Guys, something wonderful happened to me last week in the craft studio: I fell absolutely head over heels in love with my new AccuQuilt GO! Baby fabric cutter. Now, I wouldn’t generally get so worked up about a die cutter, but the GO! Baby made cutting fabric so easy that I never, ever want to go back to scissors and rotary cutters again.
First, some background:
The generous folks at AccuQuilt kindly sent me a GO! Baby machine in advance of a release party for my friend Susan Beal’s lovely new book, Sewing for all Seasons. During the party, everyone who attended made a string of circular garland, using the GO! Baby to cut out all of the shapes before sewing. This meant that, straight out of the box—and before I’d tried the machine on my own to write the review—a huge group of crafters used it to cut hundreds of pieces of fabric over a two-hour period. (Talk about trial by fire!) So, not only was I able to try it out in a normal home studio, I was also able to see how it performed under the stresses of a classroom setting, where it was used by folks who were not already familiar with the machine, and who didn’t necessarily treat it as gently as they might have treated their own tools. To say the least, I was incredibly pleased with what I saw.
According to the AccuQuilt site:
Cutting little bitty fabric pieces precisely in a matter of seconds is no problem for the AccuQuilt GO! Baby Fabric Cutter. This baby is up to 90% faster than scissors or a rotary cutter and is a whole lot safer and easier on your hands and wrists, too. The GO! Baby lets you cut up to six layers of fabric at once, absolutely perfectly, every time. You’ll love how easy it is. All you need to get started is a cutting die or two, a cutting mat and your favorite fabrics. Perfect for beginners!
Cutter Specifications, Features & Benefits:
- Consistent, accurate cuts – up to 6 layers at a time
- 90% faster than rotary cutters or scissors
- Lightweight (only 8 lbs./ 8 1/4″ tall) and portable, it folds to store and closes with a magnetic latch. The easy-lift carrying handle makes it easy to take to classes, guild meetings, retreats and quilting bees.
- Compatible with more than 60% of GO! dies
- Creates perfect applique in the turn of a handle
- Reduces fabric waste
- Comfortable roller handle grip is easy and safe; eliminating arthritis, wrist, backaches, shoulder and elbow pain caused by using a rotary cutter
- Wide selection of GO! Baby dies allow the creation of unlimited projects—the possibilities are endless!
- Minimal space needed for storage
- Portable—no electricity or batteries needed
- The design is innovative and easy to clean with a high gloss exterior surface and a neutral, light-colored work surface.
Most GO! Dies will Work with your GO! Baby Fabric Cutter
Die compatibility information is listed on all GO! die product pages and in our GO! Die and Cutter Compatibility Chart. To shop for Baby-compatible dies, see GO! Baby Dies.
The GO! Baby Fabric Cutter does not work with 10″ x 10″ or 10″ x 24″ GO! dies.
Retail price: $139.00
What you should know before getting started:
Unless you order a starter set that includes them, the cutter does NOT come with dies or cutting mats. You must order the dies of your choice and appropriate cutting mats separately.
For this review, I used the AccuQuilt GO! Circle – 2″, 3″, 5″ die, #55012.
What I loved:
1. The GO! Baby can cut up to 6 layers of quilting cotton fabric at a time. (You should cut fewer layers at a time if the fabric is reinforced or particularly thick.)
FYI, fabric pieces that have been reinforced with interfacing count as about 1.5 layers of fabric and thick felt should be cut one layer at a time.
2. The crank that you turn to cut the fabric is so easy to rotate that a three-year-old can do it. (Seriously—a mom helped her three-year-old daughter use the machine at the Sewing for all Seasons event.)
3. The foam on the die compresses to accommodate different fabric widths, ensuring good cuts when the fabric is pressed between the die and cutting mat.
4. When the fabric passes through the GO! Baby, the cuts are clean and crisp. The die I used cut all the way through each of the fabrics that I tried in a single pass.
5. You can cut all of the shapes/sizes on the die at the same time. Or, to save fabric, you can cut only one of the shapes on a die at a time by positioning a square of fabric that is about half an inch larger in diameter than the shape you’d like to cut directly over the individual shape on the die.
Tip: If you’re cutting many copies of the same shape, you can speed things up by cutting fabric rectangles that are twice as long as the individual squares for the shape would be, then fold them in half before positioning them over the shape, creating a double layer of fabric.
Once I had the cutting mat in place on top of the fabric, I never had any problems with the fabric slipping out of place during the cutting process.
6. Beyond the usual quilting cotton, the machine works great with wool, satins (and other slippery fabrics), knits, and felt. I even tried 1/8″ felt, and it cut beautifully!
7. Cutting with the GO! Baby is so much faster than cutting with scissors or a rotary cutter. At the Sewing for all Seasons book party, we cut this whole pile of scraps in less than two hours.
8. You can use the GO! Baby all day (and with the same die), and the cuts will still be as smooth, sharp, and accurate as they were when you started. The machine definitely holds up to heavy craft event-style use. (This is another lesson we learned at the party.)
9. The cutter folds away for easy storage.
10. With the exception of the very largest format dies, the GO! Baby is compatible with most GO! dies, making it a convenient, smaller option for home studios.
11. Beyond cutting out quilts, there are tons of dies in shapes that can be used for appliqué, embellishments, and other sewing projects.
Above, you can see a set of lavender sachets that I whipped up for my closet and yarn stash.
What I didn’t love:
1. The dies are a bit on the expensive side—most range from about $20 to about $40. Mind you, those prices are still right in line with comparable dies from other popular die cutting brands.
2. Since fabric cutting dies aren’t exactly slim, I have absolutely no idea where I’m going to find room to store my growing die collection in my teeny Brooklyn apartment. (This isn’t so much a complaint as something that you should keep in mind when deciding whether or not the GO! Baby is right for you.)
Like I said in the very beginning of this review: I absolutely adore my GO! Baby, and I would definitely recommend it to other fabric crafters, sewers, and quilters. It does exactly what it’s supposed to do, and, in my opinion, it does it exceptionally well. And, as a gal who has tried to force other die cutter brands (and their non-fabric dies) to do the same job in the past, I can assure you that a fabric die cutter that actually cuts fabric is, for me, a very, very big deal. I’m definitely a GO! Baby believer, and if mine disappeared tomorrow, I’d pay full price to replace it without a second thought.
Have a GO! Baby? Or maybe you’re just looking for fabric circle project ideas? You can check out my Simple Lavender Sachet Tutorial (made with shapes that I cut during this review) over on my site, The Zen of Making.
Disclosure: Samples provided for review, but my opinions are honest and my own!
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