Ultimate Buying Guide For Hobbyists And Professional Quilters
Have you ever wondered whether or not a fabric cutter machine would be something worthwhile to poses?
I think that depends on how much quilting and fabric cutting you do.
History of quilting started when a needle has met the thread. Through history, we can see that many of the earliest quilts were made only for comfort or survival (remember them being used as padding under armor?).
Then the Renaissance era came, and people finally start being aware of art, so quilts quickly became an expression of their artistic drive.
We are all familiar with the various quilts that have become famous over time. The slave quilts, the Amish quilts, and the Civil War quilts, and we now work to recreate their styles.
Usually, we don’t realize that with every finished quilt project we do, we create our little history.
Each quilt you make becomes essential because of all the memories that go with it. So when you make a quilt, you are making your family history.
So do you still ask yourself whether buying a fabric cutter machine is worth it?
If your answer is “Yes”, please continue reading my AccuQuilt GO Fabric Cutter review and find out is it the perfect choice for you.
AccuQuilt GO Fabric Cutter: Key Points & Grades
The machine is quite easy and fun to work with, and there are plenty of things to love about this product, so here in this table, I will leave my overall impressions about this product.
|AccuQuilt GO Fabric Cutter Review|
|Value for money||4.5/5|
So if you are interested in finding out why did I evaluate this product as I did continue with reading my review.
What Comes In The Box?
- Product dimension when closed: 17x 5x 15 inches
- Product dimension when opened: 5x17x6.4 inches
- Weight: 5 pounds (8.7 kg)
- The Go! Fabric Cutter
- A 6′ x 12″ Cutting Mat - The pack includes a 6′ x 12″ cutting mat.
- The pick - It also includes a handy pick with sharp points on each end to help you pick out any bits or loose threads that get caught in the die.
- The value dies - Also included is a value die that can cut two 2.5″ half-square triangles, a 2.5″ square, and a 4.5″ square.
- The booklet and DVD- You will also find a 20-page pattern booklet that includes 12 block patterns and a sampler quilt pattern and a DVD to help you learn fast how to use this machine.
Putting AccuQuilt GO to The Test
Judge by appearance, the fabric cutter by AccuQuilt Go looks like a cross between an ultramodern typewriter and a utensil salesman display case with a carry handle on top.
The carrying handle is convenient when it is necessary to move it, but it weighs 19.15 pounds. So for the product that is designed to be portable, it might be a bit heavy to move too often.
The product folds down and becomes a flat machine equipped with a cutting system that can simultaneously cut up to 6 layers of fabric per batch. When folded, this machine has a dimension of 30.5x17x6.4 inches, which is not bad because you can fit it on almost all working surface without making it crowded.
AccuQuilt GO cutter will save you a lot of time in measuring and cutting up pieces. Moreover, because of its ergonomically design, you will not get tired of all those manual work.
If you are a beginner and you never used a fabric cutter before I recommend you to watch the DVD that AccuQuilt GO comes. This DVD will help you to get a visual idea of how this machine works. After a few minutes, you will see the cutter is very easy to use and will be confident enough to try cutting quilt fabrics on your own.
The great thing about AccuQuilt GO is that it works without any motor, electricity, batteries or computer. The dies are shaped blades, so when you place the fabric over them and cover the fabric with a cutting mat, the 'sandwich' is rolled through the machine with the help of a handle. Then the rollers push the cutting mat down onto the blades and cut through several layers of fabric in one pass.
The crank and rollers are convenient because they can turn in both ways and you can use either hand. But if you are trying to cut multiple layers of cloth (especially if you are a newbie), it is best to use your dominant hand.
The reason is that the cranking does get a bit harder with additional layers of fabric. Yes, this machine is manual but the crank turns very easily but if you have any kind of shoulder injury make sure you always use fewer layers of fabric.
The mats are essential because they serve as a barrier between the blades and the rollers. You don't want blades to press against the rollers for example, because then you will need to either replace the rollers or dies if the rollers were so hard that they dulled and bent the blades.
Few users complained about how the mats get worn easily and need to be replaced often.
But honestly, this is just the reality of how these machines work and you must be ready to pay some money for a new cutting mat from time to time. The blades will cut into anything that is on their way; the mat is there to protect you and to stabilize the fabric. It keeps everything in place while at the same time, maintain the integrity of the blades.
If those cuts on the mat annoy you I have a pro tip for you:
Flip or turn your mat every time you use it, then the blades will cut a slightly different part each time. And just like that, you will easily prolong your mat life.
