This post is not going to try to convince you to buy an Accuquilt. But, if you have one or have decided to purchase one, this is some info about how to choose a Qube set.
I have had an Accuquilt cutting system for about 18 months and I really enjoy it. I have problems with my thumb and elbow that make it painful for me to cut too much with a rotary cutter which is what drove me to buy the Accuquilt. I will be honest that sometimes it’s easier to just grab a rotary cutter and ruler to get things done, but if I have a big project or want to use more unusual angles, the Accuquilt is my best friend. I own the full set of 9″ Qube dies.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE (QUILT) MATH
I see posts in Facebook Groups all the time asking what size Qube set they should buy and instantly they have 488 responses that are totally different. We all buy our Qube sets for different reasons, but there are some things that you should take into account. I really think that the decision lies in the math.
The Accuquilt System is basically built on the concept of a 4 patch block. As shown on the right in the beautiful example of a sample quilt posted by Moore’s Quilts, each of these blocks is a four patch. With the 8 basic Qube blocks you can make something crazy like 276 different blocks and if you add the Angles and Corners sets the number grows.
So. . . if you buy an 8″ Qube, what you are really buying is a set that makes 4″ finished blocks. Does that make sense? If you are making a quilt that uses a 3×3 grid like any nine patch block, you are going to end up with a 12″ block because now you have three of your 4″ blocks across and down.
|Qube Size||Basic Block||Four Patch||Nine Patch||Sixteen Patch|
|6″ Qube Set||3″||6″||9″||12″|
|8″ Qube Set||4″||8″||12″||16″|
|9″ Qube Set||4.5″||9″||13.5″||18″|
|10″ Qube Set||5″||10″||15″||20″|
|12″ Qube Set||6″||12″||18″||24″|
This math is really important to wrap your head around. The block on the right is a Sawtooth Star with a pinwheel center. This block is what I call a “Sixteen Patch” because it is built on a 4×4 grid. If I make this block using my 9″ Qube set, I am going to end up with an 18″ block. If you use the 12″ set your final block is a huge 24″. That may or may not be what you wanted. If your goal is to have a 12″ finished Sawtooth Star you will have to use the 6″ Qube set because those blocks are designed to be 3″ which placed in a 4×4 grid will give you the 12″ block you want.
Do you use a lot of pre-cuts? If you have a lot of 5″ squares or 2 1/2″ strips, you may end up with a lot of sewn blocks that are 4.5″. The 9″ Qube is based on that math, so that may be the Qube for you. If you really like the look of a Churn Dash, Friendship Star or any other 9 patch blocks and want to finish at 12″, then it is the 8″ Qube that you will want.
I bought the 9″ and I really like it, but my next purchase will probably be the 6″ set so that I can make more intricate designs without the blocks getting huge.
Still undecided? Buy the 8″ Qube. The middle of the road choice will give you flexibility.