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Difference between fabric cutting "systems"

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abcd Posted: Fri, Jul 8 2011 8:39 AM

Just a bit ago someone asked about the differences between fabric cutting systems, and now I can't find the link.  Anyway, I just went to the Rocky Mountain Sewing Expo and purchased the Alto's Quilt Cut 2 system.  I also have an Accu Quilt Cut at my disposal, as my son bought it for his business.  I thought I would share my findings with you: (both are great for different reasons, by the way, especially if you have the money)

Accu Quilt is a die cutting machine with a hand crank that you turn to push the dies through, fabric folded on top, with a cutting mat underneath. You end up wasting a lot of fabric because it acts like a cookie cutter, with the pattern cut out of the surrounding fabric. The MAT gets cut through, and you can see the cuts in it. You can use it for awhile, but sooner or later you need a new mat. AND you have to buy different mats for the different die sizes. For instance, the circles, hearts, triangles, squares - all have one size mat, but if you have a strip cutting die, you need a loooonger mat. I think there are 3 sizes of mats, and each one runs about $65. They are GREAT if you want those shapes that you can't get perfect anywhere else (teddy bears, sun bonnet sues, hearts, flowers, circles) and the machine is great for applique pieces (providing you need the shapes in the sizes they sell, Kevin needs the circle, so we got that). It's expensive, and Kevin got it on sale at JoAnns for $200, but then he had to buy the mat, too (that die came with it). Since the mat gets cut and is also expensive, I decided to buy my own cutting thing, and since I mostly cut strips and big pieces of fabric, I bought the ALTOS Quilt Cut 2, which is a system using a cutting mat that you use an ANCHOR bar that clamps the fabric down, and a set of cutting rulers that swivel at angles so you can get perfect 45, 60 90 etc degree angles on triangles, diamonds, blocks, etc. You don't waste fabric. You can cut small strips with a rotary cutter, or HUGE blocks of fabric, including looong bias strips (set at a perfect angle that you can't do with an Accu Quilt) that are perfect.

I now have the best of both worlds, even though I need to ask Kevin if I can use his die cutter if I need to.

The Alto's company started out with mat cutting systems for photographers to use with cutting mats for photos.  They still produce it, too, although that system is set up for exacto knives and this one is set up for rotary cutters.  There was a one-armed woman at the Houston expo who could set up her fabric and cut it easily.

Anyway, this is for those out there who are wondering if something like anything here is useful to them.  I really like the Altos system, and the Accu Quilt was "necessary" , according to my son's project, so I just thought I would pass this along....  have a great upcoming week-end, all!  :D

 

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Marie replied on Fri, Jul 8 2011 12:41 PM

Bella thank you for this good information.  I'm leaning toward the Altos system but need a good sale before I can purchase it.  Not sure if they ever go on sale?  Kris has had her's for many years and loves it.  It's an accurate cutting system and it shows in her beautiful work.  

 

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abcd replied on Fri, Jul 8 2011 3:55 PM

Marie:

Bella thank you for this good information.  I'm leaning toward the Altos system but need a good sale before I can purchase it.  Not sure if they ever go on sale?  Kris has had her's for many years and loves it.  It's an accurate cutting system and it shows in her beautiful work.  

 

Marie, you could also check EBay,  sometimes they have great stuff that is never out of the box.  Before I got this, I read online that if you purchase through a dealer they will take care of anything that goes wrong, and I knew the show would be a bit better than buying online.  However, if you think nothing will go wrong, you can always do the bidding thing.  Good luck!  (I am happy I got it)  :D

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abcd replied on Fri, Jul 8 2011 3:56 PM

Marie:

Bella thank you for this good information.  I'm leaning toward the Altos system but need a good sale before I can purchase it.  Not sure if they ever go on sale?  Kris has had her's for many years and loves it.  It's an accurate cutting system and it shows in her beautiful work.  

 

Marie, you could also check EBay,  sometimes they have great stuff that is never out of the box.  Before I got this, I read online that if you purchase through a dealer they will take care of anything that goes wrong, and I knew the show would be a bit better than buying online.  However, if you think nothing will go wrong, you can always do the bidding thing.  Good luck!  (I am happy I got it)  :D

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Thank you for taking the time to give us this information.  I did know about the alto's system at all.  Is it expensive.

Granny M

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Kris replied on Fri, Jul 8 2011 6:53 PM

Granny M,

Alto's  Quilt Cut 2 is $229. 95. There is nothing more to buy with this system. They do have a really good tips video though and customer service is outstanding. I lost my ruler when I moved to Maine and they sent me a new one free of charge in a very short time.

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Thanks Kris.    Will go looking for .

Granny M

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Thanks Kris,  Not all the demos worked, but I got the general idea.   One more thing to save up for.   got to stop buying fabric for awhile and get some other toys.

Granny M

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Wendy replied on Fri, Jul 8 2011 7:21 PM

I won a Accuquilt GO! cutter and I LOVE it!!   I have been buying applique dies and the rag dies.  The rag dies at great, you can make all the rag quilts you want and not have to cut the fringe.

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Kris replied on Fri, Jul 8 2011 8:20 PM

Lucky you Wendy.

I have a GO! cutter (love gadgets). I only purchased the 2.5 inch strip die and I'm going to order the 2.5 in squares for my scrap cutting. I have a hard time with turning the handle so DH helps there.

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Marie replied on Fri, Jul 8 2011 9:11 PM

Kris do they ever have a sale on the Altos?  Am I waiting for a sale that won't come?

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Marie replied on Fri, Jul 8 2011 9:13 PM

Kris do you have the Go Baby or the full sized?

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Kris replied on Sat, Jul 9 2011 3:11 AM

Marie,

I have the full sized one. I pre-ordered it when they first announced it. 

I'm not sure if the Quilt Cut 2 ever goes on sale. Mine was a Christmas present from my in-laws and I don't know how much it was then. Write to them and ask if they ever have sales.

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