Now I know you’ve seen these all over blogland and you probably still think to yourself ‘hmm…I’m not sure about that’ because I know I did for the longest time. Accuquilt generously sent me this GO! Baby cutter a little while ago and I sat on it for a while, seeing if it actually got used or if it was just a novelty. I ordered the 2 ½” strip die, along with 3 ½” tumblers and drunkards path and hand on heart I have used the strips a lot. I cut my binding to 2 ½” so it’s been really handy having this little baby cutter. I also love scrappy binding, so it’s been fun using to get through leftovers from finished quilt tops and making (miles of) binding to have on hand for future projects.
The 2 ½” strip can also be cross cut into little squares, and if you follow my personal blog at all you will probably know I have a bit of an obsession with 2 ½” squares. So, for me, the strip die alone has made this GO! Baby cutter worthwhile.
I bet back in the days of scissors and templates people were freaking out about rotary cutters and mats…so I think this little cutie might be the future. Or at least part of it. It is honestly, pinky swear, fun to use and makes light work of cutting. Last night I sat and cut out drunkards path pieces in front of the TV. Super simple, no bending over the table hunched up and complaining, no tricky templates to cut round. Just stack in the GO! Baby and turn the handle. I have a bucket list of dies I want for Christmas. The hexagons and circles are top of the list http://www.accuquilt.com/go-shop/dies/go-baby/go-hexagon-2-3-5.html http://www.accuquilt.com/go-shop/dies/go-baby/go-circle-2-3-5.html I have a feeling they’d make light work of tedious cutting!
I’ve been promising this tutorial for a while. The basic block for the pillow was in the current issue of Fat Quarterly, but by adding borders and quilting I made a cute 20” pillow to throw on the trunk that I sit on when I’m hand stitching. (And the cat uses as a bed at night)
Ready? Let’s go (this is super picture heavy, so I apologize in advance!)
First up grab yourself the necessary supplies. You will need;
For my pillow I used a charm pack because I always seem to buy them and never use them up. It works much better if you use 6 x 12” pieces of fabric, as you’ll get 3 tumblers per piece, rather than 1 per charm, and only 2 at a time (you can see what I mean in the picture below).
Lay the fabric onto the die, right side up. If you use charms you’ll need to ‘fill in’ the gap for the 3rd tumbler. Just use a little scrap piece of fabric.
Pop the cutting mat on top and roll through the cutter. You do have to apply a little pressure but my 5 yr old managed it no problems.
Now, accuquilt say these dies can cut through 6 layers of fabric. I tried and it works. It was more successful when I used the strip cutter die than this tumbler, but it definitely made light work of cutting up my charm pack!
Aren’t they cute?
Even cuter when stacked!
Now, sew them together. You need to lay out 5 rows of 7 tumblers, move them around until you like the way they look and take them in pairs to the sewing machine.
The Accuquilt GO! Baby cutter has a neat trick of trimming your dog ears off, so you know where to match up your blocks. Clever, huh?
Just match up the little notches (or the flat edges in this case) and sew….
Open out and press the seam to one side. See how nice and flat they look?
Rinse and repeat with all the rows…
Now press nice and flat and square up the block.
Press the co-ordinating fat quarters and, using rotary cutter and ruler, cut into 6 x 22” wide strips.
As before, lay the fabric on the die. You really can cut up to 6 layers at a time, so make the most of it! Pop the cutting mat on top and roll through the cutter.
Sew 4 strips around the edges of the tumbler patchwork. Sew the top and bottom first, and then both sides. The remaining strips will be used later, so set them aside for now.
Press well and make a quilt sandwich using the wadding piece and muslin lining fabric. I used my walking foot as a guide and quilted narrow lines running horizontally across the pillow top. My personal preference is a well quilted pillow, it keeps it nice and firm and sits up better. Once quilted square up and trim away excess wadding and lining.
Now prepare your envelope back.
From the ½ yard of fabric cut 2 pieces each measuring 18 X 22”.
I took 2 spare strips from the border fabric and folded them in half just as you would to make quilt binding and attached them to the 22” side. As you would attach binding to a quilt, sew the folded strip raw edges together but on the WRONG SIDE of the fabric, then fold over to the right side and machine stitch down.
Lay the quilted pillow top right side down and lay 2 pieces of backing on top, right sides up. Make sure they overlap generously in the middle.
Pin well all the way round. Add extra pins to where the edges of the opening are. Using a zigzag or serging stitch stitch all the way round the pillow edge.
Trim the excess backing away.
Take 4 2 ½” strips and sew end to end to make binding. Press in half along the full length and attach to the pillow as you would a quilt, either finishing by machine or hand.
Sit back and smile. That wasn’t a bad way to spend a morning, was it?
You can find out more about the GO! Baby cutter and the other products accuquilt make by heading over to their website http://www.accuquilt.com/ and watch this space for details of a really cool giveaway coming soon!