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Cricut Maker FAQ (& Paris Pillow Project too!)

Everyday life is just what we do while we are waiting to go on our next amazing adventure, right? I decided to bring my favorite city – Paris – home with an easy pillow project. I’m going to show you how to make it, along the way I’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the Cricut Maker machine!

[Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Cricut, but all opinions expressed are my own.]

Paris Pillow Cricut Maker FAQ

I’ve been playing with my new Cricut Maker machine for a few months. Even with all of my experience with previous machines, some things have surprised me. And there’s some things I didn’t learn from the information I gathered about the machine before I got it that I know now.

Here’s some of the things that I wish I knew before I got my new Cricut Maker machine:

  • Fabric Cutting: Even though I was super excited about the fabric cutting ability of the Maker’s rotary blade, I assumed that it would have limitations based on my experience with a rotary cutter for quilting. Boy, was I wrong! I’m still experimenting with its capabilities but as you can see from the flowers on this pillow, it can do way more than a regular rotary cutter.
  • Cartridges: I knew the Maker didn’t have a cartridge slot, but what I didn’t know was that it has a cartridge adapter! The adapter plugs into a USB slot on the Maker or your laptop so that you can load new cartridges into Design Space. All of my cartridges are already loaded in Design Space, but hey, I like to know that I still have the option to load more!
  • Tablet Support: The design of the new Maker machine is really pretty…but I had no idea it was functional too! That groove along the top of the machine, under the cover? It turns out it will hold your tablet in place while you use it with your Maker! And for those all day crafting sessions, you can plug into the USB plug on the side of your Maker to recharge your tablet. (Note to self: Add that to my list of reasons to buy a new iPad!)

Those are some of the things I’ve learned about the Maker in my time with it. But let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about the Maker:

Q: What makes the Maker different from other Cricut machines?

A: The biggest difference between the Maker and the previous generation of Cricut machines is the Adaptive Tool System. That’s the “gear wheel” that you see in the right hand tool holder when you look at the front of the machine. This gives the machine the ability to create 10x more power with new tools like the scoring wheel, knife blade, and rotary blade.

Q: What materials can I cut?

A: The Adaptive Tool System opens up a whole new world of materials that the Maker can cut. It can cut thicker leathers, balsa wood, matboard, and the one I’m most excited about – fabric without a backer!

Q: What types of fabric can I cut (without a backer)

A. The answer is…pretty much anything! Cricut now offers packages of coordinated cotton fabrics to use with its machines, or you can hit the fabric store and grab whatever suits your fancy (and your project).

Q: What kind of DIY projects can I make?

A: A better question is what can’t you make? With vinyl for making seasonal and home decor items, iron-on for tshirts & totes, fabric cutting for quilting…and did I mention that Riley Blake and Simplicity have an entire library of sewing patterns in the Cricut Design Access subscription now? Sew gifts, doll clothes, and seasonal decor without the hassle of hand cutting (and know it will be perfect every time).

Q: Will I use the machine enough to justify the price?

A: From DIY parties to DIY gifts…the Cricut Maker makes it easy to finally do all of those things that you’ve been wanting to do. Impress your friends with handmade gifts, make tshirts for the kids sports team….the possibilities are endless!

So, onto the project! Paris is always a good idea, right? This adorable pillow is way simpler to make than it looks. The best part is that the envelope pillow sham is easy to take off to clean – or swap out for something seasonal.

Paris Pillow Cricut Maker FAQ

Supplies Needed: 

I love working with coordinated fabric collections for the same reason that I love working with coordinated paper collections! It makes it so easy to do a project with a variety of patterns without the hassle of coordinating. This Sweet Prairie designer fabric by Riley Blake for Cricut is so beautiful! I’m sure I’ll be using the leftovers for other projects!

Cricut Sweet Prairie fabric

With my pink fabric cutting mat and the rotary blade, the Cricut Maker sliced through the cotton fabric like butter. It also cut my wool felt that I used for one of the flowers beautifully.

Cricut Maker cutting fabric

After I cut out all of the pieces of the design (a process that is simple but just requires some patience with the many different colors), I started adhering it all. I worked pretty close to the middle of the 16″ by 36″ fabric strip. I started with the big pieces, and then worked down to the smaller ones. This process went so fast with my Cricut Easy Press 2!

Cricut Easy Press Eiffel Tower pillow

Getting the leaves positioned is a bit tricky since they are kind of floating in the middle of space and their placement needs to be accurate. I positioned them in place with the flowers to get the whole design right, and then lifted the flowers off and pressed them in place.

Positioning Iron-On to Apply

Next I ironed on the center elements of each flower. When they cooled down, I sewed them down using buttons to hold them in place. I could have sewed all around the outside edge to attache them. But by pinning them down in the centers, the outside edges pop up off the surface, giving them some realistic dimension.

