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Showing posts with label Quilting by Design. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Quilting by Design. Show all posts

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I Spy A Great Deal

It would not be kind if I kept a good thing to myself now would it?  NOPE

Patsy Thompson Designs is offering free shipping all week (I don't know when the week started so check out the dates) and she has some great things that would be excellent to have shipped in the US for free!!!

While you are there, she has posted yet another beautiful design she has made with her Quilting by Design Fabric Cutting System!!!

By the way, I created the snowflake above using my Kaleidoscope Kreator Rocks :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Quilting By Design - Sizzix and Westminster's Fabric Cutting System

Edited11/26/10 - Replying to questions asked at the end of the post.

Quilting by Design

I find it strange that people are still saying they don't know Sizzix and Westminster Fabrics have teamed up and have a Fabric Cutting System - Quilting by Design.  Especially since IHAN wrote a Product Review.  I guess people are waiting for Oprah to write a review!!!  Remember I beat Oprah to the punch with the Velocity 50 by Reliable.....true!!!  She doesn't have time to do her job and my job too :)
The Big Shot is pictured below with some of the newest Quilting By Design Dies.

I visited their booth at Fall Quilt Market 2010 in Houston.  Some of these photos are from their booth there and some are from my files.

The Big Shot is pictured below with some of the new Quilting by Design Fabric Cutting Dies.

The newest Fabric Cutting Dies are in the process of being added to the IHAN website.

The Big Shot Pro
Since I've already reviewed the Big Shot and Big Shot Pro I won't repeat all the details here.  You can click on the link and read the review.

I made a huge, gigantic, enormous mistake when I was organizing my creative space.  I took those scraps and disposed of 75% of them.  I know....just plain stupid!  Well....lets not be-labor the issue.
Here is a pix of a larger scrap I did not discard.  I'm going to show you some pix of some of the things I've done recently using my Big Shot Pro and my Big Shot (yes I own both....the Big Shot is to travel with and loan to our charity quilters locally).
This is my Big Shot Pro (aka the muth-ah of all I took some strips of Batik that I had and made 5" squares to use as signature squares for a signature quilt.  I don't like cutting and sewing alone....these little buggers you see keep me company.
This is my Big Shot (aka little booger) and I was taking some scraps to make some fusible appliques to adhere to Tea Towels that I'm giving to a friend who has recently moved.
I use all sorts of scraps....who cares if Thomas is in the way....depending on the die you one will be the wiser :)

I won't repeat that I'm a visual person again for the 10,000 time....I'll just show you how I choose to label my dies:

I tape the package insert to the top of the die so I'll see which one it is without having to look at the side of the die.  By the way, did you know the Big Shot and the Big Shot Pro will take AccuQuilt Dies?  100% TRUE.....any AccuQuilt Die that is 6 inches wide or smaller will fit into the Big Shot and the Big Shot Pro will take all the AccuQuilt Dies including the Studio Dies. 

Sizzix carries a Platform and Shim to raise up the AccuQuilt Dies but I use my small Omnigrid Cutting Mat and it works just fine for me.
I made all of these fusible applique shapes with my Sizzix Dies (the white show flake is batting).  Before I cut my fabric I use Mistyfuse on the back of my fabric so once it is cut I can just fuse it down.  I prefer Mistyfuse because it is light and it does made my appliques stiff.
These were just some I made from scraps for the fun of it.  I wanted to show you how nuts I can be....sometimes I just cant stop and I just keep layering them up on top of one another just to see what the look like.  I also use the fabrics from around the shapes and use the interesting shapes to build other designs.  If one of you would devote yourself to maintaining my business, kids, husband etc....then I could spend all of my time blogging and you could see everything.....any volunteers? I didn't think so :)
I like this one....and I want to make lots of them and put them around a center focal point.

I wondered what a Christmas tree would look like on top of the heart.....

Then smack a big ole flower on top of the tree!!!  Gotta love it.

Since many of the Sizzix Dies I use are also for Scrapbooking they have small details that sometimes connect.  I like to carefully trim those areas away.  On the left are scissors I own and use.  On the right are how they look in the package.  They are all excellent scissors.

