Sunday, October 10, 2010

Go! in strips and rags

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The final installment of my Go! mini reviews, before the giveaway (sorry, I'm a day behind)...

In case you've missed anything:
- A few notes on using the die that comes with the cutter
- "Rob Peter to Pay Paul" (you know, I have a minor in Biblical studies, and I still don't know the origins of this expression)

Please leave your Go! related questions in the comments, and I will address them with the giveaway.  I am waiting on an answer for a couple questions I had myself (I sent Friday, so I expect to hear back tomorrow).


I have the 2 1/2" Strip cutter, (there are other strip cutter options; this one is apparently the most popular though).

First, the technical stuff:

It cuts three strips wide, up to six layers of fabric at a time.  If you're cutting with the width of fabric, you can get nine 2 1/2" strips each rotation.  



This die is nice and long, and does allow you to get the full length of fabric folded in half (or one fat quarter) on there, even without cutting off the selvage edge (though a couple times I did miss part and ended up with this effect).  

trying out the strip cutter

Not a big deal really, and easily fixed with a quick snip.

It does cut beautifully even strips which I used in this little custom quilt I'm working on, but I still wasn't sold on it.


I have this stack of fabric which will be turning in to a Christmas gift.


I plan to use one of the designs from Camille's new book that calls for 2 1/2" strips.  

So I pulled out my cutter again.

Sure, it cuts great strips, but *meh*

Now here's what I like about this die:
  • accommodates the full length of fabric
  • beautiful, even cuts
What I don't really like:
  • I found it much more difficult to crank through than the other dies
  • If you don't have your fabric cut to the right size before hand, you can get more waste than I like (there is 7 1/2" of usable fabric there when done)
  • I got some creases in my strips that weren't there when I laid it on the die...because yes, I ironed first.

All in all, I'm not wild about this die, because even though it works, it doesn't seem to save me much time.  My ruler does slip on occasion, yes, but I can whip out 2 1/2" strips pretty easily.  I think I would love this if it cranked through easier, but I found myself worrying I'd get a sore elbow or wrist.  I went back to my rotary cutter for the rest of the cutting for this quilt.  I wish I had this die instead.


The last die I have used is the Rag Quilt in the 8 1/2" size (the blocks finish at 6 1/2")

This is part of the stack of fabrics getting ragged up as a gift.  You see, rag quilts aren't really my thing, and neither are these colors... but alas, that's what love is all about... sewing with what feels like men's leisure suits, if the heart of the recipient so desires.

These are actually very nice wools from Moda and Benartex...not men's leisure suits.

Here are some of our completed squares.  :)

I apologize I don't have any actions shots of this, but here's my quick review:

What I like about this die:
  • It will save me from a carpal tunnel flare up (I'm not lying)
  • It fringes even this very heavy, thick fabric well
What I don't like about this die:

  • We had some trouble with the wool getting caught in the blade intersections.  It was hard to pick out even with the pick the cutter comes with (I don't think other fabrics would have had this reaction to the same degree, but I apologize I didn't try any others out).

  • The little tiny blades were popping up after a few cuts.  My sister-in-law actually cut her finger brushing the die off, because the blades were higher than the surface of the foam.  They popped back down if I pressed on them with my scissors (not my nice scissors; don't worry), but it was odd.  (This is one of the questions I am waiting to hear back on).
My personal bottom line:
If you're in to rag quilts -- get this die.  I can only imagine snipping all those shaggy edges.  Yikes, I say.
I'd get the smaller one to go with this if I made rag quilts.

Next Go! post -- a giveaway with Q & A! :)

Thanks for reading!


Mary said...

I have to agree that I'm really disappointed with the strip cutter too. I feel really bad because my mom bought it for me and I know it was expensive, but I'd honestly rather cuts strips with my ruler. I agree with you, I REALLY want the double wedding ring die! I waiting for someone to do a review on it. I've always wanted to make a double wedding ring quilt but just haven't been up for all the cutting and crazy curve sewing!

Bree said...

Thank you for the review on the strip cutter, Tracey. I've been wavering on whether it's worth it or not, and I think I'll skip it - I can whip out 2.5" strips with a regular rotary set in no time. I'll spend my moolah on some of those cute appliques - like that gingham dog they just released!

Regina said...

Thanks for your post Tracey. You answered a some questions I had about it.

And um...I know I'm slacking. I'll take a pic of my quilt along progress soon.

Sarah Craig said...

Hi, Tracey! I'm glad to see a review that isn't overwhelmingly positive - it seems more realistic! I have a feeling that I would be more likely to get dies for difficult-to-cut stuff, like drunkard's path or tumblers - strips are so easy! Thanks for sharing your honest opinion!

Poppyprint said...

Honesty is the best policy, Tracey, thanks for that! I would revise my die request if I won the 3 free ones because I thought I wanted the 2.5" one for cutting my own jelly rolls, but you're right; you have to prepare the fabric anyway and it's likely just as quick to use your rotary/ruler.

Lovie said...

I don't care for the strip cutter to cut strips, like jelly rolls. However, I do like to place my charm squares down the length of the die, and have instant pieces for pairing up for 4-patches. The 1 1/2 inch die is perfect for use with charms to go in 9-patches. Also works great for my scraps - I do the "Bonnie Hunter" quilts that often use different lengths of strips. So don't give up on the die.

Katie B. said...

Thanks for your thorough review! It sounds like the Go! is most beneficial for the more difficult pieces. For simple shapes, the rotary cutter might still be the best option!

P.S. LOVE your Rob Peter to Pay Paul quilt. How are you going to quilt it?

pinksuedeshoe said...

I made a rag quilt once... and then I made another. And then I stopped doing every conceivable thing with my right hand for weeks! And as a result I have no plans to ever make a rag quilt ever again in my whole long life, Go! or no.

SteffiD said...

I had thought that I wanted the strip cutter SO STINKIN' BAD, but after a few not-so-fantastic reviews of the cutter, I don't think it's on my wishlist anymore. Not to mention I don't think it'd be easy to use on Bias, anyways. Bah humbug (in the smiliest sense possible)

Mama Pea said...

I like how you give us the "like" and "dislike" with each post, true to your typical form. It is really great to hear both the benefits and issues. Thanks!

AllieKatMom said...

Ok, so overall you like it? Or no? I mean I really really want one but I cant really spend my money on one unless its worth it. They are too expensive plus the dies are super expensive on top of it! But the little Go only does so many and I really want more options.

I still really really want one though.

Kristen said...

I see how it would work for really hard to cut shapes and projects that need repetition. The cute dies are also a seller. Something to think about.

Thanks for the honesty in your review!

Stray Stitches said...

Thanks of the info on the different dies. I was hoping for a better review on the 2 1/2" die but at least now I am warned.

Marcia said...

Thank you for providing honest pros and cons about the GO! It will keep us from being disappointed when make the leap to buy (or win) one.


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