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In the Quilting World

Saving Time With My AccuQuilt Cutter

Let me introduce myself: I'm Carolyn Vagts, editor of Quilter's World magazine and writer of this update. That's my day job, and at night, I'm an addicted quilter. I tend to eat, breathe and sometimes sleep with my quilting. I have a beautiful studio with my work space right in it. How convenient, since I work at and with quilting. As editor, I am very hands-on with every issue. I'm also very hands-on with this update. I love to share my experiences with other quilters in hopes it will inspire them to explore the endless possibilities available to them.

With each update I select a book or pattern to accompany it. It's usually something that I feel goes along with the content of my update. In the last few years I've discovered the joy of using my ever-growing stash. It seems that the first thought I have when looking at a pattern or quilt is how it would look in scraps. It's not a bad thing since I have so much!

Autumn Jubilee is a pattern that works great for scraps and/or leftover precut 2 1/2-inch strips. This is something I have plenty of, so, of course, it appealed to me right away. The block is simple, but when it's put all together it looks more complicated than it really is.

Autumn Jubilee
Autumn Jubilee can be purchased at AnniesCraftStore.com.

Today I got to play with both my scraps and my AccuQuilt cutter. I look for patterns that I can cut with dies when possible. It cuts down on my prep time and allows me to get to the fun stuff -- sewing. Since the block pieces are 2 1/2 inches wide I could either use my box of leftover strips or I could use my 2 1/2 inch strip die and make my own. Using the die, I had to cut the strips into 4 1/2-inch segments after I cut the strips, but that's still a time-saver.

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A box of scraps and precut strips and my AccuQuilt cutter with strip die.

As I always tend to do, I changed the colors from the original pattern. I always see the pattern a different way. Autumn Jubilee is no different. When I first saw the pattern, I thought what a perfect design to use aquas, blues and greens. I have a lot of these colors and wanted to see how they would look in this pattern. First, I selected my fabrics and then pressed them, readying them for cutting.

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Fabrics pressed and ready to cut into strips.

Once I had pressed the fabric, I used my AccuQuilt cutter and began to cut the strips. In a matter of a few minutes I had all the strips I would need and could then cut them into 4 1/2-inch segments. This saved me a lot of time.

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The fabric cut into 2 1/2-inch strips and then cut again into 4 1/2-inch segments.

I took my stack of fabric pieces to my machine and began to stitch the units together, first into units of two pieces, then into rows of three units, and then into one complete block.

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Stitching the units together to make the block and one block completed.

Once I had one block done to see how it would look with my fabric choices, I began to chain-stitch the units together to save time. In a matter of an hour I had selected the fabrics, cut them out and managed to have one block complete and several more on the way. Not bad for an hour.

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The first row stitched together.

Now I know I won't finish this today, but I have an excellent start on it. I'll be able to pull it out and work on it anytime since I have all the pieces cut and ready to go. I store my unfinished projects in nice little baskets so I have everything I need for that project in one place. I wish I could say I complete them in a timely manner, but unfortunately, this update produces more projects than I can keep up with. I do, however, work on those projects when I can. The one good thing about this is that I can never say I have nothing to do!

I'm going to have to do an update on some of the projects I've started here and finished long after. Now wouldn't that be fun?

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