Friday, September 10, 2010

Preliminary GO! Report

Yesterday was my GO! day.  I finally worked up enough courage to unpack the box and take out the lovely, shiny and bright GO! machine and accessories…right on my kitchen table.

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If the truth be known, I have to confess is that I’m very apprehensive when it comes to machines.  There’s always been this kinda love-hate relationship with me any any kind of machine.  I’ve been known to break into a cold sweat in front of a photocopier…and that’s even before a paper jam!

brown and blue button

I diligently read through all the instructions to familiarize myself with all the do’s and dont’s and the various components of the GO!  Pictured below is the standard die that comes with the machine which includes the half square 2” finished triangle, a 2 1/2” square and a 4 1/2” square.

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Because I love working with hst’s (half square triangles), I decided that I’d start with those. 

In order to minimize the wasting of fabric, it is best to cut only one shape at a time.  It is also recommended that the fabric be cut on the lengthwise grain to achieve the most accurate cuts because this is the grain that has the least amount of stretch.  I decided ahead of time that this was only going to be a practice run, so I used only scraps and off cuts of leftover fabric I had on hand.

brown and blue button

I started off with five layers of quilt shop quality fabric but I had trouble turning the handle and the machine kept lifting off the table.  I reduced the amount to four layers and that seemed to be the magic number because everything went smoothly from there.

What you see below are the results after passing the fabric through the GO! using the hst die.  Can you see that there are 4 individual half square triangles…minus the dog ears?

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This next photo shows the excess or wasted fabric that remains after one pass of cutting the hst’s.

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Some things you might want to consider at this point…waste, accuracy and speed.

In order to minimize wasting fabric, you have to precut the fabric to the recommended size before passing it through the machine.  This takes time. 

To achieve the most accurate cuts, it is recommended that only quilt shop quality fabric be used and on the lengthwise grain in order to minimize shrinkage when cutting. 

However, once the fabric is cut and stacked for the machine, the speed of the actual cutting of the shapes using the GO! is exceptional.  It literally takes about 10-15 seconds to make one pass through the machine.  Sixteen hst’s in a turn of the handle!

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Another positive feature about the GO! is that it is VERY user friendly.  

It took me about an hour and a half to cut approximately 200 hst’s.  If you take into consideration my phobia of machines and the fact that everything was new to me, this probably wasn’t too bad.

brown and blue button

At this point, all I’ve done is cut the hst’s.   I haven’t sewn any together in order to test the accuracy of the cutting.  So until I actually start to piece some of these half square triangles together, I will not be able to say for certain whether it’s a GO! or not.

Stay tuned for my next report.  In the interim…

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

32 comments:

Cheryl said...

HSTs are everyone's worse nightmare, so I am anxious to see your report on the 'accuracy' of this method. Progress! We need it, but we fear it.

By Hoki Quilts said...

Well done for getting the instructions deciphered. The cuts look great, but I'm a bit of a miser and the amount of leftovers would make me wonder about it being cost effective.
hugs
Miche'le

Annette said...

I am very intrigued by these machines. And its been so fun to see first hand (almost) from everyone how they work. I'm looking forward to seeing what fun project you make from these HST and how it all turns out.

Darlene said...

Terrific report, Kaaren. I'll be anxiously awaiting the sewing accuracy report. Thank you!

WoolenSails said...

That is one shape that would be fun to cut and make with scraps too. I figure if it is scraps, it is not wasting, what is left;)

Debbie

call me crazy said...

Thanks for the review~ I'm curious about the accuracy too. I've pined over this machine, but if it isn't accurate, well that would surely dampen my enthusiasm!

Allie said...

I'm in the same boat when it comes to machines - excited, but apprehensive, lol. Glad to see it all worked great for you!

Lurline said...

Looks like you are doing very nicely - looking forward to next report - I'm sure it will be beautifully accurate!
Hugs - Lurline♥

Gayle said...

So far so good, sounds like! HST's are so versatile - I think you made a good choice starting with them!

Elyte said...

So far so good I would say. It has got to be a time saver with preparation.

Hanne said...

Thanks for sharing :-) I am machine fobic too, sort of.

Stephanie Pettengell said...

