Monday, June 26, 2017

You're Doing It Wrong

I know that I am opinionated and stubborn, but I do understand that different people do things differently and get the same result. Still though, when the owner at a local lqs told me I was "doing it wrong" when I talked about cutting rulers, I was more than a little bit taken aback.

 We got into this while she was cutting my fabric, and I was telling her that back in 1983 or 1984 I had bought a set of 24" plexiglass strips in different widths (3/4", 7/8", 1", 1-1/4", 1-1/2", 1-3/4", 2", 2-1/4", 2-1/2", 3" and 4".) I found them profoundly useful then, and I still do. Using one of the big 6-1/2" wide rulers is occasionally frustrating to me because I have to THINK about how to line something up, whereas if I am using one of my older measured strips, I just line it up and cut, bang bang, bang.

Here's how I do it. Remember, I am right handed.  First, I cut a clean edge, then I line up the strip I want to use. Here I am cutting binding, and in this example I am using an Omnigrid 3" wide ruler. (I lent my sister my 3" plexiglass strip about ten years ago and she never gave it back.) I lined it up against the raw edge, then put another wide ruler on the right side, butting up against the edge of the fabric. I want everything straight and even. I put a big wide ruler on the left. I tap the edges gently to make sure everything is lined up and "square."

Then I lean my weight onto the wide ruler on the left, move the two rulers on the right out of the way, and cut the strip. If my rotary cutter goes wide, then I've only destroyed a 3" piece of fabric.

The lady at the lqs had the raw edge on the left, measured out 18" and then lined up her big ruler so the outside edge matched that and then cut. "THIS is the way to do it," she insisted.

(insert alternate photo here.)

Well maybe. But if her cutter slips, she is cutting into good yardage and she'll have a lot of waste, which I think is stupid. Mistakes do happen.

When I explained it to my Dad, a carpenter, he shook his head and sighed. "That's wrong. There are so many disadvantages to doing it her way..."

Frankly I didn't care what the lqs owner thinks. There ISN'T only ONE right way to do something. I didn't care what she thought about how I did it. What really pissed me off, and what really bothered me was that she had the audacity to tell a customer YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG, when that particular customer (ME) clearly knows what she is doing and has had some recognition for being (somewhat) knowledgeable in the field. It's not exactly good customer relations.

I was telling the story to a quilty friend and her husband and he said, "Well that would make me want to do it wrong-er."

Exactly.


25 comments:

Megan said...

It would make me want to do it wronger too! LOL

I do do it the way the LQS lady does, but that doesn't make it the right way to do it - just one way that can achieve accurate outcomes.

Megan
Sydney, Australia

Frog Quilter said...

You have reminded me of a quilt instructor who told me in class I was doing the layout wrong. Don't ever tell a student that!

I feel your pain and sympathize. There is NO ONE WAY!

Linda Swanekamp said...

You mean the quilt police are still out there? Seriously, if someone has a different way to do something, I will usually ask them to show it to me, try it, then evaluate it and then either modify what I do, change it up, or continue on. I hope over time I have sharpened my skills, but am open to something new, but not be browbeat into doing things a certain set way. For example, I machine sew all my bindings. Some just continue to harangue me to hand sew the as I am "doing it wrong".

stitchinpenny said...

I am with you, but only because of logic. I do it that way for the reasons you stated. There is always more than one way to do anything, and do it your way and forget her.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Well said. LOVE the comment "Well that would make me want to do it wrong-er."

Allison said...

Ha! I'm imagining someone being foolish enough to tell Lynne Tyler that she's quilting wrong!

I'm making a few birds & so grateful for that tutorial - man, those freaking beaks get me every time.

Pat said...

I'm right handed and I also do it the way you do. I don't have the different width strips but I can see where they would be really useful. I always have to be careful that I don't flip the wider rullers the wrong way and wind up with a cut more narrow than intended.

sandra said...

There is a saying, "There is more than one way to skin a cat" If your way works for you, go for it!!! Not that you need anyone to tell you that. It was rather rude of the lady to tell you that you were doing it wrong. You obviously get good results so it is not "wrong." And if someone told me that, I would want to do it "wronger" too!!!

sandra said...

