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When I first saw folks talk about the Accuquilt line of products online a few months ago, I was curious. How could you speed up your fabric cutting? How much easier could it be? When I was sent a Go! Baby machine to review, I decided to put it to the test against my trusty Olfa rotary cutter.


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The Go! Baby claims it’s 90 percent faster than traditional rotary cutting. For this test, I decided to cut 30 23″ strips to make one crib-size quilt top. I cut the same amount of strips for each technique.
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For the educators out there, the Go! Baby is just like an Ellison machine. The dies cut when pressure is pressed upon them, but unlike an Ellison, the Go! Baby cuts when the die is rolled across the machine. You apply a little a bit of pressure to get it going and then the turning of the hand crank moves it across the machine. It’s easy to use.
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Before I share the experiment results, here’s how the machine works.
These are the dies I was sent – a basic strip and squares.
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When you use the dies, you place a hard plastic cover on die as it goes under the pressure point.
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Fabric on the die before the plastic over.
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The Results
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It took me 29 minutes to rotary cut all my pieces for the first quilt. It took me about 35 minutes to use the Go! Baby machine to cut the second set of fabric. All in all, not that significant of a difference. With the basic geometric shapes, I’d say stick to rotary cutting. However, I can the Go! machines being a big time saver for unique shapes, such as hearts and stars, for applique projects.
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One thing that confused me was to why some of the dies kept the pieces still connected to the fabric once it had been cut. There’s an explanation in the die directions, but I still didn’t understand. This added more time to my cutting after I ran the fabric through the machine.
Consensus?
If you’re not a fan of rotary cutting or you do a lot of applique projects, give this machine a try. However, if you think rotary cutting is ok, just stick to the basics.
And it wouldn’t be a big post from me if my cat didn’t want to get involved…
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Comments

  1. cathy kasdan says:

    Freaking expensive!! And it takes away from the whole craft of quilting.

  2. Rachel says:

    Now, I have to agree with your assessment of it as a strip or straight-sided shape cutter. I found the dies to be positioned in such as way as to leave entirely too much waste for my taste. After all, part of quilting is trying to use every “scrap”, right?
    However, I have had several projects that required appliques that would have been a lot of hand cramping, back torturing work without that little device. I have found it very valuable for that. I know, many will say that they can run fabric through their own die cutters but they don’t realize that this baby will take 8 layers at a time. Also, the blades are made for fabric where most dies are just not.
    I’m glad I have mine but really glad I did not go for the bigger and much more expensive model.

  3. DK says:

    For $140, I’ll still be sticking to rotary and hand cutting. Even for the ‘weird’ shapes.

  4. tingtingmamma says:

    Thanks for the review. I’ve always been curious about how well this little guy works. I actually saw the price went down to around $70 once at Amazon, but did not have the guts to invest in this product when I could hand cut the fabrics myself. Besides, I question the waste of fabric when using these type of machine. Anyway, great review. Helps me a lot to say “no, thanks”.

  5. maya says:

    Having worked at a craft store and done the demo for the original Accuquilt I can tell you why the fabric is still joined together.
    Basically, this machine will allow you to cut up to six layers of fabric at a time (depending on type and thickness etc. Obviously, cotton quilting fabrics are the best for multiple layers.) With the strip dies, one side is left open ended so that you can layer the fabric in such a way that you get a strip 2-6 times longer. If you don’t want to have to cut the fabric you would want to lay the fabric so that the edge is even with the end of the strip.
    The reason they say the cutting time is 90 percent faster is for the same reason. Instead of cutting 6 squares perfectly at 5 minutes a piece you can have 6 perfectly cut squares in one turn.
    While I agree the price is really prohibitive (especially for the original at 349 retail and the baby at 139) I definitely see the benefits and downfalls. I one day want to find the courage to quilt but a big part of what I fear is the tediousness of cutting. I enjoy the sewing more than cutting so this can cut down on the time and many mistakes that I would make through impatience. However, like it was mentioned, there can be a lot of wasted fabric in the process.
    Sorry to be so wordy, I do that sometimes.

  6. Audrey Keglovitz says:

    I bought the studio cutter and LOVE it. I use it for applique and fabric flowers, not quilting. It has saved me so much time and has allowed my business to grow. The flowers I make have 12 layers for each one and would take me 15 mins to cut. Now I can cut 100 layers in that time. I went from selling 10-20 flowers a week to selling 50-75 flowers a week. I’ve already made my money back and then some.

