Quilting made easy with Riley Blake and Cricut – Part 3 of 3

Welcome to the 3rd part of this video and quilting series! Over the past weeks I have been working on making a Christmas Quilt using Riley Blake Fabrics and the Cricut Maker. In Part One I showed you how I selected the fabric and pattern. In Part Two I showed you how all the pieces were cut. And today… today we are piecing the Half Log Cabin Throw quilt top!

Quilting Made Easy with Riley Blake and Cricut PArt 3 - Learn how to piece the quarter log cabin quilt pattern!

 

To finish up this series I’ve created another video. This video is long, but oh-so-comprehensive! I’ll be holding your hand and taking you step-by-step through how to make this quilt. It is always more fun to make a project with a friend, and I hope you’ll stitch along side me as we make this quilt together!

We’ll make the units, put together the blocks, build the rows, and stitch up this quilt top. When we get to adding the borders, I’ll give you some tips on how to get a nice smooth border with no ruffles!


If you’d rather read along, I’ll lay out the basics of making the quilt here. Remember that a full set of PDF instructions is in Design Space that will also help you in making the quilt.

We’re going to start by laying out all of our fabrics. The inner border, outer border, and binding fabric can be put aside. Label the other fabrics by fabric number to make it easier to grab the right fabric as you lay out the block units.

label your fabrics when quilting

Using the PDF instructions, grab a square of fabric one and the smallest rectangle in fabric 8. Place them right sides together and stitch.

(BTW – all seams in this quilt are 1/4″.)

stitch first two pieces

Then press your seam towards the dark.

press first stitch

Add the next size up of fabric 8. Stitch and press. Repeat with the same size of fabric 1, and then the largest strip of fabric 1. You’ll have your first block unit complete!

finished first block

Repeat the process for all the block units – you’ll be making 6 of each. Check the PDF for all the fabric combinations. If you watch the video, I’ll show you how you can save time making these units by strip piecing.

next block

Once you have all your block units, lay out block A. Stitch the top and bottom units together. Press the seam to the right. Repeat with the bottom two units, pressing the seam in the opposite direction. Then stitch the top and bottom together. You can press the middle seam up, down, or spin the seam (watch the video and I’ll show you this technique)! Make 6 of this block (Block A).

putting it together

Now you’ll follow the same steps as Block A, but to make Block B. Which is the same, but with different fabrics.

Block B

Once your blocks are done, stitch them into rows! You’ll have 4 rows, each with 3 blocks. 2 of the rows have a block A flanked by block B on either side. The other 2 rows are block B flanked by Block A on either side. Press the seams of the first row in one direction, and the seams on the other row in the other direction.stitch the rowsThen stitch your rows together (alternating the A row with the B row), and press all the seams in one direction. Your blocks are all together! Now it is time to add the borders! I want to share my special border-adding tip with you.

First we’ll be adding the side borders. Measure both sides of your quilt, then measure the center of your quilt from top to bottom. This tells you the height of your quilt on both sides and in the middle. Add these 3 numbers together then divide by 3. That is the size you should cut your side borders. This will keep you from having wavy borders.

Pin the border in place. First by pinning each end. Then pinning the middle. Then pinning along each half so that the border is smoothly in place. Once it is pinned, you can stitch.

pin on border

Repeat the process of measuring the top, bottom, and middle to cut the top and bottom borders to size. Pin them the same way, then stitch. Repeat all these steps to cut, pin, and stitch on your outer borders. Once your borders are on, your quilt is done!

stitch on borders

This quilt has been so much fun to put together – I hope you enjoyed it, too! I’m considering putting together a bonus video to show you how to quilt this lap sized quilt on a domestic sewing machine. But if you prefer, you can absolutely have a long-arm quilter do the quilting, and then you just have to bind it. You can search this site for lots of tips on quilting your quilt, and binding it!

Thanks to Cricut and Riley Blake for asking me to put together this series! I can’t wait to show you more quilting and crafting fun!

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

Quilting made easy with Riley Blake and Cricut – Part 2

I’m excited to share part 2 of my “Quilting Made Easy” series with Riley Blake and Cricut. When Cricut offered to send me a Riley Blake quilt kit of my choice to share with y’all, and show you how easy it is to whip up a quilt when Cricut takes care of the bulk of the cutting, I was excited! I love sharing innovative ways to approach quilting, and these quilt kits are a fantastic way for both beginners and experienced quilters to put together quilts that look beautiful every time!

