Cricut Maker Block of the Week – Week 1: Introduction, Supplies, Border, Sashing

I’m so excited to share with you this project that I have been working on for weeks and weeks! As I mentioned in my last post, Cricut gave me one of their new Cricut Maker machines to play with. It has a special rotary blade attachment designed for cutting fabric! As a thank-you, and to pay it forward, I designed a FREE mini quilt pattern that is cut entirely on the Cricut Maker, and I’ll be sharing it step-by-step each week so you can make it yourself! I have recorded videos if you learn best by watching, and I’ll have step-by-step instructions here, if you like to read the instructions at your own pace.

Cricut Maker Block of the Week - Week 1 - Introduction, supplies, borders and sashing

This post includes affiliate links. These links pay a small commission back to me, at no extra cost to you.

Here are the basic supplies you’ll need to make the Cricut Maker Quilt:

If you want detailed supply information, check out the expanded supply list.

The Cricut Maker Machine: on the Cricut site or on Amazon
Fabric bundle (either the Cricut bundle or 5 pieces of fabric, each 1/3 yard): on the Cricut site  or on Amazon
Cricut Fabric mat, you’ll need a 12×24″ mat, and a 12×12″ mat: on the Cricut site
Cricut Fabric pen: on the Cricut site or on Amazon
Printable Vinyl: on the Cricut site
Sewing Machine
Thread

Iron & Ironing Board
Device with Cricut Design Space installed
Tweezers (optional)

If you’d like to watch the video, you can watch it here:

 

Preparing the fabrics:

The quilt is made using blocks that are combined with sashing, and has a border around the outside. In the videos, I’m using the Garden Girl Fabric. Here on the site, I’m showing the quilt made with the Rockstar collection.

If you’re using the fabric I’m showing, you can just follow along and use the same fabrics. But if you’re using a different set of fabric, or your own fabric, you’ll want to label each fabric so that you know which is which. I created a set of colored stickers that coordinates with the colors on the pieces in Cricut Design Space. So, if you see yellow and white pieces, you know to use the fabrics you’ve labeled as yellow and white. Use the print then cut label file, and print it onto Cricut Printable Vinyl.

Add labels

Here are the stickers on the fabric, identifying which fabric belongs with which color in Design Space.

fabric labels

Remove the protective cover from your 12×24″ mat. While working in the mat, try not to touch the adhesive. The oils in your fingers can reduce the tacky-ness of the mat.

Place the border fabric (marked with a purple sticker) right side DOWN on the mat. The raw edge of the fabric should be across the top of the mat. Make sure to press down the fabric securely, especially along the sides. This is where the rollers feed the mat into the machine, and could potentially move the fabric. Having these sides pressed down securely is key. Set aside until you are ready to load the mat into the machine

Cutting the Borders

Open up the Cricut Maker BOTW Border file in Design Space.

quilt border file in Cricut Design Space

It will tell you that you need the larger, 12×24″ mat. Click OK. You’ll see two longer pieces and two shorter pieces. The light blue lines show the seam allowance that will be marked with the blue fabric pen.

send to maker

Press “continue” in the bottom right hand corner. Then it takes you to a screen where you set the material. The fabric we are using is “Cotton”. Press on “Fabric – Cotton” on the bottom right.

select material

The next screen will prompt you to install your fabric pen and rotary blade before loading the mat. The fabric pen is inserted by opening the lever on side A, uncapping the pen, inserting it into the housing, then closing the housing. I like to put the cap on the back of the pen so that I can find it easily later.

If your rotary blade is not already installed, open side B. Remove the existing blade, and install the rotary blade. Close the lever.

Hold the mat up to the rollers, guiding the sides between the two white tabs on the sides, then press the arrow key. The machine will load the mat. Press the blinking Cricut “C”, and the machine will do its magic! First, it will mark the borders with the pen. Then it will cut with the rotary blade. When you’re done, it will prompt you to unload the mat using the arrow button. Make sure to remove the pen, and replace the cap. This will keep it from drying out.

Take the mat to your table, and remove the extra fabric by lifting from one corner, and pulling up. You can trim off the small strings, then set the rest aside. We will be using this for one of the blocks, and the binding. Use tweezers to gently lift off the border pieces. Go slow, and pull up any fraying threads to keep fraying to a minimum.

If you have threads left on the mat, you can use tweezers to pick them up. A piece of strong grip transfer tape works well, too. Don’t use a scraper tool, don’t use your fingers… and don’t worry if there are a few stray threads left. It will not hurt to use a mat with a few threads left on.

