In this tutorial, I used the Accuquilt Baby Go Cutter with the tumbler die. I made a 12" finished block. I have called it the Chubby Dresden. I like this name. It's warm and friendly. It's nice to be chubby. As always, if you have a go at this block, please let me know by posting a pic of it in my Flickr group or emailing me a pic. If you would like to have a go at making this block but do not have a Baby Go, you can cut tumblers straight from your cutting mat. You need to cut a shape 3 1/2" tall, 3 3/4" wide at the top tapering to 2" wide at the bottom (click here for a printable template for anyone who does not have a Go Cutter).
I am going to start off by saying something about the Accuquilt Baby Go Cutter. I have been dubious about this gadget since it first hit the market. I did not think it would suit me as a quilter as I love to make new designs and come up with new ideas and not work from other people's ideas. Anyway, I got my hands on a Baby Go this week and I am a complete, total and utter convert. It is quick, easy and, for some reason I can't quite put my finger on, a whole lot of fun. I think it's something to do with the fact that you can grab a handful of scraps from your scrap box, cut them very roughly to some kind of shape that you can fit over the die, roll 'em through and have an instant pile of 18-24 HSTs, tumblers, hearts or whatever shape dies you have, ready to go.
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1. OK, on to the tutorial for which I used the Baby Go and the tumbler die. First grab 12 scraps (I chose 12 scraps making a rainbow) and cut each into a 5" square (roughly, accuracy is not relevant here).
2. Lay 6 charms so that they cover one of the tumbler shapes and six covering the other.
3. Roll the die through the cutter and BINGO you have all the tumblers you need for this block.
4. Sew them into a circle, sewing them first into pairs and then sewing the pairs together etc. Flip the circle right side down and press the seams anti-clockwise.
5. Lay the circle right side up on your cutting mat and round off the corners of the circle with your rotary cutter - you are not aiming to make the most perfect circle here, just round them off as best you can, by eye so that the dresden is more circular shaped around the outside than dodecagon (12 sided shape) shaped. You must think I'm very clever dropping that word in here, casual as can be. Actually I googled it first to give the impression of being very clever. I'm mediumly clever but I'm no rocket scientist.
6. Now you need to cut out the inner and outer circles for this block. But first we will make a newspaper template for those. I use newspaper to make all the templates I need that are bigger than a standard piece of printer paper. Fold the paper in half and in half again then cut the folded piece into a 7" square to make a 14" unfolded square (taking care not to cut through the sides where the folds are). Although the finished block will be 12" (12 1/2" unfinished), piecing circles can distort a perfectly square piece of fabric so we need some waggle room to trim to size at the end.
7. Using a compass, mark two quarter circles onto the newspaper, one with a radius of 3" and one with a radius of 5 5/8".
8. Cut these out. Use these templates to cut out the fabric for the inside circle and the outside section of your block.
9. You are now going to piece the inner circle and the outer section to the circle of tumblers and, to do this, I am going to refer you to two blogposts, during the Big dresden QAL, where I showed you how to do this step by step. Go to this blogpost for a tutorial on how to piece the inner circle. Then go to this blogpost for a tutorial on how to piece the outer circle section. Please feel free to come back and ask me questions if you get stuck at this stage.
And if you would like a chance to win a Baby Go Cutter, go to Accuquilt's Facebook page here, click "like" then go to the ‘Bust My Stash’ tab under their profile picture and upload a picture of your fabric stash. Submit your photo by Friday, July 22nd and you’ll be eligible to win a GO! Mix & Match 12” Starter Set. The photo with the most votes by July 31st wins. Photos will be voted on by viewers and fans of the AccuQuilt Facebook page using the following criteria: relevance, creativity, and originality. Share with your friends during the voting period to increase your odds of winning.