Thursday, September 7, 2017

Fabric, Felt and the New Cricut Maker

Thursday, September 7, 2017
This is a sponsored post. I received a Maker machine to review and this post also contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Wondering why you might consider upgrading to a new Maker machine from your Explore? Curious as to what the fuss is all about? Interested in just how excited should you be if you sew or just love fabric? Today I am sharing exactly why I have been so giddy since I first heard about the new Cricut Maker machine.
cut felt and fabric with the Cricut Maker

I have owned a Cricut machine since they first came out. You might remember the cartridges? I still have some! As Cricut has grown and changed I have loved the updates and increased capabilities of their machines and design space. I was given an Explore when they first came out and I have used it over and over again. But, there has always been one draw back for me- working with fabric was always a challenge. I didn't always want to have to back my fabric with something in order to get it to cut. And, even if I did, I often felt like the cuts weren't clean. And don't even get me started on cutting felt! (the pictures below are from the Room Challenge I did for the Cricut Design Star challenge I participated in a couple of years ago, you can see in the first picture that the cuts are pretty good, but there are still a couple threads that didn't get cut all the way)
Cutting Fabric on the Cricut Explore- fabric backed with freezer paper

Reading pouf created using the Cricut Explore


I was told that Cricut was coming out with a new machine that would cut fabric- I was thrilled, but also a little skeptical because I had been told that before with the Explore machines. (which, while it technically does cut fabric, requires backing your fabric and sharp, new blades to get crisp, clean cuts)
So, when I went in to check out the machine- I came prepared with samples of my own! I wanted to see if it really would cut fabric, wool felt and even the cheap acrylic felt from the craft store.
cut fabric with Cricut Maker
Fabric cut with Cricut Maker

Let me tell you, this machine knocked my socks off! The rotary blade is magic!! It's a tiny 12mm blade and it lifts and pivots amazingly!
cut wool felt with Cricut Maker
felt bird cut with Cricut Maker

There are a couple of limitations you should be aware of:
 First: you can only cut down to a 3/4" radius on curves. Any smaller than that and you will damage your fabric mat. For really intricate cuts, they recommend using the bonded fabric blade and fabric backed with a stabilizer such as Heat n Bond
 Second: There is an over cut programmed into the machine so that the corners are sharp and neat, since there is a round blade involved. Why this matters is if you are cutting something thin, like the stem of a leaf, you might find that the stem is cut off because of the over cut. Just something to be aware of.
There are free projects available in Design Space to get you started cutting fabric and felt. In addition, Cricut has teamed up with Simplicity Patterns and Riley Blake Designs to provide patterns and quilts for you to purchase and make. Plus, with design space, you can upload your own designs and create your own projects! I will be sharing the file to make the pincushion in this post soon!
If you focus on paper projects or mostly cut vinyl and already have a Cricut Explore- I would definitely enjoy your machine and not upgrade. But, if you're like me and spend most of your time with fabric, needle and thread I would not hesitate for a second to make the switch. The adaptive tool system provides accuracy and pressure to cut cleanly and the new fabric mat holds the fabric in place so you don't need to add backing to your fabric.
Watch for lots more projects and videos from me soon!
xoxo,
Amy


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

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Fabric Rose Projects to make for your home

Thursday, July 20, 2017
Rose projects made with coming up roses projects
*fabrics in this post were provided by Penny Rose Fabrics as part of their Coming up Roses Blog tour. Projects and opinions are all my own

The first time I saw this Coming up Roses fabric by Penny Rose Fabrics two thoughts came into my mind. The first was that I needed to make an abstract rose mini quilt and the second was this quote by Anais Nin:
blooming flower Anais Nin quote
I have loved this quote forever. It makes me really think and want to try to bloom. :)
Coming up Roses fabric bundle
Don't these fabrics make you feel the same way? I love the purples, but I chose to work with the traditional rose colors of red and pink.
abstract rose pillow
I wanted to mimic the abstract look of the flowers in the main print and found this great tutorial on Hey Let's Make Stuff. I followed most of her instructions, although I didn't do the final quilting until the end because I wanted to do a wavy spiral to mimic a flower. I started with 1 1/2", 2" and 2 1/2" strips of fabric for the center and then moved to 2 1/2", 3" and 3 1/2" wide strips for the outer petals. I just adore the green striped binding!!
I initially thought I would make a mini quilt, but in the end decided to make a fun pillow!  I used a 16" pillow form and a simple envelope closure for the back.
Dimensional roses on fabric banner
The next project I did was this dimensional flower banner. I just love how these 3-d flowers look! I'll be posting a tutorial as soon as I get better lighting. :)
banner with dimensional roses
And last, but not least:
Long stemmed fabric roses for decor

These fabric roses were a fun accent piece to make up! I used this tutorial from Snowy Bliss. The only changes I made were to cut the strips 3" wide instead of 4 1/2" and on the two smaller flowers I used 26" long strips instead of WOF to make them smaller. A tip when making these: if you want the flower to be more open, gather the fabric strip more, it will push your petals out more.
use fabric to create rose themed home decor
I just love how these projects came out and I can't wait to find a special place in my craft room to display them and remind myself that it might take courage to blossom, but it's not as hard as staying small!
xoxo,
Amy

Monday, June 12, 2017

Joyful Snowflake table runner with free pattern

Monday, June 12, 2017
free sewing pattern for this Joyful Snowflake table runner
The fabric for this post was provided by Riley Blake Designs, the pattern and opinions are all my own.

Today is my turn on the Comfort and Joy blog tour for Riley Blake Designs. This fabric is seriously cute! I decided to take a motif from one of the mittens in the line and created a free pattern for a table runner that I just can't wait to use next holiday season. And, it's already ready, which is one of the benefits of sewing for Christmas in June! :)
use Comfort and Joy fabric from Riley Blake Designs to create a holiday table runner
 My kids thought it was crazy that I was using Christmas fabric in the summer time, but hey, what do they know?

Joyful Snowflake table runner is sewn using Comfort and Joy fabric from Riley Blake
 I just love all these great colors!
You can find the free tutorial available for download here. But, please remember that this pattern is provided as a courtesy. Every effort was made to ensure accuracy in fabric requirements, cutting and assembly instructions. But, I'm only human. If you do discover an error, please send me an e-mail and I will correct it as quickly as possible. 
The joyful snowflake table runner is shown with coordinating embroidered ornaments
 I am currently working on editing and modifying the patterns for these fun holiday ornaments as well. I'm hoping they will be ready for sale in July!

So, tell me, are you an early bird and get going on the holiday preparations super ahead of time, or are you more like I usually am and kind of a last minute person? Maybe you're a bit in between? I'd love to hear how you gear up for big events like the holiday season.

If you want to see more projects using this Comfort and Joy fabric, you can see the other stops on the blog tour on the Riley Blake Designs blog.
xoxo,
Amy
 
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