I really like my Accuquilt GO, but must admit it is a very expensive tool. For that reason, it has to be absolutely as versatile as my rotary cutter has been all these years. And I want it to replace my rotary cutter so that my rotary cutter is to my GO the way my scissors are to my rotary cutter now. This requires some innovative thinking on my part, and collaboration with all you other quilters out there so the folks at Accuquilt can take this to the next level. I’d love to hear your ideas either here or on the Accuquilt Facebook page.
Wish list for what I want from my GO system:
1. I need it to be able to do more than simply cut single pieces that can be stitched together into a quilt. I need it to be able to make any shape I want for any block I decide to make. For it to do this, I have to not only cut the single piece, but I have to stitch and re-cut the stitched pieces into the next shape.
2. I need it to stand alone. The tool itself is big and the dies are big, so I don’t want to have a table for it and another table for a rotary cutter. (Also very important for quilters with limited mobility). This means a need for some utility dies, e.g.,
- a gridded die with a single blade down the middle so I can recut things after I stitch them. This die would be long like the strip cutters so I could lay several blocks on it at a time.
- dies for squaring blocks – I’d redesign the GO (that’s pie in the sky I know) and make it just a couple inches wider – still portable, but able to square a 9 inch finished block.
So, that’s my wish list for now.
Tips for streamlining cutting with the GO:
1. Did you know that you can use the Accuquilt GO mats for cutting with a rotary cutter? They have a great straight edge. So, if you’ve got a large piece of fabric that needs to be pre-cut a bit, just use the mat to cut and then you don’t have to get out a ruler.
Note: I use Polar Notions fabric storage sheets because they are the best!
2. If you’re going to use your GO mat to rotary cut, why not mark a line on it with a permanent Sharpie, so you know how wide your cut needs to be to just fit over the die.
3. If your die needs to go into the roller in a specific direction (never send a straight edge going under the roller), mark an arrow on the die. Yesterday, I sent my Tumbler die into the roller the wrong way and cracked a mat so that was an expensive lesson.
4. Because you should send the dies through the roller from both directions, develop a system so you know which way the die went through last when you’re cutting a lot of pieces. The way I do it, is that I flip the mat and die sandwich upside down on the side that I started the cut, and lay the die back down on the side where it should start the next time. Then I take my cut pieces from the mat on one side and arrange my fabric for the next cut on the die on the other side.
5. Did you know that the die rack also works for plexiglass ruler and templates – both rotary cutting and longarm templates? I use two racks for my strip cutters, although one will work. (Note: You can use a pot lid rack too, but the dies will fall through the bottom because lid racks are designed for round things and dies are square. And a GO rack costs the same as a pot lid rack)
6. If you label all four sides of your die, then you won’t have to worry about putting them back into the rack with the label on top – you’ll always know which die is which.
7. Remember when you finish your cut to flip the die/fabric/mat sandwich upside down. All the fabric will stay on the mat and makes it easier to remove your cut fabric.
8. If static electricity is a problem, run a dryer sheet through with your fabric. I use the non-fragrance type.