How To Accurately Cut Fabric For Quilting With A Rotary Cutter
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How To Cut Fabric For Quilting With Modern Cutting Machines: AccuQuilt And Cricut New in 2024

There are quite a few brands available today, but for the sake of this article, I will be focusing on the Cricut Maker and the AccuQuilt Go fabric-cutting machines. This is because I own both of these machines and am very familiar with how they function. I’m going to go through the benefits and drawbacks of each device so that you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

People typically think of cutting machines as instruments for amateurs who need to generate a huge quantity of cuts rapidly and effectively.

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Cutting fabric with Cricut Maker

Quilting has evolved with the advent of modern technology, and cutting machines like the Cricut Maker and AccuQuilt Go have become valuable tools for quilters. Both machines offer unique benefits and have some drawbacks, which are important to consider when choosing the right tool for your quilting needs.

How to Cut Fabric with Cricut Maker

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The Cricut Maker is an adaptable and precise cutting machine, ideal for quilters looking to cut fabric efficiently.

What You’ll Need

  1. Cricut Maker Machine: The core unit that performs the cutting.
  2. Adhesive Fabric Cutting Mat: Specifically designed for fabric cutting, this mat holds the fabric in place during the cutting process. The pink mat is recommended for its optimal stickiness and fabric compatibility.
  3. Rotary Blade: A specially designed blade for cutting fabrics. It’s sharp and precise, making it perfect for detailed cuts.

Steps to Use the Cricut Maker for Cutting Fabric

Option 1: Creating Custom Shapes

  1. Accessing Shapes Menu: On the Cricut Design Space screen, navigate to the Shapes menu. This is where you can select the basic shape you wish to use for your quilt.
  2. Resizing Shapes: Once you’ve chosen a shape, you have the flexibility to resize it according to your quilting project’s requirements. This customization is particularly useful for unique or specific quilt designs.
  3. Designing Your Layout: After resizing, you can cut, copy, and paste these shapes onto the design space multiple times, arranging them as needed for your quilt pattern.
  4. Optimizing the Layout: Click the green “Make It” button in the upper right corner. Cricut Design Space will then automatically arrange your shapes in an efficient layout for cutting, ensuring minimal fabric wastage.

Option 2: Using Pre-Designed Quilt Shapes

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  1. Selecting Quilt Shapes: The Cricut library offers a variety of pre-designed quilt shapes, such as half-hexagons, squares, half-square triangles, and hexagons. These shapes are available in different sizes, ranging from one inch to one and a half inches.
  2. Choosing Grouping Options: After selecting the desired quilt shape, you can choose how you want them grouped for cutting. The options include a single shape, a small grouping, a grouping for a 12×12 inch cutting mat, or a 12×24 inch mat.
  3. Efficient Cutting Process: Once you select your grouping, proceed to cut. The Cricut Maker executes the cutting process efficiently, with almost no fabric wastage, which is a significant advantage for quilters.

Pros and Cons of the Cricut Maker

When considering a modern cutting machine like the Cricut Maker for quilting projects, it’s essential to weigh its advantages and drawbacks, especially in terms of its ability to cut fabric. This analysis will help you determine if the Cricut Maker is the right tool for your quilting needs.

Pros of Using Cricut Maker to Cut Fabric

  1. Versatility in Shape and Size: The Cricut Maker excels in its ability to cut any shape at any size, offering unparalleled customization for unique quilt blocks. This is a significant advantage over other fabric-cutting machines that require separate dies for each shape.
  2. Speed: The Cricut Maker can significantly speed up the fabric cutting process, a boon for large or time-sensitive projects.
  3. Precision: One of the standout features of the Cricut is its precision. It delivers exceptionally clean and straight cuts, essential for intricate shapes like hexagons or pentagons.
  4. Cricut Design Space: This software is a valuable resource, offering a vast array of pre-designed quilt patterns and the ability to create your own. It’s user-friendly and packed with creative options.
  5. Ease of Use: Even for beginners, the Cricut cutting machine is straightforward to operate, making it accessible to a wide range of users.
  6. Material Versatility: The Cricut can handle various materials, making it a versatile tool for different types of projects beyond quilting.

Cons of Using Cricut Maker to Cut Fabric

  1. Limitation with Simple Shapes: For basic, long fabric strips, a rotary cutter might be more efficient and produce less waste than the Cricut.
  2. Mat Maintenance: The adhesive fabric cutting mat can quickly accumulate lint and threads, which can hinder the cutting process and require frequent cleaning.
  3. Fabric Movement During Cutting: There’s a risk of fabric not adhering properly to the mat, leading to potential dragging and inaccurate cuts.
  4. Single-Layer Cutting: The Cricut is not capable of cutting multiple layers of fabric simultaneously, which could be a limitation for quilters used to batch cutting.
  5. Fabric Waste: Some fabric waste is inevitable with the Cricut, though careful planning can minimize it.
  6. Space Requirements: The Cricut machine is not easily portable and requires a dedicated space, which might be challenging for those with limited room.
  7. Cost: The Cricut, along with its accessories, can be an investment. Its price point may not be suitable for everyone, especially casual quilters or those on a tight budget.

Cutting fabric for quilting with AccuQuilt Go fabric cutter

This is the AccuQuilt GO! A die-cutting machine that is particularly built for quilting is referred to as a fabric cutter. This device makes use of a number of dies in order to cut the cloth into a wide range of shapes and sizes. You have the option of using manual cutters, which are operated by turning a hand crank, or electric cutters, which perform all of the work for you.

Advantages of Using AccuQuilt GO! to Cut Fabric

  1. Multi-Layer Cutting: A standout feature of the AccuQuilt GO! is its ability to cut multiple layers of fabric at once. This capability significantly speeds up the preparation process for quilting projects.
  2. Precision and Consistency: When you cut fabric using the AccuQuilt GO!, you achieve precise and consistent shapes. This precision is crucial for the intricate designs often found in quilting.
  3. Wide Range of Dies: The machine offers a variety of dies, allowing you to cut fabric into numerous shapes and sizes. This versatility is essential for quilters who enjoy creating diverse patterns and designs.
  4. User-Friendly: Whether you choose a manual or an electric model, the AccuQuilt GO! is designed to be straightforward and easy to use, making the fabric-cutting process accessible to quilters of all skill levels.
  5. Time-Efficient: Compared to hand cutting, using the AccuQuilt GO! to cut fabric can save a significant amount of time, especially for large or complex quilting projects.
  6. Reduced Fabric Waste: The precise cutting with AccuQuilt GO! minimizes fabric waste, allowing quilters to make the most out of their materials.

How to cut fabric with AccuQuilt Go

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Using an AccuQuilt Go cutter makes the process of cutting cloth very simple and straightforward. In addition to the large cutter, I also have a smaller one that’s called Go! Me.

Using the AccuQuilt Go fabric cutter to cut fabric for quilting projects is a streamlined process that offers precision and efficiency. Here’s a detailed guide on how to use this innovative tool, ensuring your fabric is cut perfectly for your quilting needs.

Guide to Cutting Fabric with AccuQuilt Go

Step 1: Planning Your Cuts

  1. Determine Shapes and Quantities: Before you start, plan out which shapes you’ll need for your quilting project. Decide how many pieces of each shape are required for each fabric type.
  2. Use Quilt Patterns for Guidance: AccuQuilt offers a variety of free quilt patterns, which can be helpful in determining the necessary dies and fabric quantities. These patterns typically cater to die sizes ranging from 6 inches to 12 inches.

Step 2: Choosing the Right Dies

  1. Selecting Dies: If you’re starting out, consider using a Mix & Match Qube die set, which includes eight dies for common quilt blocks.
  2. Aligning Fabric Grain: It’s crucial to cut along the straight grain of the fabric. The dies in the AccuQuilt Go have a slight angle to facilitate easier cutting, but this means you need to be careful with fabric placement.

Step 3: Marking and Aligning Fabric

  1. Marking Dies: To ensure accurate grain alignment, use fabric markers to draw lines on the dies perpendicular to one of the blades. This helps in aligning the fabric correctly.
  2. Placing Fabric: Lay the fabric on the die so that the grainline is parallel to the marked lines. This ensures the fabric is cut along the straight grain, which is important for the stability of your quilt pieces.

Step 4: Cutting the Fabric

  1. Layering Fabric on Die: Place your fabric on the selected die. The AccuQuilt Go allows you to cut multiple layers of fabric at once, making it efficient for large projects.
  2. Covering with Cutting Mat: Place the cutting mat over the fabric and die. The mat helps to evenly distribute pressure during the cutting process.
  3. Running Through the Machine: Feed the die, fabric, and mat through the AccuQuilt Go machine. The machine applies pressure, and the sharp edges of the dies cut the fabric cleanly and precisely.
  4. Revealing the Cut Pieces: Once the cutting is complete, remove the fabric pieces from the die. You should have perfectly shaped pieces ready for your quilting project.

Pros and cons of using AccuQuilt cutting machines to Cut Fabric

The AccuQuilt Go fabric cutter is a valuable tool for quilters, offering several advantages to enhance the fabric cutting process. However, like any tool, it has its limitations. Understanding these pros and cons can help you decide whether an AccuQuilt Go is the right choice for your quilting needs.

Pros of Using AccuQuilt Go to Cut Fabric

  1. Speed: The AccuQuilt Go cuts fabric much faster than traditional rotary cutting methods. It’s designed to speed up the cutting process, allowing you to focus more on sewing.
  2. Ease of Use: This cutter is straightforward to operate, simplifying the process of cutting fabric. Load your fabric, set the size and shape, and let the machine handle the rest.
  3. Precision: AccuQuilt Go offers highly accurate and precise cuts, essential for the intricate patterns in quilting.
  4. Multiple Layers: It can cut up to six layers of cotton fabric at once, ideal for larger quilting projects.
  5. Variety of Dies: AccuQuilt Go comes with a vast selection of dies for different shapes and sizes, making it versatile for any quilting project.
  6. Free Patterns: A wide range of free patterns is available on the AccuQuilt website, suitable for various projects.
  7. Reduces Physical Strain: It helps prevent strain on hands, arms, and back, common in traditional cutting methods.
  8. Perfect Seam Allowances: The cutter can cut any shape with a quarter-inch seam allowance, ensuring perfect-sized blocks every time.
  9. Trimmed Dog Ears: AccuQuilt Go trims the dog ears on triangles, saving time and making the sewing process smoother.

