Hack: Ripping Strips

Apparently I have not posted since before I conceived the little nugget I shall be delivering sometime at the end of April or beginning of May. So, I am pleased to announce that my fourth reason to make a baby quilt will be arriving in approximately 7 to 9 weeks.

In other news, I have finished several quilts since January, and in finishing these things, my attention has been drawn to borders of quilts. They take a lot longer than I think they will to finish, every time.

This is a hack I learned from my quilt guild ladies, and let me tell you, they do not lie. If you need to cut a very long piece for borders, you should rip it instead of cut it. The photo below is of a strip of fabric 80+ inches long. I had it left over from the quilt for my dad, and decided to use it for my baby’s quilt’s border. I snipped at 3 inches on one end, and voila.

rip it goodMore than eighty inches away, and it was still a tight 3″ width of fabric. My main notes on this technique are:

1. Rip aggressively and quickly. The more slowly you do it, the more time there is to stretch the edges of your fabric.

2. Ripping works parallel to or perpendicular (90 degrees) to the edge of your fabric.

3. There may be about a 1/4 of an inch next to the edge that looks a little pulled, but that will be inside of your seam, and if you are very worried by it, iron it, and it will smooth out nicely.

On a non-ripping note, make sure you measure the edge of your quilt, and then measure the borders. Mark the centers, and pin them. This prevents you from having the border or quilt stretch if the top or bottom of your machine feeds faster or slower. That stretching can make the quilt lie funny or be harder to quilt later.

I will be back soon to post my show and tells that I have finished!

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