on 7 June 2012
Can't imagine why putting a cutter, fabric and die together and turning a handle should be fun - but it is. I bought my GO cutter about 18 months ago (from America) it came with one free die to cut a large square, one 2" square and 4 triangles (2 will make a 2" square).
I also bought another dozen or so dies, mainly for applique shapes. My friends and myself have used it almost constantly, it makes perfect matching so easy that even though I thought I was cutting accurately with my rotary cutter this knocks socks off 2" squares and triangles. I often have applique shapes running in the borders and making them with this, it's so easy and pleasurable. The feather (or flame) shapes can be worked into wonderful hearts and circles and look beautiful and impressive when quilted around the edges. The GO cutter is wonderfully sturdy, easy to turn (so long as you don't overload the fabrics) and well worth the outlay if you can also afford the dies to go with it. Sad that these cost so much, the only downside really.
If you buy the hexagon die shapes you can use this to cut the shape out of freezer paper or any other paper, the first two sizes will work together, (smallest in paper and the next size in fabric - great) but the largest shape is out there on its own!
There can also be some fabric waste you wouldn't normally have but for me I've managed to keep that down. One really great use is for the small scraps of fabric you can salvage by turning them into a hexagon, square, triangle, leaf or flower shape and package them separately - I use the containers that tomatoes come in, one for each shape. The longer pieces I cut into strips ready for log cabin style and roll them up.
One other point for anyone doing applique, you don't have to back the fabric before you cut it out, you can cut the HeatnBond (or whatever you use) from the same shape later, then iron it onto the fabric piece. Of course, you may also back the fabric before you cut it, just allow for the extra thickness.
The cutter has inspired me to keep my fabric stash much tidier and having shapes ready to go is wonderful.
The cutting mats last a long time - I bought a couple of the long ones and a couple of the square ones when I got the cutter and so far I'm still using the first of each, and that's in spite of a tremendous amount of use.
Asking family and friends to club together to buy any die sets you want when its gift giving times could solve a problem for both of you.
If you have any queries I haven't covered here please leave a comment and I'll do my best.
29th September 2012 - My first square mat has developed a split along one side - and has buckled along it's length - time to use the second mat. The long one is becoming bendy so I shall also use the second long one next time I cut out.