When starting any quilt we start by cutting our fabric into strips. Today, we will look at 3 1/2 methods of cutting fabric strips. I say 1/2 because two of the methods are very similar. I find all four ways to be useful in different situations so let’s learn how to cut fabrics.
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We typically start with cutting a strip of fabric and from that strip, we cut our individual pieces for our quilts. That second cut is called a sub-cut. We are focusing on cutting the strips in this guide.
Cutting with Ruler
The simplest and cheapest way to cut our quilt fabric is with a ruler and rotary cutter. You already own them because you can’t get by in quilting without them. It is also the most versatile since most rulers have 1/8-inch marks. The folding of fabric is the same no matter what option you end up using.
How To Cut Fabrics with June Tailor Shape Cut Ruler
Next up we have the June Tailor Shape Cut ruler. I first learned about the Shape Cut ruler on Quilt in a Day episode. I had to have it because El used it, Elanor Burns the original quilting influencer. If she was using it to cut quilt fabric then of course I needed it to cut my quilt fabric.
You will need a rotary cutter and mat with this ruler. It doesn’t have any texture on the back so I add textured medical tape to help keep it from slipping and sliding. Mine is a 12×12 but they do have a 12×18 and a 20×23. The 12×18 size is exactly like the one in the video below but the 20×23 only has slots every 2 1/2 inches.
Cutting with Creative Grids Stripology Ruler
This is the step-up from the June Tailor Shape Cutter. It has a texture on the back to keep it from slipping. It’s also is larger than the June Tailor Shape Cutter and it has marks on the ruler for 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 so you don’t have to count for those common cuts. In the directions, it does show you how to use the ruler to make 1/4-inch cuts. You will need a mat and rotary cutter to use this ruler as well.
I really do love my Creative Grids Stripology Ruler for cutting fabric strips and subcutting those strips. I cut 109 squares in about 10 minutes with it. I cut the strips just like the video and then turned my strips 90 degrees.
Cutting Quilt Fabric with Accuquilt Die System
Last up on our ways to cut quilt fabric is the Accuquilt die system. I love using my Accuquilt when I have a ton of fabric that needs to be cut into strips. You do have a little bit of waste created but the more accurately you fold your fabric the less waste you will have.
You will need one of the cutting machines, a GO!, GO! Electric, or a Studio, in order to cut fabric strips. You will also need a strip die for each size of fabric strips. You can purchase them individually and if you are shopping individually be sure to select your cutting machine on the left side of the page. You don’t want to find the “perfect die” only to find out it doesn’t work with your cutting machine. You can also buy a die bundle of the most popular strip sizes. You can also turn your strips 90 degrees and cut squares with the Accuquilt and there are guidelines to cut diamonds as well.
What To Do With Your Fabric Strips?
Now that you know how to cut your quilt fabric down into strips the quilting world is your oyster. You can head over and grab a free quilt pattern, check out our shop, or just about any quilt pattern on the market today.