Review: AccuQuilt English Paper Piecing Hexagon Dies

Review: AccuQuilt English Paper Piecing Hexagon Dies | The Zen of Making

Fact: AccuQuilt’s new English Paper Piecing Hexagon Dies are currently my favorite tools in the craft studio. I mean, cutting perfectly matched fabric pieces AND paper templates at the same time? Goodness, yes!

Available in both a ½" size and a 1" size, the AccuQuilt English paper piecing dies basically take the ease of buying pre-cut packs of EPP templates and pre-cut packs of fabric shapes and applies that same simplicity and convenience to your own fabric stash. I love that, in one step, I can cut out as many or as few hexies and paper templates as I need for a project, and I never need to pull out my rotary cutter or ruler!

Review: AccuQuilt English Paper Piecing Hexagon Dies | The Zen of Making

Need to know more about the AccuQuilt GO! Baby fabric cutter and/or English paper piecing before we get started?

No problem! Check out these posts first:

Review: AccuQuilt GO! Baby Fabric Cutter | The Zen of Making Tutorial: Simple Lavender Sachets with the AccuQuilt GO! Baby | The Zen of Making English Paper Piecing Tutorial Series | The Zen of Making
Review: AccuQuilt GO! Baby Fabric Cutter Tutorial: Simple Lavender Sachets with the AccuQuilt GO! Baby English Paper Piecing Tutorial Series

Ready? On to the review!

The details:

Review: AccuQuilt English Paper Piecing Hexagon Dies | The Zen of Making

According to the AccuQuilt website:


GO! English Paper Piecing ½" Hexagon die:

Do you have lots of tiny scraps? Bust through them with tiny hexies! English Paper Piecing has been keeping quilters busy for centuries—especially at this scale. This die board is designed to easily cut both fabric and paper templates for English Paper Piecing. Fabric die blades fits pre-cut 5" squares.

  • Compatible fabric cutter: GO! Baby Fabric Cutter, GO! Fabric Cutter, Studio Fabric Cutter
  • Cutting mat required: GO! Cutting Mat, 5" x 10"
  • Cut size for ½" die: Six 13/16" sides (2 cm) hexagons to cut fabric and six ½" sides (1.3 cm) hexagons to cut paper
  • Finished size for ½" die: Six of each paper piecing hexagons: 1/2" sides (1.3 cm)
  • Die board size: 5" x 10" (12.7 cm x 25.4 cm)

Retail price for ½" die: $39.99

GO! English Paper Piecing 1" Hexagon die:

Are you looking for the perfect “purse project?” English Paper Piecing, or EPP as the truly hexie addicted hand stitchers call it, is a great way to keep your hands busy and eat up scraps! This die board is designed to easily cut both fabric and paper templates for English Paper Piecing. Fabric die blades fits pre-cut 6" squares.

  • Compatible fabric cutter: GO! Baby Fabric Cutter, GO! Fabric Cutter, Studio Fabric Cutter
  • Cutting mat required: GO! Cutting Mat, 6" x 12"
  • Cut size for 1" die: Four 1 5/16" sides (3.3 cm) hexagons to cut fabric; Four 1" sides (2.5 cm) hexagons to cut paper
  • Finished size for 1" die: Four of each paper piecing hexagons: 1" sides (2.5 cm)
  • Die board size: 6" x 12" (15.2 cm x 30.4 cm)

Retail price for 1" die: $39.99


The layout of the die:

Review: AccuQuilt English Paper Piecing Hexagon Dies | The Zen of Making

As you can see, each die contains hexagons in two different sizes. The smaller size is for cutting the paper templates (this is the size that the finished hexagons will be), and the larger size is for cutting fabric (it contains a ¼" seam allowance). Both the paper sides and the fabric sides of each die have the same number of hexagons, so if you use an equal number of paper layers and fabric layers, each cutting pass will yield a set of perfectly matched fabric hexagons and paper hexagon templates.

Wait. Why buy a single die with two sizes instead of using multiple dies in assorted sizes?

You know how you keep your fabric scissors separate from your paper scissors? (And how you threaten great bodily harm to anyone who even so much as THINKS about using them for anything else?) Well, the paper and fabric sides of these dies are on opposite ends of the die board for the same reason: paper and fabric wear the cutting surfaces on dies (and scissor blades) in different ways, so you don’t want to dull your fabric dies with paper, and you don’t want to dull your paper dies with fabric. Having a die with both sizes on one die board helps you keep your dies sharp by avoiding mixups.

Preparing the fabric and paper:

Review: AccuQuilt English Paper Piecing Hexagon Dies | The Zen of Making

To make the cutting process go faster—especially if you’re cutting more than one layer at once—the following fabric and paper sizes can be used for each die:

GO! English Paper Piecing ½" Hexagon die

Pre-cut fabric and paper square sizes for the ½" die:

  • 5" x 5" fabric squares
  • 4" x 4" cardstock squares

If you’re cutting the paper and fabric yourself instead of buying pre-cut, here’s the smallest size you can get away with for the ½" die:

  • 5" x 3" fabric rectangles
  • 3½" x 2½" cardstock rectangles

GO! English Paper Piecing 1" Hexagon die

Pre-cut fabric and paper square sizes for the 1" die:

  • 6" x 6" fabric squares
  • 5" x 5" cardstock squares

If you’re cutting the paper and fabric yourself instead of buying pre-cut, here’s the smallest size you can get away with for the 1" die:

  • 6" x 5" fabric rectangles
  • 5" x 4" cardstock rectangles

Tip: Before you turn your yardage into a stack of fabric rectangles, make a test cut to confirm that you’re using the right measurements.