Last week I showed you how easy it was to pick out a fun fabric kit, and to pick a pattern to go with it. Today I’m opening up the pattern and doing all the cutting.

quilting made easy with Riley Blake and Cricut - part 2 of 3

If you’d rather hang out with me while I go over all the details, I put together a video where I take you step-by-step through the cutting process. You can pause, rewind, and watch at your own pace. I’ve put the video here:

 

If you’d like to read through the steps, I have you covered as well.

First, let’s talk tools. Cricut has some great kits that are perfect for doing all the pre-cutting needed. They have a rotary blade, ruler, and mat set that is exactly right for cutting those large 12″ wide strips needed for the Cricut mat. Be sure to check out the Cricut cutting tools – they are the experts when it comes to sharp blades that cut well!

Cricut tools for quilting

Start by removing the fabric from the zippered bag it came in (by the way, this zippered bag becomes an awesome shoe bag for traveling!), and pull out the paper it came with as well.

planning the quilt

I also printed a screen shot of the cutting instructions, since those are not available as a PDF. I put all the fabrics in order – fabric 1 through 11. I removed fabric 11, which was the 3/4 yard piece of fabric. Beware, it is the exact same as fabric 4, which is a 2/3 piece. Make sure you’re setting aside the 3/4 yard piece which will be used for the binding later.

From fabric 1, cut two 12″ wide strips.

rotary cutting fabric

Cut fabric 4 into two 1/3 yard pieces (1/3 yard is 12″, so you’ll be cutting it in half to make two 12″ strips).

Then from your inner border fabric (fabric 3) cut 5 strips, each 2″ wide.

cut inner border

From the outer border fabric, cut 5 strips, each 5.5″ wide.

cut outer border

 

I know what you’re thinking – this is supposed to be all about how great the Cricut machine is for cutting fabric, and we haven’t even pulled out the Cricut machine yet! Yes, that is true. The Cricut Maker is great for cutting fabric. But for some projects, a little pre-cutting is needed. There are 11 fabrics in this kit. We have pre-cut 4 of them, and put a fifth aside. Now we are ready to pull out the Cricut Maker to do the rest of the cutting for us!

Start by placing the fabric on the mat. Float the fabric over the pink mat until it is lined up on the edges, and the top edge is above the top cutting line, but below the top edge of the mat. Then press it down. You can use the brayer to secure it if you like.

place fabric on mat

Now you are ready to get cutting! For most cuts, you can use a single strip of fabric for 2 mats. The first mat is a 12×24″ mat. Place the fabric on the mat. Then trim off the extra fabric from the bottom. Put this on a 12×12″ mat (or on a 12×24″ mat – you can always use a larger mat) for the second mat of that fabric.

If you didn’t print out the screen shot of the cutting instructions, I’ve got you covered! Here you go:

Fabric 1 – Mats 1 and 2
Fabric 2 – Outer border – was cut into 5.5″ strips in an earlier step.
Fabric 3 – Inner border – was cut into 2″ strips in an earlier step.
Fabric 9 – Mats 3 and 4
Fabric 6 – Mats 5 and 6
Fabric 5 – Mats 7 and 8
Fabric 4 – Mats 9 and 10
Fabric 8 – Mats 11 and 12
Fabric 7 – Mats 13 and 14
Fabric 10 – Mats 15 and 16
Fabric 11 – Set aside for binding

You probably noticed that all those fabrics are NOT in number order. This is because we want to make sure that our light and dark fabrics are balanced in the quilt. Each quilt has those lights and darks set up in a different order, so the cutting order for the fabrics can change.

Once you have your first mat ready to go, you can start cutting the rest of your fabrics! It is lovely to cut it with the Maker, because once you have the mats and fabric in order, you can let your mind wander. When cutting with a traditional rotary cutter and ruler, I have to be vigilant and remember to “measure twice, cut once” or risk a mis-cut! A miscut can mean a waste of fabric – possibly running out of fabric if the miscut is bad enough! I didn’t have that issue with the maker. I kept feeding in the mats in order, and could even hold a conversation with my 6 year old while getting all the mats cut – and I never had a miscut!

cutting fabric with maker

I’ll be back in TWO weeks with the third installment of this quilting journey. Next week I’ll be off at the Cricut Mountain Make-a-thon teaching a class on “How to Design a Quilt Block like a Pro” as well as learning from some of the other fabulous ladies (and gentleman) who are teaching at the event!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.


