Get Perfectly Straight Cuts Every Time with this Easy Guide
A quick trip to the fabric store will yield hundreds of beautiful fabric options. You find the perfect one, get it home and can’t wait to start sewing!
Before you bring the rotary cutter or scissors out to cut that beautiful fabric, it is absolutely imperative that you square it up first.
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This might be a personal preference, but I always pull out the iron and press my fabric first. Fabric off the bolt always has strange creases and folds that don’t line up.
So, I pull out my Best Press spray (my favorite ironing product!) lightly spray my fabric and press it smooth.
Just a note for beginner’s, make sure you are pressing your fabric and not ironing in the traditional sense. This can be an adjustment, particularly for those accustomed to ironing clothing. Pressing helps prevent the fabric from stretching or pulling. Stretching and pulling is very bad. 🙂
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Squaring Up Yardage Cut Fabric
Once your fabric is pressed smooth, it’s time to square it up.
Squaring up your fabric is simply cutting off the uneven edges to ensure every cut is perfect. The extent to which your individual fabric will need squared up will vary depending on the quality of the fabric, whether it’s precut or fabric by the yard and even if it’s been prewashed.
To get started squaring up your fabric, you want to find the selvage. The selvage end of fabric is more tightly woven and helps prevent fraying or unraveling. Often one end of the selvage has writing on it.
Here’s a couple pictures of different selvage ends.
Did you find the selvage on your fabric? Awesome!
Now fold the fabric selvage to selvage.
Lay the fabric on your cutting mat, keeping the selvage ends aligned.
Maintain the selvage edge alignment and smooth your fabric toward the folded edge. Continue smoothing your fabric back and forth until it lies completely flat. As long as the selvage edges are kept together, you’re doing it right!
This will likely leave you with an uneven edge.
Slide your fabric to line up with the bottom edge of your cutting mat.
Take your ruler and line it up on the fabric, with the uneven edges exposed on the side. (I am left handed, so my fabric might look backwards compared to yours. 🙂
Take your rotary cutter and trim the uneven edge off the fabric.
You did it!!
Now that your fabric is squared up, you are ready to start cutting strips to make your own beautiful baby quilt! 🙂
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