Sunday 20 November 2011

Let’s Go! {Accuquilt} Baby Go! - Part One: Unboxing & First Thoughts

Noisettes - Go Baby Go (Don’t Upset the Rhythm)

P1070107_450x600Look what I found propped up against my front door when I got home from work the other evening …!!!!

Those jolly lovely people over at Accuquilt have sent me a Go! Baby cutter and three dies to play with review and do some tutorials for! 

Accordingly, I’ve got quite a few tutorials lined up for you over the next couple of weeks - a mug rug or two, a pet bed with a twist, a couple of wrist pincushions and some funky Christmas placemats/lap napkins.

One of you lucky people could just find yourself with an early pressie too … but more of that another day …

... Just in time for Christmas too!

This has caused great excitement chez Pings …

I went for the 2.5” strips, Hexagons
(2”, 3” & 5”) and Circles (2”, 3” & 5”).
My reasoning behind this was that I wanted to be able to cut endless binding, 2.5” squares and diamonds from the strip cutter, as well as shapes that I find tricky to cut in multiples.

I have quite a clicky wrist, so hexie cutting with a rotary cutter is a real no no for me.  And I’m like a 4 year old when I try to cut circles!

Today’s post is really just a little play and a review of how well it works. 

The first thing I wanted to see was how easy it would be to cut squares using the strip cutter.  I already had some 2.5” strips in my scrap basket, so I just folded one and laid it at right angles to the strip on the die …


Then I placed the cutting mat on top ….


and rolled the whole kit and kaboodle through the machine … easy peasy …

I only rolled the end part through the mat and then rolled it back (you can roll the sheets forwards and backwards, which is really really useful when you’re cutting multiple layers of thicker fabrics and need a bit more cutting oomph).

You don’t need to use any pressure and the handle is really easy to turn.  This is great for anyone who has wrist problems, like me.  I know Accuquilt don’t use this as a selling point, but in MY case it really doesn’t put my wrist under anywhere near the same pressure as when I use a rotary cutter.


Voila!  5 perfect little squares!  (the edges are a bit raggedy because the strip was in my scrap basket and I didn’t iron my fabric first - I did this within 5 minutes of opening the box - I just couldn’t wait!)

Test one - Tick!

Then I cut some 2.5 strips to use as binding for my Bletchley Quilt (more of that another day). 
The great thing about the strip die is that it is open at both short ends, so that you can cut really long lengths.  I do recommend ironing your fabric first and taking the time to line it up straight on the die, or you will get the same little kinks you get when you rotary cut folded strips.


The wastage really is minimal if you cut your fabric to size first - just one skinny strip (you could even use this for gift wrapping!)

Test two - Tick!

Then, I couldn’t resist cutting some 2” circles out of one of the strips … I did have to snip one thread that hadn’t cut through all the layers, but that’s not such a hardship really.


Test three - Tick!

My only real criticism of the whole kit is that the cutting mats are not that durable and not remotely self-healing!  It would have been nice to have been sent two of the short cutting mats to go with the circle and hexagon dies, rather than only one.  Even though you can use both sides, they will wear out pretty fast and they cost about £10.50 to replace.  Within the first hour of use and after maybe only 10 or 15 passes, the cutting mat looked like this:



It helps to pull any lint-y thread out of the grooves with some tweezers. 

The red circles you can see are from some really thick felt that I cut for my poppy day brooch. 

You should also clear the die of any threads too.  I use one of those rubbery clothes brushes … works a treat!

That’s really a very small criticism of something that will make cutting sooooo much faster and more accurate.  I have to say that I absolutely L-O-V-E it and my only problem now is the number of ideas I have for projects!  That’s not a bad problem to have, especially as the cutting is very often what makes me procrastinate more than anything else!

The next couple of posts will be tutorials for really quick and easy to make wrist pincushions!

… here’s a teensie sneaky peek:
What delights have come through your door this week?


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