Monday, June 20, 2011

Baby, Baby, Baby.....Ohhhh!

I can't help it. I'm living with a 12 y.o. girl who has a chronic case of Bieber-fever. If that last sentence, and this blogpost title mean nothing to you, consider yourself lucky and just move on to the next bit.

As alluded to last week, my GO! Baby Accuquilt cutting system arrived safe and sound. I'm not sure who was more excited, me or my kids. When I told my family about the Accuquilt company's generous offer to share a GO!Baby with me, and another with one of my readers, everyone was keen to see this miracle machine in action. I told them about the three dies I'd chosen: the chisel, the tumbler and simple, 2" squares. Only moments later, my son came up with a super cool idea for the first project I should make. We immediately decided to do it.

Before the cutter arrived, I had my fabric and a plan all set. Following the suggestions printed on the package of the 2" squares die, I cut 7" strips from the width of my Kona Black. I then folded that strip, accordian-style, into 5" sections. This yielded 8 layers of fabric.....hmmm, I thought "is that really going to squeeze through the cutter?"

GO! Baby project
I pressed the stack, thinking it would help to keep the fabric from shifting as it passed through the cutter.

Both kids were really excited to try rolling the die/fabric/cutting matt through the GO!Baby. Here, my 12 y.o. daughter manages to do it (now, she has particularly strong hands and arms from all her circus work....it was a little tough in the very middle but I think that was mostly due to her height and not being able to exert enough downward force to stabilize the cutter on the table). For my (much) taller son and I, it was no problem to crank through the 8 layers of cotton.

GO! Baby project

Below, you see the layers emerging from the opposite side of the cutter....the cutting matt is sticking up as it's other end is still firmly squished under the cutting roller.

GO! Baby project

And how precise are the squares? We only ditched 2 out of 194. I'm not sure why they were distorted. Maybe because we paused as the die was rolled through, or maybe the edge of one of the layers of fabric was too close the the blade edge and didn't fully fill out the square shape of the die? Not a bad waste ratio, all things considered.

GO! Baby project

A lot has been made of the waste involved with using this cutting system. I can tell you that it took a VERY casual hour (including walking up and down stairs, taking a drink of water here and there, pressing fabric, cutting & folding the 7" strips) to cut almost 400 two inch squares. The picture below shows the waste from one set of 48 squares.

GO! Baby project

I don't consider this usable fabric for the type of projects I do. I figure this amounts to about $0.25 in wasted fabric cost. Since my time in invaluable, I'd say the GO!Baby is totally worth it because it would probably have taken me twice, or even three times as long, to cut that many little squares accurately with rotary and ruler. The Accuquilt company claims it's machines are 90% faster than rotary or scissor cutting. In the case of simple squares, this is a major exaggeration, but if you think about hexes, flower shapes, stars, or their other intricate die shapes you can't do with rotary equipment, then they may just be right!

GO! Baby project

Once all the folded fabric stacks were ready to go, it took the three of us about 20 minutes to cut almost 400 squares with the GO!Baby.

What's T's cool project idea for all of these squares? I'll be sewing them together to make this, the ultimate modern quilt!
If you have a smart phone, you likely recognize this as a QR Code. It's a scanable image that links to any IP address (a spot on the internet), including a website, photo, video or blog. If you do have a smart phone with a QR scanner app loaded, go ahead, scan away. See where this takes you! You can create a QR code for just about anything here.

I'm off to my sewing room to begin construction. My plan is to have the quilt complete and ready for an exciting event on Saturday, Vancouver's first ever Maker Faire. I'll be volunteering with my friends at the VMQG booth. Hopefully, this quilt will be hanging there to provide participants with a link to all of our online activities!

I'll be back soon with a tutorial on how to turn the above image into a quilt. I'll also let you know how the Accuquilt-cut squares sew together....I am a little concerned that the squares are cut on a slight angle to the fabric straight of grain (according to the product literature, this is because the die blades cannot be at perfectly right angles to the roller, I assume because they would literally get stuck under the roller). Will the squares be stretchy? Will they distort? I'll let you know.....

