My starting point was these fabrics.
I wanted to use them for no other reason other than they were big, bold, bright and happy fabrics; the perfect antidote to the onset of winter gloom.
I thought that just on their own though, they'd all be shouting to be heard and that even by my standards it would be a bit OTT.
So I added in some more.
Checks and plaids and then some 'quieter' florals. I also slipped in a bit of text fabric as well because well, you can never have too much text fabric.
And then I dusted down my Go! Baby from Accuquilt and used the quarter square triangle die to crank out lots and lots of triangles.
Accuquilt has been around since 2008 but then a couple of years ago they really ramped up their marketing and started reaching out to quilt bloggers to really get their product out there, including this side of the Atlantic. Quilty blog world was awash with the world and his wife extolling the virtues of owning the fabric cutter and at the time, I was one of the lucky ones to win one.
And then in to the fray stepped Sizzix. Originally devised as a die-cutting machine for paper back in 2001, Ellison (the company behind Sizzix - I would link to Ellison but their website appears to be down at the moment) obviously saw the success Accuquilt was having and in the spring of last year, started producing their own dies specifically for quilters.
And then a funny thing happened. Quilty blog world in these regions stopped talking about Accuquilt and suddenly Sizzix was the name of the game. It would appear Sizzix has proved to be the stronger marketeer.
Now I don't own a Sizzix and have no affiliation with Accuquilt so this is my opinion per se about fabric die cutters for what it is worth:
- if you're just starting out I wouldn't buy one. Work out what kind of a quilter you want to be first and then you can make a better judgment. By that I mean if you're a modern, improv, slash and stitch kind of a quilter you probably won't have use for a die cutter. If on the other hand you're an appliquér extraordinaire with a love of pumpkins, birds, snowflakes, pears, hearts, owls, butterflies (several sizes), cats, lions, dogs etc etc then you clearly need one in your life
- bear in mind if you do purchase one, dies are expensive and you'll have to work out if you would use that die sufficiently to get your money's worth from it. In particular I am thinking about the strip cutter 2 1/2" die offered by Accuquilt - usually the width you'd cut for binding. Is it really so much easier, quicker (not to mention less wasteful of fabric) than using a rotary cutter and mat?
- if you buy some of the triangle and square sizes you are stuck making quilts with those sizes - if you fancy different sized triangles and squares it's back to the rotary cutter and cutting mat anyway
- maybe it's just the cutter I've got but it doesn't always cut cleanly so you're left to snip off bits still hanging to your wastage
- yes, there is wastage. How much depends on how canny you are with your cutting but there will always be wastage. It's the nature of the beast.
- i think they are a brilliant idea for circles and circle based shapes which is where I think they come into their own. The one die I most definitely have got value out of is the Drunkards Path. Circles really do come out as circles and I think it probably is the best way to achieve perfection
Is it worth buying a die cutter for?
Weigh up your usage and interest against cost and that's your answer.
So when I'd got all the triangles cut, I initially played around with values but it looked too contrived and I reminded myself that I'd cut these shapes in the first place just because I loved the fabrics and the random way they played together.
However, should you have a more ordered mind than me, there are endless possibilities of creating secondary patterns by playing around with the values.
A badly illustrated star shape but you get the picture.
A square on point. Could be all lights. Could be all darks. Could be one hot mess so then the triangles to the left, right, up and down could be more subdued.
Or sub-divide the square on point to a pinwheel block with the use of light and dark values.
Or don't look at it at all in terms of blocks but look to highlight a grid effect with choice of values. So I started highlighting what the vertical would look like but loss the will to live putting the horizontal dark and light annotations in but you get it.
Of course I didn't do any of this and just randomly sewed and sewed and sewed.
And I've just come to the conclusion that I really rather like random.
I find it more exciting and visually interesting.
And I think I like randomly pieced quilt backs too. I think it gives you a chance to show off mad, bold fabric too.
And I've also come to the conclusion that the more values and colours you use in a quilt, the harder it is to photograph and really show the quilt's true colours.
And if you add blue skies and fast moving clouds into the mix, your quilt gets another look entirely.
And the trade off for a longer, leaner shadow at this time of the year is the disappearance of any signs of a waist.
|Linking up with Finish It Up Friday|