Over the weekend
I have been having fun
cutting for a new project....although this time instead of
my standard rotary cutter, mat and ruler....I have been using a die cut.
I already have
a die cutting machine that I use for paper
and I just LOVE
it. It's from Stampin Up
and it works very well
. Stampin Up has so many adorable and useful
dies that I have used and I also have been able to buy any other brand
of die cut to use in it.
So, while I was on retreat last week
, I found a couple of die cuts
for cutting circles
out of fabric....YAY!
The brand name
is accuquilt. The Accuquilt
die cutting company is new (or at least in my neck of the woods) and is for cutting fabric instead of paper.
They also sell thier own machine
but as I said, I only needed the dies.
If you want to know more,
check them out here.
They have several other standard quilting shapes
to offer such as squares, triangles, rectangles etc...but I wasn't interested
in any of those as I have used my rotary cutter
for years to cut them out and I simply don't see why they would be necessary
or useful enough to pay the price.
when it comes to hexies and circles
I was really exited to get my hands
Shapes that aren't so easy to cut with the rotary cutter
are very appealing to me and I also love the idea
of being able to cut multiple layers
at a time.
The above photo shows some of what I have been doing
with the hexagon cutter. Fun right?
Accuquilt hexagon die cut cuts 3 sizes of hexies,
Keep in mind that is the CUT size of the hexagon...NOT the finished size.
I spent the weekend cutting 3" hexies because they pair up well with my 1" finished paper pieces. By using this size, I have plenty of seam allowance to wrap around the papers.
Just in case you didn't know, a 1" finished hexagon is really 1 3/4" tall x 2" wide.
The 1" measurement refers to the length of each of the 6 sides of the hexagon.
Kassidy has been wanting to learn english paper piecing
so I thought this was the perfect project for her
to learn on. She loves using my die cutting machine for paper
so I knew she would love to cut fabric
with it too!
These are my hexagon papers
. You can buy different sizes
along with smaller packages
but I bought the big one
as I seem to use the 1" size most often
....and I don't like to run out
when I'm right in the middle
of a project. You can find them online here
I'm in my studio...I have set up my die cutter and my new hexie die,
I pulled some fabric from my stash,
I turned on my ipod to something groovy,
grabbed a bottle of water and some popcorn ( I know, no chocolate. I am trying to take better care of myself!)
....now I was all prepared to have fun with my new toy.
I put a few squares of fabric on the tray...
I went to put it through my machine and....
No......... it was too wide to go into my machine by only a very scant 1/4" but still...too wide.
So, as I DO NOT easily give up on something that I really want, and before throwing both dies back in the bag and finding my receipt for a refund, I examined the die to see if it could be cut down on to size.
Now I'm on my soap box...I'm pretty sure that accuquilt would love to sell as many of thier own machines as they can, but I really think they should have thought it through before making thier dies only to fit thier machines. I know this makes perfect sense to them but what about people like me who already have a machine but would love to use thier dies?.....I say to them....
"Happy costumers = happy sales".
I discovered that it was made of wood and was wrapped in plastic on the sides and bottom with black foam on the top.The actual blades are made of metal but are in the middle and under the foam so of course I didn't need to worry about them.
I then immediatly called Mr. Honey because that's what I always do because he can fix anything.
He was on his way home from work and said..."no problem".
He used a hacksaw to trim 1/4" off on one side and then used a file to smooth it out.....it took him about 5 minutes.
I tried it again and it worked like a charm!
My better -half to the rescue again.
That's why I call him "Mr. Honey"!
Below is my cutie -patootie "Big Shot".
It's made by Sissix for Stampin Up.
There are several brands of die cutting machines
on the market but I did my research
when I bought this one and I have been completely satisfied.
Other brands I'm sure work well
...but I also really loved the look of this one.
It looks vintagey to me...kind of like the styling of a ringer washer and a featherweight all rolled up in one.....lol.
I know, I'm weird like that. But my motto is...
"If you're gonna to buy something, it might as well be cute!"
....and it is.
Don't you think?
If you want one for yourself
...you can find out about it here.
Now let me tell you what really clinched it for me
when I was looking to buy...
Stampin Up sells a designer bag for it.
It looks like a doctor bag
and is black and white gingham
with a little pink and black stripe.
Below is the inside which is equally adorable along with the fact that there is plenty if room to store several die cuts along side the cutter. (the handle comes off for storing)
The bag was important to me because I need a compact and portable way to store things in my studio.
Okay....here is how I did the cutting.
I cut my fabric for each of the 1" finished size hexie 3" tall by 3 1/4" wide.
I precut these with my rotary cutter in preparation to die cut them into hexies.
This step didn't take much time at all and was well worth it to make sure that I didn't waste any fabric and that it lined up over the blade correctly.
I used fat quarters from my stash and cut a 3" strip by about 22".
I was able to get 6 hexagons from one of these strips which worked out perfectly for 2 reasons...
1. I need 6 hexagons from each fabric to make the petals of one flower so I only needed to cut one 3" strip from each fat quarter. ( if you are making 2 flowers, cut 2 strips etc...or cut a 3" strip x WOF).
2. I found that cutting 6 layers of fabric at a time works best for my cutter. That means I could easily cut for one flower from one fabric in about 3 seconds!
So.... after I figured that out
, I went to town cutting a strip from lots of fat quarters
from my stash in a variety of prints and colors
that I love to work with
and stacked them up all ready to go
Here is a close up
of what it looks like to cut them....
I placed the six - 3" x 3 1/4" pieces onto the foam and centered
over the 3" hexagon blade. The foam protects you from touching the blade.
You can see the lines of the 5" hexie on the top
and the lines of the 2" hexie underneath.
I rolled it through my machine
and out came 6 perfectly cut hexies!
Of course this is what they look like after removing
the outside leftover fabric....okay I'll do it again
to show you what that looks like....
....not much fabric to spare
...just enough to cover the hexie size. I don't like to waste.
So the cutting continues....
Do you like?
Lots of hexies in a row.
But remember...the cutting is only the first step.
In my next post I will show you how
I stitch each hexie around a paper to make flowers.
Click Here For Part II