GO! BIG — and stay home

Go Big

(ATTENTION: Long blog post with lots of fun and inspiring photos to follow……..)

Spring break arrived the week before Easter for my son in high school but the difference this year was that we were not able to make plans to travel or go somewhere exotic and fun. Most years we plan fun family vacations but this year due to a recent job change for my sweet husband, we needed to stay home. Although a little saddened at first, we all took it in stride and tried to make the most of the situation at hand. 


Andrew, 7 years old

Andrew was particularly droopy in the mouth the first weekend as he lamented the fact that he wouldn’t get to scuba dive this year during spring break. At dinner on Saturday evening, I asked him what he wanted to do on his break that did NOT involve playing endless hours of video games. He thought a minute and then surprised me with his reply. First he said, “Go bowling.” Okay, fair enough. Bowling is something fun we can all enjoy together. But then he added, “Do you remember when I was 7 years old and we made my quilt using the ‘Finding Nemo’ fabrics? Well, as much as I like that quilt, it is really too childish for me now. And it’s small. I’d like to make a king size, Avengers quilt for my bed.” Wow! His response came out of nowhere. I had my iPad with me so I quickly googled the words, AVENGERS FABRIC and right away a large selection of those very fabrics popped up at various online sources. We scrolled through them together and chose two that he particular liked. With just a couple of clicks, 3 yards each of his two favorite Avengers prints plus 10 yards for the backing were on their way from eFabric.com. He seemed pretty excited about the proposition.

When we had his bedroom painted last fall from basic-builder-white, I let him choose the color and he chose a dark teal. A VERY. DARK. TEAL. My inclination was to “advise” him on his choice of color but resisted the temptation to micro-manage the situation. And as it turned out, his choice of color looks great on his bedroom walls. It is very masculine and totally suits him. When we replaced the shower curtain in the Jack-and-Jill bathroom both our boys share, they chose an Avengers shower curtain. Perhaps not my taste, but it looks great hanging there and they both love it. So the idea of Andrew making his own king size quilt for his bed from Avengers fabric sounded like a good plan to me. Especially since it meant him getting involved in something other than video games for his entire spring break!

Even I was surprised at how much Andrew anticipated the mailman’s arrival over the next couple of days. Finally, the package arrived on Wednesday and we got to work washing and drying the fabrics right away. I had to run errands that afternoon so I told Andrew he needed to iron all the fabric to get it ready for cutting. He totally cracks me up. I received a text message from him with the following photo and caption: 

Andrew text

“Mom, do I have to iron ALL of this?” 
I giggled and replied via text: “Yep.” 

And you know what? By the time I got home, there he was, diligently ironing all of that Avengers fabric! He was motivated and ready to go on this project!

Andrew ironing

Andrew ironing2

Andrew really liked pressing the fabric with my cordless iron.

Shortly before spring break I got the GO! BIG Accuquilt cutter and although I had already used it and instantly fallen in love with it, I knew this would be a GREAT opportunity to turn a 16-year old loose with some minimal guidance from me. Andrew is more than capable of learning to use a rotary cutter effectively, but I already had a 10″ square die for the GO! BIG cutter and nothing beats the GO! BIG cutter for cutting LOTS of squares quickly and accurately! 

Andrew and Go cutter - Copy

The 10 inch die is a must-have for the GO! or GO! BIG cutter.


GO BIG cutter - Copy

Andrew chose a very simple layout of 10″ square blocks for his quilt and I let him “shop” for fabrics in my stash. I had plenty from which to choose. He chose solids and fabrics that read like a solid. Nothing feminine or flowery. Simple, clean, bold, and bright. Then he quickly got to work. Well, to play

start time - Copy

The time when Andrew started cutting the 64 squares he needed for his quilt.

 stop time

45 minutes later and he was completely done with all the cutting!

 I snapped a photo of the time when he began cutting fabrics with the GO! BIG cutter was amazed when he finished cutting all 64 – 10″ squared from assorted colors in about 45 minutes!

Andrew using the GO BIG cutter - Copy

Andrew using the GO BIG cutter2 - Copy

fun witih cutting - Copy

done - Copy

They were all perfect, accurate with only minimal (just a teensy!) bit of wasted fabric. When he was done cutting, he asked me if there was any more fabric to cut because he was having such a great time using the GO! BIG cutter. It’s so easy to use and besides, it is a tool! Guys LOVE tools, right? Absolutely! 

layout - Copy

 Then he got busy laying out his squares and sewing them together. 

sewing into the night - Copy

close up - Copy

I set up my Janome 8900 machine just for him to use and it didn’t take him long to get the knack of sewing straight seams. I let him decide on his own layout and only offered guidance when he asked me. We had to rip out a couple of seams but for the most part he tackled this project with enthusiasm and determination to do it all by himself. He did all the sewing and pressing on his own and worked late into the night. It only took two and a half days for him to complete the top and when he had finished it, he just beamed with pride. It is just what he wanted. So now the top, batting, and backing are on their way to my friend, Carolyn Archer, Ohio Star Quilting, for her to machine quilt on her longarm machine. We can’t wait to see what great motif she picks out that will compliment the Avengers fabric perfectly. Andrew is hoping Miss Carolyn will use some Avengers motifs in the quilting. Gosh, I wonder if they even have those designs available?

first night - Copy

I’ve used the GO! BIG cutter for my own projects, too.

Circle dies

Cutting circles

Recently, I needed perfect circles cut for a challenge project I’m working on and in literally minutes I had the most perfect circles cut using the cutter.


I always loved my Accuquilt GO! cutter but honestly, the GO! BIG cutter is a whole, giant step above. It is fast, accurate, and oh-so easy to use. If this amazing cutter can convert me, a die-hard rotary cutting gal, I believe anyone who tries it will be hooked. Trust me. If you’ve never tried the GO! BIG cutter or the GO! cutter before, you need to try it. I’m totally hooked, and that’s really saying something! 

