My journey into quilting has been, at least as far as I can tell, pretty normal. I’m not a seamstress; my claim to sewing fame is the ability to hem pants and sew buttons. I’ve been around some really amazing seamstresses (my mom for one) and learned that garment making is not my cup of tea.
But I am fascinated by the process. I know, it really makes little sense. I’ve spent years watching Sewing with Nancy or Love of Quilting with Fons and Porter among other fabric oriented shows. I’ve watched Quilt in A Day even though the amazing Eleanor drives me batty after a while. It’s me, really. 🙂
It wasn’t until I found myself watching an episode of Sewing with Nancy that it occurred to me that (a) I could drive a straight line and (b) this quilting thing might be doable.
The drive a straight line bit may sound a bit odd, but the statement was made that if you were concerned about sewing a straight line, if you could drive a car in a straight line, you could sew a straight line. As it turns out, I can. Usually.
I’m fascinated by the tools of the trade. The rotary cutters, rulers, guides, templates (well maybe not so much templates), threads and fabric make the quilting process interesting.
I enjoy the process of taking pieces of fabric and making them into other pieces of fabric. It is an odd variation of high school geometry class in cotton. While the sewing is enjoyable, however, the cutting is not.
I hate cutting fabric.
I have a bad back, which makes cutting large pieces of fabric into smaller pieces using ruler and cutting mat a bit of a trial. And considering the cost of fabric, the idea of ruining a cut just adds stress.
I prefer to use pre-cuts; fabric lines cut into set sizes: 5 inch squares, 10 inch squares, 2 1/2 inch wide strips, to name but a few. Pre-cuts make part of the cutting process easier because they reduce the amount of cutting needed. In some patterns, you simply use the pre-cuts as they are.
While some folks love the idea of using old school methods, templates and I are not on the best of terms. Using paper or plastic pieces to cut fabric is not my idea of fun. Especially if I have to cut the paper or plastic to make the templates myself. Now, this may confuse those who look at some of the cutting tools and think ‘template?’ You can purchase specialty shape rulers to make blocks; I have one to make a Dresden block that is a particular favorite.
Add to this the time it takes to actually cut fabric before you can sit down to create a block – not to mention a quilt – and you may start to feel like you are done before you start.
I was lucky enough to discover a wonderful tool as I was beginning my quilting journey. It is a cutting system that saves time, creates accurate cuts and provides easy to follow guides to create blocks. AccuQuilt provides a variety of dies and mats to cut your fabric stash into the pieces needed to create blocks to create that quilt you have been dreaming of making. Even if you weren’t aware you were having such a dream.
I spent a lot of time researching this new system and I liked what I saw. A variety of basic shapes along with some innovative and interesting new shapes to create pretty much any project I could imagine. Over the years, they have continued to refine and enlarge the collection making it possible to make even more projects. And if I run out of ideas, they have over 700 Patterns – many free.
The machine I chose was the Go! machine and I picked up the 12 inch block Mix N Match collection dies even though there are other Mix N Match block sizes available. These dies will create a 12 inch final sized block for my quilting project. I’ve added a few specialty dies in addition to a smaller bow tie block and the log cabin block on board (BOB) die.
If you are looking to upgrade your quilting experience, or if you have been unable to quilt due to arthritis or back issues, why not check out the latest Accuquilt deals and current offers!
Accurate cuts, more time to quilt, less fabric loss. Add a quarter inch sewing machine foot, some beautiful fabric and thread and you are on your way to a beautiful quilt or other project.
Check out the offerings at Accuquilt and let me know what you think.