This post is sponsored by Cricut, but really, I love this machine and can’t say enough great things about it!
Last month, I had the true pleasure of heading out to Salt Lake City to be there for the unveiling of Cricut’s incredible new product, the Cricut Maker. You’ve never seen a happier room of crafters when they showed the video of everything the Maker can do. I may have even seen a few tears of happiness from a few audience members. It was pretty cool.
Here are a couple of vignettes that were at the Cricut Make-A-Thon using the Maker to show off a few of its capabilities. Just amazing!
I admit, I’ve only been on Team Cricut for a few months, but I may have developed somewhat of an obsession since then. I really don’t know what took me so long after seeing how much time it saves me on all my projects! Originally, I was using the Cricut Explore Air 2, and I while I love them both, each one really does talk to a different kind of crafter.
What’s Special About the Cricut Maker?
The Rotary Blade
SO many things are special about this machine. The feature that’s getting the most press about the maker is the ability to cut fabric. To be able to cut fabric, they didn’t just make a new blade, they had to redesign the whole Cricut machine. It’s got a rotary blade that moves in 3 dimensions that cuts with a spinning wheel, not a dragging blade. Which means clean, precision cuts.
I’m telling you, mind. blown. While I’m not a huge sewer, when I do, I know that my very least favorite part of sewing it the cutting the pattern pieces out. The Cricut Maker is genius at cutting out, AND it has a washable fabric marker that can mark your patterns for you.
While prepping for a party, I made a ton of felt roses…those little washable fabric pen marks on all the petals the Maker made really helped the sewing process go smoothly! And the pattern was so simple–this rose was made by my 11 year old little friend.
Cricut Maker Thoughts from a seamstress
As I’m writing this post, my friend is using my Maker machine to cut out a quilt, and I thought I might include some thoughts from a seamstress using this machine. Her points of excitement:
- No wasted fabric! She’s not having to do the mental math on how best to use the fabric, and she’s loving not to have to buy a ton of extra fabric to account for unoptimized layout and mistakes.
- Awe-inspiring speed. There may have been a few comments today alluding to it being a bit unnatural to get all the pieces cut so fast. Not that she was complaining.
- Courage. Yup, pure confidence comes with the Maker. She says that she only usually does the rectangular straight edge type quilts because she is unsure of being able to cut with the necessary precision needed for more complicated patterns. She says she’s down for trying one with curves and interesting shapes because the cuts are all going to come out PERFECT, unlike if she handled it with a pair of scissors.
And gotta say, I never thought I would be so creatively inspired by a machine as I have with the Maker, either. There are so many wild possibilities now!
The Knife Blade
Under full disclosure, I don’t have this knife blade at my disposal as of yet, but from what I can see, it’s pretty stinkin’ neat! The Cricut Maker will cut any material with the knife blade under to 2.4 mm (3/32”) almost like an automated X-ACTO® blade. Balsa wood, matboard, and heavy leather are all great candidates for project materials.
Can you imagine what you can do with that capability? I was thinking small doll furniture, frames, mosaic wood art pieces, cake toppers…and on and on and on. Creative juices flowing!
Digital sewing pattern library
The Cricut Design Space has 50 free projects loaded into it already, but through a partnership with Simplicity, they have a whole library of patterns you can purchase.
I bought one myself to try it out. All I had to do when I was ready to make my felt roses was click the “purchase” button, and the pattern was available.
Everything is already set up, down to the fabric marker marks. I pressed go, and the project practically made itself from there.
The stitching was not as scary as it looked, and a complete pdf of project instructions came with it. Which is pretty standard for ALL their patterns. My 11 year old friend Sidney made this particular rose.
Sewing patterns–directly to your machine. So COOL!
Upgraded Print and Cut Functionality
They’ve made print and cut on the Cricut even better. It is even more precise than it used to be, so better cuts are to be had from the Maker.
Another really cool thing the Maker does that the Explore Air does not is that the Maker can print and cut to colored and patterned paper! The sensor upgrade makes the machine even smarter, so you have all the more materials available to make some rockin’ paper crafts.
Sleek Design and No Dial
The Cricut team spent an awful lot of time designing the Cricut Maker with beautiful details. It’s looks so good sitting out on the desk. One big change from the Explore Air that you’ll notice is that the dial is GONE. Personally, I LOVE this new feature because it somewhat idiot-proofs the cuts. I don’t have to remember to turn a dial to select my material, I do it right in design space instead before the cut happens. (I may or may not have had to toss a few vinyls over a mis-turned dial!)
Do I Need a Cricut Maker?
Maybe! I have a friend who is deeply in love with her Cricut Explore Air 2. (It is pretty amazeballs in its own right.) But do I think she needs to buy the Maker? Nope. She would never use what it has to offer over and above the Explore Air, as she purely uses it to cut out letters for bulletin boards and cutting vinyl and is not a crafter. She laughed at the idea of cutting fabric (or wood or leather). I think the thought of handling a needle might scare her a little.
But that is her and her crafty needs–if you’re just into the Cricut game for vinyl, an upgrade might not make sense for you. I just really want to point out that there are some that may not benefit from the new capabilities. Personally, I will use all the features of this machine, and there are tons of people who craft who are going to have their lives changed by the Cricut Maker (mine included).
Who Needs a Cricut Maker?
Look at what kind of crafting you do and evaluate from there. The upgraded technology might be enough to push you to the new machine, and maybe the expanded capabilities with all the new cutting possibilities are something you really need.
You should run to the store and buy a Cricut Maker if….
- You are a crafter with a wide materials repertoire.
- You are a maker. The woodcrafting bit–just awesome for this.
- You like to sew.
- You are a paper crafter or artist who needs to cut thicker materials.
- You are a bit adventurous and open to trying new things if you are none of the above.
I’ve used both, so if you have any questions about these machines, I’m happy to answer, just leave me a comment below!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.