There's nothing like a good workout at the gym to get those creative juices flowing. I cranked out 32 K this morning on the spin bike and I feel great. I think the more we learn to push ourselves, the more we believe in ourselves and the more things are possible.
This morning I thought I would share my new toy with you. Joyce - please do NOT laugh. I've resisted this tool for a long time. I truly felt it was wasteful, too slow, expensive, and well, I wasn't interested in getting one.
I've chatted with many people over the last year or so and had the good fortune to borrow one of these tools from time to time over the past year.
What is it??? It came in a box like this.
|I think you know where this is going.......|
I find this inside that brown box. This box is much more exciting.
|The GO! cutter is set up in mere seconds and ready to cut|
I'm fortunate that I'm able to borrow a fair number of dies so I didn't have to go out and make a huge investment in dies right away. Yes, the cost of the dies can add up so if you have someone you can share them with, that helps a lot. I was sharing a cutter, but that was becoming a nuisance to carry that back and forth. Now we can just share the dies (although I've got a wee little stash of dies already). A HUGE THANKS to accuquilt for their part in making this a reality.
Why did I break down and get a cutter? I teach applique and I want the students to be able to get right to the stitching as that's the critical part of having beautiful applique. Now I can prepare kits of pre-fused shapes for them to stitch. Isn't that a brilliant idea? BTW - I'm teaching an applique quilt this weekend at The Hobby Horse so if you want to be the first one to dig into my pre-fused shapes to practice your stitching - you'd better sign up fast! The quilt is a Kimberbell pattern called Hello Sunshine.
I fused a piece of Steam a seam to the wrong side of a chunk of fabric. I just grabbed something that I knew I wasn't going to use in a quilt. (or so I thought!). I cut the pre-fused fabric into strips that coordinated with the size of the first die I used - the heart. There are three sizes of hearts. I fan folded my strips and I got two big hearts in mere seconds. Now, how cool is that. I also learned that it's better to fold the fabric sides together, not the Steam a Seam side! Oh yes - I'll go into my hints and tips in another post.
|First two shapes cut on the GO! cutter|
Here's a shot of running the die and the fabric through the GO! cutter. You need a plastic mat to put on top of the die and the fabric. The mat protects the cutting blade, it provides a cushion to make the right thickness as it goes through the cutter and keeps the fabric from shifting. Anyway - you NEED that mat. Give the handle a crank and the die rolls through the center and you get shapes on the other side.
|The die is partially through the cutter|
One of the other reasons, I wasn't keen on the die cutter was the waste. So once I had cut my two large hearts, I cut a medium heart and then I managed to cut three small hearts. This is what was left of my strip.
|Leftover after cutting my hearts|
I cut a few more strips and cut more hearts in various sizes.
|More hearts in various sizes|
I had this scrap leftover. And I threw it in the garbage. I thought to myself who would keep this small of a scrap or what would you do with that. So yep, I threw it in the garbage.
|Scraps from the die cutter went in the garbage|
WAIT A MINUTE!!!! My pioneer spirit just couldn't let me do that. There was still some fair sized pieces. Not big enough for the smallest heart, but I have other dies.
I pulled the scrap mess from the garbage and I grabbed a due that had circles and leaves/petals on it. I cut and cut and this is what I had leftover. There was literally SCRAPS leftover. Nothing of any size was left.
|Now this is what I call scraps|
This is what I managed to cut from the smaller than a fat quarter chunk of fabric. I didn't count how many there were of each shape. I also used a large flower shape which will also be good for applique practice.
|All the shapes were cut from LESS than a fat quarter|
Now I have to find a place to store those shapes. I found a tin, but I'm going to put each shape into a plastic bag so they are easy to find.
|Temporary storage for my applique shapes|
Here's a picture of the three dies that I used to cut those shapes.
|Dies used to cut the shapes|
I have a lot more dies to try out. Now it's just to find the time, but I'm rummaging through those fabric baskets to find other bright colored fabric that I won't likely cut up to use in a quilt. Oh boy!
Now as I was cutting those shapes, TWO other uses for those shapes came to mind. Not one, but TWO. It's just too easy for those creative juices to flow at my house. My brain never stops and even when I'm supposed to be huffing and puffing on that bike in the morning, my brain is still working in the background thinking up things to make.
Will I share those two projects with you? I will when they get done! I need a few extra colors before I can start either of them, but I can't wait. There are a few deadlines ahead of me at the moment. This week is shaping up to be totally crazy.
I had better write those ideas down because I've been known to forget things! Not only are there those two projects, but there's a magazine quilt as well that is made using the die cuts. You'll have to wait a bit to see that one as I haven't even started making it yet, although the fabric is in the studio.
The GO! cutter comes with a die that cuts a large square, a small square and two half square triangles. I didn't think I would use that die, but you know what? This will be perfect to cut squares to add to the applique practice kit.
Hmm - a matter of fact, I've just come up with another idea. And I might put together kits so that the students can try the same shape, same color fabric, but use different stitches and different colored threads. OH YES!!! Anyone want to buy a kit? I've been wanting to do that forever but didn't want to take the time to prep the pieces. Well, that won't be a deterrent anymore. Bring on the applique kits!!! HEY - I have to make this very type of thing for my other job as a freelance educator for SVP (Singer, Viking, PFAFF). OH - my to-do list just got a whole lot longer.
And just like that, I have a new project to keep me entertained for a long, long time.
On that note, I'd better get myself moving for the day.
Have a great day!!!