Jackpot Scissors made by Famore Cutlery for Simplicity Creative
Omnigrid Needlecraft Scissors

Oh and did I mention,

Sizzix has a brand new electric Cutter - The Vagabond, inspired by Tim Holtz.  I hear it is the mega cutter of all times.  I'm excited about the Vagabond because many people I know who own the Big Shot and the GO! Baby say their hands, arms and shoulders start to hurt after cutting lots of fabric.  There are also those who can not turn the crank on the other cutters because of Arthritis and other funky things that happen to they can cut fabric all day and night without any problems :) 

Check out the YouTube Video for the Vagabond :

Just to be kind to all of those folks who get funky things going on with their hands and can't use the manual fabric cutters....I'm going to offer a FREE Sizzix Applique Die of my choosing to anyone who buys a Sizzix Big Shot, Big Shot Pro, or a Vagabond Cutter from IHAN on or before Monday, November 29th, 2010.

You might want to see what Patsy Thompson has made with her Sizzix Dies!!
Just Click Here
and Here
and Here too :)

See, I told you they are cool....and just add some Patsy Thompson magic stitching to the mix and you have Incredible Designs :)



Questions asked:
1.  Will the Vagabond cut several layers of fabric?
Answer:  OH YEAH BABY.....that mega cutter cuts chipboard and a little birdie told me someone fed it two and three layers of chipboard to see if they could jam it.....they did not jam the machine and it will void your warranty....but that lets you know it will easily cut through several layers of fabric :)

2.  Do I have an exact delivery date for the Vagabond? 
Answer: No, I was told they are currently shipping so I'm guessing it won't be long but I don't have an exact date.

3.  Will the AccuQuilt GO! and GO! Baby take the Sizzix Dies?
Answer: No they will not work in the AccuQuilt Cutters and if you try it and jam your machine, your warranty is voided so don't do it....even if you think it "might" me....I've done it and your cutting mat will curl and you could easily break the handle off.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Follow Up on IHAN Product Review for Sizzix/Westminster Big Shot, Big Shot Pro and Big Shot Express

Since my  last post I've received several e-mails asking lots of questions.  Instead of answering each person I'm going to write a post and do my best to answer everyone's questions.  I'm sure there will be more over time, feel free to either leave a comment or e-mail IHAN. (

1.  Which do I like better, my GO! Fabric Cutter by AccuQuilt or my Big Shot by Sizzix/Westminster?
I like them both and I don't think one is better than the other, just different.  I tried to point out the differences I noticed in my previous post : size, weight, storage, effectiveness, tips etc. 

2.  Why did you buy the Big Shot if you already have a GO! Fabric Cutter?
Because that is what I do....I test sewing, quilting and needle art notions and supplies and report my experience here on the IHAN blog.  I probably own 20 plus pair of scissors....many different they all cut?  Yes.  Why do I have so many pair.....because many are different and are good for specific projects, I like to have them at my sewing area and in project bags....and because I love scissors.  Yes, Brint - The Scissor Man- still loves me even though I own scissors made by others. 
I might consider bringing my Big Shot to a stitch-in because it is smaller.  By the time I've taken my machine and all my other necessary supplies I'm not likely to bring the GO! Fabric Cutter.  Just my way of doing things.  Everybody has their way of doing things and that needs to be taken into account here. 

4. Are Sizzix/Westminster and AccuQuilt coming out with more dies?
I was told that there will be 16 new Sizzix Dies in October (probably won't be available until Jan. my experience).   My best guess is they will be shown in Houston for Quilt Market and they will take orders for shipping in the new year.  After all, that is what Market is intended for, shop owners to purchase for the next season.  I just happen to be impatient and when I see it, I want it and I want it right then and there....LOL.