 

Quilting Made Easy with Riley Blake and Cricut

As an avid quilter, I love it when quilting can be made easier. There are so many steps and parts to quilting, so when some of those can be taken out for us, it makes quilting easier (and more enjoyable)! Quilt kits are a great option when looking to make a quilt. You know that all the fabric you need is in the kit (yay for no quilt math!), and you know that all the fabrics will work together wonderfully. That is why I was super excited when Cricut asked me to share a bit about their new Riley Blake Quilt kits with all of you.

Quilting Made Easy with Riley Blake and Cricut - Part 1 of 3

This post contains affiliate links. Income from these links helps to support this site at no additional cost to you.

I did a quick YouTube Live where I went over all the details of picking out the fabric (I went with the Comfort and Joy quilt kit) and picking out the pattern. The Log Cabin is a great beginner block, which is why I chose this fun Half Log Cabin.

And for those of you curious – yes, this is a project that you do need your Cricut Maker for. You need the functionality of the rotary blade in order to cut the fabric.

 

The back of the quilt kit shows you a couple of the different patterns you can make with this throw-sized quilt kit. But the great news is that you can make any of the throw sized quilts with this kit! While I love the options that they show, I also love that I have the flexibility to choose from any of the throw sized patterns.

quilt options with the comfort and joy quilt kit

You do have to buy the quilt pattern in Cricut Design Space. But once you buy it, you own the pattern. And the price really is comparable to quilt pattern prices everywhere else – with the bonus that this pattern has already been digitized to do all the cutting!

Riley Blake Half Log Cabin Quilt Pattern

The pattern includes all the Design Space files to cut the pattern, and a PDF with the step-by-step instructions to make the quilt. I’ll be going through the cutting and piecing in parts 2 and 3 of this series!

cutting the throw quilt

All those mats might be a little intimidating at first, but don’t worry! They really are broken down to make the whole process as simple as possible. This is quilting made EASY, right? And easy for us also means that it will be more fun!

cricut quilting tools

If you’re planning to make this quilt along with me, you might want to check out these great Cricut tools. I’ll be talking more about these in part 2!

wuilt kit and pattern option

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt: Week 11 – Adding Borders

Welcome to week 11 of the Cricut Maker Block of the Week! This week we’re going to finish the quilt top by adding the borders that we cut in Week 1: Intro. Adding the borders means that the quilt top is complete, but our quilt isn’t finished yet. Next week I’ll show you how to quilt your quilt top, and the next week I’ll show you the final step: Binding. I promised you 14 weeks of making this quilt. In week 1 I shared both the into and the first block because I knew you wouldn’t want to wait to start sewing. So in the final week, I’ll share a fun bonus project with you!

If you have just found this series, start by going to the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Reference Page. That has all the links and videos to get you started from the very beginning.

Adding Borders

You can follow the written steps below, or you can watch this video as I show you how to put on the borders:

Start by laying out the borders. There are two long strips and two short strips.

lay out borders

Stitch the short borders to the top and bottom of the quilt top. In the video I show you how to pin the strip to the quilt top to keep them even. Here are the basic steps:

Place the border piece on top of the quilt. Line up the top edge and corners. Pin at the corners.

Find the middle of the border and quilt edge. Add a crease if needed. Pin to secure the centers together.

Add more pins as needed on each side. Often, either the quilt is slightly bigger than the border, or the border is slightly bigger than the quilt. Pinning allows you to ease the extra fabric into the seam without ripples or puckers.

Press. The seam allowance should go towards the border.

press borders

Now it is time to add the other borders.

add side borders

Follow the same steps to pin the borders to the quilt. Press again, and your quilt is complete!

finished quilt top

Come back next week as I show you how to quilt the quilt top!

 

Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt: Block 7 – Shoo Fly

Week 7 of our Cricut Maker Block of the Week marks the halfway point of our series! We’re making our 7th block, the Shoo Fly Quilt block! And it is another variation on my favorite – the nine patch! You’ll find lots of quilt blocks are variations on four-patches and nine-patches. Once you visualize how to break down a quilt block into smaller units, the entire world of quilting opens up to you!

