About a week before Christmas, I received a GO! cutter from the nice people at AccuQuilt. I had always been curious about their cutters and finally had the chance to use one at Quilt Market back in October. Needless to say, I was impressed. Fast, accurate cuts? Sign me up!
Once the hustle and bustle of the holidays was over, I was itching to give the GO! a workout. Early in December, I had pulled a stack of fabrics (mostly Shelburne Falls by Denyse Schmidt) for an improvisational pieced quilt and as I looked around the studio, I decided that the same fabrics would make a pretty sweet equilateral triangle quilt. I have always wanted to make one, but had never gotten around to it. With the equilateral triangle die on hand, there really wasn't a better time! I started by consulting the instructions that came with the die and then took a look at the AccuQuilt blog for even more detailed info. With some scraps, I cut my first triangle - easy peasy! Next it was on to the fabrics for the quilts.
I found it most interesting that AccuQuilt recommends cutting the triangles with the lengthwise grain of the fabric, that is the grain that is parallel to the selvedges. This is unlike my (and most quilters') normal cutting method - in most cases, I cut strips across the width of the fabric, with the crosswise grain, and the subcut the widths into the pieces I want. But, cutting with the lengthwise grain makes a whole lot of sense as it the direction that the fabric stretches the least. And because equilateral triangles have two sides on the bias (the stretchiest part of a piece of fabric), it is logical that you would want the most stable grain for the third side. I ended up using fat quarters, subcut into 5" lengthwise strips. For the quilt I made, which is a small baby quilt, I used 2 strips from each of 20 fabrics. I was able to cut 5 triangles from each strip, bringing my grand total to 200 triangles. 192 triangles were used in the quilt.
The cutting went fast - less than 30 minutes for all the triangles. I was able to cut 6 strips of fabric at a time! Sweet! Also, repositioning the fabric strips for each subsequent cut was simple. I rolled up the excess fabric and sent it through the cutter because the die only cuts the fabric that is placed under the cutting mat. This means you don't have to subcut for each triangle - win!
Any concerns about fabric waste were quickly put to rest because the time I saved using the GO! cutter definitely made up for the minimal scraps. I also really like how portable the cutter is. My studio is on our third floor, but I often cut fabric downstairs in the family room to be closer to the kids and Fatty. It's lightweight and easy to carry up and down two flights of stairs with some frequency.
The piecing was easy. The notches that the die cuts makes lining up the triangles a breeze. There aren't any dog ears to trim, either. Saves more time! Like anything overly repetitive, I did find piecing the triangles a bit boring so I broke it up over the course of a few days. BUT! I love, love, love how it came together. Now, the top is awaiting basting and quilting. With any luck, I'll get to it this week. I promise to share more details when it's all finished.
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Although AccuQuilt gave me the GO! cutter and the die, all opinions are entirely my own.