Monday, June 28, 2010

Cloudy and a chance of falling houses...

I needed to fill a little space in the wordy border corners of my liberated lady quilt and thought I really needed a house falling on a witch.  (I think I will make a witch hat for the opposite corner.)  I cheated!  I tried and tried to free-piece the legs and slippers but it just didn't work out.  (I justified it by observing that some people in my swap embellished their blocks a little with applique...).


To rip or not to rip?!?

I just dropped in on a quilt store in the center of the state (Michigan) this afternoon while running an errand in that particular small town.  I decided to support the local economy by getting some fabric from the shop on the village square (my patriotic duty, after all...), and to my horror, they ripped it!!  I know, I know...some people think that this is the best way to get fabric, but it seems so violent to me.  We rotary cut at the quilt store where I work part time, unless it is double wide stuff for backings.  AND, I always measure with "fat thumbs," which means you never get exactly 36 inches of fabric when I am cutting you a yard of goods.  Maybe I wouldn't have minded the tearing so much if I had known that I got 37 inches of fabric.  I know what the mark-up is on fabric...does it really hurt to be a tad bit generous??  I mean, really!!  I think I made a face when the owner ripped my selection, because then she proceeded to give me a lecture to justify her violent act (like I had not been quilting since 1982...).  Blah, blah, blah...

I do try and cut most of my long boders perpendicular to the selvage, but I also deal with things cut WOF as well.  I "press rather than scrub" with the iron (thanks Mary J. for that quote and reinforcement...), so I don't have much trouble with "squirrel-li-ness" of piecing, even when I cut things on the bias.

After ripping one particularly bad, screwy bolt, she tried lining up the edges to prove that everything would be fine for cutting across the width of the fabric.  She could not get the huge wrinkle out, no matter how many times she stretched out my poor cut  "rip" of fabric and re-adjusted the fold.  I nearly cried, paid for my purchases, and couldn't wait to get out of there with my wounded pieces of fabric.  I drowned my sorrows in a tall diet coke (wanted a milkshake, but got a hold of myself in the freakin' nick of time...LOL).

So, how do you feel about tearing versus cutting with a rotary cutter or scissors when purchasing fabric??  And, how do you feel when you ask for 1 yard of fabric and you get 36 inches exactly of fabric (instead of a smidge more....)??

Bitching, I mean, in stitches,
Teresa   :o)


  1. I agree with you on all points, Teresa! I saw someone recently rip fabric before making a window valance. I saw the finished product, and it seemed to have a little wave on the ripped edge, like it had been stretched out of whack. I don't like that at all, and would have been appalled if I was standing in a LQS and they ripped my fabric purchase.

    I also get disgusted when fabric is measured to the very thread that falls on the measuring line. I mean, come on....sometimes it is not folded quite straight on the bolt, and I lose so much in just trying to straighten in out! I think giving an extra inch promotes good will.

  2. I agree I hate ripped fabric...hate it.
    LOVE your house though, I am tempted to make a quilt out of liberated houses.
    very fun to make one like this

  3. Oooh, I haven't heard this particular issue come up in years, literally. I think I would have been upset; not sure I would have said anything, but I don't think I'd buy there again. I definitely feel like it ripples the edge, pulls the threads near the rip (and an inch or more away) out of shape.

    Love the pic of Weasley sleeping in the quilting hoop!

  4. Hi Teresa ~ I prefer cutting to rippping ~ but I really don't like it when they are so precise (cheap) on their cutting. Have a great day / Teresa / IL

  5. ha ha ha ha ha ha
    you cracked me up this morning - I have the mcdonalds doll of the witch of the east, and I have a house on top of her in my sewing room - ha ha
    ripping - bad
    cutting - good

  6. I hate to say it but I would have told her to keep the warped piece of torn fabric, then went home and ordered it on line.

    I love the witch!!!


  7. Love that block. It makes me smile.
    I personally hate ripped fabric. UGH! Depending on what brand of fabric is you can actually loose some of the fabric because it rips so badly especially when you buy just a 1/4 yd. There is one local shop that rips and I ask them to cut.

  8. i have just recently resumed quilting and i think i would have been horrified too... where did the ripping theory come from? yeah... it would make it all wavy from streaching it wouldn't it??? thank goodness no one has ever tried to rip my fabric!! The extra inch... they always used to do that, i remember even asking my mom about it at a fabric store once! the other day a girl measured to the thread.. my thought is she was cheap!! if i owned a quilt store i wouldn't want the last thought of the customer had in making a purchase was that i was cheap!!

