Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker

Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter | Embroidery sampler pillow against quilted background

Practice simple embroidery stitches while creating a boho stitch sampler in an abstract, modernist style. Use a Cricut Maker with a free cut file to mark and cut this faux hoop art pillow. It makes a great decoration or quick gift, too.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. This post is sponsored by Cricut, but all opinions and thoughts are my own. My sewing machine sponsor is Baby Lock. Additional materials for this post were generously provided by Fairfield World and Taunton Press.

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

Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter | Embroidery sampler pillow against wood background

Ever since I got a Cricut Maker last year, I have been on a little bit of a sewing spree. As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts about the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade (here and here), the Maker has been my dream machine. I love the ease of cutting fabric (even into complicated shapes like an adorable bear softie) without a stabilizer with materials that are included in the Maker box (that is, the Rotary Blade and the FabricGrip Mat). Using the Washable Fabric Pen makes it easy to mark up your fabric with sewing lines for attaching pieces, or to create embroidery lines.

Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter | Embroidery sampler pillow against bedspread with embroidered pillow

Since adding the Maker to their machine line up, Cricut has really stepped up their game by offering lots of projects for sewists in Cricut Design Space. Like, seriously, hundreds. They’ve also started carrying fabric in their online shop, including designer samplers, genuine leather (in addition to faux leather), quilt panels (in case the patchwork part of quilting isn’t so much your thing), felt, and even pre-cut fabric (if you want to jump right into sewing with less cutting).

Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter | Cricut Sewing Kit in box

And, of course, once you start carrying fabric and catering to sewists, you need to add tools, right? For this project, I used the Cricut Sewing Kit, which includes a set of fabric shears, thread snips (which are perfect for embroidery, too), seam ripper, thimble, measuring tape (because I know personally I can never have enough of these!), and pins with a pin cushion. If the Cricut has inspired you to do quilting, you may also want to consider the Rotary Cutting Kit.

Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter | Cricut Sewing Kit out of box

Let me back it up a bit to tell you more about today’s project. A while back, Taunton sent me a review copy of Boho Embroidery: Modern Projects from Traditional Stitches by Nichole Vogelsinger. I have always loved hand embroidery since childhood, but I never really had the patience for the detailed projects that were popular then. Once I got old enough to have the patience, my eyesight wasn’t good enough for the detailed work that complex embroidery projects required. Boho Embroidery inspired me to take more of a freeform approach to embroidery, and that’s where I got the idea for this sampler pillow. I don’t have lots of wall space, so while hoop art is, in theory, awesome, there’s no real place to hang it in my apartment. A pillow seemed more practical so I decided to make a faux hoop using my Cricut Maker! I didn’t have to worry about making drawing a perfect hoop circle because the Cricut can do that for me.

Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter | Supplies for embroidery

My sampler is very simple. I used the Washable Fabric Pen to make the circle for the hoop outline and then I freeformed a variety of stitches (which are labeled below). If you’d like to have a more structured sampler, you can add more embroidery lines with the Washable Fabric Pen to your cut file by choosing Customize before you cut.

Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow

Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter

Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter | Embroidery sampler pillow against quilted background

I created a simple, pieced pillow using fabric from a Cricut Riley Blake quilt kit. The centerpiece of the pillow is a faux hoop art circle featuring an abstract, modernist embroidery sampler.

Finished Size

  • Approximately 7” (18 cm) before stuffing.

Tools

Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter | Cricut Maker with supplies

Materials

Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter | Cricut Sewing Kit out of box

Instructions

Mark and Cut Your Fabric

  • Press your fabric with your EasyPress 2 with EasyPress Mat, or iron with other heat-safe surface.
  • Open the Boho Stitch Sampler cut file in Design Space.
  • Select Customize to add additional embroidery lines if desired. Click on Make It to start your project. Place the fabric on the mat, install the Washable Fabric Pen, and then follow the instructions for cutting.
  • Remove your fabric from the mat. Use the fabric shears to cut away the unused fabric to save for a future project.

