Last blog post I mentioned that Accuquilt was having a Christmas in July sale and that many of the dies were up to 40% off. Today I want to share a little about the Accuquilt System as many people do not know much about it.
Accuquilt is a company that makes GO! fabric cutters and specialized dies to go with them.
The cutters come in a variety of sizes and range in price from $135 up to $810. The lower priced GO! machines are not lower quality you are just limited a little more in the number of dies that you can use on it, though there is still a large range to choose from. Most of the models work by turning a crank while the most expensive machine is electric and cuts your fabric at the touch of a button.
The dies are boards that have blades built in that cut your fabric in the shape specified. The blades are surrounded by a thick foam and only cut when pressure is applied.
The dies come in a wide variety of shapes, and many of them follow the standard precut sizes uses in quilting, there are the basic strips, squares, rectangles, triangles and circles. For quilting there is also half square triangle blocks and flying gees blocks again in a variety of sizes. Also available are a huge variety of applique dies in almost any shape that you can imagine, there are flowers, leaves, animals, vehicles, feathers, letters, and fun geometric shapes as well. Accuquilt also started producing dies that they call block on board dies. on these boards are all the pieces needed to make a single block, some of the ones included in this lineup are the drunkards path, pineapple block, Ohio star, wedding ring, blazing star and more.
There are also Go! Qubes which are sets of dies that make a specific quilt block size, specifically 6", 8", 9", 10" and 12". The Qubes come with a pattern book and the dies can be combined differently to make different blocks. On my never ending list of quilts to make is a sampler using one size of the Qubes, maybe I need to do a blogged sew along to complete it.
So how does the system work?
Step 1, place the fabric on the board ensuring it reaches past the darker toned area of the board
Step 2, cover with a mat
Step 3, turn handle of machine
Step 4, remove perfectly cut piece of fabric from the board and repeat.
It really is that easy, my 4 year old used it to cut felt shapes for his felt board, and my 5 and 7 year old boys have used it to make quilts for themselves.
So now that you know what I mean when I say GO! cutter and dies I will tell you why I think they are a great addition to your sewing room.
The GO! cutter and dies allow you to cut accurately and quickly. You can cut up to 6 layers of cotton fabric at one time and the dies can be used many times before the blades go dull. Because you are cutting on a set die you know each cut is going to be exactly the same every time. Starting off with accurate pieces can make the rest of your quilt assembly go a lot smoother.
The dies are two toned, the darker area is inside the blades and shows you where your fabric needs to lay, the lighter is just background on the board. This two tone allows you to quickly lay your fabrics down, and make good use of scraps that you have as well.
The piecing dies are made so that there is a 1/4" seam allowance included, and the dog ears are trimmed off.
The cutters fold for easy storage when not in use, and when folded they have a nice handle for easy transport too.
The cutter is a great way to introduce the younger generation into quilting and crafting as there are no sharp scissors or rotary blades to worry about.
I know of many people that use them because of arthritis or other ailments made rotary cutting difficult but turning a crank or pushing a button is a lot more doable.
Accuquilt has hundreds of free patterns on their website to go with the dies.
We carry a large number of dies in our shop and any that we do not have we can order in for you. We also have the machines available to purchase.
We have a GO! club that runs throughout the fall and winter months where we work on projects using the dies. You can learn more about this club on August 14 in our shop, and I will blog on it afterwards as well.
I am also planning on doing a little post each month featuring a newly released die, a new project for a die you may already have and some other tips.
Until the end of July there is a good selection of dies that are on sale at up to 40% off.