If you’re just jumping in, check out the entire Cricut Maker Block of the Week series so that you can start from week 1!

Cricut Maker Block of the Week - Shoo Fly Quilt Block

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If you’d like to watch the step-by-step video, you can watch it here. Or follow along with the photos and written instructions below.


Start by opening up the Shoo Fly Block file in Cricut Design Space, and cutting the pieces. Then lay them out to form the block.

lay out the shoo fly block

 

Stitch your half-square triangles, just as we have done in the past.

finished HSTs

Press the half-square-triangles towards the dark side. Then stitch the pieces into rows.

Press the top and bottom rows in, and the center row out. In my case, this presses the pieces towards the dark. But even if your lighter color is where my greys are, you will want to press this way to reduce the bulk from the triangles.

rows stitched

Stitch the rows together, taking care to nest the seams.

stitch together rows

Press your final seams, and your block is complete!

finished shoo fly block

 

 

 

 

Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt: Block 3 – Diamond in a Square

This week in our Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt, we’re working on Block 3, the Diamond in a Square! You’re going to be so excited by how easily this block stitches up. There are a couple new things I’m showing you this week. The first is the bias on triangles. The second is using Snap Mat to conserve fabric.

If you’re just joining in, let me help you catch up! I’ve designed a small quilt that is cut entirely on the Cricut Maker. I’m showing you start-to-finish how to make the quilt, teaching you a new step each week. At the end, you’ll have a completed quilt, and learned all the steps for making your quilt! To get started from the beginning, check out the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt Resource Page.

Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt - Block 3: Diamond in a Square

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To make the Diamond in a Square, start by opening up the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Diamond in a Square file in Cricut Design Space. If you use a mobile device to connect to your Cricut Maker, you will first need to log in to Design Space on a laptop or desktop computer, then click on the file, then save the file to your Design Space files. From there, you can open it up on your mobile device or tablet.

You can watch the step-by-step video here, or follow the instructions below.

Cut out the pieces, just like we have been doing on the last 2 blocks. To conserve fabric, select mat 2 (the mat with the 4 triangles), and move the triangles over to the right. In the video, I show you how to use Snap Mat to do this.

Lay out your pieces.

lay out block

Your triangles are going to look WAY bigger than your square. This is the way it should look. I promise. You are doing it right.

When stitching triangles, you want to be extra careful that you don’t stretch the fabric. Triangles always have at least one edge that is cut “on the bias.” “On the bias” means that the fabric is cut at an angle. This cuts across all the threads, which makes that side much more stretchy. We want our fabric to keep its shape, so try not to stretch any of the sides.

Place one triangle on top of the square, with the long side of the triangle lined up with the square. The blue lines on top should line up with the blue lines on the bottom. If you need another reference point, you can fold the square and triangle in half to line up the midpoints.

line up

Stitch this side in place.

stitch

Stitch the opposite side in place.

stitch second corner

Press the seams, so that the triangles lay flat. Line up a third triangle, and stitch in place.

stitch the other corner

Stitch on the final triangle. You’re almost done! This is such a quick block!

Trim off the “Dog Ears” before you press these last two triangles. Dog ears are the extra points that are left over when sewing triangles.

trim dog ears

Press the triangles. You can trim the second set of dog ears now, or wait until you square up the block later.

trim dog ears

Block 3, the Diamond in a Square Quilt block, is complete!

finished diamond in a square quilt block

 

Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt: Block 2 – Uneven Nine Patch

Are you ready for the next step in the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt? Today we’re making Block 2, the Uneven Nine Patch. This quilt block is very similar to last week’s Nine Patch, but the fabric choices and sizes of the pieces are different.

Each week I’ll share with you how to make another part of this quilt, until we have the whole quilt finished. The fabric is all cut and marked on the Cricut Maker machine. If you want the details, check out my Introduction to the Cricut Maker Block of the Week. If you want to join in and don’t know where to start, check out the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Reference Page. It will get you current, and give you all the information you need.

Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt - Block 2 - Uneven Nine Patch

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Before you start here, you need to have followed along on the introduction, borders, and sashing instructions, and make Block 1 – the Nine Patch. Make sure you’ve done that before you continue.