30 comments:

badlandsquilts said...

Super clever idea! Can't wait to see the finished quilt!

Amy said...

I can't believe that you shoved all 8 layers under there! I was too worried about breaking mine and stuck to 2 layers at a time!! I'm looking forward to seeing your quilt.

felicity said...

Your QR code doesn't show for me, for some weird reason but what an AWESOME idea! I'm eager to hear about how the squares piece up.

Elizabeth D. said...

That is too funny, I was just at the mall today and saw a QR, and thought it would make an awesome quilt!! Can't wait to see it!

rubyslipperz said...

Congrats on your new "baby"! I have a Studio and I LUV it!

hugZ,
annie
rubyslipperz106.blogspot.com

Michele Pacey said...

love the quilt design, Krista! your son rocks! looks like the whole family's having fun playing with the new baby ;)

Flying Blind... said...

I love a 2" square!

Angela said...

What a fun idea for a quilt! Definitely modern!

Needled Mom said...

That will be fabulous and a great family project.

TheStylishHome said...

ohhhh, so envious! I'll be watching and waiting to see how it goes! Congrats on your new delivery!

sandra said...

I am following you with great interest because I have been debating one of these because I have bad arthritis in hands and back so I was hoping this would help me cut out quilts faster.

Gene Black said...

Everything I have heard from Accuquilt says to use no more than six layers of fabric. That could be why some of your squares distorted.
Most of the dies have the blades angled so that you put the die in straight. I think that confuses a lot of people.

I just downloaded an app on my phone to read the QR codes...so I tried it. You know where i went. Ha ha.
I have two grown women friends who love Bieber. You have my sympathy on the feverish child.

myredbike said...

I'm glad the eight layers went through ok! I love your son's idea of how to use the two inch squares and I look forward to seeing how it turns out!

Katie B. said...

Oh, nice! Your QR plan I'd awesome.

I think there's going to be a new baby at my house soon too... :)

Heather said...

What a fun toy! Trust you Krista and thanks for sharing.

momma said...

Just had a great time at Maker Faire NC, have a great time at yours.
Link you might like http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/gallery/2011/jun/15/cross-stitch-craft-qr-code

PinkGranny said...

I cannot wait to see what you come up with and your findings on how it all sews together! It looks like you had a lot of fun.

Annie of Blue Gables said...

How very fun that your whole family was eagerly involved. How lucky for you to get to try one of these babies out.
~a

susiloci said...

Que maravilla!!!

carol said...

Oh man, I want to make one of those cool QR quilts too. Tell me what I do, please....I'm such a dunce! BUT, I can piece squares like a house on fire! This looks like a project that I'd love! 400 in 20 minutes, you say? I might have to look into one of these cutters for myself! Lucky girl!

Spiced Coffee said...

This looks like so much fun!!

Lee said...

What an awesome idea! I can't wait to see it!

Dianne said...

Wow! I would have to be some kind of super rotary cutter dudette to cut 400 squares in 20 minutes even if all the fabric was prepped! That Go Baby is speedy and the waste is very small. Can't wait to see your new modern quilt!

Mama Spark said...

What a cool idea for a quilt! I used a friend's GO! and did tumblers and I love how it came out!!

Angie said...

I love your quilt idea!

Nina Lise Moen said...

That's a whole lot of cutting in just 20 minutes! Looking forward to see the quilt. Have fun with your new toy,-)

paulette said...

Wow!! GO! BABY GO!! She is a feisty thing...chewing through EIGHT layers of fabric and spitting out those gorgeous blocks!! No ONE puts Baby in the Corner! Enjoy!!
P

Kristen said...

The QR code maker was fun! Lol! Enjoy your toy!

Barb said...

Krista, thanks for the thorough and honest review of the cutter. I think I'll happily enter your give-away. It's wonderful that your family is interested in your art...sounds like you have wonderful kids!

Joy said...

Thanks for sharing! I just got a Go and was looking for tips on how to use it. I'd love to see how your QR quilt proceeds!