Cutting the Sashing

Repeat these steps, this time for the Sashing Fabric (the aqua/teal color sticker), using the Sashing File in Cricut Design Space.

send sashing to maker

When you are done cutting, make sure to remove the pen and put the cap back on, so it doesn’t dry out.

Gently remove these strips, and set aside with the border strips.

cut pieces

 

Originally, this was all I had planned for today. But I knew that some people would be sad they didn’t get to do any sewing! So, later today I’ll be sharing the first block both here and on YouTube!

 

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San Diego Maker Faire

We headed to the San Diego Maker Faire Today, and though we were there most of the day… we didn’t even see half of what there was to see! We hit up the Northeast end of the park, and my little guys (7 and 3) had a blast. The youngest passed out in the car on the way home… and won’t wake up again until tomorrow.

The San Diego Maker Faire was in Balboa Park. We parked in the Inspiration Point Parking Lot, and took the Trolley up to the Mayor’s Maker Plaza. From there we went East, hitting up several of the exhibits. Each section is set up in one of the museums in Balboa Park. For Example, the “Families, Kids, and Fun” Section was in the NAT. There were other sections within other museums – so we got to check out both the museum exhibits AND the booths that were part of the San Diego Maker Faire. Which was awesome. As a newbie to San Diego, we got to check out several of the awesome museums that Balboa Park has to offer while getting the added bonus of the Maker Faire. All for the price of the Maker Faire. Which was pricey – $25 per adult and $15 per kiddo.

I didn’t have time to take pictures of everything… but here are some of the highlights.

When my oldest met R2D2… that made his day. We were less than 30 minutes into the event, and if we left right then, he was set. He has already asked that I print these photos for him.

meeting-r2d2

Of course there were several booths with the Lego Mindstorm robots. One of these days, we’ll need to get one of these for my tech-loving kiddos. We saw them earlier this year, and they combine Lego and programming… but they are not cheap!play-with-robots

My oldest and I hit up a presentation that Qualcomm was giving using their Dragon Boards. We used wires to link the board up to a motion sensor and a color sensor. It looks like this board is basically a smartphone backbone that you can use to create all kinds of devices.programming-with-dragon-boa

The boys also loved using smartphones to control cars. Here is my youngest operating a little smartphone car. He’s 3, y’all!! These kiddos can manipulate tech so easily… it is normal to them!robot-phone

And there were some less “tech” focused areas. Like this artwork made from pushpins.thumbtack-art

And digging through dirt at the NAT. Though… they showed how archaeologists scan the items they find, and then 3D print models so that they don’t handle the artifacts more than needed.

digging-at-the-NAT

Really, robots were the highlight of the day for my kiddos.controlling-robots

And robot cars.driving-robots

Even if they weren’t manipulating the robots… just watching the robots was pretty cool.  go-robot-go

They also liked making Marshmallow guns from PVC pipe. Which was also one of my favorites – all the pre-cut PVC pieces were right there for making the gun. It took seconds to make – instead of hours of mom’s time to source all the joints, cut all the PVC – and then seconds for the kiddos to assemble.

There was one thing that trumped robots… Legos. There was a booth where they were engraving lego bricks with each child’s name. Personalized Lego bricks? WINNING!

engraving-lego-block

Some links to cool stuff from today, in case you’re interested:

San Diego Maker Faire
Engraved Lego Bricks
Balboa Park
Robotics Competitions

Southwest Robotics

Flint Lockwood Costume: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

I’m so excited to bring you this costume today! Earlier this year, my son wanted to dress up as Flint Lockwood from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs… so I came up with this simple costume, and am sharing with you how you can DIY one yourself!

Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs Flint Lockwood costume with Spray on Shoes

To make your own Flint Lockwood costume (with spray-on shoes), you need:
Teal Shirt
Yellow Heat Transfer
White work shirt (adult size)
Black Socks
Glitter paint and white puff paint
Shoes
Jeans

supplies for flint lockwood costume

I’m going to start with the shoes. Grab large black socks, and shoes.

supplies for spray on shoes

Put the socks over the shoes. Cover with the glitter paint.

allow shoes to dry

Add detail with white puff paint, then set aside to dry.

add laces to spray on shoes

 

The shirt is easy – I have a Science is Awesome File – you can cut it from vinyl with your silhouette, print it on fusible printer paper, or paint it on… there are all kinds of file options for you to use, depending on your favorite technique.

 

Have your child put on the shirt inside out. Pin along the sides and arms, then stitch.

stitch down sides

 

Cut away the excess seam allowance, then turn the shirt right side out.