There is a saying, "There is more than one way to skin a cat" If your way works for you, go for it!!! Not that you need anyone to tell you that. It was rather rude of the lady to tell you that you were doing it wrong. You obviously get good results so it is not "wrong." And if someone told me that, I would want to do it "wronger" too!!!

Nancypatt said...

A different thought here. I agree with all of you but wanted to mention that I find the fabric used BEAUTiFUL!

mpv61 said...

That's GOR-geous fabric! And you should cut it whatever way you want! In all things, do what works for you.

Cindy Beal said...

Yippee! Someone who cuts like me! And that is how I teach newbies to cut too. I find it most accurate as you are never moving your base fabric - just slide & cut. I use a big ruler with a lip to keep it square on my fabric and a small 6" for measuring my strips.

Beverly Wood said...

I cut my fabric strips the same way you do. The main reason being that I don't have to shift my fabric after getting a straight edge. Unfortunate that the quilt shop owner can't think outside the box.

Susan said...

Love the binding fabric! I cut the same way you do.

LINDA CALDWELL said...

I cut the same way you do. There is more than one way to skin a cat and what happened to the customer is always right?

Brown Family said...

That was very bad customer service. She should have said that is an interesting way to cut, but I learned it differently! There is definitely more ways to do almost every thing!

Tina D said...

I hope Millie isn't reading the comments about (shhhhh.... "cat skinning"...)... Anyway, for years I've been doing the "trim fabric edge, turn 180°, line up ruler however many inches from said edge, and cut right-handed" method, and it's cumbersome because of the fabric manipulation necessary. Never thought of doing it this way, and am gonna give it a try. Makes a whole lot of sense to me! If you get the results you want, it's really nobody's business to criticize... even less so here, since her literal business is customer-dependent and it's just not smart to alienate your clientele.

Margie said...

When cutting strips I do the lqs lady way. Then when cutting the strips into sections I use a 6 x 24 ruler "vertically" and line up the left markings on a straight edge with the "1" on the right. Say you are cutting 3 1/2 inch pieces from your strip; line the 21 on the left edge of fabric, cut , slide the ruler (without moving the fabric) to the 17 1/2 line, cut, slide to the 14 line, cut, slide to the 10 1/2 line, cut, slide to the left, cut, slide to the 7, cut, slide to the 3 1/2, cut. Debby Caffrey taught me this. "If you are cutting celery you don't have the uncut part to your right."
As perfect as your quilting is, I would never tell you you were doing anything wrong! I always tell newbies that that this is my way not the only way.

Millie said...

Margie, I don't want to do the damn math!!! That's the whole point if the plexi strips being the exact width I want.

Carol C Thomas said...

Those type of comments make me more insecure and unsure of myself. I would think I wasn't good enough and try to do her way. I am not near at your skill level.

WAZOO! Quilting said...

I feel your angst. I was teaching a class, and had one of the students tell me I was doing something wrong! I had taught the class many times and had a 'trick' to make it easier to assemble a difficult angled piece. I simply told her that today, I was paid to teach it my way, and appreciated her input, but wasn't going to change the directions. When she teaches the class, she is welcome to do it any way she wants. One of life's speed bumps is the person who knows everything.

Hitch and Thread said...

This may be a silly question but how do you mean she could ruin good yardage? Do you mean to the left or the right of the ruler? Or just with her arrogance?

Sewing Up A Storm said...

I do it the way you do too! It works for me and I had no idea that I was doing something wrong.

Kara Kwilts said...

When you are cutting strips, whichever method you use, put a 5 or 8 lb dumbell weight (I got mine at WalMart - the rubber coated ones) on the end away from your hand. The weight keeps the ruler from slipping while you are cutting. Mistakes can still happen, but not as much - NO MORE WONKY STRIPS!!!!

I found the tip on YouTube from Jordan Fabrics in Grants Pass, Oregon. I thought it was a wonderful tip.

LOVE your quilts!
K2

Mary said...

Seriously! If there is one thing an experienced quilter knows it is this: there is more than one "right" way to do most quilting tasks. As long as you are not endangering your life or others and you are getting straight cuts on grain...it's a "right" way!