Hey friends, Sonia here! I am so eager to give you a little sneak peek at a really fun, exciting new adventure that we are endeavoring on here at Ellie and Mac! I’ll start off by saying that I have been a Cricut girl since way way way back in the day, from the itty bitty Personal Cricut, to the Expression, to the Explore, then the Air, and now the Maker! I have used my Cricut machines to run a DIY Wood sign painting studio, as well as customized gifts for my (then) Etsy store. I’m very familiar with Cricut products and their design software (Design Space), having used them for the last 16 years! Needless to say, when Cricut offered us the opportunity to try out their newest machine, the Cricut Maker, I was beside myself excited because of its incredible ability to cut fabric!
So here is a bit of an introduction to the Cricut Maker, and a little sneak peek of what we have in store for you!
What is revolutionary about the Maker and what sets it apart from previous models is the Adaptive Tool Technology. You can see here that the tool has a golden notched gear around the top, which allows the machine to pick up the blade and change its direction, whereas previous machines had a blade that was turned via dragging in various directions. Because the blade is now lifted and turned, it allows the machine to cut much more intricate cuts, as well as cut specialty materials like fabric.
Before I go on, I want to address a commonly asked question. People often ask if you can cut fabric with legacy models of the Cricut like the Air, and the answer is yes! However, in my experience, it was only possible by adhering a stabilizer like Heat n Bond to the back first, because as the previous blade cut by dragging, it would pull the fabric off of the mat if it didn’t have stabilizer attached. The rotary blade that is included with the cricket maker however, functions with lifting and turning capabilities, so the fabric is not then pulled from the mat. (You can find a more in-depth comparison of Cricut's blades here.)
This is a close-up of the rotary blade, which shows the round blade In the bottom of the housing. Because this blade works similar to a sewing rotary cutter by rolling across the top of fabric, you can cut fabric without adhering the interfacing to the back, as you had to do with previous machines.
Another exciting feature of the Maker machine is the expanding family of tools, which Cricut has announced that they intend to continue to build. In the photo below, from left to right, you can see: the rotary blade, the standard blade, the knife blade, and the scoring wheel (With A single and double score attachment). This variety of tools allows the cutting of a broader range of materials, including very delicate materials such as thin fabrics like silk and cotton, thin paper such as crêpe, and thicker materials such as basswood.
I was given the chance to play around with their designer fabric bundle, which feature beautiful designs by Riley Blake, Apricot and Persimmon, Garden Girl, and more. This assortment features all 100% cotton fabrics in beautiful complementary sampler collections.
To begin, I chose the Riley Blake Sweet Prairie Sampler for our first test run with the Cricut Maker. It’s very important to iron the fabrics prior to adhering them to the cutting mat, as an even and un-stretched adhesion is important for a clean cut.
Working with a test file that was transformed into a Cricut cut file for our Oli Beli Backpack, I was able to cut the pieces of the backpack in no time! For a quick video showing the pieces being cut, join our Facebook Group if you haven't yet, and then see it here!
As we to continue forward with this wonderful partnership, we are excited to test more accessory and doll patterns and transform them into cutting files that will be available for purchase, similar to our digital patterns.
I will note that adult clothes and most children’s clothes feature pattern pieces too large for the cutting mat, and while we are entertaining the idea of developing clothing patterns specifically for the Cricut Maker, the 12 x 24 cutting mat does limit this option through its size restriction.
We look forward to exploring more patterns, types of fabric, and all of the features that make the Cricut Maker a fantastic companion for any sewist, and I would love to know what you would like to see! Feel free to comment with any questions you have, and thanks so much for joining us on this exciting crafting journey!
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.