Thanks for that report, it was so helpful to anyone that is thinking of buying a Go Cutter. Including me ! Looking good so far.

Janet said...

I would have gone through the same thing, poring over instructions etc. I guess you have to weigh up wastage against time saved but when you have hundreds to do, it could be worth it. I'll await report #2.

Stephanie said...

I haven't tried the HST yet. Terrific that there are no dog ears to cut but wondering once sewn if you get a true square. Looking forward to your follow-up report. The prepping before cutting might be worth it to achieve accuracy of hundreds of one shape.

I appreciate your honesty with this review. People make decisions based on reviews so it's only fair to be honest.

Bunny said...

Oh what fun to have a new toy. I am not sure I need one of those but sure looks interesting. They are so much more money here in Canada.. Have fun.

Lori said...

I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one who breaks into a sweat when standing in front of an unfamiliar copy machine!~ LOL
Looks like you did great with he GO!

Karen said...

I'll be looking forward to the "rest of the story" after you sew your HST units! It looks like you did a great job with the cutting, and this machine truly intrigues me. Kind of the same idea as my Big shot for paper.
Happy stitching.
Karen

Sharon said...

It looks like you are not as machine phobic as you thought...thanks for sharing how this works, I have been curious. Hope the sewing goes well and accurate!

Marie said...

Thank you for the honest 'first review'. I'm kind of glad to finally find someone who acknowledges a 'few' minor issues that seem to be able to overcome. I am anxiously waiting for your next review.

Hugs - Marie

GerryART said...

Kaaren, thanks for your honest initial report on this much-wanted GO!

So far, all the 'trouble spots' you've encountered have been small and great learning points about this smaller version of the AccuQuilt cutter.

I've seen the Studio Cutter in action and was greatly impressed so when I learned there was this portable version I was immediately drawn to it.

Am eagerly awaiting your next encounter with your GO! experience.

So, thanks for your honest opinion.

Hugs,
Gerry

Bonny said...

Thank you for giving us your take on the Go!
I will be reading all of your reviews...

Quilt Hollow said...

Enjoyed your report this morning. Don't you think later when you go to cut curves it would be a breeze? Imagine circles!! Enjoy your stitching them up! I know you must have some sort of plan for them as you cut so many!!! :-)

Carin said...

It sounds like it overall will help speed things along a great deal.

Cathi said...

Interesting reading -- I wondered how difficult it would be to use the handle. I'm curious to hear about the accuracy of the HST units as well.

SheilaC said...

Looks like you are having lots of fun with your new toy! Thanks for the review.

SheilaC

Sabine said...

I can't wait to read more about your experieces with the go. If you decide you don't like it, send it to me.... lol.
I'm thinking about saving money for buying it...
I like the dies they have, so maybe one day. I'm sure you'll love it after some practice.

Janet said...

My GO! arrived on Friday and I went thru all the same steps you did, discovering 4 was the magic number, etc. I got the hexie die and LOVE THAT THING! All in all, I think it's a fun toy.

Cindy said...

I'm so happy that your first experience with the GO was a positive one, Kaaren. I was hoping you'd find the GO a "good toy".

I really gave it a GO when I did that block insertion in my ironing board cover, using different dies and matching up HSTs with squares.

I had no difficulty in "squaring up" my block or matching points.

I'm continually adventuring out into new areas of using the GO. The "felt-test" was a positive GO. Even granddaughter had fun cutting felt appliques. But, of course, couldn't do as many layers but being able to cut a felt Christmas tree and/or snowflake was made EASY using the GO.

Kathy H said...

I know how you feel about the new machines. I once took a week until I could try out my new sewing machine because I thought it would be too hard to use. Once I started using it, I loved it but it was hard to get started.
Looking forward to hearing more about the Go.

Kim D. said...

Great review Kaaren, nice that those hst's don't have dog ears. Looks like they will match up perfectly, how nice. Looking forward to seeing what you make.

Shauna said...

WOW - I am excited to hear about this. As I am having such trouble with my HST that it is making it very difficult for me to do my Gone to Texas Quilt. This might be a purchase for me... Can't wait for the up date.

Carrie P. said...

thanks for sharing the info with us. I hope to get my GO today. I can use all the tips I can get.