So I’ve been debating whether or not to buy one of the new fabric die cutters available out there…I wondered… Was it really worth the price? Would it really save me time?
After watching a b’zillion videos on the Accuquilt website, and an in-person demo at one of my fabulous local quilt stores, Mill House Quilts, I was “hooked”. It wasn’t the time saved or even the “rotary cutting wrist relief” that sold me on them… It was the consistent accuracy of the pieces the Accuquilt dies cut.
There are several sizes of Accuquilt Die Cutters (ranging in price) for me to chose from. I felt a little like Goldi-locks–this one’s too big, this one’s too small, this one is just right! I felt for me the Go!Baby was a bit too small. I wanted to use the larger strip cutting dies, and the Baby only accepts the small dies. On the other end of the spectrum the Go!Big Electric was too much for my small sewing space. It would be a great choice for people with hand issues that can’t handle the manual crank. And the Studio (the top of the line and most expensive) was way over my needs, space, and budget. So I settled on the Go!. It can handle the larger dies, but is light-weight and easy to fold up and put on the floor under my cutting table when not in use. Very easy to bring up and use anytime. Of course I waited until it was on sale, and it came with a “Value Die” (55018) a 6×12″ cutting mat, die pick, and pattern booklet. I also bought the 1-1/2 inch strip cutter–thinking ahead to log cabins in my future (yes!).
I absolutely love it!
There’s one tip I learned along the way that I’d like to share with you about preparing the fabric. I found it helpful. I create a simple cardboard template for the die to help. Here’s a sample of the one I made for my 2″ finished half square triangle die…
I’m in the process of making a baby quilt for a friend (soon-to-be grandma again) that has 4″ finished Signature Blocks. To create the two corners of the block, I need 2″ finished half square triangles, and I happen to have this die (yay! It’s part of the “value die”). To make the cardboard template, I measure and add about a quarter inch or so on each side all around that particular die and cut it out (with paper scissors). Then whenever I use that die, I can use this template to help me visually prepare the fabric so it’s not too large or small and I can make the most of the fabric strip or scrap from my stash.
I can place it on my ruler when I’m cutting a strip to judge the correct width…
and then place the carboard template at the end of a strip and roll the fabric around it…
…until I’ve got 6 layers of fabric (the most my Go! will cut at one time)…then I cut off the excess fabric on the strip (if any)…
And give it a quick press with my iron…
**IMPORTANT**: Don’t forget to slip the cardboard template OUT of the fabric before you take it to the die cutter! –you do NOT want to run the cardboard template through the die cutter with the cardboard inside!!
Place the fabric over the template, being sure it hangs over all the edges of the marked die, cover with the plastic cutting mat, and run it through your die cutter…
Here’s a quick video of the cutting process…(forgive my amateur video taking!)… it’s difficult trying to do this with only one hand! LOL
It actually didn’t take long at all! From beginning to end I cut 24 perfect half square triangles in about 2 minutes.
The best part (and the real reason I was hooked on a die cutter) is the accuracy. Each triangle is perfectly cut. And even better, all the “dog ears” are cut off…making piecing a breeze.
Between then and now (my birthday was in there and the family knows what I want–LOL), I’ve accumulated a few more dies. I plan to make templates for all of them except the very large strip cutters.
That’s all for today… I hope this was helpful. I’ll share the quilt I’m making with you next time.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my friends in the U.S.
Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!
Mulberry Patch Quilts