Today in the Quilter’s Alphabet series, Tammy and I are exploring the letter G! I will be talking about fabric grain!
A Quilter’s Alphabet: Grain
When we talk about fabric grain we are referring to the threads in a fabric- fabric is made from crosswise threads and lengthwise threads. Whenever someone mentions straight of grain, they could be referring to a cut along the lengthwise threads or the crosswise threads. Just not along the diagonal!
Let’s explore more!
Lengthwise threads run parallel to the selvedge edge or along the length of the fabric. They are also called warp threads. The fabric will have the least amount of stretch along this threads as these threads are held tightly to the loom when weaving the fabric.
The crosswise threads in a fabric run from selvedge edge to selvedge edge. Also referred to as cross grain or the weft threads. They are woven into the lengthwise threads and the fabric will have little more stretch along these threads.
Note: that is why some quilters feel borders should always be cut from lengthwise strips of fabric- they will stretch less.
True bias refers to a cut at a 45 degree angle from any crosswise or lengthwise thread. But really, any cut on an angle is along a bias. Bias cuts are the most stretchy cuts you can make.
Which is why, when you make cuts for a half square triangle, you start by cutting a square in half along the diagonal.
Then when you sew the triangles together, the bias is inside the block, not along the outer edges.
Bias cuts are good when you need to work around an angle, such as binding a scalloped edge quilt.
Now that we know a little more about grain, let’s head on over to Tammy’s Quilter’s Alphabet post to see what information she has for us on grids in quilting!
Next week in the Exploring the Basics series, we will chat about the Peaky and Spike unit!