Friday, September 27, 2013

Finish It Up Friday & An Accuquilt Review

Finally feeling back in the groove, and even have a finish this week! 

Nothing big or fancy, just some simple, fun sewing.  Funnily enough, after 4 years of sewing/quilting I think this is my first simple patchwork quilt.  I made a patchwork quilt years ago, but it has two borders on it, so this one really is the only simple one.  Only I would take 4 years to make the easiest pattern (fun fact: the first quilt I ever attempted was a bargello pattern.  I like to skip the simple stuff and start with the intermediate :)

I used my Accuquilt to cut the squares for this quilt, but I must admit I am not impressed.  I have had my Accuquilt for about 2 years now, and to be honest I am still waiting to fall in love with it.  Years ago it seemed that all the "star bloggers" of the quilting world were being gifted with Accuquilts and then reviewing them "this is great!" "there's really not that much waste!"  "It's so easy, my kids can use it!"  Ummm... maybe I would say that too if I had gotten one for free and had access to someone at the company to answer all my questions (and if I was getting a kickback...), but I really don't see any of that.  Here are my thoughts-

1. Waste- yes, there is fabric waste.  And no, it is not always "the same as if I were to rotary cut".  I think it depends on the die being used.  I think for applecore or something that is an "odd" shape that is true, but for squares, strips, even triangle and tumblers, I find I would have way less waste if I were to rotary cut the fabric myself. 

2.  Preparing the fabric- it is not quite as simple as "fold the fabric and turn the crank".  You have to iron and starch the fabric very well, the slightest wrinkles tend to affect my cuts way more than I think they should.  You still have to cut the fabric down to size so it fits on the die (and only on the part of the die you want, some of the die have more than one shape/size on them).  And once the fabric is layered on the die, it can be hard to turn the crank to get it to go through the machine.  I was using 6 layers of fabric, which I did by folding one piece of fabric in half lengthwise and then folding it in thirds widthwise.  Those folds add a lot of thickness and can make turning the crank tricky- which I think also tends to make the fabric shift a bit and brings me to...


3. Fabric shifting/ fussy cutting- Fussy cutting isn't really an option, even some thing as simple as keeping your stripes straight can be hard.  Even if you lay the fabric out perfect, putting the cutting mat on top and running it through the machine tends to make my fabric shift a bit.  All of a sudden my stripes are off kilter. 

4. Cutting- My shapes rarely come right out of the Accuquilt.  Out of the 6 layers of fabric (so 6 shapes) I would get 3 maybe 4 that would come out perfectly.  The others were still stuck to the waste fabric and I had to cut them out.  One small slip of the scissors and the shape can be ruined. 

Basically, I haven't found the Accuquilt to be that accurate.  My issues this time could have been compounded with using a few different types/qualities of fabric, but many of my squares were not the same size- which seems awfully strange since they were cut with the same die!  I always expect my Accuquilt to save me time, but after I have prepped my fabric, cut it down to size to use in the machine, run it through the machine, etc... I could have rotary cut it faster. 

Does anyone else  have these troubles with the Accuquilt?  Any tips to change my mind on it? 


  1. I have the Go! Baby model and there is no way I can cut 6 layers accurately. I think 4 is more like it and some do need to be snipped--I totally agree with you on that. So what's the use if you have to re-cut to square up? The only die that really seems to work well is the hexagon --but as you say, no fussy cutting...I really don't use it that much except for cutting scraps into use-able sizes i.e. 2" sq.s, 1/2 sq triangles....I can't decide if the cost of the dies is worth not rotary cutting. I don't use it all that much...julierose

  2. I have found that 4 layers brings more accurate cuts. Also make sure you are lining up your fabric going the right way on the die. Your selvedge edge should be parallel to the bottom of the die. You should put the die through with the folded edge first if it is a strip die. If you go on their site and look at the videos they help a lot. Ebony Love of LoveBug Studios has also made a lot of videos that are extremely helpful. Her tips are great. She even has a book out about how to die cut. I find that I have problems when I have cut too many layers or I haven't lined up the fabric with the grain going the right way. I love my GO cutter but I have to be willing to do a bit of work. You can actually cut hunks off and then do your cutting by measuring the die and then adding a bit for wiggle room. The more you cut with it the better results you get. It takes practice so don't get discouraged. :- K-)