Friday, July 26, 2013

cutting strips from directional print fabrics

Do you sometimes use directional print fabrics or plaids and need to cut strips? Here is how your should be cutting those strips to ensure your print stays the same or your lines are relatively even on your plaids.

I was reminded of this problem just a couple of days ago when I needed some strips from this gorgeous turquoise and white fabric (with small repeating dots). When the fabric was folded, everything looked okay, at least on one side. When I flipped it over after cutting, I realized it was not very well lined up. I pulled on the fabric trying to get the grain in line again, but it just wasn't lining up right. It is frustrating when you just want things to go smoothly and speedy. Hhhmmpf.

So, here is what I did to correct it. I unfolded the fabric. Yes, I did. It can be liberating when you don't follow rules. I got the fabric as straight as possible on the cutting mat after ironing and stretching to get it lined up better. I evened one side with the  rotary cutter as much as possible. I extended my ruler to the other side of the fabric and evened it up at the same dot lines as the previous cut and continued cutting. It is that simple you say!? Yes it is, but this is one valuable step you shouldn't be skipping. If you want everything straight and perfect, this one step that should not be forgotten. You could get a little fancy and fussy cut your strips, but that seems like an overkill, at least for my project.  {Fussy Cut DEFINITION: Every piece you cut looks exactly the same - the design in the fabric will create a design in the block.}

Okay, now were are rolling on. Once my strips were straight, I cut with my 6" square ruler to the size I needed.  I am working on a nine-patch block (I see it as a five patch) for the Doll Quilt Monthly and wanted all of my dots relatively straight. This is how it ended up. (Foto left)

This method doesn't always work though! Usually when working with plaids, I have to get out the old scissors and cut along the lines, because the fabric will never be straight enough to cut with a rotary cutter. It is a little more time consuming, but well worth the effort.

Enjoy your weekend. The weather is great! Summer has finally arrived. It almost feels like North Carolina weather here in southern Germany!


  1. Das hast Du perfekt zugeschnitten, ein Block sieht genau so aus wie der Nächste. Und Morgen? Sommerfest in der Quilt Oase?

    1. Hi Kathrin, ich dachte das war letztes Wochenende?

    2. Sorry, hab nicht mitbekommen dass Du mir geantwortet hast.
      Quilt Oasen Sommerfest war am 27. und es war wunderschön.
      KATRIN W.


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