Friday, October 01, 2010

Go! Baby

Well, friends, in case we've not had our fill of seeing the ubiquitous AccuQuilt-Go! all over bloggerville, today my friend Pat sent me the announcement she'd been watching for and anticipating -- the development of another, less expensive but considerably limited model, the Go! Baby.

After seeing so many of my fellow bloggers somehow magically being awarded Go!s of their very own and another one to give away, I was beginning to feel like a character from "Left Behind" (not that I've ever seen it; I'm just imagining).  Could it be that I am the last surviving person to be using a rotary cutter and trimming my dog ears?  (Sorry, Blackberry -- not a good image.)

The reviews on the Go! -- among bloggers who have received them for free, anyway -- are glowing.  Well, what else would one expect?  I've not heard any negative comments whatsoever about these gadgets, but I don't think I've read anything written by anyone who went out and purchased one.  So I'm feeling somewhat ambiguous. 

Dear organized Pat did her homework, and has located places that sell Go! for considerably less than the manufacturer's price of $349, and I'd begun to think a little more favorably about going and trying one out.  The thing is, I wouldn't really use most of the dies that they have -- the ones for appliques.  Kind of like the embroidery option on a sewing machine -- yes, it's wonderful, but I know I would never use it.  But Go! does come with the dies I'd be most likely to use for piecing 12" blocks.  Oh, the efficiency of cutting lots of the same units.  Oh, the kindness to the carpal tunnels!  But, oh, the price!  Oh, but the possibility of making a tumbler quilt!  Would it actually get used or end up being something else to find a place for a la that darned quesadilla maker.

Can you see that I'm in a muddle about Go!?

And now, to complicate things further, is the announcement of Go! Baby, just in time for Santa and at a price I think he would find attractive, even though all dies would have to be purchased separately. 

It's not clear to me whether one can cut just 2.5" HSTs or whether the die simultaneously has to cut the other two sizes.  And I'm concerned about wasted fabric (remember, I'm the one who was incensed that The Farmer's Wife template CD printed out one template to a page for a total of over 100 pieces of paper), though I know my buddy Turbo would urge me not to worry there but just let her handle that problem.  And then there's the question of whether it cuts enough of a unit at one time to really be more efficient than my rotary.  Beg Santa to bite the bullet and go for the Go! vs. show some restraint and request Go! Baby?  Or just go out and by some new blades and forget the whole thing?  So many questions.  Such a muddle.

Is there anyone out there who actually bought (i.e., did not receive it free from the manufacturer or via a blog give-away) a Go! and would provide an unbiased (yes, pun intended) review?

I'm all ears.  And I bet Pat is, too.

Not to even mention Blackberry, who really is mostly ears.




23 comments:

Pat said...

Oy. Such a dilema. I came to the same conclusion that Nancy did. The Baby Go! is way cute, but it is limited, especially for those of us who are not particularly fluent in applique. And it does not seem to come packaged with any dies. I can see a lot of use for cutting strips, but the only strip die that the Baby Go! will accommodate is the one for 2.5" strips.

Being a creature of weakness, I went ahead and ordered the regular Go! from Amazon (the best price I could find at @ $223, including the shipping). There are a number of dies that I want as well, but those can wait. Again, Amazon seems to have by far the best prices.

paula, the quilter said...

Ah, Nancy, you are not the last person to be using a rotary cutter. I will be keeping you company! I, don't use enough of the same thing to justify the expense.

Kim West said...

I could have wrote this post myself. I actually have been contemplating a post just like it for a little while. I will be keeping you company with the rotary cutter as well. I find my Marti Michelle templates are much cheaper and far less prep work to use them. I mean, If I have to trim the shape down to size to use it, I might as well just cut the darned thing out anyway.

Now if I were to magically get a Go! for free, I wouldn't turn it down - but I won't pay for one... I have my new hobby of dyeing fabric to pay for now.

Pat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LizA. said...

I'm with you Nancy -- still using my rotary cutter. But, I have seen the Go in action. I definitely think the Go is better than the Baby as the Baby only has one die strip, 2.5" available. There are a bunch of reviews at amazon & joann's website if that helps.

I'm still up in the air, but will probably put it on my Christmas list as I'm doing more and more scrap quilts and it would certainly help with that.

floribunda... aka Julie said...

I'm with so far, Nancy! I'm thinking there will be vendors selling these at PIQF and I can see how they actually work -- although I get annoyed by the slick demos that make things look so easy and then when you get home it doesn't work that way at all... sort of like a magician's trick!

Chookyblue...... said...

goodluck finding someone who would give a genuine review..........the only posts I have seen they have been flogging them off as a giveaway after they have also been given one......of course they will say good things then........

Amy said...

There is a member of No. Virginia Quilters Unlimited who won an industrial size AccuCut from a sewing expo a couple of years ago. She is very kind, and lends it out to members who want to cut charity quilts. For our QOV workshop, it was an excellent tool for cutting 2.5" strips. I found it difficult to fold the fabric, so my strips were wonky. Others were more adept... The strips did not have the clean edge of rotary-cut ones, but they were fine for our workshop. I believe the Go is a smaller version of what we used.

You still have to crank the handle, and put the Go on a level where it doesn't strain your back.

