Friday, January 21, 2011

28 perfect reasons why I love my Accuquilt Studio Die Cutter

I cannot believe how amazing my brand new 1 1/2" giant strip die for my Accuquilt Studio cutter is!! It definitely made quick work of these little nine patches I am making for my 2011 Christmas quilt.
Inspiration came knocking on December 15 and it took the form of a Christmas quilt. So, I immediately started designing my Christmas quilt using Electric Quilt 6 (EQ6) and washed my fabric that very night. I was too inspired to wait for my 1 1/2" strip die that I had recently ordered from Accuquilt so I started cutting and piecing the 3" finished nine patches using my rotary cutter and regular chain piecing techniques. In a few days time I had cut and pieced 138 of my little nine patches. I was not completely dissatisfied with my production, but figured I should be able to get a little more done if I had the 1 1/2" strip die.
When my 1 1/2" studio strip die has arrived I figured it needs to be taken for a test drive and I knew exactly how to test it. Good thing I still needed to make 67 more little nine patches.
Here is a picture of all 138 little 3" finished nine patches:

When my giant 1 1/2" studio strip die arrived I figured it needed to be taken for a test drive and I knew exactly how to give it a good run for it's money. I guess it was a good thing that I still needed to make 67 more little nine patches.
Unfortunately I was not able to cut the 1 1/2" strips to make the strip sets as I had already cut those in my marathon rotary cutting event before the 1 1/2" strip die arrived. However, I knew I could use the die to sub-cut my strip sets into the units to make the nine patches.
Once I finished  piecing the strip units together, I pressed the seams toward the dark side on all three strip sets and then carefully aligned the strips crosswise on my 1 1/2" giant strip die.

After a few cranks of the handle I had 28 - 1 1/2" sections of each strip set for a total of 84 -1 1/2" units. Now that is what I call quick work with virtually no waste!!

28 - 1 1/2" units from each strip set means that I was able to use 42" of my strip sets, the only bits that were left behind were the salvedges and slivers from the fold lines.

A couple of hints that I I found useful in making my little nine patches:
  1. It is best to mark your dies with a silver sharpie as shown by Ebony Love of on several of her youtube videos. However, if you do not have a silver sharpie on hand a 12 1/2" ruler aligned along the dies blades will work until you can properly mark your strip dies.
  2. If you are a bit on the anal side (like myself) take the extra time to press in the folds of the strip sets before running the die through the cutter. Since I took the extra time to first carefully fold the strip sets on the die then took the folded strip set to the pressing area to set the folds with my steam iron then carefully placed the pressed strip set, realigning it with the ruler I had literally zero waste. It may seem like a waste of time, but it definitely increases your accuracy and decreases waste (which are both good things in my books). Besides, the Accuquilt die cutter just saved me at least 30 minutes of cutting, so in the big picture, what is an extra minute for pressing.
  3. Make one complete "test" block every time you start piecing a batch of blocks. This may sound silly but honestly, it can save you a lot of riping, aggravation and time. On my previous batch of nine patches my 1/4" setting on my computerized machine had gotten altered (too wide) without me realizing it until I went to square up 40+ nine patches. If I had done a test block I would not have had to spend the next night unsewing, or riping, or frogging. No matter what you call it, it is not what I call fun.

I love my Accuquilt Studio die cutter and here is a picture of my recently completed 28 perfect little nine patches:

I mentioned Ebony and her youtube videos; if you have not had a chance to watch her videos yet, I highly recommend them. She is a truely generous person of both her time and knowledge. It is due to the generosity of people just like her that make blogland such a wonderful place to visit.
I will post more information on my favourite Accuquilt videos and their generous makers soon, I promise.



  1. I have seen many very happy quilters writing about their Go's. And you are one more satisfied customer. This quilt will be ready in no time!

  2. Wow, your cutter made quick work of that job. I've been toying with getting one but just can't get past the wasted fabric; it looks like with this die there was none. Did you buy yours in Canada?