You can watch the week 2 video on the Uneven Nine Patch Quilt Block here, or follow along the steps below.


Open up the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Uneven Nine Patch file in Cricut Design space. You can click on the link in the previous sentence to open it, but only from a desktop or laptop. Make sure you have Cricut Design Space installed. You can then save the file to your files, and open it on any device that you are signed in on.
uneven nine patch

You’ll need the fabrics you labeled as yellow, pink, and white. Use the blue fabric pen to have the Maker draw the seam lines.

send to cut

You’ll need to install the fabric pen and the rotary blade before cutting.

 

cut the fabric on the Cricut Maker
Cut all three mats.

Lay out your fabric pieces.

lay out fabric pieces

Stitch the pieces together to make rows, just like we did in the last block.

stitch rows

stitched rows

 

Press the pieces. Press the seams towards the dark fabric. Make sure that the rows have the seams going in alternate directions. Here, you’ll see the top row has the seams going out, the middle has the seams going in, and the bottom row has the seams going out again.

finished rows

Now stitch the rows together, and your block is complete!

finished uneven nine patch

Come back next week for another fun quilt block!

 

Cricut Maker Block of the Week – Week 1: Nine Patch Quilt Block

As promised, here is the first quilt block for our Cricut Maker Block of the Week, the Nine Patch Quilt Block! Each week I’ll share with you how to make another part of this quilt, until we have the whole quilt finished. The fabric is all cut and marked on the Cricut Maker machine. If you want the details, check out my Introduction to the Cricut Maker Block of the Week. If you want to join in and don’t know where to start, check out the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Reference Page. It will get you current, and give you all the information you need.

Cricut Maker Block of the Week - Block 1: Nine Patch

This post contains affiliate links. Clicking these links gives me a small commission at no cost to you.

Before you start here, you need to have followed along on the introduction, borders, and sashing instructions. Make sure you’ve done that before you continue.

You can watch the video here, or follow along the steps below.

Cut the fabric for the Nine Patch Quilt Block

Open up the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Block 1: Nine Patch in Cricut Design Space. You need to do this on a desktop or laptop computer with Design Space installed. From there, you can save the file, and open it up in Design Space on whatever device you like best.

Nine Patch Quilt Block in Design Space

We are using the fabrics you chose to be your “pink” and your “white” when you labeled your fabrics. Place them on the mats, right side down. Make sure to rub down the sides of the mat, as that is where the rollers can catch the fabric, and lift it up.

Press “Make It” in Cricut Design Space. You will see the two mats with the blue lines.

mats for nine patch

Press “Continue.”

select material

Select Material as “Cotton.”

load machine

Install the Cricut Fabric Pen. I like to put the cap on the back of the pen so I don’t lose it. Install the rotary cutter. Place the mat up to the rollers, and press the flashing arrows key. The mat will load into the machine.

Cut both mats. Peel away the extra fabric, and you’ll have something that looks like this.

cut on mats

Use your tweezers to remove the squares, and lay them out to create the block design. It will look like a checkerboard.

lay out the block

Sew together the Rows of your Nine Patch

Take the first two pieces in the top row – the teal and the red as shown in this image (the white and pink as labeled on the fabrics). Put them right-sides-together, with all the edges lining up. Stitch them together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. You can stitch right on that blue line, going all the way across from edge to edge.

sew rows

Congratulations! You’ve sewn your first seam! This quilt is officially underway!!

**pause for a happy dance**

first seam

Lift up that teal fabric, exposing the red. Put the other teal on top of the red, and stitch down. You now have a teal piece on each side of the red stripe. YES!

Repeat with the other two rows, making sure to keep the checkerboard design.

Press the seams to the side. Have all the seams go towards the “dark” fabric, whichever one that is for you.

press seams

Finish the Nine Patch Quilt Block

Here you can see the back of the block, with all the seams pressed. If you watched the video, you’ll notice that the seams are in the exact opposite directions from in the video. That’s because in the video the pink was my dark, and here the teal was my “dark”. If you’re not sure which of your fabrics is darker, just choose one. It won’t matter too terribly. I pinky promise.

