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The trick to cutting long pieces of fabric is in the fold!

Yesterday, I introduced you to some of the TrueCut System tools I’ll be using this week to make a fun quilt called, Square Peg – Round Hole. I’ll be using the following TrueCut quilting rulers 6½” x 6½” [16.5 x 16.5cm], 12½” x 12½” [31.75 x 31.75cm], and the 6½” x 24½” [16.5 x 62.2cm]. With the required rulers at the ready, it’s time to start cutting our fabrics!

The awesome TrueCut 6½" x 6½", 12½" x 12½", and the 6½" x 24½" quilting rulers
The awesome TrueCut 6½” x 6½”, 12½” x 12½”, and the 6½” x 24½” quilting rulers

As mentioned yesterday, the quilt, once complete, will measure approximately 78½” x 87½” before it’s quilted.

Today I’ll work on the background fabric.

To make this quilt, you’ll need 5 yards of background fabric. I chose Northcott White on White Single Colorway (81201-10).

Northcott White on White
Northcott White on White

TIP Before you cut any of the background fabric, please read to the end of today’s blog post.

 From the background fabric you’ll need to cut the following:

· (7) 1½” X 76½” strips, horizontal lattice strips *

· (2) 1½” X 78½” strips, top and bottom strips (optional outer border) *

· (2) 1½” X 87½” strips, side strips (optional outer border) *

· (88) 1½” X 10½” strips, vertical lattice and block strips

· (56) 1½” X 5” strips, block strips

· (35) 10½” X 10½” squares

*When cutting long strips, I cut the strip 1” to 2” longer than needed, just in case.

When I designed this quilt, I kept in mind that I’d been asked, on a few occasions, how to cut long strips of fabric. From the fabric requirements list below, you can see that the quilt will use long strips. Have no fear, I’ll show you how to cut them!

First off, I’ll just let you know that I prefer to unfold the fabric by its width and fold it by its length.

When you need to cut lengths between:

   23” and 46”, fold once, you’ll have 2 layers of fabric;

   46” and 94” fold twice, you’ll have 4 layers;

   94” and 142” fold 3 times, you’ll have 8 layers.

 A good, sharp rotary cutter blade will easily cut through 8 layers of fabric.

Folding a piece of fabric onto itself with make it easier to cut long strip of fabric. A TrueCut tutorial on how to use the TrueCut System including: TrueCut My Perfect Rotary Cutter, TrueCut 360º circle cutter, TrueCut Rulers and TrueCut Grips
Fabric folded prior to cutting long strips.

The first cuts you make from your background fabric(s) should be the longer strips. You’ll need a total of 11 long strips.

From the 5 yards of background fabric, cut a piece of fabric measuring not less than 2½ yards (90”). I would even add an additional 2”- 3”, just to be sure.

To get the lengths needed for this quilt project I’ll need to fold the fabric twice and will be cutting through 4 layers. When folding, it’s important to ensure that:

   the edges of the fabrics are all aligned

   the folds are tight

   the fabric lies flat on the cutting table

Align the TrueCut ruler to the edge of the fabric.
Align the TrueCut ruler to the edge of the fabric.

Using your TrueCut 6½” x 24½” ruler, square the fabric off, then cut a total of 11 strips. Cut those 11 strips down to the required lengths as listed above. 

 TIP! Don’t discard the shorter pieces of fabric! You’ll be able to get some of the smaller 1½” strips from these.

Aligning the TrueCut ruler along the edge of the fabric if necessary to ensure nice cuts. A TrueCut tutorial on how to use the TrueCut System including: TrueCut My Perfect Rotary Cutter, TrueCut 360º circle cutter, TrueCut Rulers and TrueCut Grips
Cut long strips at 1½” intervals.

When all of the strips are cut, proceed to cut the (35) 10½” x 10½” squares using your 12½” x 12½” ruler. 

Leave the fabric folded in 2, it’ll be easy to cut through 2 thicknesses of fabric. You could even fold your fabric one more time and cut through 4 thicknesses.

10½” x 10½” squares are cut using the TrueCut 12½" X 12½" quilting ruler.
10½” x 10½” squares are cut using the TrueCut 12½” X 12½” quilting ruler.

Tip! When cutting pieces of varying sizes, I always start with the longest piece first, followed by the largest pieces, then the smaller pieces using any remaining pieces of fabric.

Keep your cut fabrics separated in individual piles and identify the length of the strips.
Keep your cut fabrics separated in individual piles and identify the length of the strips.

Now that the background fabric is all cut out and ready to go, let’s take a well-deserved break.

Come back tomorrow and we’ll play with the TrueCut 360º Circle Cutter! I can’t wait! 

This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1: TrueCut System has the tools you want for perfect quilt cuts every time!

Go to part 3: TrueCut 360º Circle Cutter makes perfect fabric circles effortless!

I took my first quilting course in September 1994 in Barrie, Ontario, near the armed forces base where I was stationed. After moving to Ottawa in 1996, I joined my first guild. I took more courses and began to buy quilting books and lots of fabrics. Quilting has become my passion. I have made over 150 more quilts since then, and have never looked back. I now share my knowledge of quilting by teaching and doing presentations, and blogging!

4 Comments

  1. Peggy Gibbs

    That looks like a great set of rulers.

    • Hi Peggy, They were fun and are so user friendly.

  2. Cindy Shelley

    I love this…I hate to piece borders.

    • One of the fun things of modern quilts, no borders. But there is nothing stopping you from not adding a border to a traditional quilt.

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