Sep 17 10

Playing Around With The Big Shot Cutting Machine

Today was my first time ever to play with The Big Shot, a fabric cutting machine that’s similar to the Accuquilt Go, except that it cuts many more materials than just fabric and it costs a lot less. Here’s a shot of my machine with the first die I’ve played with (they’re flower petals):

Ironically, I first heard about The Big Shot from Kelly at when she told me about it at Spring Quilt Market, and today I found that Kelly has actually done a really great post about her experience playing with The Big Shot. She has done such an incredible job and given all kinds of great details, so rather than repeat the same info, I’m going to refer you to her excellent post here. My playtime with the machine was spent working with fabrics backed by Wonder Under Fusible web. Here are many petals that it cut really quickly and they are ready for applique:

That one die actually cuts 4 sizes of petals with each round. Here’s a shot of the 4 sizes:

She talks about a “hanging chad” when she cut into plain fabric and I did have that outcome (although it was easily remedied) when I cut just fabric, but I did not have that problem when working with fabric bonded to fusible web. The most layers I could cut in one round was 9 layers of fabric, each bonded to a piece of paper-backed fusible web. If you do the math on that, the machine is cutting 63 petals with each round-that’s a heck of a lot faster than I can work and I don’t have a sore hand/wrist at the end! Here are some of the castoff’s:

I felt kind of badly when I saw all the castoff material, but I’d have at least that same amount of castoff material if I’d cut these by hand, so I’m not going too feel badly about it. I’m saving these scraps because parts of these are large enough to cut into for other shapes down the road.

I went into this with no goal other than to mess around with the machine, so once I had a bunch of petals, I cut a circle of fabric bonded to fusible web and then started to create the center of a fantasy flower. I removed the paper from the circle only and then fused the paper-backed small petals to it, using The Applique Pressing Sheet as my fusing surface:

Here’s what the back looked like, you can see the paper was still on:

I then removed that paper and started adding layers or rows of petals from behind. This was my final fantasy flower:

Not sure what I’ll be doing with this, but I’ll definitely be playing with the machine some more. Because this machine has been around the scrap-booking world for decades, there are thousands of dies to use with it, so there’s a lot to play with. I think my next experiement will be to cut fabric adhered to another material.

And don’t forget, just 2 days left to get in on the sale of King Tut Threads (both the 500 yd spools and the 2000 yd cones), and LAVA thread. Both are 15% off if you write sept15 in the discount code box during checkout!

One Comment

  1. Hope Says:

    Okay…you convinced me. I need to get a Big Shot. What a magic machine. Thanks for another great demonstration.