After the flowers were attached, I used invisible thread to sew down a few sequins around them. This step is optional but I like the detail it creates!

Close up of finished flowers

With everything attached, it’s time to sew up the pillow! On each short end of the fabric, I rolled the fabric over twice towards the backside and then stitched close to the turned over edge.

side hems on pillow case

When I started laying out my design, I made small marks near the edge of my fabric to mark the maximum width of my design. As you can see below, I accidentally started my design outside the mark on the right. So I found the center of my design, and made new marks on each side to show where to fold the sides so the design would be centered. For this 16″ pillow, I made my marks about 15.75″ apart.

Marking the fold for pillow

Once you have your marks, fold first one side in over the design, and then the other side. (If you look real hard, you can see the word Paris inside my pillow.) Pin the raw edges together. Stitch 3/8″ from the edge along both of those raw edges.

Pinning Envelope Pillow Cover

And that’s it! I turned my pillow cover right side out and stuffed it with my pillow form. (Tip: Don’t forget to get your form all the way down into the corners!) Now thanks to my Cricut Maker we have a beautiful addition to our bedroom!

Paris Pillow Cricut Maker FAQ

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

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T-Shirt Fun with Cricut Easy Press 2!

I hate ironing. Really, who doesn’t? And because of that, I rarely use Iron-On despite my love of all the cool things that can be done with it. Wrestling with the setting up the ironing board, playing defense against rampaging kids and cats for what seemed like forever until the iron was ready to use…and then the trial and error of trying to get the temperature and time right.

Those days are behind me, because that was before I met Cricut Easy Press 2!

[Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut, but all opinions are my own.]

Scrappy Mom T-Shirt with Cricut Easy Press 2

Now, I want to Iron-on ALL THE THINGS!

And with the new Cricut Strongbond™ Guarantee, I can – because Cricut guarantees that if Cricut Strongbond™ Iron-On is used as directed, I’ll be satisfied or they’ll replace it for free! It’s designed to last 50 wash and dry cycles!

My Cricut Easy Press 2 is the 9×9 size, but it’s also available in 6×7 and 12×10 sizes. When I first read the instructions I was skeptical that it could really complete an iron-on in around a minute. It seemed too good to be true. But I was stunned to discover that in fact, yes, even clutzy me really can finish an iron-on that fast with the Easy Press 2! It’s unbelievable how quickly the Easy Press 2 heats up, and once it does, an iron-on can be applied in only a few seconds.

Here’s a closer look at the logo I created on my t-shirt:

Scrappy Mom T-Shirt Design

Supplies Used:

My file in Cricut Design Space (click here) is sized for a Men’s XXL t-shirt. For smaller shirt sizes, you may need to adjust the size of the design by resizing the group.

Cricut Design Space Scrappy T-Shirt

The patterned elements are made with Cricut Martha Stewart Patterned Iron-On in Wildflower. These coordinating designs are so pretty! I can’t wait to make more projects with the leftovers from my package!

Cricut Martha Stewart Patterned Iron-On

The patterned iron-on has a texture something like a super lightweight canvas. It cut like absolute butter with my regular blade and on the same Light Grip Cutting Mat that I usually use for iron-on.

Cricut Maker cutting Patterned Iron-On

I always use my Cricut Basic Tool Set to work with iron-on and vinyl…the weeding tool is an absolute must for getting out the small inner pieces like the inside of these scissor handles!

Weeding Cricut Patterned Iron-On

The best part about using my Cricut Easy Press 2 is that I could do all of this right in my craft room! My Cricut Easy Press 2 sat in its Safety Base right on my regular craft table while it heated. Then I used the Cricut Easy Press Mat to protect my table while I did the iron-on application to my shirt.

Cricut Easy Press 2

I started my design by placing the center element (the heart) and pressing it in place following the instructions for my Cricut Easy Press 2. With the Cricut Easy Press Quick Reference Guide, I knew exactly what temperature to set my Easy Press 2 at, and how long to press my iron-on. And using the machine’s timer, I couldn’t get the time wrong!

Cricut Easy Press 2 project in progress

Once I had the heart correctly in place, it was easy to build my other design elements around it! The text element was slightly wider than my Cricut Easy Press 2, so I started pressing in the center and worked out to the edges.

Using the Cricut Easy Press 2

In only a few minutes of pressing, I was done! Thanks to the ceramic coated heat plate on the Cricut Easy Press 2, it was easy to get perfect (and secure) application. I look forward to wearing and enjoying this shirt for a long time!

Scrappy Mom T-Shirt with Cricut Easy Press 2

What could you do with the quick and easy iron-on capability of the Cricut Easy Press 2

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

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