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Topic: how to cut straight  (Read 2100 times)
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Kristen81
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2006 02:31:19 PM »

Just buy one of these bad boys:

http://www.absolutehome.com/assets/images/product/johnson430.jpg

Works great...hardware store...$7
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wanderingskopos
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2006 03:40:35 AM »

Ripping works best with linen-weave cotton fabrics, like sheets or quilting fabrics (cut a straight notch with scissors, 1/4 inch or so,  to get started). And yeah, it only works if you want the edge to go with the grain Tongue

Otherwise, a tailor's/seamstress' chalk and a ruler are your best friends. A large, even surface to cut on like a tabletop or a hard floor and sharp scissors help, too. Also, iron the fabric - it's soooo much easier to cut fabric that's smooth. (Yes, I speak from experience....)

If you want a piece to be on grain, one way to get a straight edge is to cut a notch into an edge following the grain and pick out a thread or two from the weave. Then pull the thread out carefully like a hoodie drawstring. When you've pulled a bit of thread out so that the fabric is wrinkled, pinch the end of the notch and gently push the wrinkles further on to relieve the tension on the thread. If you're careful, it's possible to pull the entire thread out from one selvedge/piece edge to another. This should result in a hole or a line in the fabric. If the thread breaks, cut along the line carefully and pick out a new thread from where the line stops.

Finally, the edge of a book/magazine/letter/advertisement/pattern paper works fine for the times you just need a straight line and can't be bothered to get up and fetch the ruler   Grin
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emiwcch
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2006 10:54:46 AM »

wow! so many replies! thanks, guys. i really like that hardware store thing, so i think i'll get that too. ah, you guys are just so helpful!  Grin
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Kristen81
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2006 10:52:26 PM »

I like it cause you can place it along a straight edge...like the selvage and create an exact 90 degree angle from that.

One tip as well that my Mom taught me is to keep all the little slivers of soap left when a bar is almost gone...great for marking fabric...smells nice...wipes off easily ...and it's FREE!!!!    Smiley
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OhSoRetroDarling
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« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2006 06:00:17 PM »

I forgot about ripping fabric...love doing that instead of cutting.
several times I've ripped things & they've ripped crooked. & I've ruined the strip. gotta be careful with that.

& everyone is right. a rotary cutter/mat really does make life easier...

the soap idea is totally awesome!!!
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« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2006 11:28:56 AM »

i use a mat, rotary cutter and two big rulers, but i don't use the grid, that always took me 5 years to line up. if you lay the fabric out, then fold selvage to selvage (perfectlly in line) then fold to selvage, you place that on your cutting mat, line up one ruler to match the top and bottom, then trim off the ragged edge. once you have that oh-so-perfect straight edge, you measure whatever from that and it's perfectly straight. that's how all my quilting books go about it...
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caradee
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2006 10:32:00 AM »

I recomend investing in a mat, rotary cutter and ruler (metal or the 5" wide omnigrid style ones).  Pick them up with the 50% off coupons stores often have (michael's, joanns, in Canada we have fabricland sales quite often).

Also, pinning and using pattern pieces take more time, but it's worth it for professional results.

(Pinning, Pressing and Patience are the three P's for professional sewing, I always used to wing it, but have decided to sacrifice time to higher quality and am so much happier with my projects now.)
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emiwcch
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2006 08:21:26 PM »

thanks! you guys are just so helpful! and friendly too!
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iggysmom
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2006 04:56:32 PM »

I notice that many of you said you use metal rulers with your rotary cutters.  Metal rulers cause your rotary blades to dull much more quickly than a plastic "quilters" ruler.  It's well worth the investment in the long run with the money you'll save in replacement blades.

Just a suggestion.

:-)
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Daisygirl
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« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2006 12:24:18 PM »

I swear by my rotary cutter, a 18" ruler I stole from my daughter and my cutting mat. 
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