Go! 8 1/2" rag die for my Go! I spent a portion of today cutting the blocks and doing the stitching across the centers. I'm trying to decide now if I want to cut more blocks to make a larger quilt or if I want to go with the 45" by 45" quilt they have on the instructions ~ I'm thinking I'll go a bit larger.
Instead of batting in the squares I used a layer of flannelet that I cut at the same time I cut the front and backs. I find that unless you catch the batting into the seams when you piece your blocks that the batting eventually migrates and bows in towards the X you machine quilt. And I don't like to catch the batting into the seams or you see it in the rag ~ what a conundrum LOL! This is why I chose a layer of flannelet for the center. So, through the die, I was running 2 layers of flannel or brushed cotton and one layer of flannelet. This die was absolutely harder to put through the machine than any of the others I have tried so far BUT ~ I found if I held the Go! down with my left hand put my left hip on the machine that it stayed still and this made it easier to get the fabric through the machine. It was harder but angling the die also made it a bit easier.
There was also a lot of lint to pick out of the die ~ but I found that if I used a lint roller after every few cuts this wasn't too bad. You can see the effect of the cutting on the die after 50 blocks cut but it's not too bad at all really. The blades are much more visible now ;) The cutting mat took a lot of wear though and I can see that these will need to be replaced much more frequently than the regular mats. But, the mats are not expensive and I'd rather replace a mat than have sore hands from snipping the rag.
I've read several reviews of the rag die on blogs and I think that I am ending up in the same place as they did. Yes it was harder to get the die through the machine and the lint left is a bit of a pain BUT the effect is amazing and it is a real time-saver. I would do more rag quilts with the die! All in all I think that there are more pros to this die than cons!
Any thoughts? I hope that you will leave a comment here and let me know what you think or if you have any questions. Also, please take a second to become a follower of my blog! I'd sure love it if you did and I would love to hear from you.
Happy sewing all!