Create Your Embroidery Sampler

  • Place your marked piece of fabric into the embroidery hoop, using the circle as a guide for the hoop.
Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter | Fabric on top of embroidery hoop
  • If you’re using your Cricut BrightPad, plug it in and turn it on. Adjust the illumination level based on your embroidery floss and fabric colors, and the ambient lighting in your room.
  • Create your sampler using your chosen colors of embroidery floss and your favorite embroidery stitches. Use your thimble if necessary and trim threads after knotting on back with the thread snips.
Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter | Sampled stitches in progress
Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter | Embroidery sampler removed from hoop
  • After you finish doing the sampler stitches inside of the hoop, remove your fabric from the hoop and use your EasyPress 2 or iron to press it flat. Then work the back stitch around the marked circle to create your faux hoop.

Assemble the Pillow

  • Once your sampler piece is completed, trim down the fabric with your hoop art to measure 5” (13 cm) square, with the faux hoop centered in the middle.
  • Pin the short fabric rectangles to the sides of this square.
Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter | Pinned front of pillow with pin cushion, scissors, and measuring tape
  • Sew the rectangles in place using a 1/4″ seam.
Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter | Pillow being sewn on Baby Lock Jubilant machine
  • With your EasyPress 2 or iron, press the seams towards the darker fabric.
Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter | First panels sewn to pillow top
  • Pin the longer rectangles to the sides of the fabric piece.
  • Sew the rectangles in place using a 1/4″ seam.
Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter | Pinned fabric on front of pillow
  • With your EasyPress 2 or iron, press the seams towards the darker fabric.
Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter | Pieced front of pillow
  • Position the square piece of fabric on top of the seamed piece of fabric with the right sides facing.
Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter | Backing fabric
  • Sew both pieces together using a 1/2″ seam and leaving approximately 3” (7.5 cm) open.
  • With your fabric shears, cut the triangle out on each seamed corner as shown in the picture.
Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter | Pillow inside out
  • Pull the right side of the pillow out through the 3” (7.5 cm) opening.
Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter | Unstuffed pillow turned right side out
Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter | partially stuffed pillow
  • With thread and needle, fold over the seams of the opening and hand sew closed.
Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter | Pillow next to bag of Poly-Fil

Enjoy your pillow!

Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow with Cricut Maker Tutorial by Underground Crafter | Embroidery sampler pillow against faux fur background

The Boho Stitch Sampler Pillow is also featured on AllFreeSewing.com. Sign up for their free newsletter to get free patterns sent to you daily!

Cricut Basics: Modern Quilted Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade

Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter

This is the second post in my series about the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade. The Rotary Blade makes using your Cricut Maker for quilting, sewing, and other fabric crafts super easy. It can cut fabric very precisely and without wear and tear on you and your back and joints. In today’s post, I’ll be sharing a project for a Modern Quilt Pillow that I made with the Rotary Blade.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. This post is sponsored by Cricut, but all opinions and thoughts are my own. My sewing machine sponsor is Baby Lock. Additional materials for this post were generously provided by Fairfield World.

If you missed the first post in this series, don’t forget to read Get To Know the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade (Part 1).

Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | supplies

I’ve been doing much more sewing since I got my Cricut Maker, and the Rotary Blade is the main reason why! It’s one of the tools that can be used in the Maker’s Adaptive Tool System, and it allows you to use your Cricut to cut fabric without a stabilizer. You’ll also need the FabricGrip Cutting Mat. Both the FabricGrip Cutting Mat and the Rotary Blade are included in the box with your Maker,  so as soon as you take it out of the box, you’ll just need some fabric and you are ready to go!

Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | Rotary Blade

I used to do a lot of strip quilting back in the day, but in my current apartment, I don’t have lots of space to set up a cutting table, or a large, unused surface that I can use for cutting. And, let’s be honest, my back is not as it once was, so the idea of bending over cutting fabric for hours is not really something that makes me excited! Today’s project is a Modern Quilt Pillow. It’s a simple project that doesn’t require a large amount of cutting, but with the Maker and the Rotary Blade, it definitely works up faster and with less back and wrist strain than cutting by hand.

I’m sharing a link to this project in Cricut Design Space. You can use my pillow design or create your own! (If you do create your own, be sure to add 1/2″ to each side of each piece for a 1/4″ seam allowance.) And, if you just want to try out the Rotary Blade without doing any math (which is fine by me), you can use my project or any one of the great sewing projects that are included with your Cricut Access Standard subscription.

Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | pillow flat lay on couch

Modern Quilted Pillow

Tutorial by Underground Crafter

Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter

I used a simple, geometric design and the “quilt-as-you-go” method to add some depth and softness to this pillow. Use colors that coordinate or contrast with your room for different looks. This pillow would add some brightness to your home decor. It also makes a great gift for a housewarming, wedding, or baby shower.

Tools

Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | supplies

Materials

Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | supplies

Instructions

Prepare Your Fabric

  • Prewash and press your fabric to remove wrinkles using your EasyPress 2 with EasyPress Mat, or an iron with ironing board.

Cut Your Fabric and Batting

Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | fabric on mat
  • Using your fabric scissor or rotary cutter and cutting mat, cut a 20” square of the fabric you will use to back the inside of your pillow. This will not be seen, so it can be made with orphaned quilt blocks, muslin, or scraps. Cut a 20” square of batting. Neither needs to be perfectly square because you will trim both pieces down to 18.5” later.
Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | cut fabric

Sew Your Pillow

  • Start by sewing the 2 sets of 3 short rectangles into strips using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  • Once you have 2 strips of short rectangles, set aside the 2 large rectangles (for the pillow back) and the 2 long, narrow strips (for the sides of the pillow front) and arrange your remaining fabric strips in the order you will sew them together.
Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | positioning strips
  • Create a “quilt sandwich” for the front of the pillow. The 20” square of fabric will go on the bottom, the 20” square of batting will go in the middle, and your first 2 strips of rectangles will go on the top layer. Align your rectangle strips with the top of your quilt sandwich with the first strip facing right side up and the second strip on top of it, facing right side down. Both strips should be centered relative to the sides of the quilt sandwich.
Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | positioning strips
  • Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew the rectangles together along the long edge, working through all layers.
Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | sewing strips
  • Finger press the rectangles flat. Place the next rectangle in your series face down over the last rectangle you sewed. Continue adding rectangles in this fashion.
  • One you have the main set of strips sewn, position the first of the long, narrow strips. It should be face down, perpendicular to the rest of your strips. Sew into position using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Position the second of the long, narrow strips face down on the opposite side of the pillow and sew into position.
  • Press or iron the front of the pillow with all the sewn strips using your EasyPress 2 with EasyPress Mat, or an iron with ironing board. Trim the front of the pillow to 18.5” square.
Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | quilted front of pillow
  • Press or iron an approximately 1/2″ strip down on the wrong side of the long edge of each of the larger rectangles for the pillow back with your EasyPress 2 with EasyPress Mat, or an iron with ironing board. Using  a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew down these strips to create a hem.
  • Create another sandwich. Place the pillow front right side up. Place the 2 hemmed rectangles over the pillow front, with right sides facing (wrong side up).
Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | pillow sandwich for final sewing
  • Sew a 1/4″ seam around the entire pillow case.
Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | pillow with Baby Lock Jubilant
  • Pull the pillow case right side out and insert pillow form.
Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | pillow back

Enjoy your pillow!

Modern Quilt Pillow with Cricut Maker Rotary Blade tutorial by Underground Crafter | pillow on couch

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

The Modern Quilted Pillow is also featured on AllFreeSewing.com. Sign up for their free newsletter to get free patterns sent to you daily!

Cricut Basics: Get To Know the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade (Part 1)

Get To Know the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade with Pillow Sneak Peek on Underground Crafter

I’m kicking off a series of posts about the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade, an awesome tool that makes combining sewing, quilting, and other fabric crafts with your Cricut very easy. If cutting fabric is one of your least favorite parts of sewing, if you have a tendency to make cutting errors, or if you’d like to try some sewing projects with unusual shapes and intricate cuts, then you’ll love the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. This post is sponsored by Cricut, but all opinions and thoughts are my own.

One of my crafty New Year’s Resolutions is to sew more. I’ve mentioned a few times now that my Cricut Maker is one of my favorite crafty tools and that I’m particularly fond of its amazing ability to cut fabric without a stabilizer using the Rotary Blade and FabricGrip Cutting Mat. In today’s post, I’m going to share some more information about the Rotary Blade, along with a sneak peek of a sewing tutorial that I’ll be sharing on the blog soon. (Update: Here’s the link to the finished project!)

