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Diane Morgan Posted: Sat, Dec 25 2010 11:03 AM

I'm a self taught quilter mainly from kits, books, videos and a few classes. I jumped right in about 10 years ago and probably jumped in too deep too quick. I have some huge holes. I don't really know how to read rulers and what they can do. I don't even really know how to trim a square correctly. I'm not sure how to cut fabric when I only need a small piece and not a WOF strip. Do I cut a whole strip and then sub cut the small pieces I might need?  It's the very first basics that I never really learned. I can piece, sandwich, quilt, bind fine.

Would Quilt Academy help or are there books or videos on rulers and cutting and the very beginning basics? I'm embarassed to ask.

North of Boston MA

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Barbara replied on Sat, Dec 25 2010 11:13 AM

Diane , no need to be embarrased I still have to ask the hubby about reading a ruler. Yes the Academy books ,are really good I have both of them and use them often for refrence. Barbara

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Kelley replied on Sat, Dec 25 2010 11:17 AM

Diane Morgan:
I'm embarassed to ask.

Merry Christmas Daine...

Never be embarassed to ask.. I think  many of us started this way....I also just taught my self this way and Im still learning basics every day that I didnt realized that i should or could do.. Never be embarassed to go to the basics to brush up on things that are gray to you.. I do it all the time . I watch as many videos  as I can even basics for technics that other people use that may work better then my self taught methods...

QNNTV.com is a great place to go for lots of different   videos..

Kelleyu

 

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Eileen replied on Sat, Dec 25 2010 12:51 PM

Diane, I didn't set foot in a quilt shop or take any classes until about 5 or 6 years after making my first quilt! At one point, I actually thought pinking shears & a zigzag stitch were better to use! LOL

My first books were Alex Anderson's basic books on rotarty cutting and basic quilt making.  I still don't like the "right" method for cutting & it's probably why my cuts aren't 100% accurate. 

The best way (at least I'm told by my more experienced quilting friends near me) is to have the fabric you want to cut off be directly under the ruler with the rest of the fabric to your right (if you are right-handed), so your ruler has to be wide enough to cover the piece you want. I don't have many wide rulers that are long enough to do this, so I end up doing it differently.

Some rulers are easier to read than others, some are easier to read on dark fabric & others on light.  I think one thing to do is learn how to read them with a solid-colored surface underneath first, then try reading them over fabric.  As Kelley said, there are lots of videos on QNN so if you;'re a visual learner, that's a great source.

Good luck & kudos for asking!  The only "dumb" questions are the ones you don't ask.

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Granny M replied on Sat, Dec 25 2010 1:48 PM

Diane

I am also self taught, and I learn with every quilt, the great tips here, and the videos (when I get time to watch). I think it is great that we have so many quilters here that are so willing to help everyone else and do it in a non-judgemental way.  I am not sure I even know what "basics" are, so I probably don't know them.  I know that over the last three years I have improved both my skills and techniques.  I have my first free motion quilt on my bed. I don't think I will ever learn it all. But every once in a while some one here asks a question and I have an answer to imput.  You have had several as well.

So the question on cutting the whole strip.  I do that all the time-cut the strip the width (3.5) then cut the pieces (3.5) off the strip.  I use strips alot, and try to figure out how many strips to cut to get the small squares I need.  I am not always right on the this.  One would think at my age I could divid 3.5 into 44 and get the right answer.

Eleanor Burns, Fons and Porter and Sewing with Nancy have all kinds of videos available that should using or squaring with a ruler.

Merry Christmas Diane and Happy quilting

Granny M  

 

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Look up on U-tube anything that pertains to quilting & sewing---alot of simple tips have been created over the years.  Also check  your educational channels on tv & see what is offered in your area.    I watched Sewing with Nancy, Fons & Porter on Sat. am...and I watched them today....

Another sourse is a quild guild, a church group, fabric shop....some one out there where you live can give you some help.....Just start looking, and never be afraid to ask questions....most quilters I know are more than willing to help someone.