The AccuQuilt GO has made several improvements on the cutting system. So if you want to do geometric shapes, there is a 1/4-inch seam allowance included that makes it all easier so you can say goodbye to those stubborn dog-ears. With this new Two-Tone Foam technology, it is easy to align the quilt fabric over the shapes. This way, you have more quilt material per yard and reduce fabric waste at the same time.
You can put dies in the cutter from both left and right side. The dies required a bit more strength to be pushed to start it through, but that should not be a significant problem. As expected, the dies work excellent and will provide clean cuts whenever you need. However, there is a little problem; this cutter only supports and recognize the dies of AccuQuilt making.
The dies are designed in such a way that they are compatible with all types of fabrics. According to the AccuQuilt website, the number of fabric layers the machine can cut through with accuracy depends entirely on the type of material you use.
So, I will leave this list here to help you determine what are your limits when using the AccuQuilt GO Fabric Cutter.
Recommended number of fabric layers:
- Cotton 6
- Cotton with fusible web 4
- Batik 6
- Fleece 1-2
- Flannel 1-2
- Denim 1
- Leather 1
- Wool 2
- Quilt Batting 1-2
- Felt 1-2
- Silk 6
- Satin 6
I love this machine not only because it cuts quickly, but because it's also easy to do it with kids around or they can engage in the process of making quilts without you worrying about their safety as there are no exposed blades. This machine is also quiet so you can use it when you have visitors or in the evening without risking the noise.
But the price of this machine is high so that might be a problem if you are on the budget, but I can guarantee you will get a great product for your money value.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to operate this fabric cutting system:
Step 1 - First, you need to open the machine and lay it flat on the working surface. The cutting mechanism is at one end, and the rest forms a work space large enough to fit your fabrics on the die easily.
Step 2 - Put the fabrics on the die and always make sure that you layer the dies with the foam-side up to the fabric and the cutting mat. This machine can cut up to two 6-inch dies in one pass and without sacrificing accuracy.
Step 3 - Then slowly start rotating the crank and push the die, mat, and fabric along with the roller and support the motion using the hand crank. Make sure to go very slowly at first to minimize any cutting errors.
Step 4 - Remove the mat, and there you go the perfectly cut fabric for your quilting purposes is ready. Repeat this process as many times you for your quilting project.
The varieties of the projects you can do with this cutter are impressive. All you need to do is purchase some additional cutting dies you can find on the market, and you are ready to make some fantastic pieces of art.
These cutting dies come in a variety of shapes and sizes allowing you to make. Circles, squares, triangles, hexagons, flowers, strips, and more will let you create some fun and unique designs. With every die set, you will get a free project/idea sheet.
I already mentioned that cutting mat will need replacement after some time. You can buy them in 3 different sizes: 10x24 inches, 6x12 inches and 5x10 inches. These cutting mats are compatible with AccuQuilt Go! Fabric Cutter as well with Go! Baby Cutter.
To Sum it All up…
- This product features quality and solid construction
- The fabric cutter is very fun and easy to use
- Cut easily through 6 layers of fabric in one pass
- Plenty of dies
- Ergonomically designed crank help to reduce fatigue
- Comes with a DVD and a booklet with instructions and 20 patterns
- Crank and roller work both ways and can be used with both hands
- The crank is very easy to turn
- Feature Two-Tone Foam technology to help you reduce fabric waste
- This fabric cutter is expensive
- For a product that is designed to be portable, it is quite heavy
- Cutting mats wear off easily so you may consider purchasing more
- The machine is only compatible with AccuQuilt dies
AccuQuilt GO! Review - Final Thoughts
Before I decide to buy any product, I always first ask myself what my needs are and what is the way I would prefer to use the product. In many cases, my needs and the purpose of the product are entirely different.
If you ask me if I think that AccuQuilt GO is an essential gadget, I don't think I would ever answer with a hearty “Yes” to that question.
This is a specific type of machine, and it is quite expensive - so, I certainly wouldn't advise anyone to spend this amount of money on a product they might not use often.
The machine is the perfect starter product for someone who is doing the quilting for some time now and was always wanted to own a fabric cutter machine.
If you are a professional quilter, this is the right investment for you because it is portable, effortless to use, and very accurate. The AccuQuilt GO will help you express your creativity and to develop more pattern ideas.
I hope this review helped you to understand how this machine works and what purpose it serves.
If any of the cons I specify in this article discourage you from purchasing this fabric cutter, let me assure you that they aren't deal-breakers. Those are just some small obstacles on which you will need to work along the way.