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Accuquilt or Sizzix? Pro's/Con's?


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Which did you or would you buy and any pro's/con's?  I'm new to the world of die cutters and I would use this primarily for fabric/quilting.  

My main concerns are cost, selection of dies available, size, reliability.  I am leaning towards the smaller version for space reasons mainly - if you went with a smaller cutter did you regret it or are you glad you did?

 

I see Patsy Thompson has the Sizzix so I'm kind of leaning that way because part of the reason I want one is to use some of her dies!  :)  Although her larger ones won't work for me if I buy the smaller version.

 

Any thoughts and suggestions welcome!  I know this isn't long arm related necessarily but you are such a well informed group here!  I know I'll get some well thought out responses - thank you!  :)

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I own and recommend the AccuQuilt.  It is big, but if space is the problem it's fixable.  There are only two screws per side so take those out and the big sides come off then sit it somewhere out of the way.  Now with the adapters you can use the GO dies and the Sizzix dies.  You'll end up using it a lot.  I just cut out circles to make a Fake Cathedral quilt.  Remember that it is circles for the top...circles for the bottom... and circles of batting.  That's a LOT of 7.5 inch circles.  Over 750 circles.  No problem with the AccuQuilt.  I can cut 10 layers easily.  I have a slew of absolutely perfect same size circles,  Even the batting was cut on my AccuQuilt.  I've had mine for over 6 years now and I have never regretted buying it.

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I agree with Oma on the Accuquilt cutter.  If at all possible, I would recommend getting the largest (possibly the studio die cutter model) cutter that you have space for.  I have the small one and am limited on what dies I can use in it.  I still like it, but would really like to have a larger model and will invest in the Studio cutter in the future.  You can use the small dies and largest dies with it and then with the adapters, you can use the other brand dies too  :D

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I have the AccuQuilt studio and the go. I love the studio, nice and solid and runs smooth. I have only used the go about three times and hate it. I bought it when the go first came out so it may be improved now. It is so hard to get the dies and fabric through the machine and it bounces about.  I have a second home where the go is and really miss not having a cutter here so this past week I bought the smaller Sizzix. Oh my gosh I am so impressed with this little machine. It is solid like my studio and the dies run so smooth just like the studio. I love it. It is so small that I am thinking about getting the pro if all of my go dies will work with it. The price is so much better then accuquilt and the dies are cheaper  but I find the quality to be as good (on both the machine and the dies).

Now like I said I love my studio. It is big though and very heavy. I don't think I would be wanting to take it apart to put away.

The pro is so much cheaper. If it runs as smooth as the Big Shot and can take the larger dies I would say go for it. It does seem to be as big and heavy as the studio though so you might have to find a spot for it to live.

I hope this helps - Carol

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Yes you can cut wool appliques.  I cut circles out of W&N batting and I believe I did at least four layers at a time.  I never bought the GO cutter.  I'm glad I didn't.  I did buy the GO Baby because...well I don't remember why I bought it, but I've never used it...lol.  I think it was because I wanted to be able to use some GO dies I had seen that I couldn't get in the Studio version or something like that.  Right after I bought it AccuQuilt came out with the adapter for the Studio so you can use all the other dies.  I like being able to cut 10 layers of fabric at a time.  If I want Charms I can cut 60 at a time because there are six 5 inch squares on each die.  I can cut 20 Layer Cakes at a time because there are two 10" squares on each die.  My most used die is my 2.5 inch strip cutter.  The Studio is the reason I can keep on quilting.  I injured my shoulder and back so I can't stand and cut fabrics for very long.  With the Studio I can cut an entire quilt with lots of pieces in less than 30 minutes with every single piece being PERFECT!  Probably the only thing they could do to improve it is to make it electric...lol.

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Carol - that is SOOO helpful!!  Thank you!!!  I am shopping around right now and can see the Sizzix dies are much cheaper - do the Accuquilt dies then work in the Sizzix?  This is great to know about the Go - I was really considering it because I do like they way the Accuquilt dies are packaged and geared more towards quilters.  The Sizzix packaging is a little confusing to me but mainly because it's for scrapbooking too.

 

Are there certain Sizzix dies that will not work for quilting or do they all work for fabric even if they show scrapbooking/paper pieces on the packaging?

 

Oma - YAY!!  I'm so excited now...I see many wool appliqué quilts in my future!!!  Eeep!  Wonder if there is a die for 1/4" strips for rug hooking?  If so I might pass out from excitement!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   :)

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Valerie, go check out the AccuQuilt site.  I remember seeing some very small strip cutters.  I was thinking for stems so they were very small.  I can use my Sizzix dies in my Studio.  I have lots of dies and different cutters for my scrapbooking.  You would not be able to cut 10 layers of anything with them I don't believe.  Sizzix has come out with a bunch of dies for quilting.  I found them at Hobby Lobby.  I have used them in my Vagabond cutter.  It's by Tim Holtz and it's for scrapbooking.  My only reason for using it was because it was electric and I was cutting a bunch of small pieces. All in all it worked pretty good. 

