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.

Sewing Project: Heart Softie

Heart Softie free sewing pattern by Underground CrafterI’m kicking off the Little Gifts Sew Along with the Heart Softie, a quick sewing project that makes a delightful gift year round. I’ve included different options for customizing it for the recipient, so read on for details.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. My sewing machine sponsor is Baby Lock. Additional materials for this post were generously provided by Fairfield World, Fiskars, and Plaid.

The Heart Softie is a cute little project that you can customize in several ways. First, choose how you will decorate the face.

  • Use safety eyes, a craft nose, and embroidered mouth, or
  • Use fabric paint to customize the facial expressions, or
  • Embroider all the facial features.

You can also customize the stuffing.

  • Make flat facial features with paint or embroidery and stuff with Fairfield Poly-Fil to make a pin cushion.This makes a great gift for the sewists or quilters in your life.

Heart Softie free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - Heart Softie as pin cushion

Heart Softie free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - Heart Softie on tableAre you just hearing about the Little Gifts Sew Along? Get all the details here.

  • You can join in by sewing the projects as you have time.
  • Share your progress and post pictures of your finished projects. Tag your projects and posts #sewlittlegifts and #stockingstuffersal on all social media.
  • If you’d like to chat with other sewists, join the Underground Crafters Facebook group.
  • By the end of the SAL, you’ll have up to 25 handmade gifts.
  • Use the button below on social media. Right click (on desktop) or tap and hold (on mobile) to save.

Little Gifts Sew Along 2019 with Underground Crafter

Fat Quarter Shop Daily Flash Sale

Heart Softie

Sewing Project by Underground Crafter

Heart Softie free sewing pattern by Underground CrafterThe Heart Softie sews up quickly and can be used to cuddle, or as a pin cushion, sachet, or paper weight. It also makes a great gift for your special Valentine. You’ll spend more time customizing the face than you will sewing and stuffing. This is the first of 25 free sewing projects by 12 bloggers in the Little Gifts Sew Along.

Materials

Heart Softie free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - fat quarter bundle

Heart Softie free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - supplies with sewing machine

Instructions

Prepare fabric

  • Print the Heart Softie pattern and cut out around dotted lines.
  • Iron your fabric.
  • Fold the fabric over and position with the pattern on top. Iron the fabric again on the folds (so that you can cut through 2 layers for each Heart Softie) and pin the pattern through the layers.

Heart Softie free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - pattern on fabric ready to cut

  • Cut out the pattern.
  • If you will be using safety eyes and craft nose, cut 3 small pieces of felt to use as backing (Shiny Happy World has a photo tutorial here).

Heart Softie free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - pattern with felt pieces

Decorate facial features

  • Use paint to decorate face, using pattern as a guide. Wait for fabric paint to set as instructed on bottle.

Heart Softie free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - paint supplies for facial features

Heart Softie free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - heart faces with pattern

Sew heart together

  • Position heart with facial features face down onto other heart.

Heart Softie free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - sewing with Baby Lock Jubilant

  • Using your sewing machine or hand sewing needle, and a 1/2″ (1 cm) seam allowance, sew around the heart, leaving the bottom point and about 1” (2 cm) on each side of the bottom point unsewn. Since you will be stuffing the Softie, be sure to back stitch to make the seams more durable.
  • Trim the thread tails so they don’t snag on the stuffing. Turn the Softie right side out.
  • Stuff firmly with your chosen stuffing. See notes before the tutorial for options.
  • Once your Softie is full enough, sew the last seam closed by hand. Start with the thread knot on the inside of the Softie so it will be hidden. Then fold the raw edges towards the inside so the seam allowance will be similar to the rest of your Softie. Sew along the edge. Back stitch to finish and then draw the needle through the inside of the Softie. Trim the thread on the outer edge so the thread tail recedes into the inside.

Heart Softie free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - Heart Softie on faux fur background

© 2019 by Marie Segares (Underground Crafter). This pattern is for personal use only. You may use the pattern to make unlimited items for yourself, for charity, or to give as gifts. You may sell items you personally make by hand from this pattern. Do not violate Marie’s copyright by distributing this pattern or the photos in any form, including but not limited to scanning, photocopying, emailing, or posting on a website or internet discussion group. If you want to share the pattern, point your friends to this link: https://undergroundcrafter.com/blog/2019/01/08/sewing-project-heart-softie/. Thanks for supporting indie designers!

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.