Most people who know Rosebud's Cottage know that I am in love with die cutting ... especially die cutting wool. Die cutting is an easy and affordable method for getting perfect shapes cut quickly. It's great for when you have a lot of the same shapes to cut. It's also fun to use die cuts to design projects because you can easily switch colors by running another piece of wool through the machine.
I'm always surprised that people don't realize they can use a die cut machine to cut wool shapes ... they cut everything else. While I have an industrial AccuCut in my workshop, I tend to reach for my Sizzix Big Shot the most. It's portable, steady, and easy to use. We sell a lot of them at the Cottage. Most people are familiar with the dies that are steel-cut and embedded in a foam base. I use them a lot and can cut up to four layers of wool with my Big Shot.
Sometimes, though, I come across these darling wafer dies. The shapes are often exactly what I'm looking for to create an idea. The ones that are metal can also be used to cut wool shapes ... it just takes a few more steps. Not all work perfectly ... I steer away from those that are placed onto a light foam base or are covered with a color ... they don't seem to cut as well but I'll try a trial cut anyway just to be sure. I can always use them to cut paper! For wool, if the cut is too intricate I don't use them ... mostly because they are hard to stitch.
When you get a Big Shot it comes with two acrylic pads and a multipurpose platform ... you need all three to cut wafer dies.
I put one layer of acrylic under the multipurpose platform then lay my die cuts right side up.
I lay my wool over the top of the die cut. One thing I've found is that it's hard to cut multiple layers of wool with the wafer dies. Also ... so that I don't waste wool ... I rotary cut my pieces so they are a half inch bigger than the die. So if a die measures 1" x 1", I cut my pieces 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" giving me an extra 1/4" on each side ... just in case.
I put the other acrylic mat over the top of the wool and crank it through! My cutting mats are pretty well used ... I change them often because I do a lot of cutting. If you start to see yours bow in the middle ... time for a new one! Also ... if you have a long die you need to have extended cutting mats and a platform in order to support the die cut.
Ta da! Perfect little shapes!
I think the scraps are as cute as the die cuts! I just love the way they look and often put pix of them on my Instagram page. I'll cut tiny shapes out of the scraps too. The small circles at the top of tag dies are pefect for the centers of flowers or penny rugs ... I have a tiny heart that I like to use for scraps, too. You can even trim the scrap and stitch it over something else!
I hope this makes you feel confident in using your die cut machine and wafer dies to cut shapes. Imagine the possibilities! I'd love to show you what these shapes are being used for but you'll have to wait until the Spring 2015 Quilts & More magazine becomes available. We're busy cutting kits for Bunny Hop in this issue. You can get a sneak peek when you look at the cover. Can you guess which one it is??