Get To Know the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade with Pillow Sneak Peek on Underground Crafter | Patchwork Pillow Project supplies

About the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade

When Cricut first announced the release of the Cricut Maker, the feature that instantly drew me in was the ability to cut fabric without a stabilizer. As you may know, I’m not the biggest fan of ironing, and I’m also not the biggest fan of bending over for hours to cut out pieces of fabric. It’s not all that easy to cut pieces of fabric that aren’t square or rectangular, either, especially when you have to cut lots and lots of them, which is why when I was quilting a lot I always made projects using strips or squares.

Enter the Rotary Blade. It’s one of many tools that are part of the Cricut Maker Adaptive Tool System. The Rotary Blade fits into Clamp “B,” and it can cut up to three layers of fabric at a time without a stabilizer. Besides cutting out squares and rectangles faster than I can (and certainly with less strain on my back), it can also cut out all the unusual shapes for appliques and curved quilts quickly and accurately.

Get To Know the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade with Pillow Sneak Peek on Underground Crafter | rotary blades with text overlay

The Rotary Blade, along with a FabricGrip Cutting Mat, are included with your Cricut Maker so there’s no extra expense and you can get started with sewing projects right away! There are quite a few sewing patterns and projects that are available for free with a Cricut Access Standard subscription, and there are over a hundred that you can purchase.

Get To Know the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade with Pillow Sneak Peek on Underground Crafter | Design Space screenshot

You can also make your own sewing projects, like I did, using the features Cricut Design Space — adding shapes that you’d like to cut and then editing the shapes to fit specific measurements of your existing quilting or sewing patterns. Cricut even sells fabric now, like this Riley Blake Designs Ocean Solids Baby Size kit.

Get To Know the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade with Pillow Sneak Peek on Underground Crafter | flat lay of fabric, cutting mat, rotary blade, and washable marker

By the way, if you plan to do a lot of fabric cutting with your Maker, you may want to get a Washable Fabric Pen. It doesn’t come with the Maker so you’ll need to purchase it separately. Many of the patterns that are in Design Space include marking lines to help you with placement, and the Washable Fabric Pen (as the name suggests) washes the marks off, so it’s perfect for using with fabric.

Get To Know the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade with Pillow Sneak Peek on Underground Crafter | fabric coming off cutting mat

If you’ve been using a standard rotary cutter for your fabric, you know that over time, the blade will dull and need replacement. The same is true of the Cricut Rotary Blade, so there is a replacement kit for you to safely replace the blade. You’ll know when it’s time to replace your blade because you’ll start seeing uncut threads when the blade dulls.

Next week, I’ll be sharing the tutorial for a pillow pattern I designed with all the fabric cut using the Cricut MakerRotary Blade, and the FabricGrip Cutting Mat. Here’s a sneak peek! (Update: The Modern Quilt Pillow tutorial and cut files are now available here.)

Get To Know the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade with Pillow Sneak Peek on Underground Crafter | cut fabric

Do you have any questions about the Cricut Maker or the Rotary Blade that I can answer in an upcoming post? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground CrafterDo you love all things “ugly sweater?” I’m showing you how to make your very own ugly sweater holiday cards using fabric and iron-on scraps and your Cricut Maker!

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. This post is sponsored by Cricut, but all opinions and thoughts are my own.

As my regular readers know, I’ve been in love with my Cricut Maker since I received one back in May.

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground Crafter | Cricut MakerIt has a ton of features, but my absolute favorites are its ability to cut fabric without a stabilizer using the Rotary Blade and FabricGrip Cutting Mat (both of which are included in the box)…

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground Crafter | Cricut Maker materials for first projectand the amazing score lines you can make with ease using the Scoring Wheel and Double Scoring Wheel (which you can learn more about in this post). The fabric cutting I love because it makes it fun to sew more since I don’t have to worry about “messing up” intricate cuts. And, the score lines I love because I can finally make cards that actually look good! Both of these features highlight the Adaptive Tool System that the Maker has, which tells you when to load different tools based on your materials and your project. My third most favoritest (is that a word?) feature is the lack of a Smart Dial. I just tell Design Space what I’m making, choose my materials from the drop down menu, and bam!, all the settings are optimized.