 

 

trim away excess

 

Your Flint Lockwood costume is complete!

flint lockwood costume

 

Check out the other great costumes as well…

Flint Lockwood Costume DIY  from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

 

And as long as I’m sharing costumes, I’m teaming up with Jamie Dorobek and her handmade Halloween costume site, Really Awesome Costumes to bring y’all tons of easy ideas to craft up DIY Halloween costumes for everyone including your pets, family costumes, and even a trunk or treat idea! Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post for all those goodies.

 

 

 

 

 

101+ Handmade Halloween costumes at Creating Really Awesome Free Things

 

And now it’s time for tons more DIY Halloween costume inspiration! Join in on the BLOG HOP! Click on the links below each collage to get the detailed instructions about how to make the costume pictured, just like mine above. Don’t forget to follow the Handamde Halloween Costumes Pinterest Board for even more DIY costume greatness!

 

88+ Handmade Halloween costumes at Creating Really Awesome Free Things

1. Handmade Baby Hamburger Costume

2. DIY Baby Game Boy Costume

3. DIY Minecraft Steve Costume

4. Football Brothers Halloween Costumes with DIY Pads and Onesie

5. Star Trek Halloween Costume for Kids

6. A Bee and Her Keeper

7. No Sew Magician Costume

8. Flint Lockwood Costume

9. Pinocchio

10. Marty McFly

11. Princess Wedding Dress Costume

12. Handmade Lalaloopsy Doll Costume

13. Homemade Toothless Costume

14. DIY Mermaid For Less Than $20 (No-Sew Option)

15. Easy Tinker Bell Costume

16. Mario and Luigi Go Kart Costumes

17. Dog The Bounty Hunter and Beth

18. Family Monsters University Costumes

19. Scooby Doo family costumes

20. DIY Storm Cloud Costume

 

88+ Handmade Halloween costumes at Creating Really Awesome Free Things

21. Cheap and Easy DIY Spider Costume

22. Easy Tin Man Costume

23. No Sew Bee Costume

24. Planet Halloween Costumes

25. DIY Cheshire Cat Costume

26. DIY Instagram Board

27. Elsa crown

28. Dog Collar Ruffles

29. DIY Pineapple Baby Costume

30. DIY Lego Movie Costume

31. Weeping Angel Costume

32. Disney Planes Costume: Dipper

33. Easy Pirate Costume

34. Easy Costume Idea – Renaissance Girl

35. 10 Minute Homemade Jellyfish Costume

36. DIY Cat Costume

37. Lucy And Ricky Costumes

38. Easy Frozen Costumes (Carrisa!!)

39. Easy Greek Goddess Costume

40. DIY Family Willy Wonka Costumes

101+ Handmade Halloween costumes at Creating Really Awesome Free Things

41. DIY No Sew Maleficent Costume

42. No Sew Pineapple Halloween Costume

43. Graveyard Bean Bag Toss: Trunk or Treat Car Costume

44. DIY Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Costumes

45. DIY Raccoon Costume with Printable Mask

46. Easy WildStyle Lego Movie Costume

47. Simple Hello Kitty Costume

48. No Sew Minnie Mouse Costume

49. DIY Inspector Gadget and Penny Costumes

50. DIY Frozen Elsa Dress Baby Edition

51. Fairy Princess Dog Costume

52. DIY Hashtag Halloween Costume

53. Toddler or Baby Egg Costume

54. Easy No Sew Olaf Costume

55. DIY Baymax Costume

56. DIY Tooth Fairy Costume

57. Baby Short Stack Pancake Costume

58. Elephant and Piggie Halloween Costumes

59. Instagram Halloween Costume

60. Peter Pan & Mr. Smee Halloween Costume


88+ Handmade Halloween costumes at ReallyAwesomeCostumes.com

61. Wildstyle Costume from the Lego Movie

62. Fred and Wilma Couples Costume

63. Viking Family Costumes

64. DIY Cruella de Vil Costume for a child

65. Disney Frozen Olaf Halloween Treat Bucket

66. How to Make a Minecraft Steve Head

67. DIY Harry Potter Costume

68. DIY Duck Dynasty Costumes

69. No Sew Cupcake Baker Halloween Costume

70. DIY Skunk Mask

71. Ghostbusters Proton Pack DIY

72. Frozen Anna Costume Tutorial

73. Candy Corn Costume

74. Paw Patrol Halloween Costume

75. No Sew Toothless Dragon Costume

76. DIY Robot Costume

77. Wonder Woman Costume

78. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Costume

79. Thrifted Gentleman Spy DIY Halloween Costume

80. DIY Boy Garden Gnome Costume

81. Group Costume: Bob Ross, Happy Tree, & Squirrel

82. DIY Blues Brothers Costumes

83. Snow White Costume

84. Peacock Princess Costume

85. Scarecrow Costume

86. Easy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
Costume

87. Handmade Teddy Bear Costume

88. Princess Elsa and the Spy Kid

89. DIY Baby Koala costume

What handmade costume ideas did you love the most?! Be sure to click over to get the costume instructions, pin the costume, and let them know you love it! Also, follow the Handmade Halloween Costume board on Pinterest!

