Have I mentioned how much I hate cutting fabric?
Well I do, and I’m not very accurate at it either.
My Queen Sized Quilt As you Go quilt that I made recently was probably the worst I have felt cutting fabric for a long time though.
It had multiple sizes of fabric pieces that I needed to cut 320 each of!! My hand was hurting by the end of it, I was bored and some of my cutting was less than precise.
Researching Fabric Cutters
So being me instead of taking the cutting slowly, I powered through it all and then spent ages online googling fabric cutters so I’d never have to suffer like that again!
I ended up purchasing a secondhand AccuQuilt Go! Cutter off ebay (I know I am addicted to ebay) and I actually liked it so much that I also bought some fabric cutting dies for the machine new from the AccuQuilt website and a few other places.
Below is my honest review of my AccuQuilt Go! Cutter and a run through of the fabric cutting dies I purchased.
I also now have the AccuQuilt Baby Cutter so I’ll talk about that a bit too.
Accuquilt Discount Codes
I have signed up as an affiliate for Accuquilt which means that if you make a purchase from them through any of my links I will get paid a small commission for referring you to them but the cost stays the same for you.
I also have access to Accquilt discount codes from time to time too so if you join my newsletter below I’ll make sure you get all the codes!
I used one of these codes to get a lot of new dies at 30% off and a free Accuquilt Go! Me Cutter (see below for more on that – that’s the one that used to be called the Accuquilt baby cutter).
How does the Fabric Cutter work?
Before I go through what I like and don’t like about the AccuQuilt Go! I feel like I should quickly explain what it is and how it works if you’ve never heard of it before.
Essentially the ‘cutter’ folds open on to your table and you feed fabric cutting dies through it and turn a lever to push them through and cut your fabric.
The aren’t actually any blades in the AccuQuiltGo! cutter itself though – the blades are in the cutting dies which are essentially boards with cutting blades and foam in them.
The blades are placed differently to cut different shapes and sizes so you need to purchase the dies for the shapes you want to cut.
The ‘cutter’ is just asserting pressure on the blades in the dies to help it to cut through your fabric.
You can cut up to 6 layers of quilting cotton on any AccuQuilt die put you can also cut other fabrics like denim and leather (but not 6 layers of them!).
And in case you were wondering the 1/4″ seam allowance is built into all of the dies. So when you look at the label for different fabric cutting dies it will tell you the cut size and the finished size with that 1/4″ seam.
What is the difference between the fabric cutters?
The AccuQuilt Go! & Go! Me Cutters operate with a hand crank but you don’t need any strength to use it, it turns easily.
- The AccuQuilt Go! is bigger and can take the strip dies and other larger dies – this one is kind of the standard cutter – their bestseller essentially.
- The AccuQuilt Go! Me is the smaller more portable version (used to be called baby cutter I think). It doesn’t take some of the bigger dies but it can still cut a lot of shapes for quilt blocks.
- The AccuQuilt Go! Big is an electric cutter that doesn’t require you to turn a lever. As the name suggests it is bigger and also costs more.
- There is also an AccuQuilt Studio model is designed more for fabric stores and business settings (or really hard core quilters!) and it cuts up to 10 layers of fabric at a time.
AccuQuilt Ready. Set. Go! Starter Set
Essentially what I bought first was a secondhand Accuquilt Go! Starter Set with a few added extras.
It came with:
- Accuquilt Go! Cutter
- Go! Cube 8″ Mix & Match Block
- Go! Cube Mix & Match 8″ Companion Set (they may have changed the name of this as I couldn’t find it on the website)
- Circle Die (2″, 3″, 5″ Circles)
- 12″ x 6″ Cutting Mat
- 2″ Strip Cutter Die
- 1.5″ Strip Cutter Die
- 24″ x 10″ Cutting Mat
- Quilt in a Day Book by Eleanor Burns
- AccuQuilt Die Pick
- Pattern Book and DVD
I believe the current AccuQuilt Go! Starter Set on the website includes the 8″ Cube Set, the 2.5″ Strip Cutter (which I have now bought separately as it didn’t come with mine) the die pick, the necessary cutting mats, the books, patterns and the DVD.
Video Review & Demonstration – AccuQuilt Go! Cutter
Below is a video demonstration and review from my Youtube channel. You can also read on further below for more detailed thoughts and links to everything I talk about.
Pros & Cons of the AccuQuilt Go! Cutter
More accurate cutting
This was my main motivator for buying this cutter.
I am just not great at cutting straight with a rotary cutter and that has a knock-on effect to how well my blocks come together.
Using the Go! Cutter means I get accurate cuts as well as built in registration points for shapes like clamshells and triangles.
Arguably if you are a confident cutter with a sharp rotary blade you might be able to cut strips and other big shapes faster and through more layers than the cutter but for complicated shapes like hexagons, circles, applique shapes, etc this is definitely faster and I value it for that.
Wide variety of dies available
I like that there are not only the dies for traditional quilt blocks but also for geometric shapes geometric shapes like triangles, circles, hexagons, etc.
