Wednesday 5 October 2011

I was supposed to do a favour for a friend today. It involved some fabric and the Go! Baby. (Not for you Cindy, yours are done.) I used the Go! yesterday for some sewing I needed to do today, and things went wrong.

The cutting mat, which was showing definite signs of wear, went from not good to useless in a matter of minutes. I noticed that the minimal number of Drunkard's Path blocks I was cutting for myself were not cutting square at all. I was holding up the outer portion of the block and the lack of a 90 degree angle was obvious. I don't feel that I have used the Go! enough to warrant the cutting mat being useless so quickly. I cut 36 charm squares, stacked four to a cut, and I went from passable cuts in the beginning to disappointing by the end. The cutting mat started losing little bits of plastic and looks like this now
You can see bits of the plastic hanging off at the top of the photo near the middle.
Do you have a Go! Baby and have you had the same experience. It seems I am going to have to buy cutting mats in bulk because I do enjoy the ease of cutting with them.

I used the charms I cut to make a quick quilt top today. Old friends of ours have just had their second child and it is a boy. I had the perfect fabric for a boy (which I obviously can not remember the name of suddenly because my mind is losing brain cells at the speed of light).

I'm rather pleased with the outcome considering I only had the one charm pack to play with. The outer border is from Java by Moda which I bought on sale ages ago and it seemed just about perfect for this. I have enough of it to use as the backing as well.

I then moved on to my DS Doll Quilt. I pieced a simple backing, using the equilateral triangles on either side of a strip of the white fabric and I intend to use that is my signature block. I am keeping the remaining back white as, quite frankly, I was at a loss of what to do otherwise.

That doll quilt is now layered up and basted and awaiting me to come up with some ideas of how to quilt it. Suggestions welcome!

Tonight I have something to do which I think of as uniquely English, but that may be because it is nothing I ever had to consider before having children. The quest to get your child into a 'good school'. My girls go to a village primary school but we do not live in the catchment area - hence the daily school run. They go to that school because it is the school they attended before we moved to the Isle of Wight. Three house moves in three years and another change of school was too much upheaval and we tried to minimise it by returning them to their original school,

Unfortunately there were not any (reasonably priced) houses to rent within the village. We got the best house we could within a five mile radius. Where we live is not in the catchment for our high school of choice either. In fact our catchment area is the same as the one John went to high school in and as he considers his years in high school more in terms of survival than educational he is adamant that our girls do not attend school there. I tend to agree.

Which leads me to tonight, and the open house at the school of choice for us. The catchment school for their primary. There are two sides to every coin, and it is brilliant that this school got an outstanding evaluation last spring from Ofsted. It is considered one of the top high schools in the country apparently. As I said, brilliant! Only now everyone and their brother want their kid to attend this school and competition just increased hugely. Bugger!

We will go to the open house and be impressed and then hope beyond hope that the fact that Helen was attended a catchment school giving her a step up in the acceptance process will be enough to get her in. If not we have our wild card, which is that it has a specialised art department and accept a number of students on that basis. Helen's teachers consider her quite gifted in art. I think she is too, but I have the biased parent's opinion. We can apply for a place based on her art abilities if we fail to get her in the normal route.

And so starts the year of stress, and waiting, and not knowing for months and months. Is anyone else experiencing this? I believe that with our luck we will get her in and then end up having to relocate again at which point I would have to take to my bed!



  1. That boys quilt is fantastic - great colours and love that border!
    I can't even think of the headache of catchment areas and all that... I'm worried my son won't get in the primary school where he attends nursery, then that he sister won't get in where he is... It just goes on and on!

  2. I really, really like the little boy quilt you made. I love that fabric and its a perfect use. Great job!

    No, your Go! is surprising me! I knew the mats wore out, but never thought it would be this fast. Did you call? What do they have to say for themselves?

    Good luck on the school hunt. It's an Irish thing too.

  3. Love your boys quilt and your DS doll quilt is looking lovely! I love quilting on the diagonal lines in quilts with triangles, would that work?
    I know what you mean about getting into a school although it is not as much of a problem here as it is in the UK. But we have very little choice where we will send the kids to post-primary which freaks me out at times. Hope you enjoy the night and she gets in although its hard waiting to find out!

  4. Oh dear! Moving house is the most stressful thing you can do (2nd to divorce!). It's such a big decision, choosing your child's school for the next 7 years. Hang in there; it might not be as bleak as you think. Your Go! Baby definitely sounds faulty. No experience of one, sorry! LOVE the drunk baby quilt - gorgeous fabrics. Hope you feel better soon! Jxo

  5. Have you turned the mat each time you did a pass through? That is what I do with mine, and the mats have not worn out at all - possibly you have just been unlucky and got a faulty one. Have you contacted Accuquilt about this - I can do so if you would like me to.

