Updated: Jan 13
The beginning of my "Cricut Journey"!
"This post is not sponsored or endorsed by Cricut, it reflects my personal opinion as crafter"
#cricut #cricutmaker #CricutCreated #cricutfinepen #cricutdesignspace #crafts #aurifil #aurifilthread #aurifilfloss #embroidery #slowstitching #creativity #modafabrics #uqsm #utah #wacom #cintiq16 #wacompen #illustrator #surfacepatterndesign #surfacedesign #adobeillustrator #illustrator #Ai #apple #mac #ipad #iphone
Last Christmas I decided to take the plunge and got myself a Cricut Maker. Recently a friend told me "Oh Carolina you don't need another machine!", referring to all the machines I already have on my Quilting Studio. And to be honest, my friend is right, I don't need another sewing machine or embroidery machine or longarm machine (the list can keep going)... but, I was really seeking a machine that could integrate my current machines and of course all the activities I do with them and also improve my workflow in general.
The nature of my work as quilting teacher, show quilter and crafter is original design, it means I like to create my own designs to express my own ideas. Sometimes this makes things slower, because I will not be able to find exactly the templates I have in mind or other gadgets and accessories that could improve my work.
This was the biggest motivation to get the machine. But it could have been any other brand... Before my purchase I did a research with the different models on the market. And my first need was a machine that could cut fabric, don't you think so?! NO... My first need was a machine that could work flawless with my Apple devices. I have been an Apple user for the last 25 years and if it doesn't work with Apple it also doesn't work with me. So first need, check (it took less than 10 minutes to connect my Mac, iPad and iPhone with the Cricut Maker via bluetooth).
On the market you still can find other models that also work with Apple. Yep... Another concern that comes with my long experience with "Apple friendly" softwares and machines, they struggle most of the time. I don't want a "simplified" version of the same software that works in full potential with "the other operating system". I don't have time, patience or energy for this kind of situation. One of the factors that really made a difference was to know that the Cricut CEO Ashish Arora was at Logitech before and has experience with iOS-friendly devices, so I was sure that the software would be a real iOS version. Second need, check.
Looking more at the brand, I also discovered that the Cricut Headquarters are in Utah. That was an arrow direct at my heart. The first national quilt show that gave me an opportunity as a teacher was the Utah Quilting and Sewing Marketplace (UQSM), my first "Teacher of the Year" ribbon in 2018 was there too, so many great people and friends, every single time I go there it is a blessing. It's also a little home to me, because every time I jump off the airplane and see those mountains with snow it reminds me a lot of Zürich. I love Utah with all my heart.
The Design Space iOS is beautiful, simple and intuitive. You can design your projects online and offline, upload a range of different files extensions like: jpg. gif. png. bmp. dxf and for me when the magic happens... SVG files!!! It means I can upload files from Adobe Illustrator direct to the Cricut Maker, such as transfering my sketches from my Wacom display and pen (my own hands) and have the opportunity to make the machine mimic those sketches in real life with cut, draw, score, engrave, deboss, wave and perf.
The Cricut Maker also comes with materials for your first project inside the box. The Design Space Software guides you step by step until the end of the project. The idea is to help you to make something right after taking the machine out of the box and I deeply admire this, because in my experience of teaching with other machines I constantly see people afraid to use a new machine or technology that they just got. Making people comfortable to try something new is the way to go.
My first project "Make the Onions Cry" was made with the desktop version of the software that Cricut just launched and, of course, is a fabric related project, because I am a quilter ;)
* The pens are 0.4 point, really fine and they are perfect also for fabric, they don't bleed at all, BUT they are permanent. If you want a water soluble pen, they also have the Washable Fabric Pen blue version with 1.0 point (but you don't need that for this project).
Aurifil embroidery Floss in colors 2610, 2145, 1135, 5018 and 5023. You will also need a 7" embroidery hoop, I like the bamboo ones.
I was using the Cricut Maker with the fabric grip mat (the pink one), the Cricut Rotary Blade (the blade came with my machine, the link is for the replacement blade, you know "for the future") and the Fine Point Pens in colors: Armadillo, Candy Corn, Yellow, Green and Sour Apple.
I enjoyed the experience of working with the Cricut Pens and Aurifil Thread so much that I made a color conversion chart for my own reference for the next projects. If you are interested you can download the PDF file here.
I love slow stitching projects like this embroidery hoop pattern, it helps me to take a break from all my other projects and sometimes even organize my ideas, I also like the "on the go" factor, because you can definitely take it with you and work on it whenever and wherever you want (like those annoying waiting rooms, those kids audience activity hours, so totally a "mom friendly project"). It took me 6 hours in total to make it from start to end.
"Make the Onions Cry" was totally inspired by the Christmas/New Year cooking marathon (maybe we could also add Thanksgiving to the list?!), like who never wished "one day I'm going to make the onions cry"?!
I will be posting a different "hoop" project every month like this one, I will do my best to keep some consistence around the 10th of each month. The next month will be something Valentines related, so if you have a quote suggestion feel free to share in the comments sectio below, I would love to read it! If you have a Cricut and find my projects on the Cricut Community, please also let me know your thoughts (we can have fun together!).
And before I go it's time for a little giveaway here *only US*, 2 (two) "Make the Onions Cry" pre printed fabric embroidery pattern plus 2 (two) 7" embroidery hoops, each comment is an entry! Giveaway closes on Sunday 01.12 at 8pm (NY time)
See you on Sunday when I will announce the winners! Good luck :)
And here we go! The giveaway is closed. Thank you for all the lovely comments bellow and for join the fun!
The lucky winners are @emilyleachman and @mayrahermosillo I will be contacting you soon by email!
Thanks again and see soon ;)