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The new Cricut Maker cutting machine

A couple months ago I got some verrrry exciting packages in the mail. What was inside? The brand new Cricut Maker cutting machine and a whole bunch of supplies and accessories to go along with it!

I’ve never owned or used a machine like this before, so it’s all brand new to me (and admittedly it took me a while to actually plug it in and start figuring out how to use it, because I was intimidated!), but let me tell you: this machine is so fun and easy to start using right from the get-go, I’m not sure why I waited so long.

Check out all these fun and amazing supplies:

A crafter’s dream, am I right? Scissors in multiple sizes! A tape measure! Markers galore! Tweezers! A paper cutter! Multiple cutting blades! PIns and a pin cushion! It was like Christmas opening up all this stuff; that’s not even an exaggeration.

One thing I love the most about the design of this cutting machine is how they thoughtfully added places to store the supplies and machine accessories right on the machine itself:

I also got a variety of papers and cutting mats:

As you can see there on that pink mat, this machine cuts fabric. You guys, THIS MACHINE CUTS FABRIC!!!

This past weekend I took a class at a local fabric store all about English Paper Piecing. Basically we spent a bunch of time cutting out hexagons and other geometric shapes using a template and a rotary cutter. Which worked fine and wasn’t too cumbersome cutting out shapes for just a small project. But I got to thinking about what a gigantic and time-consuming pain in the neck it would be to cut out, say, 300 hexagons in order to make a quilt something larger. 300 hexagons with a rotary cutter? No thanks. I don’t have time for that. I have a toddler and a business to run! ;)

So I started thinking about how I could make the process more efficient and TA DAAAAA, that’s where the Cricut Maker comes in. That’ll be the next post. I’m going to EPP (English Paper Piece) a little project and cut out the pieces with the Cricut Maker and show you alllll the steps along the way. That’ll come next week!

For now I’ll tell you a bit more about the machine.

What’s different about the Cricut Maker compared with other versions of the Cricut machine as well as other cutting machines is that there are more tools available to use and it’s waaaaay more versatile. It can cut all sorts of materials, from fabric to balsa wood to vinyl to leather to paper to matboard and beyond. You can make more than ever before, and it’ll look super professional because a wobbly hand isn’t cutting things out (are your hands wobbly and imprecise sometimes like mine are?), a smart machine is!

I’m going to be preparing a booth for Quilt Market over the next couple of months, and this machine is going to come in *very* handy, cutting fabric pieces for me to make my sewing projects come together more quickly and precisely, along with vinyl and paper pieces for booth decorations and probably a lot more that I haven’t even thought of yet.

So, I’ll most likely be creating all my own projects, since that’s the kind of creator that I am (I am terrible at following a pattern. Like, terrible. I’m the same with cooking recipes, haha.), and the Design Space program that Cricut runs on makes it easy to upload your own designs and sewing/cutting patterns; but there’s also an incredibly extensive and creative sewing pattern library available in Design Space, which uou can easily purchase and use right away. This is truly a machine for every kind of creative maker.

THE ROTARY BLADE:

The new Rotary Blade is the tool I’m going to find the most useful for my sewing purposes; it cuts fabric for a sewing project – without backing material. With its gliding, rolling action, this blade cuts through virtually any fabric and delicate paper quickly and accurately. You simple stick it on the cutting mat, load it into the machine, and press go. Voila. Perfect pieces every time. I can’t wait to show you.

Somehow the machine controls are so smart they can detect the direction of the blade and the cut pressure to match the material – so it knows if you’re cutting cotton, knits, canvas, etc.

THE WASHABLE FABRIC PEN:

This is another tool I’m pretty psyched about. My sewing machine is not very fancy, and I don’t have the best sewing set-up in my studio (I’m still a beginner and don’t know all the “shoulds” for setting up a sewing area yet!), so my lines are not always very straight. Ha, I blame the machine and my setup; I’m sure the problem is really just me and trying to rush through things, haha. Anyway, with the washable fabric pen you can eliminate the guesswork as you’re stitching and know exactly where to put your needle at all times and how pieces are supposed to fit together. SO valuable, no?

The machine has a lot of thoughtful details as well, like a docking slot on the top so you can put your iPad or phone there while you’re working. The Design Space app makes it really easy to lay things out right from your devices, and then you can have the design right there in front of you as you’re readying the machine for printing and cutting. Also, there’s a USB charging port on the side, which: how smart is that?!

WHAT COMES IN THE BOX?

Here’s what you’ll get if you order just the machine:

– Cricut Maker™ machine

– Rotary Blade + Drive Housing

– Premium Fine Point Blade + Housing

– Fine Point Pen

– FabricGrip™ Mat 12″ x 12″

– LightGrip™ Mat 12″ x 12″

– Welcome book

– USB cable and power adapter

– Cricut Access™ free trial membership

– 50 free ready-to-make projects, including 25 sewing patterns

– basic materials for a first project (paper and fabric pieces)

I got some extra things to go along with what comes in the box, which you obviously don’t have to do; once you’re comfortable using the machine and want to expand its uses, you can add accessories and materials as you go. :)

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Next week I’ll show you what I made with this baby. Perfectly cut hexies, here I come!

*This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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