By Alex Anderson
Trying to cut and appliqué small, perfect circles is one of the biggest challenges facing a quilter, if not the biggest. Keeping all those tiny circles the same size and perfectly round is nearly impossible with a traditional template and scissors. I have spent many frustrating hours trying to make a grape cluster look both professional and appealing.
Thank goodness for AccuQuilt! The free pattern that is included with my GO! Grapes of Wrath die is a smaller version of the original quilt I made. It was because of the original quilt that I decided we needed a grape die for the GO!. Once it was ready, I cut all the grapes for that quilt – over 600 ¾" circles – in less than 15 minutes with my Studio fabric cutter. Of course you can use your GO! and GO! Big with this die too. The die cuts four fused layers of grapes at a time.
How long would that have taken using traditional methods? Many, many hours, and with much less accuracy.
Here’s a trick I use: for the grapes, pre-fuse a fusible to the backside of the fabric before running it through the cutter. I really like Appli-Web, plus; it’s lightweight and barely noticeable behind the fabric. Because of this you can still layer the pieces of fabric, even with the added fusible!
For the GO! Grapes of Wrath Quilt, I used a standard blanket stitch on my machine to adhere the raw edge appliqué grapes, and it worked like a charm. The GO! Grapes of Wrath die not only includes the circles, but also has leaves in two sizes. To create additional variety, the leaves can be flipped in both directions.
As mentioned, the pattern included with this die is a small wall hanging; if you are interested in the larger quilt, go here. I call the quilt “Grapes of Wrath,” but with the GO! Grapes of Wrath die, all of the wrath is taken out of the process. It becomes a fast, easy, enjoyable task, and as you can see, the results are spectacular! Try it!