I’m excited about a new QuiltingArts video workshop with Ebony Love, which was sponsored by Sizzix and published by F&W media, through QuiltingArts. And, I’m participating in a blog hop celebration of this DVD workshop where you’ll find more out about it, as well as opportunities to win a copy of this downloadable DVD, as well as other fantastic prizes too!
This workshop is an excellent learning resource, for those new to die cutting machines, or not having yet purchased such modern cutting tools and want to learn more.
Ebony Love (Love Bug Studios) is the Queen of Die Cutting Machines. She is a quilter, author and die cutting expert who has written and self published a book “The Big Little Book of Fabric Die Cuts”, taught classes at major quilt shows, created many Youtube video tutorials, hosted quilt-alongs all to help quilters understand how to use fabric die cutting machines and create beautiful quilts. She has also written other books, such as “Cut It, Sew It, Stow It”, published by Annie’s. And she published an e:Magazine “Blocks to Die For”.
And now, she has an excellent DVD learning opportunity for beginners to Die Cutting.
Attendees of this workshop will learn the basics of working with die cutting machines. While tips and techniques covered in this DVD apply to all brands of die cutting machines, the machines used in this machine are Sizzix, which allow you to cut up to 8 layers of fabric at a time! And, Sizzix machines have the easiest to use handles for manual die cutting machines on the market (easy on the wrist action as they have an ergonomic design). Sizzix mats are also more durable and have a longer life than other brands. Plus, Sizzix has the largest selection of overall dies than any other brand.
This workshop is well organized into three main chapters: Making the cut with traditional blocks, making the cut with applique’ shapes, and die maintenance. The overall workshop is 1 hr 10 minutes, where you can easily start, stop, re-start and repeat at your leisure as often as you want.
Highlights of this video workshop:
Introduction to Die Cutters: Learn about the three different type of die cutters on the market today, including electric cutters like the Sizzix Eclipse and Sizzix Vagabond, as well as manual die cutters like the Sizzix Big Shot Pro and the Sizzix Fabi. And, for those that have not yet purchased a die cutter, Ebony shares tips for deciding what machine may be best for you.
Die and Fabric Preparation: Ebony shares tips and techniques to help you make easy and accurate cuts and minimize scraps. In this section you’ll also learn how to use fan folding fabric and the stacking techniques and minimize fabric waste. With the Sizzix dies you can cut up to eight layers of fabric at a time and you’ll learn a variety of ways to minimize fabric waste when cutting. But you’ll also learn how you can make a variety of cuts on your dies. For example, squares, 45 degree, or 60 degree cuts on your strip dies are easy and can make your die more versatile. As fabric has different grain lines, Ebony also shows how to take grain lines into consideration when using a die cutting machine.
Making the cut with Strips: Ebony shows how strip dies are versatile, to allow you to easily cut a variety of shapes. fan folding or stacking technique for cutting strips (you can quickly create your own strip bundles of jelly rolls or bali pops), using your strip dies to make squares, four patch units, diamonds, cutting for continuous borders and bias binding.
Making the cut with geometrics: HST, quarter square triangles, create flying geese, isosceles triangles, right and left HST, trapezoid, fan folding layering and stacking techniques for fabric cutting
Making the cuts with Traditional Blocks: Cutting curves using templates can frequently be intimidating to many quilters, but Ebony shows how easy it is to make with die cutting machines showcasing the Drunkard’s Path die. You’ll also learn how to cut papers and fabrics for English Paper Piecing hexagons. She also shares a super fun and fast way to use the Clamshell die to cut fusible interfacing, as well as fabric, to create a Clamshell appliqué that can be easily fused for a quick project.
Making the Cut with Applique’ Shapes: Ebony shares insights on dies that are compatible with the machine, but may be too intricate to cut fabric (but fine for cutting paper) vs dies that have been designed specifically for quilting applique’. She also shares insights on fusible stabilizers that are helpful for die cut shapes, as well as machine appliqué vs mock applique or needle turn appliqué cut with a die.
