Todays tutorial is from Rachel at My Tiny Robot Heart. She has done some really fun things with VS's:) She is also putting together a special tutorial for us here on the VS blog!
Onto Rachel's tutorial...
jeni @ in color order asked how if i had any tips or tricks for cutting down sheets quickly ::
i have more sheets to cut down so i thought i would document just how i get those sheets into fat quarters :: this is the way that i do it .... i'm sure that there are other ways of doing it.... this is what works for me, for 1 or 100 sheets at a sitting ::
first a few necessities :: a calculator, tape measure, scissor, pen, tape, and vintage sheet (sorry about the flash use but it was late and dark!)
the first thing i do is shore up?....shear up?... make a straight edge where all of my measuring will be done :: i always cut along the hem edge :: i like to use these for other projects (the box pleats on that pillow are made from hems... and i am halfway through documenting how i made that pillow for a future post) :: now when i cut the hem off i look closely at the weft :: im looking to see how crooked it is compared with the hem :: i make a cut a few inches from the cuff and then .....
now i have a perfect edge that i know is straight ::
saving this hem for later ::
--->my own little thoughts on ripping versus using a rotary cutter :: i have a rotary cutter and love it... it is awesome for making accurate, perfect, small cuts...once i finally broke down and bought a cutter and mat i wondered why it took me so long! :: that said....it never worked for me for wrangling and cutting giant amounts of fabric :: i also feel that while you get a nice pretty edge when the fabric is new, once it is washed the fabric always warps from a perfect squarish fat quarter into a rhombus or paralellogram or some other shape :: this is because you cannot cut perfectly with the weft :: there just is no way to do it with a cutter or scissor :: now ripping tears the fabic perfectly along the weft (which i will demonstrate in the photos to come) it tears perfectly with the warp threads as well :: and what you end up with is a perfectly squareish fat quarter :: wash it all you want... it won't turn into something you didn't start with :: i think that all fabric stores should rip instead of cutting too :: how many times have you gotten a weirdly cut, wonky edge? (i'm looking at you joann)..... wouldn't happen if they ripped instead of cut ::
notice how the print on the fabic below does not line up with the ripped weft edge :: the print is a bit crooked :: all sheets are more or less crooked :: now, i do lose a few warp and weft threads when ripping, but whats a couple of threads compared to the 1/8th inch i end up having to cut off of every side to square the darned thing up!
next i fold the fabric in half lenghtwise :: keeping the ripped edge together :: this is a full sheet and is 80" across or 40" folded :: just a smidge over 40"
next i try to figure out how to get the most fat quarters (fq's) out of my sheet :: a fat quarter is 18" x 22" -ish ::
i don't usually write this part down :: i did just to help keep this clear :: you won't need to either... it's easy once you get the hang of it :: so anyhow... if i divide 80 by 22 i can get 3.6 fat quarters across :: if i divide by 18 i can get 4.44 :: either way will leave me with a bit of waste :: now i should say that this is the down and dirty way of quickly hacking my way through this sheet... i want the most fat quarters that i can get, quickly :: there are 10 other sheets in que :: so i am not going to plot out every cut and try measuring this way and that way to make sure everything is just so.... forget it! :: besides, having some scrappy pieces is ok... you can make a string quilt, or a tie, or have a giveaway! :: scraps are good!
but wait.... if my 80" fabric is doubled its 40" across and 22" + 18" is 40" :: perfect :: i can get 4 fq's going across my sheet without any waste 2 with 22" sides and 2 with 18" sides ::
that's the plan i decided to go with :: no waste across means more fq's :: i measure out 22" from the selvege edge and give it a little cut and then let it rip!remember when i said that this would give us a perfectly straight "cut" :: this is the other end of the sheet :: ripped lenghtwise :: it is exactly 22" across :: works everytime... (but only if you measure from a ripped edge)!