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New girl here! In need of some advice!!

New girl here! In need of some advice!!

Old 03-03-2014, 07:21 AM
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Location: Fairfield PA
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Question New girl here! In need of some advice!!

Hello everyone!!
I am new here and I am a newbie quilter. I have been working on a sampler quilt from The Crafty Gemini YouTube quilt along. I have learned so much and I have found that I really enjoy quilting! I am completely YouTube and Internet taught. My job makes it difficult for me to attend any quilting classes although I would LOVE too.

This is my problem/issue: it's time for me to start my sashing in between my quilt blocks. The sashing needs to be 2 1/2 inches wide and 12 1/4 inches long (since this is how big my blocks are)

I've started cutting and I have my yardage folded in half to do long strips 2 1/2 inches wide and then I planned on cutting them down to 12 1/4 inches long. We'll the problem is that after I cut my strips and unfold them they are all crooked!!!! I'm lining everything up and Ive cut everything as straight as I can but as soon as I unfold it I find everything is crooked! I am so frustrated.

Cutting is my least favorite part and I always seem to mess it up. I've bought a GO baby cutter and it's amazing. I wish I could afford the Go! Cutter and then maybe I could get a die that could cut these strips for me! But that's not in the budget

if anybody has any tips or tricks for me I would really appreciate it

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Old 03-03-2014, 07:35 AM
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Hi and welcome to the board. Wonky strips happen when you fold the fabric multiple times and the folds are not perfectly parallel and the cuts are not 90 degrees to the fold. If possible, leave your fabric as it comes from the bolt. It will be about 22-23" wide. This is where your 6X24" ruler will work best. You need to make sure that your cuts are perpendicular to the fold. Place one of the ruler lines on the fold to make sure it's square and cut off the least amount of fabric to square it off. when you make subsequent cuts, make sure that you line up the ruler with the fold each time. Often, after a couple cuts, you may have to re-square your fabric by cutting off a sliver.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:36 AM
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i don't have words of wisdom, since i'm new as well.
i'll be checking this thread for info because i have cut things cooked, too.

just wanted to reach out and say HELLO from one newbie to another.
and i've also seen a few of the crafty gemini's youtube videos and love her! i can't wait to try her pillow case with the french seams.

again, welcome and i hope these brilliant folks answer your question.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:42 AM
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I was using my 6x24 inch ruler, and I just had the fabric folded in half. I also tried to cut off a sliver to make it square but a sliver wasn't gonna fix it. I had to walk away and hopefully I can get back to it today.

so I have to line up the fold with another ruler? I'll try that.

thank u so much for your reply!
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:43 AM
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Hello Libby!!! I love the crafty Gemini! She is so awesome! Nice to meet a newbie!
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:45 AM
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You're probably getting off-grain. Fabric folds a little easier and stays a little straighter if you stay on-grain.

If you have enough fabric to sacrifice a few inches, the easiest way for me to get on-grain is to RIP the fabric! I like to do a nice rip across the width of the fabric (rip off one of the cut ends) and that guarantees I'm on-grain. But this is optional.

With or without ripping...when you fold the fabric, hold it up by the folded edge and let the fabric hang. Look at how it hangs. If it doesn't hang straight, you're off-grain. Adjust your fold until it hangs straight. If you ripped off an end, your torn edge SHOULD line up; the other cut end may or may not.

When it comes time to cut the fabric, I trim off the torn edge about two inches down from the rip (because ripping pulls and damages fibers) and toss that part. So you'll lose 2-3 inches of fabric with the ripping method. (More if your fabric was initially cut very crookedly.)

When you cut your strips, line your fold up with a line on your ruler. Trim it square, and then cut your strip. Don't just assume you're staying straight by measuring from your freshly cut edge, either; every other strip or so, re-align that ruler line with the fold and trim it back square if necessary. Most of us end up a little "off" after a couple strips, so re-squaring will help with the crooked cuts.

It's not easy!! It does take some practice but you'll get there.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:02 AM
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Dispatchgirl, Here is a video from Leah Day which helped solve my problem with cutting crooked strips.


You really have to make sure that folded area is lying correctly or the crooked strips will show their ugly face. Hope this helps you.

Oh, and welcome to the QB. It's a great place to ask for help.

edited: Looks like I was typing as Sewnoma was posting. That video basically shows what she is describing.

Last edited by KLO; 03-03-2014 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:03 AM
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​The V shape at the fold is caused by the cut not being at a perfect angle at the fold. If you have a square ruler, lay that on the fold first. Align the 6X24 up to the edge of it to make your first cut. Thus should enable you to get a perfect strip. I will add a picture
Attached Thumbnails image.jpg  

Last edited by Tartan; 03-03-2014 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:06 AM
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Hi there, and welcome to the forum. I'm a newbie and self taught also. I have so much trouble cutting, I just hate it! I usually look here for advise and find it. I am in hopes that we both get better at cutting soon!
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:07 AM
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Amazing! That video helps so much! I think I was trying to cut with too much yardage. I have two yards of this fabric and I think for ease of cutting purposes I'm gonna chop it down so I'm working with less fabric on the table.

Duh I should have realized that was an issue.
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