» Cut Once, Sew Twice (or more!)
July 14, 2017
I’ve talked to a few sewers in the past few weeks who are spending time this summer preparing projects to sew in the fall and winter seasons. I think this is such a great idea and I’m not sure why I’ve never thought of it before. I love summer – the slower pace, warm days, grilling and eating leisurely meals outside, and the increase in family time. Because my studio is in my basement, I find it hard some days to go downstairs away from the sunshine and company of my family to sit and sew for long periods of time. So lately I’ve been doing some cutting which I can easily relocate to my kitchen island. I find this arrangement perfect. I can get some future projects prepared and still be around my friends and family.
I learned this time- saving method of cutting from my former business partner, Janine. She is possibly one of the more organized people I will ever know in my lifetime. Instead of cutting strips for one quilt at a time, while your fabric is out of storage (assuming it ever got there in the first place), and you are taking the time to press it (if you are that type) and prep it for cutting, why not capitalize on this time and make cuts for more than one quilt? Especially if you press your fabrics before you cut, which I usually do. Most of my yardage is stored folded in rubbermaid bins. When I take out pieces to cut, the folds are usually too creased for my liking. I find that pressing the fabric yields the most accurate cuts, especially if you like to cut more than one fabric at a time, which I do.
I usually cut three fabrics at a time. In the photos above I have set up two. I know that you can get the most accurate cut if you don’t stack, but I am willing to sacrifice this for the time I save. Besides, the more you cut and sew, the better you will get at each part of the process and eventually you will know where you can cheat things a little. I feel I should also add that I prefer to cut with a new-ish blade. If you are a person who uses a rotary blade for so long that it starts cutting fabric unevenly or stops cutting in some spots altogether, stop! Treat yourself to a new blade. It makes cutting so much more pleasant and accurate.
After I stack my fabrics, I make a good clean up cut.
Then, I start cutting strips. This week, I am cutting out the strips for Baker Street, Brix, and Around the Block. I stack them in piles so they are ready to sub cut when I am ready to sew! If you take a good clean up cut and are proficient at cutting, you don’t even need to make cuts in between cutting strips.
And as another positive, these strips usually fit into a short rubbermaid bin. I stack them according to size, and then move the bin around (because really – is there EVER enough space??) until I am ready to use them.
Do you stack when you cut? Do iron? What projects are you prepping for fall??
As an aside, I love this green bird fabric by Brandon Mably! Happy cutting!!