Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Hi all!

One of the MOST frequent questions I get asked is about the waste created by fabric die-cutting.  There is a huge misconception that die-cutting is very wasteful.  And that is simply not so.  I frequently tell people that "blaming your die-cutter for wasting fabric is like blaming your rotary cutter for wasting fabric."   We wouldn't blame our rotary cutters for waste would we?  Nope - we would call it user error.

So, since I am currently working on the Downton Abbey mystery QAL I thought that I would share the fabric waste generated from die-cutting the first 20 blocks in the mystery.  Aside - aren't the fabrics yummy!?


There are 2 of the three blocks all pieced together with the second colour-way all cut.  20 blocks all together and at the bottom left is the little bit of waste and it is mostly selvages!!


Sorry this shot is a little blurry (but I don't want to re-take it because I want to get sewing!) but can you see the little tiny bits in my hand?  The larger bits are mostly selvages.  Keep in mind as well that none of my HSTs (half square triangles) needed to be squared up after sewing - I just got to sew them together and I was done - yey!

As an aside I used 3 never used dies and/or new in these first blocks!  Yey!!

So, what do you think?  Were those little strings of waste acceptable for 20 blocks worth of piecing?  Or, was that too much?


Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

I was kinda hoping that there was more waste with die cutting....because I have wasted more than that making mistakes in cutting with the rotary cutter (new to EDeN!!), so I am hoping that I dont run short of fabric!!

Ebony Love said...

Flo, if you make a mistake cutting, just set those pieces aside - you may be able to use them in another block.

I know EDeN is pretty new for folks, but I appreciate you all being willing to learn something new!


marilyn said...

most of the waste comes from user error. I use the accuquilt studio with teenagers and boy do they waste. The put the fabric right in the middle of the die and the cut and hold up the leftover fabric and there is a big hole in the middle, but even then, we cut that into smaller pieces. I'd rather they use the die cutter than rotary because no sliced fingers that way. It's all in the training of how to use the cutter. There are plenty of videos out there to teach you how to use them correctly. I do believe Ebony has a couple (hundred) :)