Thursday, 16 June 2016

Are all strip cuts the same?

I love Tim Holtz's nostalgic steampunk designs for scrapbooking and papercrafts materials (he has a rather cool website too) so when I spotted his quilt fabrics, I had to add some to my stash.  First I got some yardage of his map prints and then I spotted this wonderful strip roll for sale online.  I had it on my eBay watchlist for ages in case I could find it for sale at any of the spring quilt shows or the Knitting and Stitching Show but after no luck, I ordered it from a shop in the USA.  It arrived a few weeks ago.  It wasn't cheap (nice strip cuts aren't) and I had to pay VAT and admin to Customs when it arrived, so I wanted to do something really special with it.  I have a variation on my Japanese Circles and Squares design with a redrawn block size that is perfect for a strip roll so yesterday I opened out the fabrics to start cutting.

There are many different brands of strip roll available now, commonly called jelly rolls by most quilters.  As the name 'Jelly Roll' is trademarked by Moda, other companies call them things like design rolls, strippers, pops etc. The one thing they have in common is the standard 2 1/2in width, which is normally measured from the edge of the pinking on one side to the other (not in the bottom of the pinked Vs along the edges).  They are also normally the full width of the fabric.

Before I opened the roll, I thought it looked a little on the wide side.  It can be hard to get an accurate measurement when the fabric is rolled up though.  Unrolled, the strips measure between 2 5/8in and 2 11/16in - not 2 1/2 in.  While there are some cheaper brands that aren't cut so accurately, I didn't expect this from a quality brand.  The roll is produced by Coats.

The oddest thing was the way the selvedges had already been trimmed off.  So despite the roll claiming to measure i '2 1/2" x 43/44"', the strips are between 41 and 41 1/2in long. The metric size is given as '6.4cm x 109.2/111.8cm', which is an accurate conversion.  It just doesn't measure that.

I've e mailed Coats and await their response.  I will have to modify the pattern to allow for the shorter strips i.e. less pieces from each and trim the width to the correct measurement.


Susie Q said...

Bummer --- I hope you really really like the fabrics.... I tend to stay away from the "knock offs" of precuts.... Moda does such a nice job and has done so for years and years I am spoiled. wondering if some of the fabric is not "quilt shop quality" and had the selvages removed so they could not be traced.

I am sure you will come up with something to make and am curious how the company handles your email.

JustGail said...

Have you heard back on this? I bought some batik precuts at Joann fabrics a couple years ago, and they too had the selvages removed. I don't think there were any 2 pieces in the package that measured the same, in either direction. I'm glad I was simply stashing, and not depending on certain sizes for a project.

Susan Briscoe said...

I haven't heard a squeak out of Coats on this!

The annoying thing is that the Coats fabric is really good quality, not cheapie. I can't work out what they are playing at.