 

Decide what you are going to cut and use that as a guideline for choosing.  You are a beautiful quilter and I see a lot of quilts happening in your life so for that reason I say get a Studio Cutter.   If you can find dies to cut your wool applique that are usable in one of the little electric cutters like the Vagabond then by all means get it too.  It's like vehicles.  I don't use my car to haul rocks...I bought a pickup for that.  I use both for different reasons,

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That makes much sense Oma - I suppose you are right - with the amount of cutting you must do for rug hooking it might not be right for that type of thing.   :)

 

I will keep researching but I am also grateful for the thoughts and advice.  Thank you so much Oma for your kind words about my quilting - and I agree - I see many more quilts in my life too!!  LOL!   :)  With running a business now and raising a family I do really appreciate the idea of ways to make beautiful quilts quickly.  I'm finding that I enjoy the quilting process as much if not more than piecing so I want to make pretty colorful frilly quilts to quilt the crap out of!!!  LOL!!!  Ha!

 

Thanks so much - I'm really going to look into the Studio...I think in the end I will want the larger one but it all comes down to what I can afford for now.  I still have stitch regulation to save up for!  LOL

 

I have wish-listed every Sarah Vedeler die too - OH MY GAWSH MUST MAKE!!!  I'm so excited now!!!   :)  I need to get quilting so I can go shopping!!!

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I have no experience with the Sizzix but I have had the Go for several years and was very happy with it until last year when Oma pushed me over the edge and I bought the Studio.  Thanks, Oma!  I had a form of tendonitis that affected both wrists and Oma kept telling me how easy the Studio turns so I bought it along with the adapters so that I could use the Go dies.  Two weeks after surgery on both wrists and wearing straight jacket braces I was turning out fabric on the Studio and felt no pain in my wrists.  It is a breeze to operate and significantly easier than the Go.  Accuquilt has frequent sales so if you decide on one of their products I would hold out for the Studio.

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Valerie, I have been admiring all your beautiful  quilts that you share on here.  Your stitches are so uniform  that I assumed you were using a stitch regulated machine!  You already have such great control of your machine maybe you don't need  a stitch regulator!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

  Becky

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Awww thank you Becky!!!  I go back and forth - I'm able to get away with a lot without a regulator but I know at some point I am really going to want to add it or upgrade.  It really  makes me feel AMAZING to hear that you thought I had one - so THANK YOU!!  That is definitely the goal!!

 

 I had some big news yesterday that could really affect our financial situation - in a good way.  Not that we are in any "situation", we make ends meet just fine with a little leftover for fun - but we are on one income aside from what I make with quilting (and don't tell the Husband but most of what I make goes back into more quilting...LOL) so some big decisions will be happening in the next few years which could free up a lot of extra money for us.  It could mean home renovations (machine upgrades *cough cough*) and more that we have been talking about for years.  Now it's kind of wait and see with my I/S as I don't want to put $3,000 into the machine if I'm going to turn around and upgrade to a newer machine.  Time will tell - it is such a pain when things are up in the air aren't they???  I'm blessed though and I love my quilting business...right now my life is so great I cannot complain.  :)

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I have had a GO for some years now and I really love it.  I don't quilt professionally, so the GO is right for me.  I got it on sale for $200 and have never seen it that cheap again.  I buy the dies when they go on sale.  I use a Sizzix for paper crafting, and have had that for quite a long time.  So I do like it also.  But the GO is so much wider and you can use wider dies.  I have never regretted my decision.  If I made a ton of quilts, I think I would have bought the Studio.  Some people are now using the Brother Scan n Cut, but that seems like too much work to cut out each piece of fabric.  Rotary cutting hurts my neck too much so the GO is very helpful in keeping my quilting.  I am using it now to cut some  baby clothes into squares, after stabilizing them.  It is doing a perfect job.  The strip cutters are great, too.  I have quite a collection of dies now.   BTW, Ebony Love just came out with a book that talks about the different die cutters, their pros and cons, and how to use each one to the fullest.  I got it on Amazon and think it was worth the money.  It is called, "The Big Little Book of Fabric Die Cutting Tips."  You may want to check it out because it sounds like just the book you need!  Also, there are charts on the Accuquilt site that tell you which dies go together for which blocks, and there are videos, too.

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Valerie, I have absolutely no experience with a Sizzix machine, but I do have lots with AccuQuilt cutters. I teach quilting classes specializing in using the Go! for cutting. I also own all 3 AccuQuilt cutters. My favorite, of course, is the Studio but it is big and heavy and if space is limited it probably would not be the best choice. However, it is the easiest of the cutters to use. Most of my students own the Go! The newer model (the one that is packaged in a box with a picture of Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims) has a new gear in the handle and when I tested it, it was as easy as the Studio to use and cut the fabric perfectly. Also, it didn't seem to bounce as much as the older model. Since I purchased my Go! right after they were introduced, mine is quite a bit harder to use and does bounce. I also own the Go! Baby but I don't really recommend this one due to its size and the fact you are limited to the size of the dies you can use. I do find that the Baby is easier to use then the Go! because it is weighted differently.

