I’ve always appreciated the fabric stores who are so precise
with cutting yardage. They lay out the
fabric with the fold on a straight line and then use a rotary cutter to cut the
piece precisely on the grain. At least
that is what it looks like they are doing.
If your quilt has all smaller piecing, then any off grain
cut is not likely to show. It’s when the
piecing is larger…. probably 5” or larger … where off grain cuts can result in
a wavy quilt. This won’t be so
noticeable on a quilt that is displayed lying flat or is not a wall
hanging. However, the fix is so easy, so
why not make it precise? After all, you
are cutting each piece with precision, making perfect ¼” seams, pressing
without moving the iron to avoid distorting the fabrics so why have all this
effort and talent go to waste if your cuts are not on grain?There is an easy solution, however it may mean that you need
to buy a few extra inches of fabric.
I discovered this trick while learning to use my longarm
quilter. It is very important that the
quilt backing is loaded squarely on the rollers. I always load with the selvage
parallel to the roller bars. Then when
the fabric is rolled onto the rollers you can see how straight it is as the cut
edges will then roll straight on top of each other….but only if the fabric was
cut on grain. I have yet to receive in a
quilt backing from a customer that was cut on grain! Imagine if that 5” piece I mentioned earlier
can distort a quilt what a backing might do to a quilt if it was cut off
grain! The best part of the solution is that it’s really fun. All you need to do is rip the fabric! When you rip woven fabric they will always
tear on the grain.
Take a look at the
strips I ripped off of a backing piece recently. I will make about a 1” cut and then start
ripping. This one went from 1” to about
5”…that means the grain line was off 4”!
When you finally line up the fabric to make it square you have lost
8”…which is almost a ¼ yard! Fabrics are
expensive enough already without that waste!
Of course, if you did
this to fabric that is being pieced, then you will need to make another cut to
give it a straight cut without the fraying.
However, there is another solution.
Why not buy fabrics that are cut straight with the grain in the first
we rip the first edge of every bolt and then line up the fabrics for a prefect
on grain cut. You then have no need to
buy the extra inches or ¼ yd. Check out our store. It’s just gone live in the last few
weeks. We are adding more items
daily. Let us know if you are looking
for something special that we don’t have yet and we will do our best to add it
to our inventory. We’d love to hear from
you!For those of you who read this entire post, use
the coupon code GrainCuts10
for 10% off your orders through 7-31-16. Don’t forget to leave us comments!