Today is my birthday (like you didn't already know) and I can't think of a better way to celebrate than giving one of you a present. When Accuquilt offered me the opportunity to try out one of their adorable GO!Baby cutters I was very happy to accept because it meant I could then share one with one of you. These are expensive tools and not necessarily something everyone can just run out and buy. It feels nice to be able to gift something like that!
You can read more about my escapades with the cutter here and here see a tutorial for making your own QR Code quilt on my flickr sets here. I've only used my GO!Baby to cut 2" squares so far. I have been getting a lot of ideas of what else I could use my new tumbler and chisel dies for, though. Luckily I have two willing assistants who think rolling the dies through the cutter is a super fun job (it is!) so when I'm ready to tackle one of those projects I know who to call.
I've had some inquiries about whether an Accuquilt cutting machine would be helpful for someone with arthritis in their hands. Well, I have arthritis in my hands that is mostly in remission, but easily flared by repetitive strain. I can say this: you have to be able to grip, both the top handle to stabilize the cutter, and the rolling handle to turn it. A flat hand over the top would work for holding the machine steady, but a full grip is necessary to turn the crank. The dies did flow VERY easily through the machine with 3 fabric layers so you don't necessarily need a tight grip...any more than 3 layers require more general arm strength and a tighter grip. Also, unless you are using scraps, fabric preparation with rotary equipment is still required, so this is not a replacement for rotary work by any means. I don't believe any auto-cutting system is.
The good news is that the GO! Baby is just plain fun to use, and very safe (the blades are super sharp, but if a grown-up places the fabric and cutting mat on top of the die safely, then a smaller helper can roll it through the machine for you). Or a big man helper, whichever you happen to have on hand.
For your chance to win a GO!Baby and three dies of your choice, please leave ONE comment. Your email address MUST be linked, or written in your comment for a valid entry. If you blog on a platform other than Blogger, your email is not linked, please leave it in your comment!!
This giveaway will be open until Thursday, July 28th at 6:00 pm PST
ETA: comments are now closed, thanks for entering. Winners will be announced when I return home the week of Aug.1st.
Now, before I received my GO!Baby, I had entered a lot of giveaways trying to win one myself. I know what a bummer it is not to win, so with that in mind, I'm going to offer a very small consolation prize to three more Poppyprint readers.
You can choose your favourite colour of my poppy-printed fabric and I'll send you a piece!
Ok, if you are here for free stuff, go ahead and leave a comment. If you are curious about the good-luck birthday story I mentioned the other day, here you go.
I had always thought I was lucky that my birthday was on the 22nd, because that meant I would be old enough to do something really cool on my "good luck" birthday. You know, turning 22 on the 22nd. Well, I did do something really cool that day. In fact, it was something I NEVER would have dreamed of. Turns out, that summer of '89 I got a job in South Africa through recruiters at my university. Gold Fields, a South African mining company, had a program to bring over foreign geology and mining students for their summer term and give them 'a job' to experience the mining industry there. The hope was that you'd return after obtaining your qualifications. As a geology student, I was able to work at the mineralogy lab, and live in an apartment in Johannesburg (most of the mining students remained out on the mines in staff housing). Over one two week period, I had the opportunity to work at a field camp just north of Swaziland - there I rode my mountain bike amongst ostrich, wild boar & zebra since we were just inside of a soon-to-be-game park. Pretty cool. Fortunately I never encountered a Black Mamba, which apparently had been found in the shower shack the week before I got there!
Here's the birthday part: turns out King Mswati III of Swaziland turned 21 that summer and he decided to celebrated on the 22nd, even though is birthday is in April. Now, he's turned out to be a not-so-great guy for his country because of all the money he blows through, and I'm not sure how his 14 wives feel about him, but for his 21st birthday, he threw an incredible party! I drove down with a South African geologist and another American student and we camped out at this amazing field (Woodstock style, but with less mud). There was an incredible concert including Eric Claptan, Joan Armitrading, Johnny Clegg & Savuka all playing on this massive outdoor stage, while the King circled overhead in a helicopter. At the end of the night there was a stunning fireworks display. BEST. BIRTHDAY.EVER. The photos are in a box of slides somewhere in my crawl space....maybe one day I'll dig them out and share.
So, my friends, there you have it. Another year. I still am having a very hard time believing that concert was 22 years ago and that I am twice as old today as I was then. I'll leave you with this beautiful bouquet, dropped off by the incomparable friend Double NN Dianne last night.
Good luck in the giveaway and thanks for stopping by for my birthday party!