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 appliquĂ© 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!

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How to Bind a Quilt using Double Fold Binding ~ We All Sew

Double Fold Binding Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Last week I shared my tips and tricks for pin basting a quilt. Thank you all for your kind comments! I’m glad to have given even the experienced quilt makers some little new techniques to try.

Double Fold Binding Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Today I’m over at BERNINA’s We All Sew blog with my double fold binding tutorial. If you’ve ever wondered how to get that perfect finish to your quilt binding by connecting it all up where the ends meet, I have lots of pictures. I hope you will go check it out!

How to Pin Baste a Quilt ~ We All Sew

How to Pin Baste a Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Last week when I posted my Mayflower quilt, I mentioned I created it as the base for a new set of tutorials I wrote for BERNINA’s We All Sew blog. Today I’m happy to share the first with you, How to Pin Baste a Quilt.

How to Pin Baste a Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

If I’m being totally honest, I’m always a bit nervous to post technique tutorials. There are probably as many ways to baste as quilters, but I hope you enjoy seeing what works best for me. If you are new to quilting, it’s a great way to start down your journey. If you are an experienced quilter, you may see something new to try!

Heirloom Sewing Techniques for Today’s Quilter ~ Blog Hop!

Heirloom Sewing Techniques for Today's Quilter

Welcome to today’s stop on Cheryl Sleboda’s Heirloom Sewing Techniques for Today’s Quilter blog hop! I am lucky enough to know Cheryl through the Naperville Modern Quilt Guild. When she asked me to be part of her blog hop, I jumped at the chance. Cheryl is not only fun and kind, she is incredibly talented and motivating.

Heirloom Sewing Techniques for Today's Quilter

Cheryl has just released a new video, Heirloom Sewing Techniques for Today’s Quilter. (Available as a DVD or digital download.) When I think of smocking, I tend to think of the dresses I wore when I was young.

Fresh Lemons Quilts
Me in a smocked dress…mid 1980’s 🙂

Cheryl really has taken this classic technique and many others, and put her modern spin on them. I’ve seen her work in person, it’s really amazing!

Heirloom Sewing Techniques for Today's Quilter

Take your next sewing project to new heights by adding an unexpected twist–fabric manipulation! Learn the basics and beyond of vintage sewing techniques that can transform your quilts from flat to fabulous. Award-winning quilter and heirloom sewing expert Cheryl Sleboda takes the mystery out of smocking, pintucks, pleats, and gathers, and will soon have you applying these simple and effective techniques to your own quilts and home décor projects.
After an overview of the history, tools, and materials used in dimensional sewing, Cheryl deftly describes and demonstrates each technique. Her shortcuts and tips simplify the most mystifying designs into easy-to-follow steps. Imagine creating smocked inserts for a sampler quilt, or a charming vintage-inspired pillow with a contemporary flair. Soon you’ll be creating your own dimensional designs using the time-tested methods demonstrated on this video.

Heirloom Sewing Techniques for Today's Quilter

If you’ve ever thought about adding texture to your quilts and projects, or just want to add another skill to your bag of tools, I highly recommend checking out Heirloom Sewing Techniques for Today’s Quilter.

You can follow the blog hop on the below websites. 🙂

June 9 – Susan Brubaker Knapp – http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com/
June 10 – Maddie Kertay – http://www.badassquilterssociety.com/
June 11 – Faith Jones – Me!
June 12 – Lynn Krawczyk – http://smudgedtextilesstudio.com/blog/
June 13 – Julie Creus – http://www.latodera.com/blog

June 16 – Catherine Redford – http://catherineredford.com/
June 17 – Megan Dougherty – http://thebitchystitcher.com/
June 18 – Pokey Bolton – http://pokeysponderings.com/
June 19 – Jamie Fingal – http://www.jamiefingaldesigns.com/
June 20 – Cheryl Sleboda – http://muppin.com/wordpress/index.php/blog/