Follow Jamie Dorobek {C.R.A.F.T.}’s board “Handmade Halloween Costumes” on Pinterest.

Sight Word Jumping Game

Sight Word Jumping Game

All week long I’ve been sharing different sight word games. Today, I thought I’d share with you a little different way of getting your child excited about sight words. Jumping on the couch. You don’t have to actually have them jump on the couch, they can jump from the floor… but sometimes getting to break mom’s rules makes learning just a little more fun!

Supplies:
Printable Sight Word Cards
Frog Tape

Roll up pieces of frog tape and put them on the back of each sight word card. Use 8 or so cards at a time.

Jumping for Sight Words

Ask your child to pick up a sight word card, calling them by name. “Pick up ‘you’.” “Get ‘he’.” Once they pick up the right word, they bounce on the couch to try to stick the word as high up as possible on the wall. As they put up the words, comment using the words. “Wow! ‘Yes’ is up higher than ‘go’!” “Aw, man! ‘I’ didn’t get as high as ‘me’.”

Once all the words are up, have your child sit next to you, and talk about which word is the highest, which is the lowest, and which are the same height. You’re discussing spacial relationships while also learning sight words! Once you have talked about the words, have your child take down each word, calling out the name of the word as they take it down.

Keep playing, using the same words, or different words.

how high did the sight words go

Your kiddo will have fun, get a little exercise, and learn their sight words!

Sight Word Matching Game

Play a Sight Word Matching Game

Playing “Memory” with Sight Words is a great way to help children interact with their sight words! To keep the game manageable, don’t start with an entire table covered with sight word cards. Start with 3 pairs, then work your way up to more. When you see your child start to get frustrated, use less pairs. The goal is to have your child interact with the words, recognize the words, and have fun. When they get frustrated, the game is no longer fun, and they won’t get as much learning out of it. Plus, they won’t want to play in the future.

To play the Sight Word Matching game, you need to print up duplicates of the Free Sight Word Printable Flashcards. Instead of making it a “Me vs. You” game, I paired up with my Kindergartener to help him. He got to turn over two cards, we identified the words, then turned them back over if they didn’t match. If they did match, we put them in a pile next to him. Once he got all 3 pairs, I put down three more pairs. You could play Sight Word Memory as a two-player game, where each person tries to find the most pairs, but I decided that I wanted only one goal when playing this game: have fun learning sight words. I didn’t want that goal to compete with other lessons like taking turns and sportsmanship. Those are valuable lessons, but not ones I wanted to focus on for this exercise.

Sight Word Matching Game

 

Sight Word Go Fish

Sight Word Go Fish Game

Are you ready for another fun sight word game? This game uses the Sight Word Printable Flashcards from yesterday. You’ll want to print out 3 pages, 2 copies of each. Any more than that, and the game will get too long to keep most youngsters interested. But feel free to pick out more, and just use 20-25 pairs each time you play.

We played a two player game. Our kindergartener is still learning his sight words, so he hung out in dad’s lap while I played against them. I think kids like to learn when they get to be in your lap. And it made the game more fun and didn’t put a lot of pressure on him to know all of his sight words. Great for an emerging learner.

Deal Cards for Sight Word Go Fish

Here is how to play:
Use 20-25 pairs of words (so, two cards of each word)

Deal 8 cards to each player, if playing with two people. If playing with more than two people, deal 6 to each. Put the remainder in a pile, face down, in the middle.

The first player selects a card from their hand, and asks another player if they have the matching card in their hand. “Do you have ‘the’ in your hand?”

If the second player does, they surrender the card to the first player. The first player lays the pair in front of them, they have a point! The first player continues, asking for a specific sight word card.

When the player encounters a “no”, they are told, “no, go fish!” They draw a card from the pile in the middle, and their turn is over. UNLESS they draw the card they were looking for. They then get to say “Fished what I wanted!” Their turn continues.

Each time a player doesn’t get the card they want, the next player in the circle gets a turn.

When someone runs out of cards in their hand, they pull the top two cards from the deck.