  7. amy dame says:

    i took a class earlier this year specifically to have the opportunity to try the go! baby, and honestly, i wasn’t super impressed. it wasted A LOT of fabric! after the class, i realized that instructions for the exact same project were on the accuquilt website (is it even cool for an instructor to teach their patterns? i don’t know!), and the sizes that they say to precut your fabric would reduce the waste, but wouldn’t reduce it entirely.
    i also had problems with my fabric not cutting, even with just one or two layers. the blade didn’t seem sharp enough, so the corners of the diamonds were being pressed into the die and getting stuck, and when you tugged them out, it pulled the threads of the fabric. that wouldn’t be as much of an issue with regular squares or rectangles, but all of my edges were bias, so they didn’t stay in shape after the tugging. i realized after the fact that the issue might have been more with the instructor’s care of her equipment, maybe that was why the threads were getting caught. either way, it showed that the system is far from perfect.
    that being said, i haven’t written it off entirely. i’d like to try using it again, but i can’t justify the expense if i don’t know if i’ll like it. i’d take another class, but the only person teaching classes with it in my area is the same woman i took the first class with, and i wasn’t super impressed. i think the go! baby would be really awesome for cutting hexies, and cutting triangles with the corners pre-trimmed, and i can see how it’s useful for people who do applique in traditional designs. it’s something that i’ll put on my wish list, but unless something unexpected happens…

  8. Lish Dorset says:

    Hi Amy – I didn’t know they offered classes! What kind of skills did they teach you with the machine?

  9. Lish Dorset says:

    Audrey – I had a feeling the machine would be handy for applique. Do you have pictures of your flowers?

  10. Lish Dorset says:

    Maya – Aha! Thank you for explaining why the fabric is still joined together!

  11. Lish Dorset says:

    TingTingMama – Glad it was helpful!

  12. Lish Dorset says:

    DK – I think I’m sticking to rotary cutting, too.

  13. Lish Dorset says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more, Rachel. For folks who applique frequently and would like to save time, the Baby is definitely the way to go – much more economical than the bigger machine.

  14. Lish Dorset says:

    Cathy – Yep, I really like rotary cutting – it makes me feel like I’ve contributed to every part of the quilt by hand.

  15. Heather says:

    This is a great gift idea for my 90 year old, hard to shop for, quilt-making crazy grandma! She can’t cut for long so she has cut back on her quilt making, this will put her back in the swing of things!

  16. Betty Lewis says:

    I have been curious about this as I have a birthday coming up. I was in a fabric shop this weekend and spotted one on the floor. I asked where I could find one and the shop owner said she would not sell them because they are not accurate. She got it out and cut several 5″ squares putting the fabric in several different ways. It was consistantly an eighth of an inch off. I can do that well with a rotary cutter. Guess I will pick something else for my birthday.

  17. Susan Ayers says:

    I absolutely LOVE this machine.. my mother has the next size up, the GO.. We both have had a ball using this and it doesn’t waste fabric like other says.. It is all in how you place your fabric as to what is wasted.. I cannot even make a scrap quilt out of the pieces I have left over lol…
    Easy to use and the dies are not expensive.. my only complaint is that the largest square I can cut is a 5″.. so I send the big cuts to my mother and she sends me her small ones lol…

  18. Lish Dorset says:

    Thanks for the feedback, Susan!

  19. Jodi Anderson says:

    Thanks everyone for your comments. I was thinking of getting the “Baby”. I only cut squares for my quilts. I was hoping this might be easier then my rotary. I’ve recently been diagnosed with MS. So, the shakes make it hard to use my rotary. I’ll have to see if my fabric store has one on display to try.
    Thanks, you all have given me some things to think about some more!
    Jodi

  20. Gramma Teen says:

    I’ve read all the comments, but I’m still wondering about the relative merits of the various models. Some are quite expensive. I wonder if I could “make do” with the smaller model, I guess the Baby Go. BTW, I’m pretty new to quilting, but I have granddaughters for whom I’d like to make dresses with appliqués, as well as quilts. Is the Baby Go adaptable? Thanks

  21. Gramma Teen says:

    I’ve read all the comments, but I’m still wondering about the relative merits of the various models. Some are quite expensive. I wonder if I could “make do” with the smaller model, I guess the Baby Go. BTW, I’m pretty new to quilting, but I have granddaughters for whom I’d like to make dresses with appliqués, as well as quilts. Is the Baby Go adaptable? Thanks

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