What IS important is that if your seams go out in one row, that in the rows above or below it, they are going in. And vice versa. This allows your seams to nestle into each other, which helps your points match.

press the rows

Place your top row on top of your bottom row, right sides together. Stitch down one side… making sure it is the correct side (the side they are supposed to meet up on).

layer two rows

Then repeat, stitching the bottom row onto the other side.

last seam

stitch last row

Press these seams (I like pressing out, but it won’t make too much of a difference), and your block is complete!

finished nine patch quilt block

YAY!!

Make sure to come back next week. Each week I’ll be sharing another step in making this quilt. Next week we’ll make an uneven nine patch, using three colors! So fun to see what a difference a slight variation makes!

 

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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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Learn to Quilt with your Cricut – Cricut Maker Block of the Week

I’m so excited to share with you my new project … which could become your new project! The Cricut Maker Block of the Week! Over the course of several weeks, I am going to teach basic quilting techniques using the Cricut Maker.

Last month, I was invited to Salt Lake City to participate in the launch of the new Cricut Maker. This machine is extra exciting because it has a rotary blade attachment. The machine can rotate this blade 360 degrees to cut directionally. Which makes it perfect for cutting non-bonded fabrics (fabrics that don’t have an interfacing or interlining fused to the back). When I saw this, I was super excited. As a quilter who has taught all kinds of quilting classes, and is excited about teaching beginners how to quilt, I saw an opportunity to teach new quilters how to sew their first quilt! And teaching new quilters is a serious passion of mine.

Learn to Quilt with your Cricut Machine

Here are the details for the Cricut Maker Block of the Week:

Lessons begin Friday, September 22nd. It will take us 14 weeks to finish this quilt (so you can have it done in time for Christmas!). It finishes at 23″ x 23″ square, so it makes a great baby quilt or wall hanging. We will go through all the steps – cutting and piecing the blocks, adding the sashing and borders, quilting your quilt on your home machine, and even binding the quilt! It sounds like a big commitment, but most weeks you’ll be done in less than 90 minutes.

Every Friday I will share the lesson both here and on YouTube. You can watch the video, read the step-by-step instructions with photos, or do both. You can leave questions and comments both here and on YouTube if you need help.

The lessons won’t go away – if you start a week later, a month later, or 6 months later… everything will still be there. If you get busy (hey, life happens), everything will still be there for you to pick up when life settles down. As my uncle says, “No hurries, no worries.”

The cost is FREE. I’m not charging you anything to learn how to make this quilt. Cricut gave me the Maker machine, and this is my way of paying it forward. I will get a few pennies from ads on the YouTube Videos, and ads here on this site. And if you choose to purchase materials through my affiliate links, I’ll get a small commission which helps compensate for my time and materials. But I won’t ever ask you to send me any money. There won’t be a sales pitch at the end of the 14 weeks for a pricy course (although, hey… there is a thought… nope. nevermind. not interested).

If you’d like to join in, you’ll want to gather your supplies. Here is what you’ll need. BTW, I’ve put affiliate links here – if you purchase through these links, awesome! If you don’t, I’ll never know. Either way, we’re good.

Here is what you’ll need to make the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt:

Cricut Maker Machine. Yes, it has to be the Maker. It is the one with the rotary blade, and that is really a must here. That first link will take you to the Cricut Site to buy the machine. If you pay for Cricut Access, you’ll get 10% off buying the machine there. If you’re an Amazon junkie, you can buy the Cricut Maker on Amazon. If you hate waiting, the Cricut Maker is being sold at JoAnns and Michaels as well. Just call ahead to make sure they have one in stock.

Fabric. I’ve designed the project to be made using a single bundle of Cricut Designer Fabric, plus 7/8 yards of backing fabric. I’ve used the Rock Star bundle for the first quilt (pictured above), and the Garden Girl sampler for the quilt I’m making on the video. But, I’ve designed this so that any of the available bundles will work. Or, you could create your own bundle. You’ll need 5 cuts of fabric, each 1/3 yard. Pick a fun print for the border, and 4 smaller prints or solids for the blocks and sashing. Make sure you get your 7/8 yards of backing fabric. Amazon lovers, you can also buy the Cricut Fabric on Amazon.

12 x 24″ Fabric Mat. The machine comes with a 12 x 12 mat, but to cut the borders and sashing, you’ll need a 12 x 24″ mat.

