Last night I busted open my new Cricut Maker and after unboxing it, installing software and completing a test cut on some cardstock, I scooted right along and into what I hoped the Cricut Maker could do well: cut fabric.
As an avid sewer and quilter, I wanted to know how well the rotary cutter on the machine worked.
Would it make a clean cut? Could it cut small pieces without fraying? Would I just waste a bunch of my precious quilting fabric by testing this machine out? What projects could this machine help you complete?
The answers to the above questions are yes, yes, no and SKY IS THE LIMIT!
Making a Clean Cut:
The Cricut Maker claims it can cut fabric for quilting projects without any backing or stabilizer.
I found this one hard to believe because I have owned die cutting machines for over a decade now and while I’ve had success cutting fabric with it (you can see my Easter bunny garland here), the primary drawback was that your fabric needed to have a stabilizer on it so that it didn’t move or fray. This obviously limits the projects you could complete with it.
So how did the rotary blade do on raw, un-backed fabric?
In a word…WOW!
The Cricut Maker rotary blade cut fabric precisely and quickly! While I have not tested out cutting a full quilt because the patterns in Cricut Design Space look like they need 12×24 inch fabric mats to make the most efficient use of fabric, I did test out cutting some pieces for a small 6-inch Farm Girl Vintage Block.
Cutting Small Pieces:
If you know anything about the Farm Girl Vintage blocks by Bee Lori Holt, the small 6-inch blocks require itty bitty pieces and precise measuring and cutting.
Quite frankly, I did not think the Cricut could handle it.
But, I was wrong!
I cut 12 three-quarter inch blocks and 12 one-inch blocks with ease! I did have two pieces that were 1×8 inches that didn’t work, but in hindsight, it was user error because I had not secured my fabric to the corner of the mat that well which resulted in it pulling away due to a snag.
Initial thoughts from my test…I am impressed!
So far I have found that I didn’t waste any fabric…yet. As I said before, I have not tested out a full quilt (Design Space has many quilt patterns for purchase designed by Riley Blake), so I am unable to say if this machine wastes more fabric than traditional rotary cutting.
I did not waste any fabric in my test cutting process due to machine malfunction or incorrect settings because the software sets the machine settings for you! I’m telling you, this is a major plus!
In my previous die cutting experience I often wasted materials due to incorrect settings that didn’t work appropriately, so I love that the software takes the chance out it. If I wanted to gamble and be risky, I’d go to Vegas! Baby.
Potential Projects specifically for quilters:
So what could you use it for? While Cricut Maker machines can cut anything from paper to fabric to leather to balsa wood (yes, I know. It can cut wood!) I want to specifically focus on what a quilter or sewer might use it for.
I completed this quilted rainbow project in one evening…with zero previous Cricut experience!
This shows how easy it was to set up and get started. The most time consuming part was picking out my fabric choices, but isn’t that always the most difficult part!
You could use this machine for the obvious use of cutting blocks. I could see myself speeding up the cutting process of my Farm Girl Vintage blocks by using my machine to cut all of my white background fabrics while I did used my regular rotary cutter for cutting the colored pieces.
Applique projects would become easy peasy and my quick little rainbow quilt proves that. Normally for applique projects you trace your design onto fusible web, then you press it onto the backside of your fabric, and then you hand cut it out.
With the Cricut Maker, all I did was fuse my Heat and Bond onto some fabric, stick it to the mat, and the machine did the rest! This gave me more time to get my background and binding ready.
I hope this initial review was helpful and if there’s anything you’d like to know or something you would like me to try, drop a comment below!