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Thread: Working with large pirces of fabric

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Working with large pirces of fabric

    How do you do it? I recently purchased two yards of fabric to use for sashing and borders on a top. I was reluctant to cut it into managable pieces, as I want to minimize the joins. Washed it, then struggled to iron such a large piece. Trying to manhandle it on my cutting table made me want to tear my hair out. Finally got it lined up and square. Had to cut through four layers, two beyond my comfort zone (thank you all for the tips on getting a clean cut through multiple layers!). I got it done, but it seems like there must be an easier way.

  2. #2
    Power Poster sharon b's Avatar
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    I am lucky that I have a big cutting area so I can lay the fabric across two tables - I sew outside on my front porch and have two of the 8 foot tables set up During the winter more difficult but use an old dining room table where I can lay the fabric out without it hanging down and "pulling"
    To keep your mind fresh- learn one new thing a day !

  3. #3
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I always fold my fabric so I'm cutting thru four layers. I don't have that long of a reach plus I find that when stretching to cut that far you tend to get crooked cuts on the end. I also accordion fold the length of the fabric. If I have a lot of cutting to do from the same piece of fabric I'll tear off more manageable lengths in multiples of what I'm cutting. I make a scrap quilt that uses 4 yards of black for sashing, borders and binding. I'll tear off what I need for borders and binding, plus an inch for straightening, since they're the same cut width then I'll tear what's left in to two sections to cut the sashing. Tearing means it's straight.

  4. #4
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    Sometimes I just cut one layer at a time - moving my ruler along the edge -

    It may take more time than trying to cut multiple layers at once - but then I'm not wrestling with multiple layers.

    If I do have a slip up - less fabric is messed up at one time.

    Works for me - but I'm not a 'speed quilter' -

  5. #5
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    I sew more clothes than quilts and have found that using a longer surface for cutting long lengths of fabric helps. I use my 72" dining table and put a chair at the end to puddle any extra length of fabric. Honestly, on extra long lengthwise cuts for quilting, I am more accurate using my ruler and fine line marker, then cutting with dressmaker shears. Folding fabric to use a rotary cutter isn't so easy for some of us.
    Elizabeth

  6. #6
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I fold it first into four layer as you did. I have a small cutting surface so I use one end and fold the other end towards the end i am using just so it sits of to the side of the mat and I can unroll it out as I am using it on the cutting surface. this keeps it from pulling down on the edge of the fabric I am cutting and keeps it off the floor. As for ironing that will be kind of awkward but a little bit easier if you make yourself a big board to go on top of your ironing board (http://www.quiltcampus.net/Library/P...ningBoard.html) Also If you washed your fabric it is easier to cut it if you starch it so they say. I am not a washer so can't tell you if that is completely true. Also another thing is if you cut strips alot, it would behoove you to try the june tailor shape cutter for strips. It goes much faster than the standard ruler and more consistent. I prefer the 12x18 one in 1/2 inch increments. Makes cutting strips easier. You can find the 12x12 one at joanns but the other one is sold online at joanns as I couldn't find it in any of the stores out here. The 12x12 one is good but you have to move it more often when cutting larger strips.

  7. #7
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    Sometimes I just cut one layer at a time - moving my ruler along the edge -

    It may take more time than trying to cut multiple layers at once - but then I'm not wrestling with multiple layers.

    If I do have a slip up - less fabric is messed up at one time.

    Works for me - but I'm not a 'speed quilter' -
    Yeah, I, too, am a "one at a time" cutter. I tried cutting thru 4 layers once, the ruler slipped & I was in a world of hurt (fabric-wise).
    (`v)
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    (.(. (..`..♥ rebecca

  8. #8
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolphyngyrl View Post
    I fold it first into four layer as you did. I have a small cutting surface so I use one end and fold the other end towards the end i am using just so it sits of to the side of the mat and I can unroll it out as I am using it on the cutting surface. this keeps it from pulling down on the edge of the fabric I am cutting and keeps it off the floor. As for ironing that will be kind of awkward but a little bit easier if you make yourself a big board to go on top of your ironing board (http://www.quiltcampus.net/Library/P...ningBoard.html) Also If you washed your fabric it is easier to cut it if you starch it so they say. I am not a washer so can't tell you if that is completely true. Also another thing is if you cut strips alot, it would behoove you to try the june tailor shape cutter for strips. It goes much faster than the standard ruler and more consistent. I prefer the 12x18 one in 1/2 inch increments. Makes cutting strips easier. You can find the 12x12 one at joanns but the other one is sold online at joanns as I couldn't find it in any of the stores out here. The 12x12 one is good but you have to move it more often when cutting larger strips.
    Thank you for the link to the ironing board. I will use that pattern once I am moved into my new house. Thanks again!

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