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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,


  1. It all looks pretty darn good Kelly and by the sounds of it you had some fun again :)

  2. Wow very cool. Is this the same type of cutting machine as the Accuquilt GO! that everyone is getting now?? I think they should give you one of each and do a side by side comparison. I mean after all, you are a seller of products and you need to know all the details :-)

  3. That looks really neat, another toy we must have, lol.
    I was thinking with the embossing, it might work for a template to quilt over?


  4. I love the shapes that this cutter has and thanks for the review on it...

  5. Is it like a Go!? I've been wondering if someone would come out with similar products for fabric. Not to crazy about that hanging chad (I'm from Florida).


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More Later-Beth


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