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Message Board > Quilters' Corner > Accu go cutter ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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Accu go cutter
is it worth the investment?
sew cool sew creative

sew cool sew creative
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Date: 6/25/11 0:12 AM

This is just a very recent thought (meaning yesterday) I should get one of those accu go cutters but is it worth the investment. I'm looking at a minimum of about $600 or a small starter kit and about $900 for the same thing but has more die cutters. Is this worth the investment or am I better off with purchasing rulers?

Again this is a very recent thought.

Canadian Jane
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Date: 6/25/11 0:47 AM

I have the same question. I also wonder if it would take up less space than an barage of rulers, cutting mats and so forth not to mention space I can take over to do my cutting. (Right now I have a countertop over my washer and dryer where I do my cutting.) I have very little sewing space and if I can get a gadget that works well with a small footprint that might be worth considering.

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Forgiveness does not excuse the behaviour. It prevents the behaviour from breaking your heart over and over again.

iSewQuiltArt
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Date: 6/25/11 2:14 AM

I love my Go! The real surprise for me is that cutting with it is faster than rotary cutting. So much faster, but the best bit is that every patch is the same size (unless you don't follow instructions and cut the fabric off grain- some people on forums report problems but it turns out alot of the time they are trying to cut too many layers or they aren't careful with aligning fabric to the die blade, not the plastic edge of the die)- and the bottom line is that if your cuts are spot on then the patchwork is easy to sew together if you have the correct seam allowance.
I am loving mine, not only for dealing with scraps which is astonishingly fast, but for cutting tricky shapes.
I am making a star quilt right now with the peaky/ spikey triangles for the star points, and they absolutely make the sewing so simple with engineered corners for proper alignment every time. Every block turns out the same size, and perfectly flat, because there were no inaccuracies in cutting with rulers or blades. Its easier on the hands and wrists, and there is no potential danger to fingers as there is with rotary cutting.
Even the most skilled rotary cutting person can occasionally make cuts that are slightly off or bad cuts that waste fabric. The Go! totally gets around that problem because unless you are unlucky enough to have a lemon die and the company would want to know about it and make it right, every patch you cut, if you follow the instructions correctly (and its very easy) turn out the same.
Yes its an investment but it is so worth it if you work with the sizes and shapes that there are dies for currently. And more will be developed and added in over time.
You don't have to buy the whole kit and caboodle at the time of purchase either, you can buy the Go unit and a few dies to get started and then add a few more when you are ready for them.

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Quilting up a storm
Bernina Girl, in possession of a small herd...

Canadian Jane
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In reply to iSewQuiltArt


Date: 6/25/11 2:36 AM

Quilting Queen - does it take up a lot of space?? For example is it the size of a printer or bigger? What you describe sounds fantastic.

PS Your quilts that you are working on just sound out of this world. I envy your ability to be able to put something that complicated together.

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iSewQuiltArt
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Date: 6/25/11 4:28 AM

Canadian Jane, really the quilt block is simple, it has a little nine patch at the centre (9 squares joined together), some star points made with a particular Go die and some squares. Simple shapes and all scrappy just to reduce and recycle the scrap basket before it gets completely out of control! Really it isn't hard. There are easier blocks of course and more complex ones as well. The block is a variation on a traditional block that I just thought to make as the sizes of the dies are compatible and sew up to the same finished size for the subunits involved, so can be sewn together easily.

The size of the Go unit is when closed is about 15 inches high, around 12 wide and a few inches deep, maybe 4 inches although I didn't measure that last dimension. When open it is twice as long as it is high plus a little for the base- maybe 3 inches. So its nice and compact and has a small footprint when stored vertically with the sides closed. It is held together magnetically and I have mine at the back of my sewing table behind a machine.
It weights about 8kg or so. You might not want to walk long distances carrying it but there is a trolley case available, which I didn't buy as I dont' intend to take my Go out of the house often. If I did I'd probably use the exhisting sm trolleycase I have and pad it out with a quilt so the unit didn't tip over inside.

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Quilting up a storm
Bernina Girl, in possession of a small herd...

happiness5
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Date: 6/25/11 6:54 AM

My only experience with the go cutter was bad! I was taking a class and the instructor cut my fabric in it to show us how easy it is, but my fabric ended up a bit wavy and it made stitching it really hard. Plus she had to hold the fabric in place while I cranked the cutter and it did not go smoothly. I think she put 3 layers of fabric in at once. Now I don't think I would ever get the go cutter because of that incident. I'm not sure why everyone else seems to love them and my experience was awful.

Vireya
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Date: 6/25/11 6:08 PM

I haven't been able to see the point of the thing yet. I rarely want a whole lot of fancy shapes all the same size. Perhaps if you did there might be some point. But I've never thought that the way I cut things now is too laborious and wished someone would invent something to make it easier...

I also wonder if by the time you have cut the fabric to fit in the machine, couldn't you have just cut the shape? And is there heaps of wastage?

iSewQuiltArt
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Date: 6/25/11 7:44 PM

Vireya I put a lot of research and thought into my decision to buy. I talked with people I know who already owned the units overseas and asked alot of questions because I didn't want to buy it and then find it wasn't as good as its cracked up to be, or that I wasn't using it much. It certainly wasn't an impulsive choice to buy it.
I have found that there is little wastage when you don't allow alot of overlap at the die edges.
At first I allowed more than I needed as I was learning, but have got good and have less than 1/8 overhang most of the time now.
I think with rotary cutting you often have to straighten up the cutting edge after every few cuts both when cutting strips and when cutting shapes from strips, so a small amount of wastage is inevitable. We never use every bit of fabric even when rotary cutting there are often bits left at the end of a row or odd shaped pieces and I think this is just part of patchwork or applique. And there are ways to use even those bits, like applique or crumb piecing.

