Based on that, it’s weird that I decided to buy an AccuQuilt GO!—a machine that promised to reduce my hand cutting and allow me more time behind my machine.
I had plenty of reasons to pass on this purchase. For instance, it’s not cheap, and although the version I was considering came with a die, I would need to buy additional dies down the road. More dies = more money.
Despite my misgivings, I got my hands on my AccuQuilt GO! for a good price and then let it sit unused for months. During a recent creative slump, however, when I was spending time playing with fabric, Cynthia, over at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework, mentioned that she was using her AccuQuilt fabric cutter to get her scraps under control. I took that as a sign to bust out my new toy.
I quickly got to cutting. I’ve had some patterns in mind—ones that will bust through chunks of my stash—and some of them used the 4½” square shape or the 2½” square shape that my cutter came with. Woo hoo! (My die also cuts shapes to create 2½” half-square triangles. I don’t foresee using that much, though. I am not fond of sewing on the bias and am content with my current method of making HSTs.)
I found the AccuQuilt GO! easy to use: I placed my fabric on top of the desired shape on the die, covered the die with a cutting board (which I would have photographed, but it’s not exciting to look at), and cranked those sandwiched pieces through the machine. The result was a perfectly cut shape.
|This is the AccuQuilt GO! opened up. The die is the piece on the left; you can see the three shapes it cuts out.The fabric-and-die sandwich is propelled through the machine by the hand crank in front.|
By folding the fabric, I cut multiple layers of fabric in one pass through the cutter. With Moda fabrics, I got clean cuts of three layers at a time; with finer fabrics, like those from Art Gallery, I got five or six.
|These piles will someday become Lee Heinrich’s Scrappy Picnic Plaid quilt. I was able to cut the 2½” squares with my fabric cutter. Everything else was cut by hand, because I didn’t have dies to cut those shapes.|
|I cut these 4½” squares with my AccuQuilt GO! They’re destined to become a scrappy background for a quilt.|
My scraps and yardage had reached an unwieldy size, and this adventure with my new fabric cutter has helped me get a grip on things. I’m not sure when I’ll actually sew these pieces into quilt tops, but it felt good to get fabric into neatly cut piles, ready for sewing.
I think the 2½” shape on my die will become crucial to my scrap-management strategy in the future. Right now, I store scraps by color, without cutting them down to usable sizes until I want to use them. In the next few weeks, I’d like to take a pass through my scrap bin and cut 2½” squares out of the smaller pieces. I think that exercise will help me chisel away at the sheer volume of scraps I have and make it more likely that I’ll actually use that fabric.
Do you have an AccuQuilt fabric cutter or something comparable? For what do you use it? And does it factor into your scrap-management strategy? If so, I would love to hear about it!
Linking up to Scraptastic Tuesday, Sunday Stash, and Needle and Thread Thursday ...