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Thread: Stripping...

  1. #1
    MNQuilter's Avatar
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    Ok, now that I have your attention... :lol:

    It seems like every time I cut strips from my fabric, they end up bowed! :evil: I am really careful about matching my selvages when I wash and press and then when I press the strips open. They bow right in the middle, where the fabric is folded. Any suggestions? Anyone know what I might be doing wrong? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    That is the same reason I cut my strips lengthwise. Most the quilting instructions tell you to cut width wise. There is a way to do it so that it doesn't have that elbow, but ever few strips you have to restraighten it, so I save myself the hassle and just do it lengthwise. Maybe someone else can help you better.

  3. #3
    thismomquilts's Avatar
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    I don't know if I can tell you a better way - but I can tell you what I do... I make sure the fabric is ironed folded in half just one time... I make sure it's ironed tight - a very good crease... then I fold it in half again and iron it down again... very rarely now do I have bowed strips...

  4. #4
    Senior Member Dingle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thismomquilts
    I don't know if I can tell you a better way - but I can tell you what I do... I make sure the fabric is ironed folded in half just one time... I make sure it's ironed tight - a very good crease... then I fold it in half again and iron it down again... very rarely now do I have bowed strips...
    I have done it this way too, but I still seem to get the bows. I have even tried it by just folding the fabric once with a good iron and it still happens :(

  5. #5
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    the problem might be the fold isn't at a 90 degree angle with the cut.

  6. #6
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    When you put your selvedges together do you make sure the fold is straight? If it doesn't hang in a straight U you don't have it folded straight. Make sure your second fold is also straight. Then you have to make sure your ruler is at 90 degrees to the fold.

  7. #7
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I had that problem, too. Then someone told me to pin the edges when I had them perfectly line up. Now I fold, pin, starch, iron. It takes time but it seems to help me. Every time I think I'm getting good enough to skip the pins, I mess up and get banana strips.

  8. #8
    Super Member ScrapQuilter's Avatar
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    We just covered this problem at our quilt meeting last night.

    when you fold your fabric selvage to selvage are you trying to match the cut edge of the fabric??????? Well you shouldn't as it may not have been cut straight at the fabric store.........

    Make sure the selvage edges match and that there are no bows and that the fabric hangs straight........ don't worry if the cut edge doesn't match.
    even the cut edge............ then cut your strip....... works every time.

    Hope it works for you.

    Scrap Quilter

  9. #9
    Super Member Kyiav10's Avatar
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    When you match up the selvages you have to make sure where the fold is that it is laying straight. If there are wrinkles in it you will have to move one selvage end to the left or right to fix it and then iron. Then match the fold to selvage same way and iron. I asked this question a little over a year ago and learned quickly.

    Kyia :D

  10. #10
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNQuilter
    Ok, now that I have your attention... :lol:

    It seems like every time I cut strips from my fabric, they end up bowed! :evil: I am really careful about matching my selvages when I wash and press and then when I press the strips open. They bow right in the middle, where the fabric is folded. Any suggestions? Anyone know what I might be doing wrong? Thanks in advance!
    Matching selvedges actually has nothing to do with cutting straight strips. Straight strips depend on the fold line being exactly 90 degrees to the cutting ruler. To ensure this, I use a large ruler on the fold line, matching a line on the ruler exactly to the fold. I then butt my cutting ruler against the first ruler. (The edge of the large ruler will be exactly 90 degrees from the lines on the large ruler.) Any variation away from 90 degrees will cause a bow at the fold line.

  11. #11
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    I read somewhere that if you fold your fabric where it is even on the fold (not necessarily with the selveges lined up) then you don't get those. I tried it and it works!

    Match your selvages, then grab the fold and shake it even.

  12. #12
    joy
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    I haven't read all of the notes, but when placing the ruler on the material you have to first see that the selvedge is straight with the opposite side, then line up a straight line on the ruler at the fold, and without moving the ruler, cut across the material to the other side... then don't move the material but carefully turn the cutting mat around so you can then cut the strips... with every strip y ou cut you have to line the ruler up with the previous long cutting edge and ALSO the fold line otherwise you will get an elbow in the material... if that happens, then recut again (square up) and start all over again... just make sure that you don't move the material at any stage... if the material is long I just fold it and lay the excess on the mat, turn the mat around, then carefully unfold the excess , then cut strips...

  13. #13
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
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    Ahh...an age old question asked again and again...
    I have found that you need to aline your selvedge edges not the cut edges because the fabric is not straight on the bolt.
    This can end up being a couple of inches off on the end of the fabric piece...much to our frustration (because that gets cut off in squaring up fabric)
    So, take your selvidge edges and line those up so the fold in the fabric is "nice and correct" then square up your fabric, then cut your strips.
    Hope this helps.
    Kirsten

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by KO24
    Ahh...an age old question asked again and again...
    I have found that you need to aline your selvedge edges not the cut edges because the fabric is not straight on the bolt.
    This can end up being a couple of inches off on the end of the fabric piece...much to our frustration (because that gets cut off in squaring up fabric)
    So, take your selvidge edges and line those up so the fold in the fabric is "nice and correct" then square up your fabric, then cut your strips.
    Hope this helps.
    Kirsten
    One other thing that I do that hasn't been mentioned yet is that I make sure that the folded edge is toward me and the selvedge edge is away from me on the cutting mat. I learned this from Simply Quilts a few years ago and it works for me.

