Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tip Tuesday! A Cut Above (and a completed quilt top)

Welcome to
"Tip Tuesday!"

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired! 

Tip Tuesday! - Cutting Accuracy Ideas

While I was working on this quilt the last few days... 
YEAH! The top is DONE!)

I had to be very careful with the cutting because there was very little waste. This is the most that was left over from any of the strip sets, and it measures a little less than 1/2". 

Most of the strip sets had about 1/8" of waste and that was kind of scary. I was so worried that I would make a mistake and cut the wrong size of strip and not be able to complete the quilt.

This got me thinking about some of the "tricks" I've used over the years to help with my cutting accuracy. Here are some of the tried and true methods I've used and encouraged others to do the same.

Glow-Line Tape is great for marking the lines on a ruler that I need to find each time I to cut. This tape is transparent so they can be seen through and it is reusable.

Cutting Edge Vinyl Strips have a couple of ways they can be used. Like the Glow-Line Tape, these strips can be put on the top of the ruler to mark the line that needs to be used for cutting. These strips can also be attached to the underside of the ruler thus creating a raised edge so fabric can butt up next to it and not slip.

If you don't want to buy anything special, there are items that you probably already have in your house that can be used to increase cutting accuracy.

Post It Notes can be stuck to the ruler marking the correct measurement on which to align the fabric. (I just realized that my picture is upside down. Sorry!) 

And finally, a Dry Erase Marker is wonderful for use in the sewing room. They come in a variety of colors and that can be helpful on the various rulers you may have. (Don't forget to wipe off the marker!)

Can you see the arrows that I've marked on the ruler showing the 1 1/4" line? That helps align the edge of the fabric to the correct measurement. I don't know about you, but I've been known to turn the ruler around and cut a wrong size strip. That would have created a very bad situation this past weekend.

I often used a dry erase marker when I'm trimming my half square triangles. See the stitching line in the picture below? I will align a ruler with a diagonal line drawn on it to to the stitching line and trim the the triangle.

The drawn line is on top of the stitching line. I know it's hard to see.

Now I just trim off the excess and I have the correct half square triangles.

If you take the time to cut correctly, you'll have a much easier time with the piecing. If that means you have to come up with some tool or technique, by all means do it!

No comments: