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Modern Technology Meets Classic Quilting

There are fabulous things happening in modern quilting! Traditional quilting involves lots of cutting and sometimes it is hard to maintain accuracy as you cut. The Accuquilt system sought to solve this problem for many quilt block shapes and styles for many years, but it can be costly, take up a lot of space with all the different dies, plus it takes some physical effort to roll the dies through depending on your system.

But there is something NEW (ish)! There are cutting systems out there that have not been realizing their full potential in the quilting industry. These cutting systems have been primarily used in other craft areas - paper, wood, stickers, t-shirts, mugs, etc. What am I talking about? The Cricut, Silhouette, and Brother ScanNCut (shown below).




I have been wanting to give these a try for awhile, but didn't get the opportunity until now. Let me just tell you - I LOVE using a cutting machine for cutting my fabrics with the touch of a few buttons. I have nerve and joint pain in my right arm (which is my dominant arm) and this makes it so nice...and pain free! Plus all the pieces come out exactly the SAME size and shape! And if you are concerned about using new technology, tools, or software - they come with tutorials, practice activities, and lots of resources. If I can figure it out, I'm sure anyone can...or ask the nearest 4 year old (LOL).


I am so excited by this application of these machines in quilting that I have several new patterns in the works using these machines to cut the pieces! Or if you have patterns with some extensive cutting requirements let me know. I will also be developing solo block files that can be re-sized to fit your needs.


Click here to get my new pattern:

SWEETLY SUE - Digital Quilt Pattern with Applique SVG Files | Polka Dot Peep


How do these Cutting Machines Work?


This next part is from my direct experience with the Cricut machine, but each machine should work similarly.


First you need a machine and tools like a mat and maybe a weeding pick, some fabric, fusible interfacing (optional although I recommend it), a computer, and a template in the form of an SVG file.


Then you need a template file to cut. An SVG file (scalable vector graphic) is the easiest since it is ready to cut, but most machines take other sorts of files too just check out your software and help tools.



Purchased files should come with an instruction sheet but here is a quick peek into Cricut Design Space. Initially you upload the file, choose which pieces you want to cut, then arrange the pieces on your mat (if you don't like the way your software automatically lays them out). My device allows you to choose between two options for fabric - bonded (with fusible interfacing) or non-bonded (plain) - so it walks you through the choosing of cutting substrate, mats, blades and such.


After your fabric is loaded, you push a button and then your fabric gets cut - perfectly! I was able to cut 126 Sunbonnet Sue pieces in ONE hour - so awesome!!


Can you envision the possibilities? Fusible applique projects - quilts, shirts, totes, home decor, OR positive/negative quilts where one cut equals two blocks (like the orange peel below) OR non-bonded fabric cuts more quickly and accurately and even while your hands are busy (sewing, cooking, or whatever).



Here's a little video of the process (it is sped up by 8 times but that means this 15 second video really took like 2 min):



I hope you are excited to try this method of quilt-making and try one of my new patterns in my shop PDP DESIGNS SHOP | Polka Dot Peep


OR individual blocks in my Etsy shop at PolkaDotPeep - Etsy


OR look on the web to find other options - if you're a Dear Jane fan and/or fusible applique check out my friend Erin's shop at StarGardenerDesign - Etsy


As always I'd love to see what you are making! Be a share bear and tag me @polkadotpeepquiltsetc on Instagram or Facebook or leave a comment here.


Until next time...

Have a great day & Be blessed my friends!

Tara



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