I used to be one of those people that always sent out holiday cards (and on time) but the past few Decembers have been really busy and I haven’t quite made it happen. This year, I wanted to do something different and I was inspired to put together a project that I could make quickly on my Cricut Maker to get me back into the swing of the holiday spirit: ugly sweater cards.

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground Crafter | Ugly sweater card going into envelopeAs a crocheter and knitter, I’ve always found the act of creating an ugly sweater to be totally pointless – I mean the amount of work required and then to make it ugly? Explain! But mini ugly sweaters – where you can make several cards in one day – I am totally down for. I hope you enjoy this project and I can’t wait to see your version!

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker

Tutorial by Underground Crafter

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground CrafterI gathered up some pieces of “what was I doing when I bought this” fabric along with fabric, paper, and iron-on scraps to put together my very own ugly sweater cards. You can customize your version by adding more embellishments using fabric paints, beads, and other findings.

Tools

Materials

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground Crafter | Supplies for ugly sweater cards

Instructions

Score and Cut Your Cards and Envelopes

I searched the Ready-to-Make projects until I found a matching card and envelope set that I liked. Then, I customized the project by removing all of the card decorations so that I was just scoring and cutting blank cards and envelopes. I made several, using a mix of colors of cardstock for the cards and foil poster board and cardstock for envelopes. Be sure to change your materials in Design Space so that you will be using the correct blade and scoring wheel!

Remove your cards and envelopes from the cutting mats. Fold your cards and envelopes along the score lines. Use your adhesive to seal the envelopes (and set aside to dry, if necessary).

Cut Your Sweaters and Embellishments

I searched for sweater in the image menu in Design Space and choose one that is included with a Cricut Access Standard subscription.

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground Crafter | Design Space screenshotOnce I had the sweater image on my canvas, I resized it so that it would fit on my folded card. I added a star shape and resized it to fit on the sweater. (You could also search for another image, like a Christmas tree, instead.) Then I duplicated the resized sweater and star. I edited these images in 4 different colors (one for cardstock, one for fabric, and one for each type of iron-on) so that Design Space would know which to put on a mat together and I could select the appropriate tools before cutting.

Choose the right material in Design Space for each mat and it will let you know which tool to use. Remember to use the Fabric Mat when cutting fabric! Also, even though you are using iron-on, it isn’t necessary to mirror your mats because the star shape is the same on front and back.

After your pieces are cut, remove them gently from the mats. Use your weeder to peel off the excess iron-on around your stars or to “poke out” the little cuts in your sweaters.

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground Crafter | Ugly sweater cards before assembly with tools and materialsAssemble Your Ugly Sweaters

Preheat your EasyPress 2 to the temperature required for your materials and prepare your pressing surface. (If you’re new to the EasyPress 2, you can find out more about it in this blog post.)

Press the stars or other iron-on embellishments onto your sweaters.

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground Crafter | ugly sweaters ready for assemblyOnce your sweaters are embellished, use an appropriate adhesive to attach the sweaters to your cards.

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground Crafter | Ugly sweater card ready for assemblyWait for the adhesive to dry if necessary, and then you’re cards are ready!

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground Crafter | Ugly sweater card against background

Write out your notes on the inside and you are ready to include your ugly sweater cards with a gift or send them off to a new home.

DIY Ugly Sweater Cards with Cricut Maker by Underground Crafter | Ugly sweater cards with tools and envelopes

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

Answers to Your Top 5 Cricut Maker Questions + How To Make a Vintage Bear Softie!

Answers to Your Top 5 Cricut Maker Questions + How To Make a Vintage Bear Softie by Underground CrafterSince I got my Cricut Maker this summer, I’ve gotten lots of questions from readers through email and on Facebook. I’m going to answer the top 5 questions about the Cricut Maker and show you how to make this adorable, vintage-style bear softie, too.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. This post is sponsored by Cricut, but all opinions and thoughts are my own. My sewing machine sponsor is Baby Lock. Additional materials for this project were generously provided by Madeira USA and Fairfield World.

