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Monday, October 4, 2010

A Baby Quilt for Aidan.

As many of my long time readers know I operate an in home daycare. I love my job, some days more that others :-) but I do love my job. Last spring I started a new family, we have little Amelia, she is 15 months old and a happy beautiful child, I just adore her! Well, last week Amelia became a big sister! Baby Aidan was born at 1:09 p.m. Thursday Sept 30th. And as always, we celebrate with a quilt! This family is a little bit different in their tastes, I like that. So no traditional cute bright primary colors for this little guys although I did do traditional blue, blue batik that is, all different ones... And I got to use my Go cutter. One of the very first dies I got was the 8 1/2" Rag die. I knew I wanted it due to the fact that we make a lot of rag quilts for donation, I was a bit leery as some of the things I have read about the rag die were not complimentary. Here is the making of Aidan's quilt.

First off and a lesson learned, the rag die is 8.5 inches square, I cut my fabric to 9.5 and had a lot of waste, next time I think I will cut a bit closer to finished size. Also many people don't realize that even though you are using the Go to cut you still need to pre-cut your fabric with a ruler and rotary cutter
Just a small sampling of the colors I used.
These are the dies as I said before the 8.5 inch rag die and the 6.5 inch square to cut the batting.
I layered the fabric on the die and pleated it back and forth to get six layers. I think I was only supposed to cut 4 layers with the rag die, but could be wrong, six was a pretty good arm workout.
Here are the fabrics again, you can see the layering.
And pleating... Yep repetitious I know. Let me take a moment to share a thought, one I will say again when I post about the quilt I am working on now. All the stuff I read about the go tout that it saves you time and to a point yes, especially if you are cutting something like a drunkards path or applique there is a MASSIVE time savings, but for simple squares and triangles, I would say that between the precutting you often have to do, and the layering on the die there really is not much of a time difference BUT and here is the big BUT...The accuracy of the Go is amazing, every single point and corner matched up so well that I did not have to pin... I hate taking the time to pin but do when I have to fiddle with not quiet the same size blocks... cutter error (me) So that is my two cents.. not really faster is some cases, but way more accurate in the long run.
Rough layout, I drew this up on EQ before I even began to cut, then once I layered them out decided it was not large enough so I added another round.

Back to the GO, one of the big complaints about the rag die is the fact that you have to clean it due to all the little strings that come off on the short rag cuts. Again, what I think... having snipped about 150 rag quilts... TRUST ME cleaning that little die is way faster and easier on my hands than snipping!!! Well well worth it!!!
Here are the strings I am talking about, I tried using the pick they sent with the GO, then quickly got into my tool kit for my bent head tweezers. (no I don't have a picture but can upload one if any one cares/or wants to see it) Anyhow I take the little bent head tweezers and run the tips on each side of the little blades, dragging the thread to the outside edge, and giving a little flick of my wrist the threads just pop out! It took me just a few minutes to clean the die after I finished cutting the entire quilt, did I mention WAY faster than the hour or more it takes me to snip a quilt.
As the threads come out I periodically roll a lint brush across to clean them up.

Here is some of my waste, like I said before I need to cut smaller cuts for less waste. But then it did not all go to waste, I see a ton of butterfly bodies and dragonfly wings!
This was one of my favorite parts, I have BAGS of scrap batting left over from when I longarm, these are the side strips that get cut off, I can never bear to throw them out, they are perfect for rag batting, I used the 6.5 inch square, layered the batting on ran it through, pulled more batting on, ran it back the other way back and forth I had the batting cut in minutes! After that is was construction as always, a 1 inch seam allowance, edge of the foot against the end of the snips and away we go!
This is the finished quilt, feel free t click on the picture to get a closer look.

Oh and the back, mom really likes green so I made the back totally scrappy did not pay any attention what was going were!

So there you have it, one baby quilt, start to finish less than 4 hours! (yep that includes wash time) Oh did I mention that the rags fluffed beautifully I was a bit worried because of the batiks and how tightly woven they are.

Hope you like it, I have two more posts I will be making soon, one to tell about my quilt that is going to be auctioned, the other to talk about my welcome back blog give away... just waiting for a package to arrive in the mail to announce that one!
See you again soon,


free indeed said...

thanks for the honest review of the GO. I wasn't gung ho about them when they first came out and I don't think I'd ever invest the money in one, but if I won one with all the giveaways, I know I'd like it. I'd get all the curvy dies...:)
That is a pretty quilt and nice to know that batik will fray and fluff too...

Ginny said...

I only do honest reviews! LOL, I really gave it a lot of thought and waited way longer than I usually do when purchasing a new gadget (I am the queen of gadgets!) I do very very much like this system and can see many uses for it. If you are intimidated by the price of the Go, Go to the Accuquilt website and check out the Baby Go, it is smaller, costs much less but you can still use almost all (I think something like 60%) of the regular Go dies! Plus I noticed the new dies they are coming out with seem to be a little less money wise too. Something to think about!

Judy D said...

Never did I think to cut the batting with the GO! How very clever!! The quilt turned out fabulous.

Katrina said...

Great and very honest review! Like you I have made a bunch of rag quilts and even with picking out the threads the Go! is much easier in the end for rag quilts. Cutting all the odd shapes are what I bought my Go! for. I don't know that I would buy simple squares etc but you never know!! Thanks!

Karen E. Overton said...

I hadn't really considered the rag die to add to my Go collection...but now....thanks for the tutorial, always good to visualize something - and I can echo the thoughts of rather clean thread from a die than hand snip a rag quilt (that's why I haven't made many!) I think that will change in the near future.. oh look, I see a rad die in my Christmas stocking