Whole quiltl top

whole quilt top 2

So spring break may not have been what we had originally envisioned with travel to a vacation spot but I think it went amazingly well staying right here at home. As Andrew and I shipped off the package of his Avengers quilt top, backing and batting to be quilted he said without any prompting from me, “Spring break turned out to be really fun this year. I have a quilt for my bed that I really like and it was cool doing something with you, Mom.” 

High praise to this Mom’s ears, indeed.

Go Cutter 1


  1. So perfect! I suspect you will both remember this Spring Break longer than you would remember any vacation. “Spring break turned out to be really fun this year…and it was cool doing something with you, Mom.” Words to treasure!

  2. I am glad you and Andrew had such a good vacation. I love quilting with my daughter Cady. My older daughter could care less about quilts especially about making them. I hope my granddaughters…now 2-1/2 and the other 2 weeks will grow up and like to quilt with Meemaw.

  3. What a fun thing to do with your son! Love it!

  4. That’s awesome! He did a great job and what a wonderful memory and he sews in his stocking feet! Way to go Andrew. 🙂

  5. What a special time. Fun with gadgets too to help. Sweet smile. A sweet memory for sure.

  6. Amazing job Andrew! It pays off to have a very artistic and talented mother !
    I hear that Star Wars is coming at the end of the year. I can see the next quilt will be “around the Force”.

  7. How fun that your son enjoyed making his own quilt…and he did a great job, can’t wait to see it all quilted 🙂

  8. So cool! What a great mom you are, Kimberly! I love it when mom’s let their kids actually do stuff and make decisions for themselves rather than doing it for them. I’d love to see the quilt when it’s completed!

  9. What a special time both you and your son shared. Great job, Andrew! And thank you for sharing this with us!

  10. what a good idea ! And the result is stunning ! Congratulations Andrew and mom ,of course !!!!!
    Many hugs to you all

  11. What a great blog post. Andrew you know I will take care of your quilt and put the best pattern on it I can find. Way to go!!

  12. Great pictures of your son and his quilt. I’m sure you both will remember this vacation for a long time. I know how you feel as my daughter just made her first quilt with minimal help from me and she used the rotary cutter. It is a tee shirt quilt for her son who graduates from college in May. It is now at the long arm quilter’s (Flo Verge of Newport, VT). Can hardly wait to see the finished product as Flo just received two ribbons at MQX for her great quilting.

  13. Your son is a cutie. Love his quilt top. I got the Go Big with my bonus this year and love it so much. It’s amazing how fast it is.

  14. How cool that Andrew wanted to do it all by himself. When I got my Janome Skyline this year, I also kept my old smaller Hello Kitty Janome for my husband and almost 6 year old son to use. My son is already showing an interest in sewing and having a husband who isn’t afraid to sit down at the machine really helps. (Besides, he thinks of it as having another tool!) I hope his interest continues to grow.

    I’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of your next Craftsy class. I hope it comes soon!

    Hope you and yours have a great weekend.

  15. What a cutie. He has your beautiful eyes. How cool to share sewing/quilting time with your son. You cannot buy that kind of memory. The quilt came out great. Cant wait to see the quilting. My granddaughter has been learning with me and has laready made two quilts, two simple totes, several pillow cases, and a few other items. I am so happy she is enjoying it. Thanks for sharing with us.

  16. The kids grow up so fast. What a lovely memory you’ve made with your son: a week you will remember fondly, and an experience he will treasure always. ” I have a quilt for my bed that I really like, and it was cool doing something with you, Mom.” Music to a Mother’s ears!
    Happy Mother’s Day , Kimberly ( a little early )

  17. Kimberly, thank you for sharing such a heartwarming story. None of my children have picked up my love of all things sewing or my personal fav, quilting however, my daughter and mother of two of my three grandchildren, finally got the “crafting” bug while redecorating her boy’s room. They are huge fans of all Chicago sports. Having made my boys numerous quilts, this redesign focused on the White Sox World Series “memory quilt” I made for them. She called me and told me that the local fabric store had cotton White Sox fabric and proceeded to tell me she bought it all! When she said “I have no idea what I’m going to do with but I had to have it”, I smiled..I told her that’s what’s known as a fabric stash. Be careful daughter of mine, you might get bit by the quilting bug yet! Have a wonderful spring and summer. I’m off to finish my lone star quilt from your Craftsy class. Toddles…..Lisa

    • Lisa –
      Thank you for taking time to share YOUR story with me and all the readers! I loved reading it; it made me giggle to hear how your daughter bought all that fabric! She’s well on her way to being bitten by the quilting bug! All you need to do is sit back and smile….. Thank you again!

  18. that was completely wonderful. My son made a few things with me several years ago. Then never mentioned it again. But the table runner he made graces my table and i always very proudly tell people that James made it! None of my children have any interest YET!

  19. Hi Kimberly, these are the memories that will always stay with both of you. The time spent with our two doing projects and just having fun will live with me forever. I have taken 2 of your classes, working on Chain of Stars class now and used your block book. You gave me the confidence I needed to take on a large project. I made a memory quilt for our king size bed. Our daughter, who would be 41, died 9 years ago from a very rare cancer. The last 6 months of her life she spent in pjs. I know I told you this before. From those pjs and 30 pictures of our two, I made this quilt. I’ve been wanting to send you a picture from my file, but the class site won’t let me. Can I do it on this site? It’s big enough to be our bed spread.
    I do hope you are having a better spring. When the sun shines, all is well with the world. This past winter was terrible, but it gave me time to quilt, which I love. I only started 4 years ago, but it is my passion.
    Stay well, Mary Lapointe

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