    Pomona x

  6. the quilt looks lovely, someone will be very happy!
    Good luck with the whole application process, thankfully I have been there, done that!

  7. I don't have a go but I can't believe parts would wear out so quickly? I'd give them a call/email.

    I don't have kids I have no sage advice on picking schools. My brother had to go through this procedure last year for my niece. They were going to pick a school a little further away as their first choice but were told not to unless they really wanted to as if they didn't get in there, they could seriously reduce chances of getting second choice and they definitely didn't want third choice.

  8. oh, I have soooo been there on the school thing! I copmletely understand, but all that trudging from school to school, uuugh! Love the little boy quilt - gorgous! as is your DS doll quilt - how about echoing the equalateral triangles in the quilting on one side? Just a thought. good luck wiht the Go! e-mail accuquilt and ask - they can only say no!

  9. Baby quilt looks great - I like the blocks without sashed borders so that it all becomes a lovely mix. Good luck with the school thing - we have to decide in the next couple of years or possible sooner which language Z should be educated in. There are lots of pros and cons to each!

  10. Like I have a clue about the Go!!!!!!!!

    Love both quilts, I'm sure your friends would be delighted to know you picked a drunkard's path block for their sweet and innocent bundle!

    Schools - after having to move to get ours into a decent primary, hopefully we are sorted, but I can empathise with the hell!

  11. Love the boy's quilt and doll quilt back! Ace! Recognise the stress symptoms of choosing a school - was it better when we had no choice?? Probably not but some schools now run a lottery system so you have pot luck - what way is that to run our kid's lives - sheer maddness!

  12. Love the little boy's and doll quilts. Good luck sorting out a school.

  13. That’s really disappointing about your cutting mat. I wouldn’t have thought it would need to be replaced after such a short time. I’d be emailing them about it and seeing what they say.(I’m just saying – I have no Go experience so Im kind of envious as well as indignant for your predicament)

    I love the Java fabric you used for the baby boy quilt- it IS perfect!

    High school are zoned here too for the most part – unless the school is fairly shoddy in which case they are happy to take anyone. Some schools are very strict with zoning and others more flexible. I wish you luck with this task because it is very stressful! Thankfully when we were looking at High school for Miss P the school we were zoned for was a brilliant one.

  14. Wow, so much you need to think about when you dont just want to get her self defence lessons and bung her in the nearest comprehensive ;-) sorry ;-) x I hope the Art link works, sounds like it would be an ideal way to go, and a big bonus to Helen too.

  15. Love that quilt, but boo to the flaky cutting mat.

    Good luck with the school quest! I started senior school the year before they brought in the 3 choices (so it was one school or nothing!) and with the dire results of our local school, my parents scrimped and saved and put me through private school instead - as it was just me, they managed it, my dad quite candidly told me one day that had I been one of many, I would have been swinging from the rafters with the rest of the pupils at Wrockwardine Wood, which has, funnily enough, since become an arts specialist college!

  16. Love your baby quilt Susan - I think it is Basic Grey: Max and Whiskers fabric:) Your DS DQ looks wonderful too!

  17. Wow that's shocking about the Go! mat. You really would expect it to last longer than that unless specified in the manual or something! I'm with the others - I'd be contacting them and seeing what they have to say. And point them in the direction of this bahaha - not good publicity for them!

    Nice quilt!
    And good luck with the school! Hope it goes well.


  18. Wow. That's not happened to mine, but I probably havent used it as much. Stupid question, but are you using both sides? Contact accuquilt about it, they say they should last a year!

  19. I bought myself the full-sized Go cutter a couple of weeks ago and was surprised at how much the mat was "damaged" after only cutting a few tumblers. Having said that, I think you should contact Accuquilt and ask them if that's normal. I hope it's not!

    Good luck with the school thing. One benefit of being older is that we're past that stage now. Thankfully!

  20. I am clueless about a couple of things here...catchment schools??? Go???? BUT I most definitely would call customer service and tell them. Worst case scenario they tell you its normal. Best case, they send you a new one.

  21. Love both the boys quilt from charms and the DS doll quilt. Yum!

    Ack. Sounds very stressful. Although I've no experience with any of this as we have homeschooled our sons, you have my sympathies and my hopes that all works out for you, Susan.

  22. Not sure how I've missed this post - sorry! The quilt looks lovely but the mat is a mess! Fortunately I know you got a replacement but I'm not convinced it should look like this after such a short time...hope the school visit went well - good luck with the application!


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