Back in May, I received a Cricut Maker from the nice folks at Cricut. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you that I had been craving one since they were introduced last August. It’s fair to say that on the day when my Maker was delivered, I was doing quite a bit of dancing around the apartment, composing my own Cricut tunes, and then singing those songs in my lovely off-key voice. MC was a little bewildered at first, but once I explained to him what the Maker was and how it was different than the Explore Air, he was also pretty stoked for me. (But not quite enough to get him singing and dancing, too.)

Earlier this year, I wrote a post answering the twelve most common questions about Cricut, so if you’re completely new to the world of electronic cutting machines, you may want to check that out. In today’s post, I’m going to share answers to the 5 questions I’ve heard the most about the Maker since I got it. If you already have a Maker, you can scroll right down to my Vintage Bear tutorial.

Top 5 Questions About the Cricut Maker Answered!

The questions I hear most often are will I use the Maker enough to justify the price?, what makes the Maker different from other Cricut machines?, what types of fabric can I cut with it without using a backer?, which materials can I cut?, and what kind of DIY projects can I make?

Will I use the Maker enough to justify the price?

Without knowing you and your life personally, I can’t say for sure, but I will say that if you actually do use it regularly, the answer is most likely yes. Here’s why.

Get To Know Cricut Maker Scoring Wheels with Underground Crafter - Cricut Maker

  • The Cricut Maker is easy to use, right out of the box. If you’ve never even used an electronic cutting machine before, there’s a project (with all the materials!) included to get you started. At the same time, you can link your machine with your computer or tablet and set up your Cricut Design Space account. So yes, if you get one in a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale, you will have plenty of gifts ready in time for Christmas!
  • Cricut Access has TONS of free Ready-to-Make projects included with a subscription. If you are not a graphic designer (and even if you are, but you’re pressed for time), I highly recommend a Cricut Access subscription. You can access projects right away with all the graphics and fonts AND instructions included so you will never be short on ideas for a last-minute gift, card, decoration, or gift wrap.
  • If you like to design, you can upload your own images for free. If you’re more of a designer type, you can create your own graphics, use your own fonts, and then upload projects to write, score, and/or cut with just a little adjustment in Design Space. You can find out more about how easy it is to upload images to Design Space in my tutorial for a literary geek t-shirt.
  • You can multi-task with the Maker. While my Cricut Maker is cutting my materials, writing out my address labels, or scoring my greeting cards, I can be putting finishing touches on another project or ironing fabric for my next project.
  • You can make lots of different types of projects with it. I’ll get more into this one below, but basically if you add up all the gifts, cards, and gift boxes you can use it to make, you’ll probably break even on your costs within the year (or sooner, if you have a large handmade gift list).
  • Finally, if price is a big concern for you, get it on sale! Cricut Makers are sold by Cricut, Michaels, Amazon, and other sites, so if you pay attention you can buy one at a great discount, or you can buy a bundle that includes cutting materials.

What makes the Maker different from other Cricut machines?

There are several features and tools that make the Cricut Maker different than the Cricut Explore series (or older Cricut electronic cutting machines). For me, there are two that I use regularly.

  • You can cut fabric without a backer. Using the Rotary Blade and FabricGrip Cutting Mat (both included in the box with your Maker), you can cut fabric without a backer. That was the big game changer that made the Cricut Maker “special” for me… but then I learned about the Scoring Wheels.
  • You can make the most incredible and precise score lines, even in heavier materials. If you buy the Scoring Wheel and Double Scoring Wheel, you can instantly get over your fear of paper crafting. 

How To Make Picture Perfect Cards (and Other Folds) with the Cricut Maker Scoring Wheel by Underground Crafter - before and after folds

Find out more in these three posts I wrote introducing the Scoring Wheels.

What else is different?

  • The Maker doesn’t have a Smart Dial, so you never need to worry about being on the wrong material setting. You choose your materials in Design Space and then the machine adjusts automatically.
  • The Maker has an Adaptive Tool System that tells you which tools to add and when. This is really helpful when you are using new materials and aren’t sure which blade to use.
  • The Maker can use several additional blades and tools, including the Rotary Blade, Scoring Wheels, and Knife Blade for thicker materials.
  • The Maker has a 2x speed setting. If you’re in a rush, you can crank things up a bit. The Explore Air 2 also has this feature.

