Cutting Fabric using a Cricut Explore Air

Cutting Fabric using a Cricut Explore Air

Today I’m sharing some tricks and tips I learned when personalizing my son’s Elementary Tote (tutorial). I purchased a Cricut Explore Air last Fall and I have cut all sorts of things out of paper with it, but I hadn’t been successful with fabric. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Cricut, this is a personal cutting machine. I use my computer to design what I’d like cut, and the machine cuts it! I bought the Explore Air version that allows cutting via BlueTooth, so I don’t have to have my computer plugged into my machine.

I tried a lot of different things when it came to cutting fabric: plain fabric stuck to my mat, using freezer paper on the back of the fabric, using freezer paper on the front and back of my fabric, using Heat n Bond Lite on the back of my fabric. Honestly, I didn’t have success with any of those techniques. I almost gave up, but I’m glad I persevered because I found the magic combination!

Cutting Fabric using a Cricut Explore Air

First, I ironed Heat n Bond Ultra Hold to the back of the fabric according to the instructions. Then, leaving the paper on, I stuck it to the mat, firmly pressing down all over. I used a very sticky, brand new green mat. You need a lot of stickiness. If you don’t have a new mat handy, I suggest a purple Strong Grip Mat. I plan on buying one to use exclusively for fabric.

Second, I replaced the standard cutting blade with a Deep Cut Blade. Your Cricut comes with instructions on replacing the blade – it’s very easy and takes all of 5 seconds.

Third, I turned the dial on my Cricut to Fabric.

Cutting Fabric using a Cricut Explore Air

Then I moved to my computer. I imported the image with my son’s name into the Cricut Design Studio. This font is called Pacifico and it worked great. I’d recommend a thicker font for cutting fabric. I clicked “Go” to start the process of connecting to the machine.

Cutting Fabric using a Cricut Explore Air

I verified that I would be cutting on a 12″ x 12″ mat and clicked “Go” again.

Cutting Fabric using a Cricut Explore Air

I found I needed to customize the pressure settings on the machine. From the below screen, click on that link all the way at the bottom (sort of hidden if you ask me!), “Edit Custom Materials”.

Cutting Fabric using a Cricut Explore Air

Click on the word “Fabric”. It doesn’t look like a link, but it is.

Cutting Fabric using a Cricut Explore Air

When you select it, further information will pop up below it. I set my Cut Pressure to 340 and my Blade Type to Deep Cut. Then click the “Save” link to the right. Then click the “Done” buttom at the bottom.

Cutting Fabric using a Cricut Explore Air

You are all set to cut now. Follow the typical cutting steps of loading your mat and beginning the cutting process. You can see here the finished name that I fused to my son’s Elementary Tote.

Cutting Fabric using a Cricut Explore Air

I also cut out some cut orange peel components. Pretty!

Cutting Fabric using a Cricut Explore Air

I made a quick video of the Cricut cutting, so you can see the speed as well.

I’m a bit disappointed that I haven’t been successful in cutting fabric without Heat n Bond Ultra Hold on the back. It would really be awesome to cut just plain fabric with nothing adhered to it to stiffen it. But for customizing bags, shirts, onesies, making quilt labels, or cutting custom appliqué for quilts, this is a really cool machine. I hope this helps you explore more ways to have fun with with your Cricut Explore Air!

This posts contains affiliate links.

Cherry Blossom Inspiration

Cherry Blossom Inspiration

I spent the last week in Washington, DC with my family, enjoying our Spring Break. And what a Spring Break it was – so much in bloom and blue sunny skies. We landed on March 26th, right at the cherry blossom peak.

Cherry Blossom Inspiration

It was absolutely beautiful weather…and a Saturday…and we enjoyed walking the Tidal Basin with what felt like millions of our closest friends. 🙂

Cherry Blossom Inspiration

When I downloaded my photos off my camera yesterday, I decided I just had to make a cherry blossom fabric pull. The whites, delicate pinks, touch of green and orange, mixed with the blue skies. This would be perfect for a spring quilt.

Cherry Blossom Inspiration

My kids were at a great age to explode Washington, DC. They earned 3 more Junior Ranger badges (National Mall and Memorial Parks, Ford’s Theater, and a special Cherry Blossom badge). They absolutely loved learning about our nation’s past and government, and seeing buildings and monuments that they had only read about in books.

Cherry Blossom Inspiration

It was a *lot* of walking but I am really proud of how well everyone did! I really think everyone should take at least one trip to Washington, DC. (Maybe not during Spring Break, unless you love crowds!) The flowers are hard to resist though.

Cherry Blossom Inspiration

I’m happy to be back home and in our routine again. The house is quiet, the kids are in school.

Cherry Blossom Inspiration

If you emailed me or placed and order, thank you for your patience while I was away. I’m working on getting all caught up and back stitching at the machine.

2015 ~ A Year in Review

2015 Year in Review : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It’s the last day of 2015! The last two weeks have gone by in a blur. My parents came to visit for Christmas, then we went out of town with more family for a post-Christmas trip to Michigan. For those who were curious, my kids loved their Maker’s Totes. I love the holidays, but I am always ready for the calm that January brings.

I thought it would be fun to do a little 2015 wrap up, and then look forward to 2016. I made 11 quilts in 2015.

2015 Year in Review : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Five were gifts: Hanna Hearts, Spidey, Scrappy Kaleidoscope, Home Run, and Nautical.

Two were quilt alongs: Scrap Plus and Snowflake.

Two were for new patterns in my shop: Poinsettia and Four Square.

I also sewed quite a few bags in 2015. All but one of these comes from a pattern by Noodlehead…I guess you can say I’m a fan!

2015 Year in Review : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Besides the Scrap Plus and Snowflake quilt alongs, I also created a few additional tutorials for all of you: Star Bunting, Posy Strip Pillow, and the Fresh Spool Series.

Fresh Spool Series : Fresh Lemons Quilts

My kids started their very first quilting bee ~ Not Your Mama’s Bee. It’s been a fun experience creating with them every month!

Not Your Mama's Bee : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I continued to enjoy the honor of being a BERNINA Ambassador, and contributing a bit on the We All Sew blog. A vintage friend also joined my family – my “new-to-me” Singer Featherweight.

Singer Featherweight: Fresh Lemons Quilts

Of course, as always, I had much bigger plans in my head for the year. But I am happy with what I accomplished. For next year, I hope to share more quilts, more patterns, more quilt alongs, more tutorials…simply put, more bright, fresh inspiration! I hope you will continue to follow along. You can always sign up for email notifications so you don’t miss a post.

I want to thank all of you for visiting this year. This blog of mine had over 2.6 million pages loaded in 2015! I am continually humbled by your support and kind words as I share my quilting journey. Here’s to a great 2016!

Straight Line Quilting into Fall

Fall Patchwork : Fresh Lemons Quilts

After a busy weekend, I spent most of yesterday stitching this little fall mini together. I’m quilting now using my BERNINA walking foot to sew straight lines that are 1/4″ apart. I’m debating going in the opposite direction as well, making a tiny grid. What do you think?

Completely unrelated to quilting…did anyone else stay up Sunday evening and watch the lunar eclipse? Or wake up in the middle of the night, depending on where you live? My daughter is studying space in school, and my son learned about the moon in class last Friday. So of course, we had to stay up. I set up my tripod and took pictures during the 2 hours we were outside.

Lunar Eclipse : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I feel like it is always cloudy when something cool like this happens here. And it was looking like that would be the same story this time, but we lucked out with a 2 hour break in the clouds at just the right time. I am always blown away by our world. So, can I make this into quilt inspiration? I’m not sure, maybe! 😉