Have you wondered whether or not a fabric cutter machine would be something worthwhile to have? I think it really depends on how much quilting and fabric cutting you do. Anyone that knows me, knows that I seem to have an addiction for batiks and AccuQuilt dies!
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I have been using the AccuQuilt GO! fabric cutters for over 8 years and still love them. The first one was the AccuQuilt GO! Baby. The very first die I bought was the 3" Half Square Triangle die and it is still one of my favorites, I also purchased a couple applique dies including the feather die.
It didn't take me long to realize that I was limited on which dies I could use in the GO! Baby. You can't use anything bigger than a 6" die. One of my first quilt projects was the HST Pillow tutorial. I use HST blocks (half square triangles) in almost all of my quilt projects, if you use them then you'll love the AccuQuilt dies as they have dog-eared corners so there is nothing to trim off after you sew your blocks together.
Before too long I found a used AccuQuilt GO! cutter on ebay and bought it. I still have it and it works perfectly. I had turned one of our spare bedrooms into a quilt studio. It wasn't a fancy room and I believe at this time I had to put my AccuQuilt cutter away after each use.
I started sharing tutorials on my blog using the AccuQuilt dies and then I would share the photos on AccuQuilt's Sew and Tell section. Eventually I was fortunate enough to be asked if I would like to write tutorials for them and I started receiving dies for the projects.
When AccuQuilt came out with the AccuQuilt GO! Big Electric Fabric Cutter they sent me one. You can see it here set up on a couple of my Algot storage shelves from IKEA. I always have this setup and ready to use.
How to choose which one to buy
- Once you have decided that an AccuQuilt Fabric cutter is for you, you need to decide which one works for you. If you have the room and plan on making a lot of quilts, then purchasing the GO! Big Electric cutter would be the right choice and it will cut all of the dies.
- Looking for something to take to retreats? Then the AccuQuilt GO! cutter that is manual would be a good choice.
- I would only buy the GO! Me if I just wanted to cut some small shapes and appliques. This would make a great gift for teens or someone just getting started with quilting.
Which dies to buy
Choosing which dies to buy can be tough! We quilters have a tendency to want one of everything! Think about how you will use your fabric cutter, dies are expensive.
- Qubes - if you are just starting out, the Qubes are a great way to go. There are now five different sizes so you can make six inch, eight inch, nine inch, ten inch and twelve inch blocks.
- Geometic shapes - half square triangles and triangles in a square are shapes I don't like rotary cutting so I feel these are a must.
- Applique - circles, feathers and flowers are some of my favorites, you have to decide how often you will use it.
- Custom dies - did you know that AccuQuilt will create a custom die for you?
How many times do you think you will use the die? Will you make more than one quilt?
The GO! 10" Pineapple die makes a complex block easy to make. I designed this wall hanging for AccuQuilt and have used this die several other times. You can download the Firey Pineapple wall hanging for free.
AccuQuilt continuously comes out with new dies, many of them are limited edition dies. There are also 5 different sizes of the Qube dies.
Pros & Cons of the AccuQuilt Fabric Cutter
- Fast and easy to use
- The electric cutter is great for people with arthritis in their hands
- Excellent free videos and tutorials on AccuQuilt's website
- Solid construction
- Minimiz hand, arm and back strain
- A hug variety of dies
- Mats will have to be replaced (mine last a long time)
- Make sure any die you buy will work in the cutting machine you have
- Can't use the dies in other cutting systems - Sizzix, Cricut, etc.
AccuQuilt Die Cutting Machines
AccuQuilt has started selling the die cutters as starter sets which means each come with dies, a mat and a pattern book. You'll be ready to start cutting immediately!
GO! Me Easy Fabric Project Maker
The GO! Baby is now called the GO! Me Easy Fabric Project Maker and comes with the GO! Owl die, an accessory die, a 6 inch cutting mat, and a fabric and thread kit so you can start on your first project right away.
There are also 8 patterns with easy instructions included.
This is AccuQuilt's smallest die cutter and weighs only eight pounds. It is a manual cutting machine with a small handle to crank the dies through the machine.