What types of fabric can I cut with the Maker without a backer?

As I mentioned, the ability to cut fabric was really what I was looking most forward to in the Maker. You don’t need a stabilizer or other backer to cut fabric as long as you use your Rotary Blade and FabricGrip Cutting Mat (or Knife Blade, for leathers) and choose the right fabric material in Design Space. You can cut most fabrics with the Cricut Maker,  including leather, bamboo, boucle, broadcloth, burlap, calico, canvas, cashmere, chiffon, corduroy, cotton, damask, denim, faux fur, felt, fleece, khaki, quilt batting, silk, spandex, suede, and tulle. You can find a full list here, or try another fabric with a thickness of less than 2.4 mm.

Which materials can I cut?

In addition to the 100+ materials that can be cut with a Cricut Explore, and the fabrics listed above, you can also cut thicker materials with the Maker than the Explore. You can find a full list of all the standard materials you can use with the Maker here. My favorite materials to cut are fabric (have I mentioned that already??!!), iron-on, poster board, vinyl, and cardstock.

What kind of DIY projects can I make?

I’ve made a lot of great gifts with the Maker in the past few months, including t-shirts, cards, gift boxes, and more.

How To Make a Foil Poster Board Gift Box with the Cricut Maker Double Scoring Wheel by Underground Crafter - Heart Gift Box against yellow backgroundThe cutting of fabric without a backer is a real game changer for me personally. I’ll be sharing a tutorial for the Vintage Bear, a sewing project using the Maker, further down in this post. As with the Explore series of machines, you can write, cut, and print then cut. But, you can also score MUCH BETTER lines so if you aren’t a paper crafts pro, it means your cards will actually look good with the Maker and the Scoring Wheels. And, did I mention the fabric projects? Design Space now has lots of patterns, so you can choose from quilts, apparel, toys, and more, or you can upload your own sewing projects specs.

I hope I’ve answered all of your Maker questions, but if you have more, don’t hesitate to ask by leaving a comment here, emailing me, or tagging me on social media.

How To Make a Vintage Bear with Cricut Maker

Tutorial by Underground Crafter

Answers to Your Top 5 Cricut Maker Questions + How To Make a Vintage Bear Softie by Underground CrafterThat was a lot of information, so I hope you’re still here for the project! I picked a pattern for a bear softie from Design Space that actually looked very contemporary (or should I say “modern”) and made it my own by giving it a vintage look. This is a low-sew project with some (extremely light) embroidery. I used my sewing machine, but it’s definitely something you can sew by hand. If you’re not big into sewing, you can make the eyes, nose, muzzle, and inner ears using iron-on.

Materials

Answers to Your Top 5 Cricut Maker Questions + How To Make a Vintage Bear Softie by Underground Crafter | supplies flat lay

Instructions

Choose your Pattern in Design Space

  • I searched in the Sewing drop down menu for Bear and choose this Simplicity pattern. You will need to purchase the pattern.

Answers to Your Top 5 Cricut Maker Questions + How To Make a Vintage Bear Softie by Underground Crafter | Design Space projectPrepare Your Fabric

Answers to Your Top 5 Cricut Maker Questions + How To Make a Vintage Bear Softie by Underground Crafter | pressing fabric flat lay

  • I also cut my fat quarter in half along the long edge.

Answers to Your Top 5 Cricut Maker Questions + How To Make a Vintage Bear Softie by Underground Crafter | pressing fabric with Cricut EasyPress2

Cut Your Materials

  • Use the Rotary Blade and FabricGrip Cutting Mat to cut your fabric. (Since I have the 12″ mat, I changed the mat size in Design Space and used a scissor to cut my fat quarter in half so that it was 9″ x 22″. Design Space will automatically move the back of the bear to a separate mat if you change the mat size.) 
  • If you use iron-on (I did for the nose), be sure to use the StandardGrip Cutting Mat and change the materials in Design Space. You don’t really need to “mirror” before cutting because the iron-on pieces are symmetrical, but be sure to place the iron-on shiny side down on the mat. Choose your cutting materials in Design Space and it will let you know what to do next!