Die Maintenance: Learn how to increase the life of your mats, how to clean your dies, store your dies and more.
I can highly recommend this DVD workshop for anyone interested in getting a die cutting machine, particularly those that do not yet have one, as well as those that may have purchased, but have not yet gained confidence or feel they understand how to use a die cutting machine. It could also be a good workshop for those that may have been using a die cutting machine for some time, but would like to build a solid base that could also help kick start them in teaching using die cutting machines!
With this DVD, Ebony also created a free pattern to make a unique quilt , using a variety of dies finished quilt size measures 44”x48”that incorporates a variety of blocks created with dies that could easily create beautiful quilts comprised of a single block, or two or three blocks. But this sample block pattern does walk you thru a variety of blocks, from traditional, curved, appliqué, strips, etc., to easily help to help you gain experience creating blocks with a variety of die shapes that are all fast and efficient. The blocks include:
- Four Patch block 8”x8”
- School Girl’s Puzzle block 16”x16”
- Rail Fence block 16”x16”
- Wild Goose Chase block 4”x6”
- Lucky Clover 12”x12”
- Fifty Four Forty or Fight 12”x12”
- Four Fans Three Petals 12”x12”
- Drunkard’s Path 16”x16”
- Clamshells 16”x16”
Ebony also shows how to cut fabric, while minimizing waste, using die cutting machines and more:
- full length continuous cuts for sashing and borders
- bias binding
- half-square triangles, quarter square triangles, strips, curved shapes, iscoles and right triangles, trapezoid
- create flying geese, triangle in a square
- stacking technique vs fan folding techniques for cutting (how and tips on when to use each
While I personally love die cutting machines, there are features with Sizzix that are not found on other machines. For example, cranking the handle on their manual models has been designed to be very easy on the wrist, making it much easier to use for those that have wrist or shoulder problems. Their mats also last longer. They also have a very large selection of dies, and they continually create new ones, that are perfect for quilters. And many of their dies created for scrapbookers are actually great for machine applique’, machine embroidery, as well as mixed media art. Here are a few photos from their booths at CHA and Road to California, earlier this year, showing beautiful and inspirational projects:
Be sure to visit all the blogs participating in this blog hop for more insights on this new DVD workshop, as well as inspirational project ideas.
BLOG HOP SCHEDULE
July 20 – LoveBug Studios http://lovebugstudios.com
July 21 – Sizzix http://blog.sizzix.com/
July 22 – Custom Quilt Kits http://www.customquiltkits.com/
July 23 – GenQ Magazine http://generationqmagazine.com/
July 24 – Cheryl Sleboda http://muppin.com/wordpress/
July 25 – Jessica K Darling http://jessicakdarling.com/
July 26 – Quilt Shop Gal http://quiltshopgal.com/
July 27 – LoveBug Studios & Interweave – Webinar with Ebony Love
You can find Ebony Love at:
You can find Sizzix at:
You can find F&W Media at:
I also want to heighten awareness that Sizzix is a sponsor for the free virtual #summerCamp I’m hosting. There are #kidfriendlyprojects released every Tuesday and Thursday, through August. Create one or more of these projects with your kids this summer, to enter to win sponsored prizes that will be randomly awarded in September.
DID I MENTION A GIVEAWAY ?
Sizzix and F&W Media are giving away a DVD copy of Ebony’s new Die Cutting for Beginners dvd. If you would like to win a copy of this DVD, please leave a comment on this post. While you can share anything you feel appropriate, you may want to share if you have a die cutting machine and if so what brand, what you like about die cutting, or what you want to learn about die cutting.
The winner will be randomly selected on August 7th. I will send them an email to let them know and they will have three days to confirm they wish to claim their prize.
This giveaway is open to US only participants, as the prize will be shipped directly from the sponsor.
UPDATE: The lucky winner is Francesca R.