Indulgent and Pragmatic

Accuquilt Go!
Accuquilt Go!

The other day I wrote about using the Accuquilt to cut up some scraps. SherriD asked me some questions about the Accuquilt and it made me realize I had never really articulated how I use my Accuquilt. Perhaps I have and I just can’t find it in the blog?

I bought the Accuquilt on sale in order to cut about 10,000 strips for the Renewed Jelly Roll Race quilt. I felt like it was an indulgent purchase, but also somewhat pragmatic. It worked really well for that type of cutting (as long as I was able to straighten the fabric accurately). I don’t have a large cutting table so cutting long strips can be a nightmare of folding. The Accuquilt works really well for this purpose.

I determined, early on in my Accuquilt ownership, that I was not going buy every die. I also did not plan to buy the applique’ dies. I don’t do much applique’ and I saw no reason to clutter up my shrinking fabric closet with dies I would never use. Having a complete collection is not important to me.

I also decided I would buy basic dies – squares and strips. I want dies that give me as many options as possible, so I buy sizes of squares, mostly, that I can use in various quilts. 2.5 inch squares is the die I use the most for ‘on spec’ cutting. I also use the 2 inch die as I am still collecting blue, green and purple squares for the Blueberry Lemonade quilt I plan to make at some point.

Accuquilt-HRT die
Accuquilt-HRT die

I have branched out a little. I have an HRT die. Never used, but I have it. It is a great example of why I try to be careful about the dies I buy. I bought it thinking I could pair it with 2.5 inch square a la the Spiky Stars quilt. It isn’t the right size. That is an obvious drawback for dies. With rulers, you can cut whatever size you need. The dies are usually limited to one size. I have seen dies with multiple shapes or sizes, but that isn’t always the case.

I often use SIL’s Peaky & Spike die, so much so that I have thought of buying my own. Up until now using hers is fine. She and I coordinate die buying now that we live near each other. That expands both of our collections.

Triangles are a pain to cut, so I either use the Triangle Technique or some other quick cutting method. Triangles are great to cut with the Accuquilt, but I haven’t invested in the dies. I have a few, I think, but I find they often aren’t the right size for my project.

I probably would have bought the electric version if it had been available when I was shopping. If you are thinking of a die cutter, see if a local shop has one they rent. Some shops do and that can be a good way to try them out.

The bottomline is that there is no one way for me to cut. I use rulers, dies, templates and whatever else works for my project. Do what works for you.


Author: JayeL

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

2 thoughts on “Indulgent and Pragmatic”

  1. Nice to hear you also use an Accuquilt! I indulged in the electric Accuquilt about 6 months ago – my rational was hand problems making rotary cutting difficult. I love this machine! I got it as a bundle deal, so I have the one of the Mix & Match die sets (8 dies), along with a 2 1/2″ strip die. So now, I just make quilts where I can do most of the cutting with the dies I have – the possibilities seem endless. I also recently bought a 4 1/2″ Hexagon die and the Triangle die to go with it and took it to our quilt group meeting – I cut out hexies and triangles for everyone and we are making about 20 holiday quilts to donate to our local hospital birthing center. It was quite a hit! Also, the Accuquilt website has a large number of free patterns, so it’s easy to find a way to use and combine the dies.

    1. I don’t know that I could limit myself to quilts that only took certain dies, but that would be better than not making quilts at all. What a great idea for donation quilts! With the triangles you can strip piece them. glad to hear some info about the electric version. A friend has one and she said that she sometimes has to put some cardstock on top of the die and mat to get the dies to cut all the way through.

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