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Text convesation with Z:

me:  Did a  little fabric cutting last night.  Is there some trick to trueing up the edges of a piece of fabric and ensuring it's all square, and even with the grain?

Z: Bad news for you:  "square" and "even with the grain" rarely go together.  Woven fabric is usually off-kilter so the warp and weft are not exacrly at 90 degrees.
From last semester's textile class, I was HORRIFIED at the industry standard for how far off the weave can be and still be "acceptable".

me:  So, which does one choose?

Z: I think quilters go for squareness and don't get too excited about grain.
You can pull out a couple of individual threads, one going each way, to check the squareness of the weave.

me:  Ok, then I'm probably good to go with cutting strips from the fabric I messed with last night.  I made a good faith effort to be near the grain.
I didn't want to cut a bunch of long strips and find myself way off at the ends.
If I trim up any more I can't get the 42.5" wide strip I need.
Wonder how Mom got stuff to match up so nice when it's all uneven.

Z:  That's what I could never figure out either.

me:  I suspec the industry std for quilting fabric is higher than average, but still...this is where one wants a seance.  Or regrets not asking earlier.

Z:  You should have paid attention all those years.  Now you'll have to go to John Edwards's quilting school.
I'm getting an 'R' name.  She says "rip it out and do it over til you get it right"

me:  That sounds like her, but she's talking to you.  When she talked to me it was "well you'll do it however you damn well please anyway".

Z:  Well then, there you go.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 31st, 2015 05:54 pm (UTC)
I'm not _sure_ about this, but I think my mom usually quilts well off 90 degrees, more like 45 degrees. By which I mean, she does a huge amount of strip- and cutter-wheel-based quilting, where she sews fabric lines together, folds them over, cuts them up, offsets those and sews them together, and so forth. As there are almost no 90 degree angles in her quilts, there's no reason to try to match warp/weft with cut lines, so it looks to me (looking at one of her quilts) like she tries to keep all her cuts at something like 20 degrees to the grain.
Feb. 1st, 2015 03:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it depends on the pattern. I happen to be doing http://www.alderwoodquilts.com/shopping/Product.asp?ID=0326600000
which is nothing but 90 degree angles.
And the pattern of the fabric depends too - if it's something with a strong direction, then being off by a little bit is going to show.
But,if all the pieces are off in the same way, then that can work fine. Precision vs accuracy. I plan to try kalaidescope or stack&whack (http://www.connectingthreads.com/tutorials/Kaleidoscope-Stack-n-Whack__D22.html) sometime soon; the key there is to get cuts of the same pattern repeat lined up on top of each other just so.
It's also me being a bit OCD about it all.

Edited at 2015-02-01 03:41 pm (UTC)
Feb. 1st, 2015 06:22 pm (UTC)
She does mostly stack-and-whack, so that may predispose her choices. I'll ask her today, as we'll be spending an hour in a car together.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Friending welcome, but lurking is fine too.

Constructive criticism is also welcome - whatever it is, trust me, I've heard worse.

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