 

My suggestion to you is to determine exactly what you want to do with it and then decide on the model. I love cutting all sizes of strips and I love the larger boards that have more strips per die. I also like using some of the larger shapes such as winding ways, drunkard's path, and the like. If you are only interested in some of the smaller appliqué shapes, then the Baby might work for you but be really careful because not all the strip sizes have dies that will work in the Baby.

 

AccuQuilt just had a great sale on the Studio (you can only purchase the Studio and Studio dies through AccuQuilt) and I'm sure they will have another one shortly. They are constantly having sales. Keep watching the AccuQuilt website (www.accuquilt.com) and buy when things are on sale. 

 

Ebony Love has a great book (The Big Little Book of Fabric Die Cutting Tips) which compares the AccuQuilt cutters and some of the Sizzix cutters. You can find it at her website - www.lovebugstudios.com  She also has lots of videos showing how to use the cutters.

 

Have fun!

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Hi Valerie, I agree with all the positive comments about the Studio Cutter. I bought the GO, and liked it but I upgraded to the studio and I love that.

One little thing to note is that the Sizzix Big shot Pro the largest model will not take the largest of the Studio dies. Some of the Studio larger dies have a width of around 15".

Which ever way you go I am sure you will love your choice. I still smile when I use my Take 5 die and cut 20 full blocks with two passes

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Valerie, 

Accuquilt does make a die for cutting 1/4" strips. Here's a link to it:  http://www.accuquilt.com/studio-strip-cutter-1-4-1-4-finished-50770.html . With the Studio cutter, you could conceivably cut 160 strips in a single pass.

 

I have the Studio and the Go Baby! and love both of them. I use the Baby mostly for cutting applique shapes, and the Studio for heavier volume stuff, and LOTS of strip cutting. All of my bindings are cut with the Studio, and a lot of my patchwork pieces. It was expensive, but well worth the investment. Good luck with your decision!

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Ooh great thoughts - thank you!!

 

Here's a question - can you cut wool appliqués with the cutters?

Hi Valerie,

 

I recently cut out wool for penny rug circles using my Studio cutter. The circles were absolutely perfect. I cut 4 layers of thick wool at once. It worked so well and was so fast! There is a die for penny circles and a die for the tongues that are used on many penny rugs. I love my Studio cutter!

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I think these machines are really cool for appliqué shapes, but for the way I piece, I wouldn't use one.  You can cut very accurate strips of any size using a June Tailor ruler, for about $30.  I have no desire to cut triangles and try to sew them, because you end up sewing on the bias edge.  Most of my methods for quilt making have the edges stabilized before cutting anything (unless we're talking strips), so I stowed my money away instead.  Well, who am I kidding?  I spent it on fabric!

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I have gone to the Accuquilt site numerous times while waiting of a good sale. Cash saved up, I recently ordered a Studio and some dies at their 40% off Studio and dies sale. Big decisions take some time, so I only put things in my shopping cart. Two days later I got an email with an additional 10% off, my entire order, to encourage me to complete my order. Then I got an email for 20% off anything not on sale. That's when I ordered the plastic sheets and storage racks and with my points from the Studio purchase, got them for nearly 50% off. Now I'm just waiting for the Studio to be delivered to I can have some fun cutting up some of my stash.

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The Accuquilt Studio goes on sale about twice a year at $395, usually at Mother's day (which it did) and around Thanksgiving for the beginning of the Christmas season. Sign up for their e-mails and you will get notice of the sales (and Wayyy to many other e-mails but that's what the delete key is for after all! :) )

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I have the newer version of the AccuQuilt Go! It has Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson on the box. Apparently, the handle is supposed to turn easier and smoother than the older version. I don't have the older version to compare it to, but it does seem pretty smooth to me. If I had the money to splurge and the space to keep it set up, I certainly would have rather had the Studio Cutter, but my space wouldn't accommodate it and I figured I could buy more dies this way anyway. I own a lot of the strip dies and do use them. One thing, the Studio version offers so many more dies and some of those dies make better use of fabric when cutting.

 

A question for those with the Studio and/or the Go! version. While the triangle dies in theory are wonderful, mine don't cut so well in my cutter. Has anyone else with the Go! version noticed this and do they cut perfectly to where you don't have to pull them out of the "knife" part of the die? I would say that is my biggest complaint, the triangle dies.

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Bonnie,

I have the Studio and I do occasionally have to snip a thread here and there, but it is usually with my strip cutters, and it's only one or two threads, not big gaps that didn't cut. I don't have much problem with my triangles. I also find I have less of a problem with caught threads when I cut more layers. I guess it's because more layers create more pressure as the fabric goes under the roller.

My biggest complaint with my Studio would have to be the weight, and the amount of space it requires. I'm going to fix both of those problems one day by buying a rolling cart to put it on. One Day!  :D

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Sharon, I will have to try it with more layers. That didn't occur to me, I was trying it with less. And I never thought to snip them out. Usually they cut fine but the layers get jammed in between the foam and the "knife." It doesn't happen with the other dies, just the triangles. When I finally get them dislodged, the fabric gets little "pulls" in it and I have to toss that piece. I will have to try it the way you do. Thank you for sharing with me!!!

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