Keep playing until there are no more cards. The person with the most points wins.

pairs of sight word go fish game

2014 Word of the Year: Forward

Always Expect Moore Word of the Year - Forward

With the new year comes a new word to guide me, and keep me focused. This year’s word of the year was very easy. It just came to me. My word of the year for 2014 is: FORWARD.

Merriam-Webster defines forward as:

: near or belonging to the front part of something

: moving or directed ahead or toward the front

: moving toward the future or toward a more advanced state or condition

I think all of these define where I want to be and what I want to accomplish over these next 12 months. I want to be near or belonging to the front of the craft blogging movement. It is part of why I’m working with Angie on Crafty Hangouts, and focusing more on Google+. I want to keep moving ahead – finding that next project, that next creative endeavor, and tackling it head-on. And I want to move towards the future. I have big plans. Moving forward, I’ll make them all happen.

Stay tuned.

Snow Day

My kiddo goes back to school tomorrow, so before the winter holiday was over, we decided to take the kids up to the mountains for a snow day. We don’t usually get much snow in the desert where we live, so we drove to some nearby mountains, found what looked like a good sledding spot, and put on our snow gear.

Loving the snow

L had been asking to go to the snow for weeks. He’d been hoping for a White Christmas… but was willing to settle for a trip to the snow.

sledding with dad

L loved going down the hill with his dad.

Sledding down the hill

However, after getting bundled up, having his hands covered up with gloves, and having a tough time walking on the iced-over snow… Baby B wasn’t so thrilled.

Grumpy doesn't like the snow

Hope you are having a fabulous winter!

Most Popular Projects of 2013

Top Posts for 2013 on Always Expect Moore

I had a lot of fun blogging this year! I blogged here, over at 30 Minute Crafts, CraftSnark, CraftyHangouts, Answers.com and contributed at Craft Test Dummies. So… lots of fun posts, projects, and roundups this year. I thought I’d share with you the most popular projects here at Always Expect Moore this year. Here goes…

10. Whimsical Holiday Entertaining Recipes
One of two sponsored posts to make this year’s top 10 list… this post was so fun to create! I hung out with my husband to come up with some delicious adult beverages, and whipped up some other fun treats as well. Perfect for holiday entertaining… or just entertaining yourself!
Holiday Entertaining with Smart & Final

9. How to Make a Wizard Costume
I love that so many of the top posts were favorites of mine as well! This tutorial on making a Wizard Costume was so much fun to make, and I’m glad so many of you enjoyed it too.
Wizard Costume

8. Fabric Fest Quilts
Teaching at Fabric Fest was one of the high points of 2013, and I loved sharing all my different fast quilts with you… if you’re one that enjoyed this post stay tuned… I have more fun fast quilting to share in 2014!
three jelly roll race quilts

7. Winnie the Pooh Baby Shower
A shower I put together for my Sister in Law last year, this was a fun project. I enjoyed sharing how the theme came together, and the little (and big) ways I incorporated Pooh into this simple shower.
Winnie the Pooh Shower Invitation

6. Hexagon Fabric Bracelet
I remember the night that I was inspired to create the first of these Hexagon Bracelets. I stayed up most of the night stitching them together, I was so excited by this idea!
Hexagon Fabric Bracelet Tutorial

5. Monsters University Juice Box Printables
The second sponsored post to make this list, these juice box printables were so fun to create. I especially loved this project because it was a chance to get my boys involved in crafting.
Monsters University Juice Setup

4. Dr. Seuss “Oh The Places You’ll Go” Wallhanging
This might be my favorite project of the year. I loved everything about it, and will have a hard time coming up with an encore in 2014.
Dr Seuss Oh The Places You'll Go Quilt Wallhanging

3. How to Write a Thank You Note
This post became very popular on Pinterest… which makes me so happy! I’m glad that the world wants to know how to write a good Thank You note. It is such a simple but vitally important thing to know… and I’m glad I could share this tidbit with y’all.
How to Write a Thank You Note

2. Three Printable Boy Baby Shower Games
All three of my SILs had babies in the last 14 months, these printables were created for a shower I was unable to attend, but wanted to help out with. Since they were so much fun, I shared them online.
three printble boy baby shower games - just print, grab pens, and you're all set!

1. Fast and Easy Baby Shower Games
With the popularity of Baby Shower posts, I’m guessing lots of babies were born in 2013! These were three easy to whip together games for a last-minute shower.
Super Easy Baby Shower Games

So there you have it! The top posts for 2013… I can’t wait to start 2014… I have so many fun and exciting projects and posts in store for you!

 

Wordless Wednesday – a visit to Santa

Christmas 2013 Photo