Cutting the fabric and paper:

Review: AccuQuilt English Paper Piecing Hexagon Dies | The Zen of Making

When running paper and fabric through the machine at the same time, the cutting motion feels smooth and easy, just like it does when cutting fabric alone. (For further details, you can see my GO! Baby fabric cutter review here.)

Review: AccuQuilt English Paper Piecing Hexagon Dies | The Zen of Making

Once cut, the edges on both the fabric and the paper pieces are crisp and clean, and both the cloth and paper shapes are separated completely from the surrounding cardstock sheet or fabric square.

Great! How many can be done at once?

According to the package, each die can cut up to 2 layers of cardstock and 6 layers of cotton fabric. But, to keep things simple, I generally stick with just two layers of each so I end up with equal numbers of fabric pieces and paper templates after each pass. (I’ve tried 6 layers of fabric on other dies, though, and it works really well.)

Sewing and quilting:

Review: AccuQuilt English Paper Piecing Hexagon Dies | The Zen of Making

Now’s where things start to get magical. (For me, at least.)

Because each piece is cut precisely to size, the fabric shapes fold evenly around the paper templates, creating a gorgeous, uniform stack of hexagons with sharp lines, pointed corners, and neat, orderly-looking backs. Swoon!

Review: AccuQuilt English Paper Piecing Hexagon Dies | The Zen of Making

Review: AccuQuilt English Paper Piecing Hexagon Dies | The Zen of Making

And, turns out, the more you sew the better it gets.

The die eliminates the cutting and measuring errors that can happen when templates and fabric are cut by hand, so the edges of the hexagons always line up beautifully, making it easy to create perfectly shaped blocks, patterns, and pieced projects.

Now, I’m pretty meticulous about my piecing, but I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never managed to get my hand-cut hexies to line up quite this well. (Just look at those corners!) If it makes such a noticeable difference in just one block, I can only imagine how much easier squaring a full quilt will be!

Review: AccuQuilt English Paper Piecing Hexagon Dies | The Zen of Making

Overall impressions:

Like I said at the beginning, I’m feeling some pretty serious love for the new AccuQuilt English paper piecing dies. But, before you decide whether or not they’re right for you, keep the following things in mind: (1) I do a TON of English paper piecing (you’ve almost certainly noticed my massive hexie obsession), and (2) I’m the kind of stitcher who thrives on even seams, perfectly straight lines, and backs that look as good as the fronts. Basically, dies that speed up the fabric and template cutting process and remove the possibility of human error were designed with crafters and quilters like me in mind, so it surprises exactly no one that they make me want to dance around my studio with glee. That said, if you’re not stitching hexies while waiting in line for the bank, and a few uneven edges wouldn’t cause you to catch the vapors, it’s entirely possible that you might not find these dies to be the things of life-altering beauty that I do. (Alas.)

Bottom line: I am both pleased and impressed by the quality of the cuts that these dies make, and I’d definitely recommend them to all of my EPP-obsessed pals. (Because, you know, HEXIES!)


** Note: Since I was already using it for a project, I photographed the ½" hexagon die for this review. Please note that the ½" hexagon die and the 1" hexagon die are SOLD SEPARATELY.**


Disclosure: AccuQuilt kindly provided the GO! Paper Piecing dies for review, but the opinions shared here are honest and my own.

10 thoughts on “Review: AccuQuilt English Paper Piecing Hexagon Dies

  1. Love your tutorials! Been hooked on hexies for many years and am getting just as fond of my accuquilt go cutter. Have read some negative comments about the seam allowance being too small on the 1″ EPP die. Any thoughts?

  2. Wow, Fan-ssssay!! These are intriguing – you’re right, hand-cut templates can result in tiny mismatches here and there. This is why I love my precut templates from Paper Pieces so much. But I do love the idea of being able to cut your fabric and paper efficiently at the same time. Great review – thank you!

  3. I heard the die cuts the fabric to 1/8 and not at 1/4 for the seam is this true? That is why I haven’t bought it the reviews were not good so I thought I would ask you to make sure. Thank you.

  4. I never know what I will find when i visit this space but I can ALWAYS count on finding something that will help make my crafty life just a little bit better. You have put so much time and research into what you are doing here and I am just stopping by to say that I appreciate you and all you share. And to say, Happy Valentine’s Day!

  5. I bought the Sizzix Big Shot specifically because I was told (by a lady that has both) that it will take the AccuQuilt dies too.
    The main reason I bought it was to cut Hexies and the idea that there is now a die that cuts both the paper size and fabric size in one fills me with delight.
    Thank you and the random link surfing that brought me to your site!!!
    WooHoo!!!!

    • If you do try the dies with your Big Shot, I’d love to hear how it works. I haven’t tried it myself, but the subject seems to come up every time I write about the AccuQuilt/AccuQuilt dies. And, last time someone asked about it, I actually measured my own AccuQuilt and Sizzix dies so I could compare them. The Sizzix dies measure about 1/8″ thicker than the AccuQuilt dies. Given that, I’d think that you’d need some kind of extra padding/layers to make it work. Any idea if your friend uses padding, or if she’s using the Sizzix or the AccuQuilt cutting mats (or some combination of both) to make her die sandwich? Just curious. :)
      Haley Pierson-Cox recently posted..Printable: Watercolor Crochet Stitch Wall Art

    • Thanks so much for the info!

      Alas, needing extra padding to get good cuts is exactly why I have a dedicated fabric cutter to begin with. I do way more fabric crafting and sewing than paper crafting, and futzing around with paper-specific die cutters, trying to get them cut fabric correctly drives me crazy! (And, in my experience, rarely works as well as I want it to.)

      That said, I totally understand why folks who don’t want the clutter/expense of having multiple cutters find a way to get creative and make it work. Crafters are a resourceful lot, after all! :)
      Haley Pierson-Cox recently posted..Printable: Watercolor Crochet Stitch Wall Art

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