Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Accuquilt Go! Baby Review and Giveaway!

Last Fall at Quilt Market I met many of the very nice people who represent Accuquilt.  They asked if I would be interested in giving my review on my blog about their newest product the Go! Baby Die Cutter.  Of course I agreed, and this is the story of how it went.

I had used the Go! Studio, and the Go! Cutter in the original size and liked both products.  I felt they were too large for my needs, and my smaller space.   I never bought either one of those.  They were out my price range at the time too. I had never tried the smaller more compact version of the Go! Baby and wanted to.  So earlier this year the good people at Accuquilt.com sent me the Go! Baby and three dies.  They sent the Hexagon, and the 5" Charm Square die.  Also one of the dies they sent was for the larger cutter, that was a clerical error when the order was entered.  The die was for the  2 1/2" strips, but it was too large to run through the Baby.  It took a little while to get the correct die because the 2 1/2" strip die for the Baby is a popular one, and was out of stock at that time.  I did receive it after it was back in stock, and was able to test it.  They kept track of my replacement order until the  item was ready to ship.  I have to mention, the customer service at Accuquilt is wonderful.  I used the online chat as well as the phone customer service, and both were very helpful and knowledgeable.   So if you ever have any issue with an order from Accuquilt, you can rest assured they will take care of you.  This quality of customer service seems more rare than common with many online retailers lately, and I feel it is worth mentioning when you have a great experience.  So once I had all the dies I was ready to get started and the following is my review.

PRO's:
  1. Love the compact footprint and that it folds up small!  This makes it so easy to store on a table or in a closet.
  2. No set-up or build time with this one.  The Studio Cutter requires some set-up, but then it is much bigger.  The Baby pulls right out of the box and is ready to use.
  3. The handle turns in both directions, so you can feed the dies from left or right.  Very good news for Lefty's!
  4. Very affordable at around $140 for the machine.  The dies are also a little smaller and thus less expensive than are the bigger dies.  Some of them are as low as $20, and Accuquilt.com is always having sales!  Some are on sale right now for $17!
  5. Very lightweight and easy to carry to class, or from room to room.
  6. It measures folded up:  W 4 1/2", H 8", D 13" , unfolded the W is 17 1/2" 
  7. So easy to roll the handle with the dies in there.  I found the larger Go Cutter was more cumbersome.  I think anyone with Arthritis or Carpal Tunnel in their wrists or hands will find this one very easy to use! You don't have to have a super strong grip to get the dies through.
  8. Love the non-slip feet.
  9. Many of the dies have little triangles that are cut out on the fabric to help you line up your pieces.  This was great when sewing my Apple Core quilt because I knew right where to pin.  There was no need to fold each one in half to find the center, Accuquilt already had!
  10. They are bringing out more and more dies with fun shapes, and loads of "typical" quilting sizes and shapes.
  11. I already said it, but they have amazing customer service and that goes a very long way with me!
CON's:
    1. Yes there is some fabric waste.  Okay I said it, big deal.  It isn't as if we aren't all out there buying fabric like crazy anyway!  You do need a little extra fabric (maybe a few extra inches for a lot of cutting) to account for potential waste when cutting even simple geometrical shapes.  But seriously, if you are that frugal you may not see the need to buy this little wonder and it's dies.  I don't get that caught up in fabric waste, so consider the source.
    2. You can only use the smaller 6" wide dies, the larger 8" and 10" ones won't go through this little guy.
    3. Stripes are a potential headache to cut on the Go! Baby in straight style dies.  Dies like a Hexagon, or an Apple Core are no biggie.  But trying to line up the stripes just right for squares and rectangles could require an Excedrin.
    4. Needs to be used on a sturdy surface that is not wobbly at all.  Actually that is just my personal recommendation because I used it on one table and it was really shaking that table a bit.  Maybe I am being to rough though-who could say?   Those non-slip feet kept the machine in place though.  
    5. You have to buy the dies separately, and they can be pricey.  Again, look for sales!  
    6. Different lengths of dies require different cutting pads.  These are the grey mat you place over the top of the die and fabric so it cuts the fabric and gets a good grip in the rollers.  So if you need that 2 1/2" strip die, plan on buying the 6" x 24" long cutting mat too.  You might to budget more for that one, but if you are cutting 450 2 1/2" strips for a weekend retreat, the Go! Baby will save your blade and your hands a lot of wear and tear!
    So that's my take on the Go! Baby.  I love mine and would recommend it to any quilter I meet.  By the way if you are making a Grandmothers Flower Garden quilt by hand, the Hexagon Die has 3 of the most common sizes (2", 3" and 5" unfinished size) and it is a life saver when cutting out hexies!

    This is my Apple Core quilt and all of the Apple Cores were cut out using the Go! Baby.  It took about 90 minutes to cut them all out, but imagine how long it would have taken if I had to trace each one and cut out by hand!  


    Lastly, here is the info on the giveaway:
    One winner will receive (1) Accuquilt Go! Baby die cutter machine and (2) dies of their choice.
    1.   To enter you have to leave me a comment here on this post about why you need this Die Cutter.
    2.   For another shot at winning tell all your friends through either a Blog Post with a direct link to my giveaway, or Tweet with a link, or Facebook it with a link.  Then come back here and tell me you mentioned my giveaway to all your friends and fans.   Easy- two shots at winning.  (You don't get extra chances if you FB, Tweet and Blog about this though-- I have to draw the line somewhere.)  Giveaway ends Sunday Oct 30th 9PM MST.  The winner will be announced when I get back from Houston on Monday Oct 31st.

    I would love it if you decide to follow my blog-- but I won't make you do that for this giveaway.

    Check the link out at the top of my blog-- 22 free patterns from Accuquilt!  Everyone wins with this one!

    Here is the fine print: I am not responsible for these items being lost or damaged in transit.  You as the winner will need to report such instances to Accuquilt.  I am holding the giveaway, but Accuquilt is sponsoring it which means they are shipping the winners items direct.  Giveaways are great, but participants must realize I set forth the rules, and I randomly choose the winner. (When I say random-- it is truly as random as it gets and is completely fair)  If I have contacted the winner and have had no response from them  after 9 days, they forfeit the prize winnings to the next random winner of my choice. I have a life and cannot be expected to chase everyone down. It is a giveaway, not life or death. Basically, I don't want to hear a bunch of griping about how this is run.  It's my giveaway, my rules, you don't like it- don't play.  Simple.http://www.accuquilt.com/

    Sunday, October 9, 2011

    On the radio with Pat Sloan

    If you missed the broadcast, it is still available at the following link:


    I just realized I was supposed to post this days ago, but better late than never!  Actually not late at all because tomorrow at 4PM EST I will be on the radio with Pat Sloan!
    She is interviewing me for American Patchwork and Quilting's radio show.  We are going to chat about tools and all kinds of fun stuff.  

    So if you want to listen in, you can link up HERE or at the link below.
    http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/radio/index.html

    I am still in disbelief that she is interviewing little ol' me, but she and I are old pals and we always have a good time together! These are some of Pat's websites:
    http://www.creativetalknetwork.com/
    http://www.patsloan.com/
    http://www.quiltmashup.com/
    If you don't know who she is in the quilty world, her websites and blog should change that.  You probably even own one of her books because she's written a bunch!

    Don't forget to check back here later in the week because I am posting my review on the Accuquilt Go Baby!  I might be having some serious giveaway action going on with it too-- so be sure to check back!


    And if you miss the interview, you can always get a listen on your computer or iPod using the links above.