Meet Andrew Lee: The Combat Quilter
Hello there! Andrew Lee here - also known as the Combat Quilter. Before I get to the unboxing, and forget to tell you how I got to this point, I better tell you a little bit about myself. I am a 19 year Army veteran with two combat deployments.
As a result of a few events during my deployments I have PTSD. After many years of struggling with many different coping mechanisms, I have finally found one that works... quilting.
One day, my wife Kristy made a comment about us not doing enough together, and that was how this whole adventure began.
Fast forward (as if you were watching a movie) to an email I received on November 12, 2020 from the AccuQuilt team. After a few emails back and forth, I was energized to change the labor-intensive way I knew how to cut out quilts and try something different.
My personality is not always open to change, but I was excited to become part of the GO! Getter team. On December 16, I received my “Ready. Set. GO!” box, and couldn’t wait to dive in!
Unboxing AccuQuilt's Ultimate Fabric Cutting System
So, let’s get this box open, and talk about some of the things I have learned thus far.
I absolutely love that I have such a huge ironing space, but I wasn't sure if it was big enough for this.
I believe I have just opened Pandora’s box (In a good way. My obsessive yearning for efficiency will have me cranking out quilt kits in no time, and maybe even into the wee hours of the morning).
After laying it all out, I was a little overwhelmed. Fortunately, the book from Eleanor Burns, explained everything in detail for someone as over analytical as myself.
Saving Time using AccuQuilt
So, lets get into more of the discoveries I have made since unboxing, and some research I have done along the way. I am a huge advocate for Quilts of Valor and have cut quilt kits for others to make.
For a long time, I couldn’t afford to buy three and four yards of fabric at once. So, I would buy a yard here and there. My quilts would be very scrappy, yet it made me feel nostalgic, in a sense, that this was the way of those who came before me.
I would take over the dining room table, the kitchen counter, and still have another table for cutting. All so I could maximize my time cutting 11 or 12 quilts at a time. I even made a cutting list, and tallied the pieces as I went.
I sure wish I knew then what I know now. I think I wasted three days cutting 10 quilts.
The most memorable lessons we learn in life are normally the ones that are the hardest - either mentally or physically.
In my case, it seems they are the ones that have caused me the loss of time - either doing them or thinking of a more efficient way. But then again, you can't hold yourself accountable for things you didn’t know.
So, in saying that, let's see some things about AccuQuilt that I didn’t know.
- It’s not just for applique. I always saw the dies in quilt shops, but from all the cute patterns, I assumed it was just for applique.
- Managing my scraps (the majority of my fabric stash) was dreadful. I would put it off. Now, I rough cut my scraps into 5x5 or 6x6 for the Ohio Star BOB, or 3x8 and 5x8 for the Snail Trail BOB. (See picture below: silver sharpie ¼” around for accurate placement).
- Time efficiency has caused many hours of thinking, but with my GO! I can cut a king size Log Cabin quilt in 28 minutes vs. 3 hours and 15 minutes. Which gives me much more time to sew - which means more quilts.
- AccuQuilt has so many different dies and patterns - which means less time designing.
- I hear people say there is too much wasted fabric, and after cutting seven quilts out, I would agree that there is some wasted fabric. About three fat quarters per king size quilt. So, in saying that, ask yourself if three hours of your time is worth three fat quarters?
- The dog ears are already trimmed, the cut pieces are perfectly cut, and there's no worry about late night slips.
- For folks who struggle with finding the right blade, right ruler, right cutting mat, and right amount of brain power to figure it all out: AccuQuilt eliminates so many possibilities for something to go wrong.
Final Thoughts on AccuQuilt's Fabric Cutting System
In closing, I would like to say I am over the top excited to be part of the GO! Getter team, and look forward to sharing more tips, tricks, and chapters of my journey with all of you.
Be sure to register for AccuQuilt's Event on June 8th to hear more about my quilting journey.
This is my latest creation that was cut out in 22 minutes and sewn in 8 hours.