryer. I don't use dryer sheets with my fabric and I'm pleased with the woolen dryer balls I've been using. I also wash the larger pieces but they don't snap
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