I know AccuQuilt is coming out with some great new dies soon as well.  Click here to see the latest (and there is one that is not listed here too....oh the suspense is building!!) I'm very excited and can't wait to get the Dresden Plate and the 3.5" Drunkards Path

3.  Are the dies from both companies interchangeable?
The GO! Dies are slimmer than the Sizzix Dies so by themselves they will not go through my Big Shot Machine.  However, you can see below,  I made a shim and then put the GO! Hearts Die through the Big Shot and it worked just fine. Let me explain a bit further: the Sizzix acrylic cutting mat was on the bottom of the sandwich, then my personally made shim (3 pieces of slim hard cardboard taped together) the GO! Hearts Die and on top I used the GO! Cutting Mat.  I found with the shim I had made I could not get the Sizzix acrylic mat to fit through the machine.   
( I could have taken more or better photos-but I just didn't and it is late and night when I do my posts typically and I'm just too ready to go to bed to be re-taking all the pix so they look "professional.")
Then I tried a Sizzix Die with the GO! Fabric Cutting Machine.  It did go through the machine but look at the cutting mat bowing up in the air.  It was a very tight fit and the cutting mat curled up because of the pressure.  I was very cautious because I obviously did not want to break my GO! Fabric Cutter!!!  I have to say I would not likely do this again because there is not really enough clearance to continue doing this without serious risk of breaking my GO! Fabric Cutter.  


That was my experience.  I have been told by Sizzix that the Big Shot, Big Shot Pro and the Big Shot Express will all take the GO! Dies (keep in mind the width of some of the GO! Dies clearly would not fit into the Big Shot or Big Shot Express...they are just too wide....the narrower ones work just fine.  The wider GO! Dies will fit into the Big Shot Pro because of it's wider bed).  I have not tried them all myself, just the GO! Hearts Die with the Big Shot and then the Sizzix Bigz Sunflower and Poinsettia Petals Die in the GO! Fabric Cutter).  I have been told by Sizzix that their machines work with the GO! and Studio Dies but that their Dies do not work in the GO! Fabric Cutter.  I don't own a Studio Fabric Cutter nor any of those Dies so I can not personally say I've done it or have seen it done. 

The Sizzix website says that the Big Shot, Big Shot Pro and Big Shot Express works with every Sizzix Die ever made.  So I'm concluding that really opens up the applique shapes quite a bit and would include the Sizzix Alphabet Dies as well. 

There are also differences in how each machine is made and the materials used(metal, plastic, rubber etc.) in making each of the machines.  I don't plan on going into all those details.  If you are interested in that information I would suggest you contact each company and inquire.

The GO! Dies come with a free pattern printed on the packaging and there were no patterns on the Sizzix Dies Packaging that I purchased.  Both companies Dies did have instructions for use and tips for use printed on their packaging which I found very helpful.  They also print their warranty information in the product manuals.

Warranty Comparison:
According to the AccuQuilt website the Studio Fabric Cutting Machine comes with a Lifetime warranty
The GO! Fabric Cutter Machine have a One Year Limited Warranty .   The warranty says if you experience a manufacturing defect within one year of purchase, AccuQuilt will repair or replace the cutter at no charge.  It also says to return the cutter to the place you purchased it.

As a consumer, you would have to return your GO! Fabric Cutter  or GO! Dies to the place where you purchased they are defective. If you purchased your GO! Fabric Cutting Machine from an on-line store like IHAN, their warranty says you would have to return it to that store and thus you would have to pay the shipping to return it.  I see this as an obvious drawback because if there is a manufactures defect and you have already paid once to have it shipped to you, I would not want to pay again to get a replacement.  On my part, I don't want to have to pay shipping back to a distributor and be charged again to have a replacement sent to me and then I would have to send it to my customer.   
I did have a situation where a customer paid to send their defective GO! Die back to me for replacement.  I compensated the customer for their shipping expenses.  I contacted AccuQuilt and they were very accommodating in getting my customer's defective die replaced without further expenses being incurred by myself or my customer which I greatly appreciated.  
According to the Sizzix website the Big Shot Express has a One Year Limited Warranty  and the Big Shot has a 3 year Limited Warranty.  The Big Shot Pro has a 5 Year Limited Warranty.  The photo below is of the manual that was enclosed when I purchased the Big Shot.

