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AccuQuilt Canada

Fabric Cutting Tips

Fabric Cutting Tips

Get Perfect Cuts Everytime!

The type of fabric and the way you put your fabric on the GO!® fabric cutting dies can affect the accuracy of your cut. At AccuQuilt, we know that Better Cuts Make Better Quilts® and a quick important lesson in fabric grain will ensure that your cuts are accurate and easy
to assemble.

Fabric grain refers to the way threads are woven. Fabrics are woven in two directions, lengthwise and crosswise grains. Although we have two directional grains there are three grain lines.

First, the lengthwise grain (warp threads) runs parallel to the selvages. It’s the strongest grain in your fabric and has very little stretch. This is how your yardage comes off the bolt. Because it is the grain with the least stretch, whenever possible orient your fabric on the lengthwise grain as you place it on your GO! die to achieve the most accurate cuts.
Fabric should be laid on your dies on the
lengthwise grain.

The crosswise grain (weft threads) runs at a right angle to the selvages. It has more stretch than the lengthwise grain.

The bias grain runs on a 45º angle to the selvages. It has the most stretch, so it distorts easily. You must be extremely careful when handling the bias. Cutting on the bias grain will distort your cuts. Although perfect for making bias tape and selected bindings (like scalloped edges), it is best to avoid cutting on the bias as much as possible.

The lengthwise grain and crosswise grain are both referred to as the Straight Grain or Straight of Grain.

Identifying your Grain

If you are using scraps or if the selvage has been removed, here is a quick tip to identify the grain line. Grasp the fabric along one grain with both hands and give it a couple of sharp tugs and listen to the sound it makes. Then grasp along the other grain and tug again. The snapping sound made by the lengthwise grain will be slightly higher pitched than the crosswise grain sound. Try it! It works!

Cutting Layers for GO!

The GO! and GO! Baby fabric cutters will cut up to six layers of a wide variety of fabrics. The number of layers you can cut depends on the type of material and the intricacy of the die. Always begin with fewer layers and build up.

AccuQuilt recommends the following for the most common fabrics:

    • Cotton – 6
    • Cotton with fusible web – 4
    • Batiks – 6
    • Fleece – 1-2
    • Flannel – 1-2
    • Denim – 1
    • Leather – 1
    • Wool – 2
    • Batting – 1-2
    • Felt – 1-2
    • Silk – 6
    • Satin – 6

Cutting Layers for Studio

Chart below is the recommended number of fabric layers; actual number of fabric layers will vary depending on fabric type and thickness.

AccuQuilt recommends the following for the most common fabrics:

    • Cotton – 8-10
    • Cotton with fusible web – 4-6
    • Batiks – 8-10
    • Fleece – 4-6
    • Flannel – 4
    • Denim – 2-4
    • Leather – 2
    • Wool – 4
    • Batting – 4-6
    • Felt – 4
    • Silk – 8-10
    • Satin – 8-10

Test Cutting & Fabric Shrinkage

We recommend that you test cut your fabric first. If you’re cutting many layers, be sure to test cut each number of layers to ensure the integrity of the cuts are maintained before cutting entire quilts or many pieces.

All fabrics have residual shrinkage. When cutting on the lengthwise grain you may still experience some shrinkage or stretch because of the characteristic of the fabric. If you still experience cutting inconsistencies, we recommend trying the following tip:

Sandwich a piece of clean white paper on top of the fabric but before the cutting mat and roll the die through the cutter. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly fine to cut some paper with your fabric cutter. Frequent paper cutting is not recommended due to the fact that it will affect the performance of your die.

Fabric Tips

  • Cut shapes from fabric remnants and scraps. Great for using up stash!
  • For fast appliqué, apply fusible web to fabric then cut shapes with dies.
  • Use good quality fabric to reduce fabric stretch.
  • Test cut one shape before cutting many shapes to ensure fabric orientation is correct. AccuQuilt cannot take responsibility for fabric cutting errors.

An Important
Lesson in Fabric Grain

Identifying Grain Video

Watch “Identifying Grain” Video

Helpful Reference Charts

GO! Cutting Equivalents Chart

GO! Cutting Equivalents Chart

Download PDF

GO! Fabric Reference Chart

GO! Fabric Reference Chart

Download PDF

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