This was one of the things I was interested in as previously it has been the tedium and difficulty of cutting out some of those sorts of shapes with acrylic dies that put me off making some of the quilts I would like to try.
You can buy different sizes of hexagon, circle, clamshell and traingle dies which are the sort of quilts on my bucket list for future projects.
The Mix & Match Cube blocks which come in different finished block sizes basically have different dies inside them for cutting half-square triangles, diamonds, parallelograms, a square die, etc. So you can use different combinations of them to make all sorts of well-known traditional blocks or come up with your own modern block design.
Can cut multiple layers
I like that it can cut mulitple layers of fabric. The official AccuQuilt advice is that the GO! fabric cutter machine (and the Go! Me) can cut up to 6 layers of quilting cotton fabric and fewer of thicker fabrics like denim.
Some of the other fabric cutters I looked into could only cut one layer at a time which doesn’t feel like a time savings to me!
Can Cut Long Strips
Some of my favourite dies for my accuquilt cutter are the strip dies.
You can cut long strips by fanfolding your fabric which is great for borders, binding and sashing.
So much easier than the way I use to cut it before – which often ended up a bit off in places if my finger slipped too!
Good for Scraps
I find the cutter useful for my scraps – I can easily cut pieces of fabric even if they are oddly shaped into hexagons, circles for applique or any other size die cutter they can fit on.
I am not generally one for cutting all my scraps up into certain sizes but I do usually have a few quilts I am cutting for at a time and those are the sizes I make a habit of cuttingmy scraps into at any given time.
So the cutter makes that an easy task to do ona regular basis and can cut down on fabric waste.
There are loads of free patterns on the website so you don’t have to pay extra to find a project to make with the dies.
This is really my only con. The intial investment in the cutter is high.
New Go! Cutters are just under $450 (though you can often use a discount code to get it for less as AccuQuilt have several sales throughout the year).
And of course if you want dies that aren’t included in your starter set they are an additional purchase.
I paid £335 (GBP) (approx $460 US for my secondhand GO! Cutter with quite a number of extra dies included). So even secondhand it wasn’t cheap.
So it depends how much of an issue cutting is for you but for me it was worth the price.
This isn’t actually a con for me but it is worth keeping in mind that even though all the cutters come with a plastic carrying handle the GO! and GO! Big electric version are quite heavy.
I know the GO! is 15lbs and the Go! Big is even heavier.
So if you are looking to take your fabric cutter with you to quilting classes or quilting retreats or even just move it around a lot in your own home the smaller baby machine – the Go! Me – would probably be a better fit for you.
The Go! Me is 8.5lbs and it can still handle a lot of the fabric dies especially the ones you would be using for smaller projects or for quilt blocks.
Fabric Cutting Dies I’ve purchased and what I use them for
In addition to the dies that came with the initial set I bought I also purchased these ones:
- 2.5″ Strip Die – I use this to cut strips for quilt binding (you can fan fold your fabric to get really long strips cut on any strip die)
- Equalatrial Triangle & Isocoles Triangle Dies – I have been itching to do triangle quilts for ages!
- Hexagon Die – I cut hexagons out of my scraps for English Paper Piecing and because there are 3 sizes on this die you can also cut your papers on the die by using the next size down to the size you cut your fabric.
- Crazy Flowers Die – This is an applique die and I just think the shapes in it are really versatile – I used one of the petal shapes to cut out ‘raindrops’ for a baby quilt I am making (free pattern coming soon!) and as well as obviously flowers the die also includes tiny circles which could be eyes or ladybug spots or any number of other things.
- 6″ & 4.5″ Strip Cutter Dies – for quilt borders and sashing
- 4″ Clamshell Die – Another quilt on my bucket list is a clamshell quilt!
- 4.5″ Orange Peel Die – Yet another quilt on my list for a future project. I loved the orange peel block I did in my learner’s quilt and I want to make a whole quilt using them one day.
What I got Free
Lastly when I purchased the big lot of dies from the AccuQuilt website they were having a promotion where if you bought so many you got the GO! Me Cutter free so this is what I got free:
AccuQuilt Go! Me Cutter Starter Set which included –
- AccuQuilt Go! Me Cutter
- 6″ x 6″ Cutting Mat
- Quarter Square Triangle 3″ Finished Square Die
- Half Square Triangle 3″ Finished Square Die
That same deal isn’t on all the time but if you sign up for updates above I will make sure to send you the latest AccuQuilt sales and discounts when I see them!
Buying AccuQuilt outside the US
For anyone from outside the states who is wondering – yes I bought my additional dies from the US AccuQuilt website because it was cheaper than buying from distributors in the UK.
I use a service called USGoBuy to purchase goods in the USA and have them shipped dto me for cheaper either when international shipping on US websites is to high or when they just don’t have an international shipping option.
Do you have an AccuQuilt Fabric Cutter?
I’d love to hear what you like about it and anything you don’t. Do you have a favourite die or a go project you use it for?
Leave me a comment and let me know!