Tips & Lessons
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- The Importance of Fabric Grain When Cutting Patches
The Importance of Fabric Grain When Cutting Patches
To give yourself the best chance for blocks that lie flat and smooth, consider the fabric grainline when positioning your patches for cutting. Wherever possible, plan to have the fabric's lengthwise grain (along the selvage edge) or crosswise grain (from selvage to selvage) fall along the outer edges of each section in the unit, block, or quilt. This eliminates possible distortion in the block.
Sometimes the way you want a particular fabric to look in the block will determine where the grain line is, but wherever possible do not allow bias edges to fall on the outer edges of your block. (Patchwork patterns in JINNY BEYER STUDIO patterns have the grainline marked with an arrow.)
Here's an example: Swamp Patch uses half-square and quarter-square triangles. Quilters love to cut these by first cutting squares and then cutting the squares on the diagonal. Take note: bias edges are created whenever you make your diagonal cuts. If you will have two edges on the outside of the block (A), make half-square triangles. If you will have one edge on the outside of the block (B), make quarter-square triangles.
Sometimes a patch isn't on the outside edge, but grainline is still important. When sharp points occur in a design, Jinny usually likes to place the straight grain up the middle of the point.
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