A question for Quilters…

I don’t know how many of you use an accu-quilt product.  I have had one for a long time, before they were really popular.  Maybe 15 years or more.  One of my girlfriend’s is a teacher and brought one home from the school to work on something.  I ran and got some fabric and it cut so well that I ended up buying one.  Of course I have the “school” model, not the fancy ones aimed at quilters.  When I got it, it was initially for shapes, pumpkins and planes and dogs etc…  At some point my late husband Jerry got me a big set of quilt blocks.  It cost several hundred dollars.  I had never used them until this past weekend.

So I cut out All the pieces for the quilt pictured using my accu-cut.  Here is what I found, 20170905_203052_resized.jpgthat there seemed to be a lot of cutting before you die cut and then there was a lot of waste.  I had a fairly large half square triangle that was just that a half square triangle on the die, instead of a square cut on the the diagonal.

I understand the concept behind die cutting.  Each piece is perfectly cut and exactly the same.  It is supposed to make piecing more accurate and easy.  I don’t know if it does or doesn’t.  I just felt like it took twice as long because I had to cut before die cutting and then the waste.  Don’t get me wrong, I love it for cute shapes, I am just not sure about block cutting.  I am hoping someone can share their thoughts with me because it just seems weird to me.

Normally, when I am cutting my pieces, I do have an Alto Quilt Cut, which I love, so I feel I am pretty accurate.  What am I missing?  Thanks for your help.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting


37 thoughts on “A question for Quilters…

  1. Hi Lori
    I do have an AccuQuilt cutter as well. For me it has been a life changer since I have developed arthritis in my old age. Using the AccuQuilt allows me to get accurate cuts for all of my quilting. It is also very time saving for me. I once spent 2 days clearing out 3 large totes of scraps (rather embarrassing to admit to that many) and would up with plenty of precut squares, strips, and triangles in various sizes for those quick scrappy projects. I am currently working on a cathedral window quilt which was entirely cut with my AccuQuilt dies. I know there is a wee bit of waste when using the cutter, but as you get used to using it, the waste is less. I love mine and use it almost every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OK Here is my Two Cents.
    When I cut pieces for a quilt I always add 1/8″ to the stated pattern cutting instructions especially for HSTs and others.

    This way I can “square” each piece so when the quilt is finished it is squared.

    Accu Quilt will not allow me to do that, therefore i will not purchase one. This equipment is made for quilters who make a lot of utility quilts, Not Show Quilts

    Have a great day – Great Post

    Just a Traditional Quilter’s opinion.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I bought the smallest one on sale for 50% off several years ago. I used it a little to cut 2 1/2 inch strips, but ran into the same problem of having to precut fabric to fit and a lot of waste. So I just don’t use it. I can cut very accurately and much faster with a rotary and ruler, so no real reason to bother with it. Also didn’t want to put out extra money for dies for sizes I use all the time.


  4. My experience has been limited to squares and triangles. I also had a one that cut 3 different types of birds. I loved the accuracy of the cut on the squares, but the prep time was an extra step that I think added time. I also find that I enjoy the rotary cutting process.
    I do like the idea of using them to cut scraps and have these pieces ready for random projects.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have the accuquilt and previously thought that cutting squares was a waste. I am still on the line about this. I have cut up a bunch of vintage sheets which scoot all over the place and next to impossible to get a true square. The accuquilt to the rescue. I think what makes the most sense for this cutting system is curved cutting. It is very time consuming to do with scissors, and difficult for me with a rotary cutter. Now I can cut drunkards path and clam shells very easily with little waste.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Considering that at my house, I have more time than money, I’ll continue to live without one. I also don’t like to do two steps where one will work fine. If you were going to cut up a bazillion scraps to pre-determined square sizes you use all the time, then maybe it would be worth doing that.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I do not own a accquilt cutter. I have considered buying it before but decided against it. I believe the cutter is very accurate in terms of cutting but my piecing may not be. So, after I pieced up the HSTs or QSTs, I may end up with HSTs or QSTs that are a little off the dimensions required due to my less than perfect piecing skills. Therefore, I still prefer the traditional method of rotary cutting my pieces slightly bigger, than trimming down the pieced block to the desired size. I love using Deb Tucker’s rulers to rotary cut cos she uses the trim down method. I am not affiliated to her. Just a happy user of her products. LOL