  9. Love your block,it is too cute for words. No, I hate fabric being ripped also. I would have asked them to cut it. You do lose an inch or more when the fabric is ripped, it does horrible things to the grain. If a shop is going to rip, at least give the customer an extra inch or two, the ripped portion of the fabric is useless.


  10. I always cringe when I see someone ripping fabric. I've even noticed on BOM's that I've received that occasionally the fabric has been torn and caused a run through the fabric. BTW, what shop in Michigan (where I live too). I might just have to stay away or demand it be cut.

    BTW, just love that block. Anything that pertains somewhat to the Wizard of Oz is a winner with me.

  11. I like ripped only when it's a young California surfer dude! 8-) (Couldn't resist saying that.)
    Otherwise, cutting fabric, & usually I cut it w/a little margin built in.
    Love the block, but maybe houses need to fall on many things, not just witches ... like, I don't know, maybe a nasty store clerk, a recent tax bill, or whatever.
    - Judy

  12. LOVE, LOVE,LOVE the house and witch!
    I know which store rips, and I'm not a fan of ripping across fabric. However, When bordering a quilt, I love to rip my borders only as long as I am ripping parallel to the selvage. You get perfect borders then.
    I also feel that it's better for a store to give a smidgen over, because even when they cut with a rotary cutter, they don't always get it straight.---Mary

  13. Yo Mary J., I totally agree with you about ripping borders parallel to the selvage. After you told me you did it, I've tried it a couple of times and it works (and I've seen enough of your quilts to know how perfectly flat they lie!).

    That length-wise ripping is a whole other beast from ripping across the WOF. When I ripped borders on the length-wise grain, there was no weird puckering or pulling at the edges.

    Following your advice I ripped both the skinny sasing strips and the wide outside borders for my Civil War Bride quilt, and they worked out great.

    I'm loving all the outrage and discussion on this topic!!

    Teresa of Fabric Therapy

  14. I am sooo laughing girl!!! There are a few shops out there that still rip....I think it is to save on having the expense of rotary blades and sharp scissors...I too agree you lose 'precious' 8.00 to 10.00 a yard inches when they tear.....and that awful sound it makes when they's like the fabric is screaming out! I must say..I DON'T LIKE IT....I just want warm fuzzy feelings when I'm in a quilt shop with NO VIOLENCE!!
    And I'm crazy Ga Ga over your precious little house (no, not Lady Ga Ga...just my mouth open type of Ga Ga)! Yes...ding dong the witch is dead!!!

  15. What happened to the customer is right? If you want it cut, it should be cut! A quiltzilla tried giving me "the lecture" when I was a newbie quilter and I walked out. I was assetive, not rude. I never went back to that shop again (and there were only a few quilt shops in Perth back then). We are paying for fabric and should get what we ask for. I believe in voting with my feet if necessary, especially when the average price here is $24 per metre. Now I've finished my rant....I've recently found your blog and find it inspirational. I love your liberated ladies.

  16. I live in central Mi too and have never had that particular experience. I do think that ripping changes the way that the edge lays and I always cut it off. I do have an older friend that rips her fabric because that is the way that she has always done it (she also doesn't use a rotary cutter much). I love your liberated ladies and witch.

  17. I agree with you. Ripping stretches and distorts the fabric. Also, I do not like those who think they are giving 36 inches and are using the inside measure so you get home with 34 inch yards instead. And, lastly, I do not like those who do not take into account a crooked starting edge or an off fold (JoAnns did this to my mother on a large group of homespuns). I worked for years in a customer service oriented industry and learned you give a little more than expected and people will forgive off times of a slip in service. And, that's what I think in my own opinionated manner.

  18. I agree with my aussie friend Sue, we pay a huge amount for fabric over here (Australia), $25-$30 per metre is usual! I would walk if they wouldn't cut it as opposed to ripping, no way, out the door never go back!!
    Love the witch Teresa and thanks for the tip about ripping borders, I'll try that...

  19. I L O V E the new house and the witch under it.
    And the liberated ladies and the BIG letters too ...
    It's PURRRRR ... fect. (Get it?)

  20. I hate ripped fabric. I have been known to say "I'll take X amount of this fabric if you cut it. I won't buy any if you're going to rip it...your choice".


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