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I’m Getting a Cricut Maker!

I’m buying a Cricut Maker!

Over the past year I’ve been getting a ton of questions about whether I use a cutting machine, which one I recommend, can I format my patterns for cutting machines, and more.

I’ve never really been able to answer them because I’ve never used a cutting machine. I watched one demo at Quilt Market several years ago (I don’t even remember what brand) and the cuts were very rough and raggedy-looking to me – so I kind of stopped thinking about it. But I think they’ve come a long way in just a couple of years!

I know a lot of people love their die-cutting machines – but you’re limited to the dies that are available. So if I was going to get one I knew I wanted one that could cut just about any shape. After a ton of research I settled on the Cricut Maker. (That’s an affiliate link. I set myself up as an affiliate because I’m going to be writing a lot about my experience as I figure this thing out, and this way if you shop from my link I make a small commission on your purchase – at no extra charge to you.)

I just ordered mine this morning and hope to be able to start playing with it next week when I’m home again. I’ve talked to people who have this machine, but I still have a lot of questions where I want to see for myself how it works.

  • How does it work on felt?
  • How does it work on paper-backed fusible adhesive?
  • How small can I cut things? Will it work on eyes?
  • Is it easy enough to use that I could start offering little packs of pre-cut eyes?
  • What about offering packs of other precut pieces? Maybe pillow kits for people to make a single block?
  • How does the pen work? Is it dark enough to be able to transfer eye/mouth/etc. markings?
  • How does the design interface work? What would be the best way to format my patterns for this machine?

These are just a few of my many, MANY questions – and now I want to hear from you!

I’ll be shooting some videos as I learn – showing you how to use this thing (and how I’m using it). What do you want to know? What do you want me to show? Leave your questions in the comments or email me at smile@shinyhappyworld.com.

Best,
Wendi

15 COMMENTS

  1. Jordana SAYS...

    I am unlikely to ever buy one myself, but I am very interested to read about your experiences!

  2. Sarah SAYS...

    How many layers of material can it cut accurately at once? I am a quilter with carpal tunnel and have looked at another brand of cutting tool that cuts 6 layers of material at once.

    • That’s definitely one of the things I’ll be testing. 🙂

  3. Janice Mazur SAYS...

    I’m very interested to know if you’ll be able to add an allowance for needle turn applique. That is – image is 2×3 but cuts at 2-1-8×3-1/8. I’m thinking it would be a simple matter of designating the size you want. If you can, it will open up a new world!

  4. I’ve had my Maker for a while now though I haven’t done a whole lot of fabric cutting yet. I did print out a ton of felt flowers though and it cuts through felt with the rotary cutter like butter! Before cutting felt, I highly recommend using a sheet of transfer tape over your mat so the felt doesn’t stick directly to the mat – it is a nightmare to try to get the felt remnants off of the mat and left mine almost useless with zero sticky left afterward.

    You shouldn’t have any problems cutting eyes – it does a really good job with small cuts.

    Design Space is pretty simple to learn – Melody Lane has tons of YouTube videos that will be of great help.

    Can’t wait to see what you do with the Maker! 🙂

  5. Deborah Mazerolle SAYS...

    I’ll be very interested in seeing how you make out with it. I’ve been curious as well and wonder about how long it will before technology updates make a model obsolete. You will likely be answering my questions. I’ll be certain to stay tuned.

  6. Bette SAYS...

    How well does it work on minky and fleece? I’d love to be able to use this to make your plush toys. How much is the continued operating cost if you are frequently cutting minky and fleece, and how easy is it to scan in my existing patterns? What about fussy cutting?

  7. Di SAYS...

    I will be eager to follow your learning experiences Wendi. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  8. Mary Balantic SAYS...

    Congrats to you! Looking forward to your videos.

  9. AJ SAYS...

    sounds like you are going to give it a thorough workout!

    how long do the blades last – would that be measured in days/hours used or number of projects? presumably there is a cutting mat involved, so how long does that last?

    can you use really small scraps to cut from, or do you have to put in a minimum size or the fabric will skite about?

  10. Pam McL SAYS...

    Welcome to the club of cutters. I have a Silhouette, but they are very much alike. The fabric you cut should have the interfacing already ironed on to keep it from moving as the blade pushes through.
    It will cut acrylic felt; wool felt is thicker and I haven’t tried it.
    Both manufactures make machines that will cut through thicker materials, but I don’t see how they would cut stacks of fabric since the blade pushes as it cuts and anything not securely attached to the mat would get pushed as the blade moves and the cut become distorted.
    I use a pen holder with my Silhouette (Cricut probably has the same feature) and Sharpie fine tip markers instead of the manufacturer pens as I’ve heard that the ink doesn’t last long in them.
    You will want to offer your files in both SVG and JPG (or PNG) formats. Silhouette Studio software is provided free in the basic version with the machine purchase…advanced versions are available for a price. Basic version doesn’t open SVG files, so those users would have to trace the file before they could cut it (making sure to trace clean, not jagged, edges and editing out unnecessary edit points to ensure a clean cut). Anyone with one of the advanced software versions can use the SVG file without tracing, giving them a true and accurate cut file.
    It’s a learning process, so don’t rush it. Try not to become frustrated because it’s worth it. There are lots of blogs and videos to help you learn the software. Finding the right cut settings is key, so keep notes on what works . Just remember, you’re working with a very sharp blade. So if your settings suddenly don’t work, it could be that the blade is dull or has a piece of debris preventing it from working properly.

  11. Karin Marr SAYS...

    I am curious to see some demo videos on YouTube. I bought one last week actually and had pretty good luck with vinyl and the first project the give you, but I tried bonded fabric and some of it came out great others not so great. The backing paper slipped off while cutting and got in the way. I think I’m just not doing it right so I can’t wait to see what you do with it.

  12. Deb SAYS...

    I was wondering if there is a way to cut out pattern pieces from a pdf.

  13. Jo SAYS...

    I am really interested to see how this works with felt as I am on the look out for one that can cut any felt shape.

  14. I’m really glad to see you’re doing this as I have had the same dilemma – to buy or not to buy. I’m looking forward to your adventures with this!