Answers to Your Top 5 Cricut Maker Questions + How To Make a Vintage Bear Softie by Underground Crafter | Cricut Maker cutting fabric

  • I didn’t have a Washable Fabric Pen with me, so I used a standard Cricut Pen for the front piece, since I knew I would sew over the markings. For the rest of the pieces, I took the pen out because I didn’t want permanent marks.

Answers to Your Top 5 Cricut Maker Questions + How To Make a Vintage Bear Softie by Underground Crafter | Cricut Maker with Pen and Rotary BladeAssemble Your Cut Materials

  • Once your project is cut, you can put away your Maker and move on to the sewing and assembly phase.

Answers to Your Top 5 Cricut Maker Questions + How To Make a Vintage Bear Softie by Underground Crafter | sewing suppliesAdd Eyes

  • I plan to gift this bear to a small child, so I embroidered on the eyes rather than using buttons or safety eyes.

Answers to Your Top 5 Cricut Maker Questions + How To Make a Vintage Bear Softie by Underground Crafter | bear ready for assembly

  • Thread the tapestry needle with about 18” (46 cm) of embroidery floss. Start on the back with a knot. I just did covered over the marked spot for the eyes by going back and forth, but a French knot would be cute. You can find a video tutorial for the French knot at the end of this post. Be sure to knot securely on the back before fastening off. Repeat for the other eye.

Answers to Your Top 5 Cricut Maker Questions + How To Make a Vintage Bear Softie by Underground Crafter | embroidering eyesAssemble Facial Features

Answers to Your Top 5 Cricut Maker Questions + How To Make a Vintage Bear Softie by Underground Crafter | iron-on nose

  • Pin the rest of the facial features to the front of the bear.

Answers to Your Top 5 Cricut Maker Questions + How To Make a Vintage Bear Softie by Underground Crafter | facial features pinned in place

  • Attach the zig zag foot to your machine and adjust the zig zag stitch settings to a short length and a long width. (I used 0.5 length and 3.5 width.) Align the needle so that you work a zig zag stitch along the edges of the facial features (muzzle and inner ears) to create an overcast stitch edging. Go slowly because there are a lot of curves (which mean a lot of turns), removing pins as you go.

Answers to Your Top 5 Cricut Maker Questions + How To Make a Vintage Bear Softie by Underground Crafter | facial features sewn in placeSew Bear Pieces Together

  • Once you have the front finished, place the back of the bear on the front of the bear with the right sides facing.

Answers to Your Top 5 Cricut Maker Questions + How To Make a Vintage Bear Softie by Underground Crafter | bear ready for sewing

  • Start at the groin of the bear and sew around one leg, around the body, and end at the “foot” of the other leg. I used the 1/4″ quilting foot, but you could also use the zig zag foot (or hand sewing).

Answers to Your Top 5 Cricut Maker Questions + How To Make a Vintage Bear Softie by Underground Crafter | bear ready for stuffingStuff Bear

  • Now you’re going to turn the bear inside out, being sure to push out the corners of the arms and feet and ears.
  • Stuff the limbs and ears firmly first with your Nature-Fil Bamboo Fiber Fill.

Answers to Your Top 5 Cricut Maker Questions + How To Make a Vintage Bear Softie by Underground Crafter | stuffing bear with Nature-Fil

  • Then, fill up the rest of the body.

Answers to Your Top 5 Cricut Maker Questions + How To Make a Vintage Bear Softie by Underground Crafter | limbs stuffedFinish

  • Fold over the seam on the edge of the leg. You’ll need to sew this last part by hand. It helps to use a coordinating thread so it isn’t too noticeable.

Answers to Your Top 5 Cricut Maker Questions + How To Make a Vintage Bear Softie by Underground Crafter | leg ready for seaming

Doesn’t he look ready for a night out in the city?

Answers to Your Top 5 Cricut Maker Questions + How To Make a Vintage Bear Softie by Underground Crafter - Vintage Bear Softie over skylineAnd, here’s the bear in my hand so you can get a sense of the size.

Answers to Your Top 5 Cricut Maker Questions + How To Make a Vintage Bear Softie by Underground Crafter | Vintage Bear Softie in hand (relative size)

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