Please note that the GO! Baby can only use 6" dies. If you like working on small projects, don't have a lot of space or want something that is portable, then this might be the one for you.
You can use the AccuQuilt GO! Qube Mix & Match 6" Block sets and many other dies with the GO! Me cutting machine.
AccuQuilt GO! Fabric Cutter
This is a manual cutting machine and all of the AccuQuilt dies can be used in it. It weighs 15 pounds and can be portable.
There are four different options for buying this cutting system.
The new GO! Fabric Cutter Starter Set includes:
- GO! Fabric cutter
- GO! value died (55018)
- 6" x 12" cutting mat
- die pick
- FREE 20-page pattern booklet which includes 12 block patterns and a sampler quilt pattern, so you can start creating right away.
The Ready, Set, GO! Ultimate Fabric Cutting system is probably the best one to buy if you want to be able to use all of the dies and don't care if you have an electric cutting machine. This system includes:
- AccuQuilt GO! Fabric cutter
- GO! Qube 8" set of 8 dies
- GO! Strip Cutter - for 2½" strips (2" finished)
- GO! Cutting Mats: 6"x 6" and 10" x 24"
- GO! Qube Book by Eleanor Burns
- Die Pick
- Over 70 free patterns
AccuQuilt GO! Big Electric Fabric Cutter
The GO! Big Electric Fabric Cutter is my favorite. This is compatible with all the dies including the new 14" x 16" GO! Big dies. It weighs 23 pounds and is still portable. If you have arthritis or have problems with hand movement then this is the one for you. It is so simple to use.
- Cuts two 6" wide dies side by side at the press of a button!
- Electric function maximizes efficiency and alleviates hand and arm strain
- Compatible with all GO! dies including New 14" x 16" GO! Big Dies.
- Accurately cuts up to 6 layers of fabric at a time
There are a variety of different packages that you can choose from with the AccuQuilt GO! electric fabric cutter. Take a look at all of the different options.
Studio 2 Cutter
The Studio 2 Cutter is great for quilt shops, guilds, retreats or anyone who cuts kits or lots of quilts. It is AccuQuilt's commercial grade cutter and you can cut up to ten layers of fabric with it. It is heavy weighing in at 32 pounds so you'll want a dedicated space for it. If not, it will fold up.
The Studio dies ONLY work with the Studio cutting machine. These dies have a sturdier 1" blade while the AccuQuilt GO! blades are ½". You can use all of your GO! dies as long as you use the GO! die adapter. Having a dedicated space makes this much easier to use.
- Many times you'll hear people talk about wasting fabric when using a fabric cutter but I don't agree.
- I usually cut my fabric ½" wider than the die I am going to use to give me about ¼" on each side of the die.
Which way to cut your fabric
- Are you wondering if you should cut your fabric lengthwise grain or crosswise grain? Ebony Love has a wonderful article that will help you decide which way to cut fabric. This is helpful whether you are cutting with dies or rotary cutting.
- Like most people I usually will cut crosswise grain. The important thing to remember when using the dies is to line up your fabric with the
- If at all possible, place the lengthwise grain on your die so it goes through the die cutter in that direction. Each die comes with directions and cutting tips to help you get perfect cuts.
- Make sure you line your fabric up with the die section - for geometric shapes this will be at a slight angle.
Have you ever thought about buying a AccuQuilt Fabric cutter? I have many tutorials on my website and you will find many that use the AccuQuilt dies.
If you are looking for some organization ideas for your quilting, be sure and check out my Quilt Studio Organizing post.
New AccuQuilt project
I recently shared a baby quilt that was made with the 8" Qube set.
AccuQuilt Tutorials by me
I have made a ton of blog tutorials using the AccuQuilt dies. Many times I also share rotary cutting directions in case someone doesn't have an AccuQuilt GO! This list is just a few of them.
- Pineapple Table Runner
- Winter Blues Table Runner
- Spring Medley Applique
- Spool Die
- Applique Rosy Pillow
- Tree Owl Pillow
- Kite Table Runner
- Sun Flower Table Runner
- Maple Leaf Centerpiece
I hope you have enjoyed this review and if you have any questions, be sure and let me know.