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I thought about getting one for applique pieces, but couldn’t make myself spend the money. I would never use it for squares or strips. My favorite ruler for strips is June Tailors Binding buddy – not the useless 6″ one that everyone has, and many do not use, but the 32″ long one. Because it’s only 2.5″ wide, I can zip through yardage without having to squint to see lines [like on wider rulers] in no time! One end of it is a 45 degree angle, so you can get bias cuts, too! I put little feet on mine to make it not slip.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I just purchased an Accu-Quilt Go cutter last month and I so far I love it. I bought it primarily for cutting my scraps into 2.5×4.5 – my personal favorite. I also noticed when I spent too much time cutting, my wrists started to hurt so this will save my wrists as well. I do notice there is some waste but I made a large pillow case out of some ‘what was I thinking?’ fabric and I throw any bits of fabric smaller than 2.5×4.5 into it. Once it’s full I sew it shut and donate it to a local animal shelter…that way I don’t feel so bad about the ‘waste’.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. It was very interesting to read everyone’s responses. I enjoy the rotary cutter process (and have managed to still keep all my fingers attached after all these years with this dangerous weapon) and would not be interested in Accucutting but I can see why some people like it or how it helps those whose hands are not up to all that rotary cutting, etc.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I really enjoyed reading all these comments! I learned a thing or two and also am now on the lookout for the June Tailor binding ruler. I think it might change my life. Seriously! I hate cutting 2.5″ strips for binding. As for the accuquilt, I have tried one. I didn’t buy it – my sister gave hers to my mom, and so that is how I got it to try. I wasn’t impressed – mostly because of the waste. It seemed to me that in order to get your layers of fabric on the die just right, you had to do a lot of fussing and folding and – it just didn’t seem worth it. Especially considering how expensive the cutter is AND you have to buy all those different die sets for all the different shapes and sizes. However – I only tried some basic shapes. I read a comment above about using it for curved shapes, and that makes a lot of sense. Also, if there was a particular shape for applique, I suppose you could make a case for it. But for me, I don’t do enough of the same thing, over and over, to justify the cost. Just my two cents. Thanks for starting the conversation, Lori! 🙂 your blog is always a joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I have used the fancy one for quilters (not one I bought, thankfully). I thought it was WAY more trouble than it was worth, and agree that it wasted a lot of fabric. I love the alto cut but haven’t invested in one yet, so I’m glad to hear you like it. Way more worthwhile than the accu-cut. Sorry for the folks selling it, but that’s just my opinion of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Today I started a new group of students in the usual fall/winter class I teach at our local Guild. 14 students. 6 cut their fabric for the Sampler Quilt with a rotary cutter. 8 shared the time with my AccuQuilt cutter. The 6 who did rotary cutting got one 12″ block finished and the blocks were wonky. Of the 8 that used my AccuQuilt to do their cutting, 4 finished 2 blocks. The other 4 finished one. The ones with the AccuQuilt cutting were more uniform and almost perfectly squared. It was a clinical study. The amount of “wasted fabric” was minimal because I had cutting instructions for 15 blocks prepared so they could cut all of the pieces for their blocks in a couple of hours easily. In this case accuracy and speed of cutting was more important than the bit of scraps in the bin. At least that was our consensus of opinion. These were all beginner quilters.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. You might to take a look at blogger Katy of katyquilts she is a prolific quilt maker and often uses a die cutter – in fact she has recently become an affiliate (I think that’s a word?) of accuquilt.

    Liked by 1 person

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