  15. #15
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    Matching selvedges actually has nothing to do with cutting straight strips. Straight strips depend on the fold line being exactly 90 degrees to the cutting ruler. To ensure this, I use a large ruler on the fold line, matching a line on the ruler exactly to the fold. I then butt my cutting ruler against the first ruler. (The edge of the large ruler will be exactly 90 degrees from the lines on the large ruler.) Any variation away from 90 degrees will cause a bow at the fold line.
    I used to have bowed strips and now I do this but using a 6" square ruler as the first ruler- works every time! :D

  16. #16
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    The two ruler trick makes alot of sense to me. It sounds much easier than pinning. I'm going to try that one!

  17. #17
    MNQuilter's Avatar
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    Thank you for all the tips. I do make sure I line up selvages, not cut ends and make sure my fabric lays flat on the fold. I then iron iron iron until it is nice and crisp and flat. I line the fold at the bottom edge with the selvage away from me then square it up. I'll have to try the two ruler trick. I also don't touch the fabric that I am cutting when I am cutting multiple strips.

    I just got an Eleanor Burns Log Cabin book and she recommends tearing off a strip of fabric to make sure that you are perfectly straight on the grain. I'm hesitant to tear as I also don't want to stretch anything but maybe I'll try it with some scrap fabric and see if it helps. I saw a recent huge discussion about tearing vs cutting on this board.


  18. #18
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    When you put your selvedges together do you make sure the fold is straight? If it doesn't hang in a straight U you don't have it folded straight. Make sure your second fold is also straight. Then you have to make sure your ruler is at 90 degrees to the fold.
    The last sentence is the most important thing to remember. Your ruler must be at a 90 degree angle to the fold (use the lines on the ruler to align with the fold).

  19. #19
    Senior Member Dingle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    Quote Originally Posted by MNQuilter
    Ok, now that I have your attention... :lol:

    It seems like every time I cut strips from my fabric, they end up bowed! :evil: I am really careful about matching my selvages when I wash and press and then when I press the strips open. They bow right in the middle, where the fabric is folded. Any suggestions? Anyone know what I might be doing wrong? Thanks in advance!
    Matching selvedges actually has nothing to do with cutting straight strips. Straight strips depend on the fold line being exactly 90 degrees to the cutting ruler. To ensure this, I use a large ruler on the fold line, matching a line on the ruler exactly to the fold. I then butt my cutting ruler against the first ruler. (The edge of the large ruler will be exactly 90 degrees from the lines on the large ruler.) Any variation away from 90 degrees will cause a bow at the fold line.
    Being new to quilting I just can't seem to understand about the rulers. Any way I can get a visual or direct me to a website that might show this?

    Thanks, Kris

  20. #20
    joy
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    you really need to be shown.... remember you have to have two sides of the ruler on a straight line before cutting and that is what it is all about.... one across and the other up and down... have a play with that...but if I were you I would google it... not sure what I would type in though. Maybe "stripping"... worth a try. Or "cutting straight lines of material". Let us know how you get on....

  21. #21
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    I went to About.com and found a picture of the side-by-side rulers. Let's see if this will work:
    http://quilting.about.com/od/rotaryc...ing_strips.htm

    OK, I checked it. It went right to it.

  22. #22
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    I had trouble with bowing too until I got the new ruler with the built in strip cutter.

    It works the same way the circle ruler works, slits cut into a ruler every half inch the whole way across the ruler. When I lay the ruler on the fabric after lining up and ironing, it covers about 18 inches of the fabric. I got mine at Walmart but I have seen them at Joanns and a couple of other sites and I paid 13 dollars.

    Hope it helps, it helped me.

  23. #23
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    Along with the alignment comments I have one that helps also. I use a wider ruler when cutting strips. 6 inches or wider helps in making sure that the line on the ruler is perfectly aligned with the fold of the fabric.

    Happy cutting!! :D

  24. #24
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    When you put your selvedges together do you make sure the fold is straight? If it doesn't hang in a straight U you don't have it folded straight. Make sure your second fold is also straight. Then you have to make sure your ruler is at 90 degrees to the fold.
    That would have been my question. I usually hold the fabric selvage-to-selvage and see if it is skewed. Then I shift one selvage until the piece hangs even. I do not have problems with bowed strips when I use that method.

  25. #25
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter
    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    When you put your selvedges together do you make sure the fold is straight? If it doesn't hang in a straight U you don't have it folded straight. Make sure your second fold is also straight. Then you have to make sure your ruler is at 90 degrees to the fold.
    That would have been my question. I usually hold the fabric selvage-to-selvage and see if it is skewed. Then I shift one selvage until the piece hangs even. I do not have problems with bowed strips when I use that method.
    That's what I do. The grain has been set already by the manufacturing processes, so you're just concerned about getting a good flat fold. Then you can use the ruler to get a good 90 degree angle for the cut.

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