Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Accuquilt...need I say more?

Looky looky, what landed on my stoop a week or so ago?  Ever hear of an Accuquilt? :o) Well, unless you have been under a rock for the last six months, you most likely have heard of an Accuquilt and know exactly what it does...but just in case it is a new term for some of you, I hope I can summarize it in a 1000 words or less. 

The Accuquilt is an eco friendly (as it uses no electricity) die cutting machine.  It is designed for cutting fabric..quilting fabric in most cases of up to 6 layers thick.  The dies are precise and unless you neglected to iron your fabric, you do get perfect cuts almost every time.
I chose 3 different dies to try with the Accuquilt and they were the chisel shape, the 5" charm and the tumbler.



The first thing I noticed when when I unpackaged my machine, is its build quality and weight.  It has to be said this is a hefty piece of kit!  I did wonder how this would be better than the standard rotary cutter, so I was keen to put it to the test.  It has to be said that the 2 most noticeable things that were considerably better were my wrist and my back.  In one afternoon I manage to cut a variety of charm squares and barely felt a twinge in the muscle groups that normally scream at me.
The dies are housed on a foam board and as a result can be a little difficult to see...



So following this video I decided to mark the dies with a permanent marker so I could see what I was doing (I never claimed to have great eyes!!)



As I had a number of fabric scraps that needed chopping down, I started with the 5" square die.  What I did notice right off the bat, is that the dies seem to have an optimum number of layers that they like to cut through...for me I found that was around 4 or 5 layers thick.  Too few and you really noticed it marking up the cutting mat and 6 layers was quite hard to roll through the machine.  Layering up the scraps, I was able to make short work of trimming those odd hunks of fabric down.



One piece of advice I read on the Accuquilt website, is that you should treat your dies as you would your fabric scissors and resist cutting through other materials other than fabric.  One exception to this for me was that I ran one piece of white paper through to create a paper template.



I found that with a paper template I was able to cut my fabric down into a suitable shape before putting it through the Accuquilt.  This was particularly the case when I was cutting the tumbler shape out and wanted to maintain the grain lines of the fabric.



The beauty of the dies is that it cuts all the ears off the corners which allows you to match your pieces perfectly.



I'll be posting more about my Accuquilt adventures, but for now I'll leave you a sneak peek of my plans for the 5" square.  (remember those crumb blocks that were popular a couple of years ago?) 
There is more to this idea..so stay tuned... :o)



Until next time...

18 comments:

Kathie said...

lucky lucky you!!!! I would love to make a tumbler quilt and then make lots of them and use them as the backs of my quilt, imagine how much of my overflowing scrap basket stash I could use
Kathie

Ariane said...

Oh! It looks so great! I can't wait to get mine. I love what I see about the crumb blocks. That make me think about that huge pile of scraps I showed on my blog that I'm trying to get through.

Lizzie said...

Wow, lucky you. I'd love one just to cut squares from scraps, how handy would that be..?
Lizzie
xx

Terry said...

Congratulations! I'm getting a GO! too! Mine should be here tomorrow! Thanks for the tips about how best to use it! :0)

Katherine said...

Looks like great fun, Jane. Can't wait to see what you make with all those pieces.

Love your blog's new fall look!

Anonymous said...

Know what else is "eco-friendly"? Scissors, rotary cutters and no hobbies at all! lol

It's also handicap friendly. That's the best part of all. Enjoy it.

Quiltbenaco said...

Deve essere comodo!
Chissà quando sarà disponibile in Italia...
Ciao Domenica

Timi said...

To be honest, I've never heard of Accuquilt....yet! But I've watched the video and wow!!! That's great :o)!

Contented Caroline said...

Oh my, was this was all the secrecy was about. I hope you have lots of fun. I saw it being demonstrated at the NEC (FOQ) and it looked great, I have something similar for paper craft. Hope it helps.
pop over and enter my giveaway - it's yummy.

*karendianne. said...

How fun. Congratulations! Looking forward to all the wonderful things you'll be creating because I know you will.

Superlative, *karendianne.

kelley said...

love all the tips...my local library has one and now I want to run over and cut all day...then I'll want to buy one...

Needled Mom said...

Congratulations. I know that you will have a lot of fun with it and I can't wait to see the results.

Stina said...

Woohho Jane.. lucky you...:O))) Amazing thing this GO..:O))) Just wonderful... and I cant wait to see what you will be making of your new gizmo!! :o))

Kitty said...

I've been under a stone for the last 6 months as I haven't ever heard of this very clever thingy. What a great idea! I look forward to seeing what you make with it. :) x

Chris said...

You lucky girl - it looks fabulous!
very taken with the tumbler die
Chris x

Ali said...

I saw a demo at the Festival of Quilts - amazing gizmo. I would be chopping everything I owned!!

Rafael's Mum said...

Thanks for the tutorial. so interesting! lucky you to get one! really pleased for you!

Lynda said...

You are so creative, Jane, and I know you will make optimum use of your Accuquilt!