Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Why Do I Need A Cricut Maker For Quilting

I get asked a lot why I am such a huge fan of the Cricut Maker and if it is because they sponsored a spot in my holiday guide last year.  I only reached out for that sponsored spot because I was already a fan of the product.  What I had seen made me believe it could make quilting so much easier.  The Cricut Maker isn't going to replace your rotary cutter, rulers, and mat.  I'll explain why below though  I do think it will help you with your more difficult cutting since it takes away human error and shifting.

Learn how you can use the cricut maker in your quilting


This post may contain affiliate links.  Purchasing items from the links cost you nothing more and adds a few pennies to the fabric budget.


The one thing to remember is these are limitations and advantages are my opinion.  Some of them might not be a problem for you and that's OK everyone is different.  The same thing with the advantages of the Cricut Maker for Quilting, things I love might be a limitation for you.  I just want to provide you with my opinions so you have as much information as possible.  You can find the Cricut Maker in many stores but you can also purchase it directly from Cricut.

Limitations of the Cricut Maker for Quilting

The Price

It isn't cheap.  The basic machine is $399, you get the machine, a light grip mat, a fabric mat, the rotary cutter blade, and the knife blade. It goes on sale from time to time and I usually send an email out letting you know it is on sale but I don't get much of a heads up or any heads up at all that it is going on sale.  None of the cutting machines on the market are cheap though.  It actually becomes cheaper when you take into consideration that you don't have to purchase a lot of accessories. 

Cutting Space and Cutting Limitations

You are limited to 12 inches wide for cutting.  The machine comes with a 12x12 cutting mat and you can purchase a 12x24 mat.  You can't put a fat quarter on the mat because a fat quarter is 18x22 so you won't be able to toss your ruler, rotary cutter, and mat.  You also can't cut multiple layers of fabric at a time.  The exception is that you can cut fabric and batting together if you use basting spray.  I also found it quicker to cut squares and rectangles traditionally.

Those are really the only limitations that I have found.  They are really outweighed by the benefits of the machine.  I'm still working on a way to cut multiple layers of fabric without bonding it to something.  I'm sure there's a solution, I just haven't found it yet. 

Advantages of the Cricut Maker for Quilting

No Dies

I love that I don't have to buy a die for everything that I want to cut and in every size, I might cut.  If I can scan it or draw it my Maker will cut it.  I even made a template for our octagon bowl cozies.  I also like that I can scale the shape in the design space so I can easily change the size.  There are also basic shapes built into design space like squares, triangles, and hexagons.  You can also purchase templates in the design space and from independent designers.  More and more patterns and templates are being done every day.

No Fatigue 

A few years ago I made a triangle quilt for a friend and I absolutely loved it.  The problem though is the sheer amount of time it takes to cut all those triangles.  It's one of those designs that loses it's wow factor if you make the triangles big. Having the Cricut Maker cut all those triangles means I'm going to get my own pyramid quilt and no one is going to have sore shoulders from it.  Paul spent two days cutting for my fabric and informed me that I had to come up with a new way to cut all those triangles if I wanted my own quilt. I can just set up my mats and swap them out as the machine cuts them while I work on something else.  

Accuracy 

In some quilt patterns if you slip just a sliver you've thrown the whole thing off.  That's a lot of wasted fabric.  The Cricut Maker takes away the human factor which means it is completely accurate.  The 1/8" that is wasted between cuts is nothing compared to the fabric I have wasted trying to cut circles, kites, Dresden blades, hexagons, and more.

Easy To Operate

The design space software is easy to use.  That's where you can upload shapes that you've either scanned, downloaded, or drawn in digital software.  You can also change the size of the shape and copy and paste it on to your page as many times as you need it for the project.  A word of caution about resizing patterns may change the overall look of your project.  The bowl cozy pattern can be sized but it will change how high the sides are and how small or large the bottom is.  You can also rotate shapes on the mat after you tell it to cut so that you can get the most cuts out of your fabric. 

Multi-Functional

It doesn't just cut fabric!  It will cut almost anything if you have the right blade.  I like a multi-tasker, that's what Alton Brown calls kitchen equipment that does more than one job.  That also means if you are an EPP quilter you can cut your fabric and the paper stabilizers with this machine.  I am not an EPP quilter so I'm not sure what the paper is really called.  Swapping blades is a quick and painless process too.  There's just a little latch that you flip and slide one blade out and slide the new one in and flip the latch shut.  Of course, you can cut vinyl so you can make your own shirts and signs too.

That's why I love my Cricut Maker for quilting and more!  They recently released tools for leather and I'm excited to try them.  Paul has been wanting to make a leather quilt and I'm hoping the tools will make his life a little easier.  He's still gathering leather to use since real leather is not cheap and he isn't wanting to make a wall hanging.

Where to Purchase a Cricut Maker for Quilting

There are several places that you can get the Maker now which makes it much more convenient than when they were first introduced.  Where you purchase depends on what bundles are available.  Which bundle that you purchase is entirely up to you and what you want to do with your Maker.  

Cricut - Nothing better than ordering from the manufacturer if possible.  I've enjoyed working with them as a blogger and as a user.  
Michael's - Michael's is attempting to branch out into the sewing community.  They have opened an online fabric store and carry Riley Blake fabric.  I am trying to figure out what I can make with the FFA fabric I saw that our local FFA chapter could auction for a fundraiser.  
Amazon - They have everything from A-Z so of course, they have the Cricut Maker.

Learn why you need a cricut maker in your quilting room, what it can and can't do, and where to purchase one

Home Ec. Mel
Home Ec. Mel

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