The Sizzix Warranty indicates that you contact the Sizzix Customer Relations and they will pay for the return and replacement of your product.  That is only the case if they determine there was a manufactures defect.  If Sizzix finds that you have misused the machine or used it commercially the customer will be responsible for the return postage. 

As a consumer and as a business owner, I must say I prefer the Sizzix Warranty.  I own the Big Shot and the warranty is 3 yrs vs the 1 year I have on my GO! Fabric Cutting Machine

Note: The warranties take effect from the date of purchase so save your receipt!!  I typically keep my boxes too just in case I need to send something back to a company so I can safely package it for shipping. 
That is what I know today.  When I learn more, I'll let you know.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sizzix and Westminster Fabrics introduced Quilting By Design at Spring Quilt Market 2010

I had heard about the Sizzix and Westminster Fabrics Quilting By Design prior to going to Spring Quilt Market.  I had them on my list of must see New Notions. 

I wanted to see first hand how this new Big Shot Pro worked.  This is Denzel Quick and he was demonstrating the  Big Shot Pro when I walked up.  This die cutting machine reportedly will cut through paper, card-stock,  fabric, balsam wood, and tin.  I was told it would cut through most anything of this sort because it has a beveled edge on the blades.  I've seen it cut through paper, card-stock and fabric but not the others.  I didn't have a tin can handy...LOL.
Denzel folded the fabric over the long dies and then ran them through the Big Shot Pro.  This machine requires a pair of plastic resin cutting pads, one on top and one beneath the die.  Essentially the die is sandwiched between the two cutting pads with the fabric on top of the die.
Below you can see the "sandwich."

The wall of Dies were great eye candy for sure!!   Sorry about the flash, but at least you get an idea right?
They were embossing fabric and making rubber stamps using the Big Shot and the Big Shot Pro too.

This is the embossed fabric sample that I saw being made and below you can see the back side where the card-stock was attached.  You would not be able to remove the paper because the fabric would not hold the is the paper backing that allows the embossing to hold.  I think this would be great for art projects where they would never be washed. 

Above is a rubber stamp made with adhesive backed rubber.  I think that is really neat that you can make rubber stamps too.

The wreath above and the garland below were made by folding the fabric accordion style prior to running it through the Big Shot Machine.  Oh did that give me some about you? 
While at Market I noticed that when the fabric was removed from the dies there were small strands of fabric still attached.  I thought it was because the dies they were using had been used so much that perhaps they were dull.  However, I found the same thing to be true when I was using the Big Shot Machine while I was recently at Checker Distributors.  I sent an e-mail to the gal who I met from Sizzix and inquired.  She told me that using a piece of paper on top of the fabric will help eliminate that problem.  So I went back to Checker Distributors with more fabric and three different weights of paper to do an IHAN test.

Here you can see what I humorously call a hanging chad.  I guess a hanging chad is better than a dangling participle ay?  LOL
You can see the paper cut through each time.  No problems there.
However, even with the paper I still had hexagons with strings attached to one another.  The threads can be snipped of course but I was assuming I would get a clean cut every time.  That did not happen.
I also had the fabric get stuck in the hexagon die like you see here.   I'm not sure if this was operator error and I used paper that was too heavy. 

When I saw this pretty applique die I just had to try it out.  The folks at Checker Distributors are so kind and they let me open it to give it a test drive.  Since I had gotten a hanging chad with the hexagon die I thought perhaps I would with this die as well.
But as you see, I did not have any problems at all.  The fabric cut clean the first time through.  I have to say IHAN tests are not scientific as I'm no "expert" unless you consider the fact that I do travel around to try all the latest and greatest Notions so I will have a clue as to how to use them and how they work.  Other than the hanging threads I was very pleased with how the Big Shot performed.
The only other die I saw used was the 2 1/2 inch strip die that cut the "jelly roll" strips.  I would love to try all the dies but I don't have access to all of them without purchasing them.  One thing for sure, if I find anyone doing demos that has all the dies, I'll be there.  I love playing  "Consumer Reports" in the Notions department...LOL. 
When I learn more about the Sizzix Big Shot and Big Shot Pro and Dies I'll be sure to post again.
Smiles from the little shot here at IHAN,

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