Sunday, August 04, 2013

Experimenting

I’m working on a new (I hope) design and am doing some experimenting as I go.  The block starts with 5 inch squares.  If you’ve shopped any fabric stores or on line you probably know that you can buy pre-cut squares in almost any size these days. 

And that’s what you get, almost any size.  Despite what the package says on the outside, inside you get almost any size.  As an experiment I’ve bought pre-cut squares from eight different sources.  I have Hoffman, Tonga, Kaufman, and two other’s I can’t remember the name of right now, plus pre-cuts from three different on line shops.

I have pinked edges, wavy edges, supposedly straight edges and a few that look like they were chewed on.  I measured ten of each pre-cut package and got sizes running from 4 3/4 inches to 5 1/8 inches. 

If they had all been bigger I could have cut them back to size, but if I was going to do that, I could have just cut 5 inch squares from my own stash. 

If they all had straight edges it would be easier to measure them, but I do understand why manufacturers and shops cut with fancy cutters (matter of opinion really). 
 
With the wavy and pinked edges, if you sew with the very tip of the point or wave matching the edge of what you are sewing it to, are you getting a true 1/4 inch seam allowance?  That would depend on how well they were cut and how deep the pinking blade was.  In one case it was almost too deep, so those squares lost 1/4 inch on each side even before being sewn.  (And they won’t get used in this current project, but saved for a 4 1/2 inch square project instead.) 

So what does my experiment tell me…
First I should just go ahead and cut my own if my stash permits. 
Second, don’t depend on what the label says to be true, apparently 5 inches varies in different areas. 
Third, measure even the pre-cuts and be prepared not to use half of them as what they said they were. 
And lastly it would be worth it to just go ahead and cut my own. 
And if I don’t have the right colors, go shopping, it’s a good excuse to add to the stash!

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you. I've stopped purchasing pre-cuts for exactly the reasons you mention.

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