Cons of Using AccuQuilt Go to Cut Fabric

  1. Fabric Waste: Despite its efficiency, some fabric waste is inevitable with the AccuQuilt Go. Proper planning can help minimize this waste.
  2. Cost: The initial cost of the machine and the need to purchase separate dies for different shapes and sizes can be a significant investment.
  3. Die Requirement: Each shape and size requires a separate die, meaning additional purchases for diverse projects.

This video is more useful on how to cut fabric For Quilting With Modern Cutting Machines:

This Video Is Taken From Stitches Quilting – Deanna Wall YOUTUBE Channel

FAQs about cut fabric for quilting with Cricut

What is the Best Way to Cut Fabric for Quilting?

The best way to cut fabric for quilting is to use precise tools like rotary cutters, quilting rulers, and modern fabric-cutting machines like AccuQuilt or Cricut. These tools help ensure your fabric is cut accurately, which is crucial for the success of your quilting project.

How Can I Cut Fabric More Efficiently for Large Quilting Projects?

For large projects, using a fabric cutting machine like AccuQuilt Go or Cricut Maker can significantly improve efficiency. These machines can cut multiple layers of fabric at once and are designed for quick and precise cuts.

What Are the Benefits of Using AccuQuilt Go to Cut Fabric for Quilting?

AccuQuilt Go allows you to cut fabric fast, with great precision, and can handle multiple layers at once. It offers a wide variety of dies for different shapes and sizes and is easy to use, helping reduce the physical strain associated with cutting large amounts of fabric.

Can Cricut Machines Cut Fabric for Quilting?

Yes, Cricut machines, especially the Cricut Maker, are designed to cut fabric for quilting with high precision. They can cut various shapes and sizes, making them suitable for custom quilt designs.

Is It Worth Investing in a Fabric Cutting Machine for Quilting?

Investing in a fabric cutting machine like AccuQuilt or Cricut can be worth it if you cut fabric frequently for quilting. These machines save time, ensure precision, and can handle complex cuts, making the quilting process more enjoyable.

How Do I Minimize Fabric Waste When Cutting Fabric for Quilting?

To minimize waste when cutting fabric, plan your cuts carefully. Modern cutting machines like AccuQuilt and Cricut offer software to help optimize fabric layout, reducing the amount of unused fabric.

What Should I Consider When Choosing a Machine to Cut Fabric for Quilting?

Consider the types of quilts you make, the frequency of your projects, the range of fabric sizes you need, and your budget. Machines like the AccuQuilt Go and Cricut Maker have different features that cater to various quilting needs.

How to Maintain Precision When Cutting Fabric for Intricate Quilt Patterns?

To maintain precision, use accurate cutting tools and machines. The AccuQuilt Go and Cricut Maker are known for their precise cuts, essential for intricate quilting patterns.

What Safety Tips Should I Follow When Cutting Fabric?

Always use a sharp blade to prevent fabric slipping, keep your fingers away from the blade edge, and use a non-slip cutting mat. If using a machine, follow the manufacturer’s safety guidelines.

Can I Cut Different Types of Fabric for Quilting with a Cricut or AccuQuilt Machine?

Yes, both AccuQuilt and Cricut can cut various types of fabric suitable for quilting. However, always check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the thickness and type of fabric each machine can handle.

Conclusion

the world of modern quilting involves understanding the best practices to cut fabric efficiently and precisely. Whether you’re an experienced quilter or just starting, the choice of tools for cutting fabric can significantly impact the outcome and enjoyment of your quilting projects.

The journey of quilting is as much about precision and technique as it is about creativity and expression. Utilizing tools like the AccuQuilt Go or the Cricut Maker to cut fabric not only adds precision to your work but also infuses a sense of ease and enjoyment into the process. These innovative machines transform the often tedious task of cutting fabric into a swift, accurate, and enjoyable experience, allowing you more time to focus on the creative aspects of quilting.

Remember, the perfect quilt begins with perfectly cut fabric. Whether cutting intricate shapes for a unique pattern or swiftly working through stacks of fabric for a large project, the right cutting tool makes all the difference. The satisfaction of seeing your quilt come together, with each piece fitting flawlessly, is incomparable.

In embracing these modern methods to cut fabric, you’re not just streamlining your process; you’re opening doors to new possibilities in quilting—possibilities where precision meets art, and creativity flourishes unbound. So, as you embark on your next quilting project, consider the advantages of these cutting tools. They are more than just machines; they are gateways to a world where every cut fabric brings your vision one step closer to reality.

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