Have fun playing with it.

Linda said...

quilted-with-love.blogspot.com Go waaaaay back to June 13, 2010 and follow her saga of the Go cutter. She writes a really good description of the issues she has/had with it!
Lurking Linda

Leslie said...

I just read the die cutting saga over at Quilted With Love that Linda suggested. Sounds like such a headache. Sometimes it's not the neat, new tool that gets the job done, it's just perseverance. :) My rotary cutter and I are good friends.
Word verification: Capples, new fall apples sold with little knitted caps.

piecemealquilts said...

I haven't actually used one myself, but I watched a demo at the Madison Quilt Expo (Wisconsin) and wasn't that impressed. I wouldn't bother with it for anything but curved pieces and applique. Squares, strips, and triangles are all much easier to accomplish on my Alto's Quilt Cut (another not inexpensive piece of equipment). I love my rotary cutter (I use the Martelli Ergo 2000), and I don't have any trouble with sore wrists, arms or hands as long as I make sure I have my cutting surface at the right height.

They demonstrated how you could cut just one of the shapes on the die by folding the fabric. I was shocked at how much waste there was, and their defense of the waste annoyed me. They said there is less waste with the Go because "you cut everything accurately and won't have any mistakes to throw away." Really?! When I cut something wrong, I put it aside to use in something else. The waste from this isn't usable fabric, for the most part.

I would still consider getting the machine if I had a strong desire to make tumblers, hexagons, double wedding rings, or drunkard's path quilts. I don't want to do any of them bad enough to drop this kind of money yet.

Anonymous said...

I am with you, Nancy, my rotary cutter and I are best friends. The process of cutting fabric for a quilt is so tactile, the folding, smoothing, pressing. Just another excuse to fondle those lovely fabrics. So, until I can no longer use it, I am sticking with my rotary cutter!
Kathy B

Gretchen said...

I'll be cutting with my rotary cutter for a long time (unless I win a free one...). I just can't justify the expense.

Lurline said...

I'd like to have one for a week and then give an opinion!
Hugs - Lurline♥

soggybottomflats said...

I have actually purchased one and did do a review, not compensated for at all, and gave a truthful review on my blog. If you go to my blog page, type in Accuquilt Go in the search feature.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

I, too, have felt left behind; barely keeping my head above the wake left from "Go!" chatter. After doing considerable research on price vs. (what I imagine to be) the amount of actual use the machine would get after the novelty wears off, I have decided that my rotary cutter and I will never break up! Having said that I remember feeling the exact same way about a microwave oven and an embroidery machine! ;)

Judi said...

I watched a demo of this at our Festival of Quilts in August. I would echo what others have said about wasted fabric, etc.

I don't make a lot of blocks the same, so choosing and cutting the fabric isn't a chore.

I have seen LQS that use these for cutting out kits (very sensible) who will also use it to cut out YOUR fabric, ad that seems to me to be an ideal option.

Still loving my rotary cutter....
Judi

altar ego said...

I have debated the same thing about die cut machines for scrapbooking. Can't afford those, either, but you can really tell the difference on layouts when the title is in fun fonts and funky paper. The hand-cut alternative is soooo time-consuming! This is only mildly relevant to your dilemma, but I'm just letting you know I feel your pain. I'm a long way away from any such decision, and by then I'll know who to turn to for counsel!

Vivian said...

I too have debated the GO! gadget dilemma. I have perfectly good rotary cutters and templates so the price of the GO! and the dies was to me prohibitive for the things I cut most frequently (strips, squares and triangles).

I would have loved one for those complicated templates (like Circles, Apple Core and Winding Ways) but can I justify spending the money (the Winding Ways die set is listed on the Accu-Quilt site for $79!) for a quilt I might make once?

For once it has been easy for me to resist quilt gadget temptation and now that some of you have mentioned that the templates that can be used with the Baby are limited, I'm still not moved much further off the fence. Will check out the Amazon deals though and still try to win one.

Susan said...

My quilt guild has an AccuCut of some ilk-certainly a heavier duty one than the equipment you are contemplating for personal use. I have sewn tumbler blocks from shapes cut by the machine and it was a breeze when the pieces were all exactly the same size. If I ever wanted something cut, I could have it done for a very small fee ($3-5 for members, slightly higher for non-members). But so far, I haven't felt the need and continue to use my rotary cutter. Really, how hard is it to cut 2 1/2 inch strips? And the waste of the AccuCut really bothers me. So owning one of these machines is not for me.

Exuberant Color said...

Well, I'm still using a rotary cutter. I have paid to have some of the curved templates cut on the Accuquilt cutter because they have a notch cut at the centers of the curves for matching and I can't do that with a rotary cutter and template. I think it would be bad for people with bum elbows and shoulders, with all of that cranking. My bum shoulder doesn't compain when I rotary cut.

suz said...

Two things have bothered me about this - then hand-cranking and the waste of fabric. (I'm really frugal with fabric and try to use every scrap.) Were I given one for free, I'm sure I'd find use for it, but I have so many other things I'd rather do with that much money.

Nancy said...

I have to agree with everyone else.

I can however see this as a tool that would be used by someone with limited use of their hands such as arthritis...

I won't be buying one either..