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Message Board > Quilters' Corner > Anyone used a die cutter? ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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Anyone used a die cutter?
dollydolittle
dollydolittle
Member since 2/15/09
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Date: 6/6/12 4:48 PM

I love patchwork, but using a rotary cutter really hurts my neck (I had an accident 10 years ago and certain movements still cause me problems)

I can't afford an Accuquilt, but have recently heard that it might be possible to use the much cheaper Big Shot with the smaller Accuquilt dies. However, even though it is much cheaper, it is still going to be a significant investment for me as I am not a card maker/scrapbooker so the only reason I would be buying the cutter would be for patchwork.

I would like to know if anyone else has used a die cutter for cutting fabric pieces and if it is much easier physically or if it is the same amount of effort as using a rotary cutter. Are there any drawbacks?

I would also be very grateful to know if anyone has used the Big Shot with Accuquilt dies and how you have found it.

Many thanks

SecondHandRogue
SecondHandRogue  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/6/12 5:34 PM

I use a die cutter for a different occupational hazard--I am utterly accident prone, and the fewer passes of the rotary blade past my fingers the better!

I did end up investing in the accuquilt studio. While I do use it to cut geometric shapes, I use the strip cutters way more, so I'd make sure your cutter can cut strips. Not only are they great for quilts, I use my strip die to cut bindings for knits--great because the fabric doesn't shift at all.

I'd definitely recommend the accuquilt baby Go! Over the sizzix in your price range. I think it is around $70 and will give you better choices for quilting, and can maybe fit a few small strip dies as well. Accuquilt has been outstanding in terms of customer service in my experience, and the dies are available at big discounts in many places. Using their dies in a sizzix will nullify the warranty on the accuquilt dies, however.

I briefly owned the sizzix Westminster pro. I sold it because I was unhappy with the sizzix dies and the construction of the cutter itself seemed shoddy.

dollydolittle
dollydolittle
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In reply to SecondHandRogue <<


Date: 6/6/12 5:45 PM

That's interesting, thanks, I do like log cabins and so strips would be good.

Does it take much effort to use the Accuquilt? And have you used the Baby Go yourself? The Baby Go is twice the price of the Big Shot over here.

(At today's exchange rate that's $93 for the Big Shot and $186 for the Baby Go! The Go! retails at $480 - all before buying any dies of course. Can't find a Studio model )

SecondHandRogue
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Date: 6/6/12 6:51 PM

Dolly, those are big prices! Where are you located?

Both cutters that I used were fairly easy to crank, but since I'm not physically impaired, it's hard to judge. I will say that it saves my back since I'm not hunched over the fabric with a ruler trying to align everything perfectly. You will want to use it on a cutting table height or counter height table for the least strain on your neck. I have my cutter on a low table for aesthetic reasons and I sit on a low stool to do any large cutting project. I should be more careful...

SecondHandRogue
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In reply to CJ Tinkle <<


Date: 6/6/12 7:29 PM

You were my enabler CJ!

Here's an economizing tip if you are using a strip die for sewing apparel. I recently needed a 1.25" strip and I only have wider dies. I cut 1.5" strips, then serged off 1/4". Voila, perfect 1.25 strips, finished on one side and ready to attach!

a7yrstitch
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In reply to SecondHandRogue <<
thumbsup 2 members like this.


Date: 6/6/12 7:50 PM

I'll apologize for going off topic. I was lucky to only need stitches when the rotary cutter did not make it past my fingers. It jumped the short little add on safety guard.

I now have a nice smooth handled sanding block that has a grippy bottom. Every time I place the sanding block on top of the ruler and the palm of my hand on top of the handle of the sanding block, fingers and thumb extended straight out.

It's a habit that adds a second or two at the most. Added bonus is evenly distributed pressure over larger area.

------
I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

SecondHandRogue
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In reply to a7yrstitch <<


Date: 6/6/12 8:09 PM

A great idea! Maybe my DH can stop his surfboard construction for 10 minutes and make me one

Sharon1952
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Sharon1952  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/6/12 11:09 PM

Funny how we are all different. I hate my accuquilt cutter. The fabric prep takes far longer than rotary cutting for me. I also find the fabric gets off grain way too easily. I tend to piece only so the fancy shapes used mostly for appliqué don't interest me. Wish I could sell it, but it is way too expensive to ship.

------
Sewing: A creative mess is better than tidy idleness. ~Author Unknown

tailormaid

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Date: 6/6/12 11:49 PM

I am very interested in this topic, as I am considering an Accuquilt Studio. I would be fine with the Go, except I do have issues with my neck, arms, back and hands, and thought it was a little bit hard to crank when I tried it at Nancy's Notions a few years ago. Also, it seemed like in all the Youtube videos I've watched, people end up holding the Go with their other hand to
"steady" it, which would be difficult for me as well. The studio looks to be a smoother and easier "crank", but I have never seen one or tried it. Any opinions on the ergonomic differences between the Studio and Go? Thanks!

dollydolittle
dollydolittle
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In reply to SecondHandRogue <<


Date: 6/7/12 7:39 AM

I'm in the UK, I think Accuquilt must be a US company because they aren't easily available (I don't know of anywhere I can go to try one, I've only found online suppliers) and they do seem to be much more expensive over here.

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