I knew it was impossible to cut folded fabric:
I finally got around to some of the jelly rolls I've been collecting, cut by nice ladies who sell them on eBay and Etsy. I assumed that since they were ballsy enough to offer home-cut jelly rolls, that they knew what they were doing and wouldn't dare sell a bunch of V- and C-shaped strips.
I am way too trusting.
Even so, it makes me feel better that even people who cut fabric for a living suck at it as much as I do. I recently purchased a book of jelly roll quilt patterns (a book which was, by the way, part of the inspiration for this post) and selected what appeared to be the easiest pattern to start with. It's kind of a take on the Chinese Coins pattern, but using jelly roll strips instead of scraps. You sew 5 strips together and cut that into 5 8-inch sections, continuing until you have 40 blocks.
Mix 'em up and sew them together in 5 rows of 8 blocks each, add sashing and a border, and you have a quilt that even morons like me can make.
Except that my strips are all wonky, and I didn't really realize it at first. See, I keep trying to avoid pressing my seams until I've sewed all my strips together. I hate ironing, and it's another one of those things that you find a lot of gloom and doom instructions for ("Press. Do not iron. If you iron, children in Bangladesh will go hungry and there will be a potato blight in Bulgaria."). I'm always certain that I'm doing it wrong and it's just a big pain and, the upshot is that I thought my second strip set came out all curved because of a combination of lousy sewing and not pressing the seams before sewing on the next strip. So I began pressing/ironing diligently and they were still all fracked up, and THEN I finally looked closely at the strips themselves.
And you know what? I don't care, because I still didn't have to cut them myself. I have no standards.