Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tutorial: Tumbler Quilt Cut with Accuquilt Go!

I joined the group of Accuquilt Bloggers and am so excited that I made my first quilt using one of the dies, the Go! Tumbler designed by Accuquilt.   This tutorial will help with using the cutter to cut your shapes as well as assist with piecing your quilt top together.

For my quilt top, I used the Frolic 45 piece fat quarter bundle from Moda.  I purchased mine from Hancocks of Paducah for such a great price and listed it on my blog in July.  They are now sold out so you'll have to do your own research if you want to use the fabric line I used.

Of the 45 fat quarters, I used 41 of them in the quilt top.  I plan to used the 3 stripe fat quarters for the binding.  For the panel that's included, I decided to make that into a baby quilt at a later date.

We will cut 123 tumblers from the fabrics (2 will be unused)  using Accuquilt Go! Tumbler 6.5" Die.
 The first step is to prepare your Fat Quaters (FQs) for cutting.  Select 4 FQs in no particular order.  I starched the fabrics and pressed them to remove the fold wrinkles.
 Stack them right side up and cut a strip approximately 7" wide; don't have to be a perfect cut, just larger than 6.5". 

Repeat until you have 10 stacks of four 7" strips each.  NOTE:  One of the stacks will have 5 fabrics as you are cutting 41" strips for this quilt.
To make cutting easier in the future, I measured my die and wrote the size strips needed to cut.    I also marked 1/4" outside the blade line marked on the die.  Some owners of the dies draw their line directly on the blade lines; you decide how you want your marks.

You can also cut using 7" squares but you will have a little fabric waste.  You can also cut from 7" strips cut from width of fabric.  You'll get 7 tumblers from each strip.

 Lay your strips (4 stacked right side up) on the die cutter making sure you have the entire die blade covered.  For the method I used to mark my die, I just lay my fabric along the drawn lines.

Place cutting mat on top without disturbing the fabric and run the fabric through the die cutter.

 Flip everything over and slide the die cutter off the fabric. 

You can see the outline of the fabric cuts here.

 This is the result when you pick up the tumblers.

Move the strip and align for next cut on the die.  Cover with protective mat and continue until you've cut 3 times per FQ strip set.    From each strip set you'll have 12 tumblers.  Repeat until you have cut all the strip sets, ending with 123 tumblers. 

 This is what I had left over from cutting the FQ strips.  I'll use these in another project.  You could use for scrappy binding if you wish instead of using the stripe fabrics.
 Here is a photo of all 41 fabrics that I used in the quilt top.  I left this picture a little large so when you click on it you can see the details in the fabrics.

Set aside 13 single tumbler units, making sure not to have any duplicate fabrics in the group.

Before sewing the units together, orientate the tumblers as shown into two stacks.  Flip the right stack on top of the left stack.  You will notice that the cutter has provided nice even cuts to align the units.  After they are sewn, you will not have to trim any "dog ears" from the units.  Yippee!

Sew with a precise 1/4" seam.
Here is the front of a sewn unit.

 And here is the back of the unit.  I press my seams open to that the quilt top will be flat.  Another reason is that I can press the seams as I go rather than wait until the entire row has been pieced.  If you prefer to press seams to one side, wait until you have sewn the rows together so you know which direction to press them.

Sew together a total of 55 pairs.
 TIP:  I didn't use pins to sew the first few units and when I got to the bottom, I had to adjust the seam a little.  I found that if I put a pin in the near the bottom edge of the seam, it kept the unit aligned.  I pulled out the pin right as I neared it.  PERFECT!

Set aside 11 tumbler pairs, making sure not to have any duplicate fabrics in the group.

Sew the remaining 44 pairs into 4-pieced units.  You will have 22 each 4-pieced tumbler units.  Note that I pinned the the seam to ease the weight of the units during sewing.

Lay out the 4-piece tumbler units, 2 in each row for a total of 11 rows, off setting them as shown in the photo.

Next you'll add one single tumbler and one 2-piece tumbler unit to each row.  You can add both of the units to the end, or you can place the 2-piece unit between the 4-piece units or at the beginning or end of the row.  This allows for some flexibility in arranged the units.  I start at the top and add my units to space the fabrics as needed.  Have fun and enjoy the process!
After you find an arrangement you like, I recommend taking a digital photo of your layout so if you forget which unit goes where, you have a visual layout available.

Sew the units together to form 11 rows. 
Sew two rows together, pinning at the intersections.  I back stitched at the beginning and ending of each line as I sew the rows together since I will not be adding a border to this top.  I did this so that the seams will not become unsewn.

Here is close up of part of a row sewn together.  The seams match pretty good; a good indication that my 1/4" seams is pretty much on spot.
Another thing I do is stay stitch the outside edge when I have not back stitched.  In this quilt, that would be the top and bottom row.  Again, this keeps seams from becoming unsewn.  If you use a long arm quilter to quilt your quilts with pieced borders or quilts without borders, they'll thank you for taking this extra step.

I sewed my rows into 3 sections with 3 rows attached and a fourth section with 2 rows attached.  (Sorry in the photo I pinned the top two sections before taking the photo.) Then I sewed the 4 row units into 2 units; then the 2 units into a nice size quilt top.

And here is my quilt top!  It measures 66.5" in length.  The width is a little tricky.  The top edge is 50.5" where I stay stitched; if you look at the seam line between row 1 and 2, it's 48.5".  That's the width you'd actually use for quilt measurement purposes.  So, my quilt is 48.5" x 66.5".
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and if you make a quilt, let me know.
Tea in MO


  1. Love it! Thanks for the tutorial.

  2. That was a cool tutorial! And a great quilt that you made!

  3. Great tutorial! Love the colors in this quilt!

  4. I just purchased an AccuQuilt Studio and plan on kitting it up for my shop. Thanks for your tutorial.

  5. My quilt shop recently purchased a "Studio" system. I am sharing your blog with my customers. You did a simply AWESOME job! Thanks for sharing.


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