When cutting scraps it comes into its own. Think about a square-you have to make four cuts with a rotary cutter, around all four edges. Even if you stack 4-6 layers high, you are still cutting only one square at a time and have to repeat the labour and time for each stack of squares. With the Go I overlap my scraps, I cut 2-3 layers high (becuase of the overlap scraps there are actually 6 layers over the blade) but my die has 6 squares on it so with each crank of the handle I can cut 12-18 squares in the same time and much less effort than it takes me to cut a single stack of scrappy square with the rotary cutter. The multiple dies really speed things up- the more shapes per die the faster you are cutting. And because I cut alot - frequently, physically I am finding the Go is less tiring on my hands and arms.

Some shapes are hard to cut with the rotary cutter, even with acrylic templates. I thought the acrylic templates were great until I got the Go and now I am wishing my acrylic templates were all dies as well, because there is no sliding around that can happen and less shifting of layers. The other thing is that even the best templates have engineered corners, that you have to cut off with the rotary cutter as well, which make lining the patches up easy but adds time and effort to cut. Alot more cuttting usually as there are two edges per point on the templates I own. Add that to the longer sides for whatever shape and multiply by the number of points on the shape...its quite alot of cutting.

If you don't do alot of cutting or make alot of quilts you might find it harder to justify the advantages of the Go. Because I sew nearly every day I have added the Go into my other cutting methods. Not everything I make can be Go cut, but where it can and I have the die at present for the shape I need, I use it. I see it as a compliment to my acrylic templates, to my various rulers and to my scissors. I doubt it will ever totally replace those things.
Maybe its abit like how some people still hold out to make quilts by cutting with scissors and hand piecing just because that's always how its been done in the past, and take almost a sense of pride in the labour intensive requirements of those methods. When the treadle was introduced and hand cranks too, there would have been people who objected to the cost of them and couldn't see the point of those tools, considering they were not worth the investment, but they were adopted by many and have changed the face of sewing as a result of what they bring to our art. Sure you can still hand piece and you have the choice to do that. I think the Go is abit like that- its there for those who choose it and has changed the way cutting works when there is a die for the shape needed. It won't replace all cutting needs until there is a die for every shape you should ever want to cut, but it really does reduce repetitive labour when cutting and improves the accuracy of cutting for the shapes for which there are currently dies.

Happiness, I can only think the problems you had might have been specific to that fabric you used. If it had more stretch in it than other fabrics the other students were using that might have caused issues. You could try spray starching it to make it stiffer and less likely to stretch when cutting. How you position the fabric could make a difference too, if you feed it with the lengthwise grain running straight through the cutter along the die's length, perhaps there could be less problem than if you fed it with the crosswise fabric running straight through lengthwise- if you had a flimsier fabric, fewer layers and cut that way it might stretch more. Did you cut multiple layers or only one? They say you get better cuts with multiple layers because there is more pressure on the mat going through the rollers with a higher stack of fabric, with only one or two layers there is less pressure involved.
I also noticed on the instructions that come with the Go they suggest placing a piece of paper on top of the fabric before adding the mat and that this can control difficult fabrics and prevent distortion of it when cutting- it doesn't damage the cutter. I haven' t had to do this ever yet but it might depend on your fabrics.

The other thing that I appreciate because my wrists that have suffered at the hands of too many baby nappies and constant lifting of babies (we had twins and tendinitis developed that still flares up now and then years after kids are out of nappies) is that I can Go cut with less effort. I can't rotary cut for all that long before my wrists get sore - and more recently I injured one shoulder so I can't rotary cut as I can't put enough pressure on it yet to hold the ruler still...but I can Go cut- even though the rest of me feels like I am falling apart at the seams, lol! I've been told its going to be months for the injury to heal up fully so am I ever glad I bought the Go or I'd be teaching my husband how to rotary cut, lol!!

I think for anyone with hand or other body physical limitation issues might save their sanity, I have a friend with suspected MS who can't safely cut with a rotary cutter because of the numbness in her hands, she has no idea how hard she is pushing and has problems holding the cutter on her worse days, but can manage the Go so it means she can still sew. There are probably lots of people who could benefit especially as they age.

------
Quilting up a storm
Bernina Girl, in possession of a small herd...

sew cool sew creative

sew cool sew creative
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In reply to iSewQuiltArt


Date: 6/26/11 6:24 AM

Where did you get your Accugo cutter from?
Do you have any recommendations on which store I should go to?
-- Edited on 6/26/11 6:25 AM --

happiness5
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In reply to sew cool sew creative


Date: 6/26/11 7:06 AM

Quote: sew cool sew creative
Where did you get your Accugo cutter from?

Do you have any recommendations on which store I should go to?
-- Edited on 6/26/11 6:25 AM --

I've seen them go on sale at JoAnne Fabrics a few times so you may want to wait and watch for a sale. Otherwise, I think they are priced pretty much the same everywhere.

Good luck with your purchase. I think my experience may have been due to the class instructor not really knowing how to work the cutter. I had good cotton fabric, the same texture and weight as I use for most other projects, but the fact that it took two of us to crank the machine seems odd in light of the fact that people who can't manage the rotary cutter can use the go cutter with ease. Maybe I need to see it in action again and will get a better impression of it.
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