Susan.....

 

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gini replied on Sat, Dec 25 2010 7:04 PM

diane,   one of the wonderful things about quilting, is that there is no right or wrong way to do it.   what ever method you choose is o.k.  there are tools and methods to make it quicker or easier, but that doesn't mean it's  better or the only way.    when i need a small piece, sometimes i cut width of fabric and sometimes i just cut a small square out of the corner.

when i start a method i haven't used before, if i am not comfortable jumping in i will read up on it.  usually the reading up is after i've made a huge boo-boo. 

you can talk to 5 different people about squaring up a block and get ten different answers, and if you block is really wonky, you may just have to settle for the best you can do.    i have square rulers in just about every size available, just so i don't have to think when i am squaring up.   if i have a 9 1/2 inch block before seams i plunk a 9 1/2 inch rluer over it and whack away.  

for making a mitred corner, you sew the binding up to 1/4 inch from the edge on all four sides, leaving a tail on both ends of each binding strip.   this is going to get complicated, i am trying to give you an example of using the ruler to miter.  you take the outside edges on both borders and lay them parallel  right sides together. you put your 45degree line on that outside edge.  bring you ruler back so that the straigh edge of the ruler is at the center of that corner. draw a line down that edge, pin and stitch on the edge and you will have a perfect miter.  turn it over press to check it is flat.  and trim.

you can cut a strip however wide you want a diamond, and use the ruler again laying  which ever angle line you want  on the long edge and cut on the straight edge of the ruler.    any  good beginners book should cover all these basics and there are a lot of good books out there.   

this site is an excelent resource,  if you are starting something you haven't done before or are not sure about.  as you know we are all delighted to help.      gini

gini in north idaho

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gini replied on Sat, Dec 25 2010 7:20 PM

so i've thougth a little more about this diane, and i've been quilting for over 40 years,  i still learn things and on here especially.  i think i tend to get in a rut of doing things one way and never think about other ways to do it.   some tips i use  and some i go back to an older more comfortable way of doing things.   gini

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MNnancy replied on Sat, Dec 25 2010 8:05 PM

Hi Diane,

Well you say you've read some books, watched some videos, and taken some classes.  If your main question is on cutting and squaring techniques, then I think it's time for another meeting of the ECB's.  Ask Kris and Marie to gather up their rulers and rotary cutters and host a cutting party.  In other words, I think you are already friends with some really good  potential teachers who would love to share advice/techniques with you!


On the banks of the Mississippi River in north central Minnesota (Brainerd lakes area)

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gini replied on Sat, Dec 25 2010 8:28 PM

great advice nancy

gini in north idaho

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Marie replied on Sat, Dec 25 2010 8:59 PM

gini:
any  good beginners book should cover all these basics and there are a lot of good books out there. 

Having said that Gini, would you name a couple of beginner books.  I have two potential quilt recruits who need advice and I would like to give them the name of a couple books they should definitely purchase.  They are two of my knitster friends, one retired a couple of months ago and the other retires the last day of this month.  I've already told them about QCA and recommended that they browse as a guest to see what we are all about.  I welcome anyone's input on this subject and can't wait to have quilting friends in my very own town.

Millbury, MA

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MNnancy replied on Sat, Dec 25 2010 9:14 PM

Good job recruiting, Marie!


On the banks of the Mississippi River in north central Minnesota (Brainerd lakes area)

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Barbara replied on Sat, Dec 25 2010 9:28 PM

Marie, that is so awesome,what a great thrill to have someone to quilt with so close to home..Barbara

Liberty,Missouri

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Eileen replied on Sat, Dec 25 2010 9:35 PM

Marie, I hope others chime in with their favorites. but the Alex Anderson books - slim, easy to follow, lots of photos - helped me out.  These are the very basic books:

Rotary Cutting With Alex Anderson

Start Quilting With Alex Anderson

Have fun teaching your friends the joys of quilting!

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Eileen replied on Sat, Dec 25 2010 9:35 PM

oops! double post!

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