Cricut Fabric Pen. We will be using this to mark seam allowances. If you’re an experienced quilter, you can skip this. If you want to pay way more, you can buy the fabric Pen on Amazon. My Michael’s and JoAnns carry these pens as well, for the normal price.

Printable Stickers. I used Cricut Printable Vinyl because they are durable, but Printable Sticker Paper will work as well. We’re going to use 1 sheet to print-then-cut labels for the fabric. If you don’t have access to a printer, you could use regular labels and write the colors on them, or use marker to mark the colors (pink, yellow, white, purple, aqua). This will help you know which fabric to use when, especially if you’re using a different fabric bundle than I am.

Thread. I’m not terribly picky about thread. I have friends that are passionate about certain brands of thread. If you’re at a quilt shop and they have spools of Aurifil 50wt, that is great. If you’re at the store and see Coats & Clark, that is also awesome. You want a quilting-weight thread. If you’re not sure, ask a sales associate at the store, and they’ll help you find an appropriate thread. Find a color that blends in with your fabrics – white, cream, or light grey are often great choices. Some people are going to tell you that it has to be 100% cotton thread. I’m not going to. Go with what makes you happy, here.

Sewing Machine. The Cricut will cut the fabric, but we need a sewing machine to put the pieces back together. Use what you have here. I have a big, fancy machine… but I’m not using it for this quilt. I pulled out my nearly 20-year-old fully-mechanical Viking machine to sew this project on. I did this to show you that while fancy machines are fun… you don’t need to break the bank to sew something pretty.

Iron. Whatever you use to get wrinkles out of shirts when you have a job interview or parent-teacher conference will work great. If you don’t have an iron, find an inexpensive one at Walmart or Target. If you that hate ironing – don’t worry, this isn’t “real” ironing. This is quilt ironing, which is WAY more fun!

Ironing board/Ironing pad. You don’t want to melt your tabletop, so an ironing board or ironing pad is a great idea. In a pinch, you could use a folded bath towel, with a smoother tea towel over the top. It can be our little secret.

That will get you through the first 11 weeks! If you want to buy all your supplies now, read on. If you want to hold off on buying any more, then save the rest of this list until later.

 

After week 11, you’ll  also need:

Batting – a 25″ x 25″ piece of batting is plenty. You can purchase a crib sized quilt batting. I suggest a LOW LOFT batting. Either 100% cotton or 80-20 blend. I’ve been using Fairfield batting for years, and keep a giant roll in the sewing room. No need for you to invest in that yet! If you want cotton, try their organic cotton batting. If you want a blend, try their 40/60 blend batting. If you want something really fun, try their evergreen batting. It is made from recycled bottles which gives it that green color – but the green won’t show up on your quilts. It is really lovely for free motion quilting, and I wish I could buy a big roll of it!

Safety Pins or basting spray. We’ll talk about this more in week 13, and which is best for which type of quilting you want to do. If you have safety pins on hand, those will work. If you’re buying new ones, check out the curved safety pins. If you are going to try free-motion quilting, I recommend basting spray. I like Thermoweb Spray N Bond.

Walking foot or Free Motion Foot – this will depend on how you want to quilt your quilt. If you are new to quilting, a walking foot is usually the best choice. There is no one-size-fits-all for sewing machine feet. Check with whatever store distributes your brand of sewing machine to find a foot that fits your make and model. A walking foot can run you from $20-100, depending on how fancy your machine is. If you’re an adventurous beginner, or have some more experience, you might want to try free-motion quilting. Get a free motion foot for your machine. An Embroidery foot might work as well. I will be teaching both the walking foot and free motion quilting techniques in week 13.

Ruler, Rotary cutter, and mat (for squaring up). If you have a friend who is a quilter, ask them if you can square up your quilt at their house. If there is a quilt shop local to you that offers their classroom for open use, consider that. But if you find that you love quilting, this is worth the investment! Here are the supplies I love:

Omnigrid 6×24″ Ruler
Fiskars Rotary Cutter, I like 45mm size, but you can go with whatever you have. Omnigrid and Olfa make good rotary cutters as well.
Omnigrid Mat

Hand sewing needle

Thimble (optional) – my favorite is the Dritz Comfort Grip Thimble.

 

By now you’re probably thinking: WOW! That is a TON of stuff!

Well, you’re right. The first quilt you make is nearly always going to be the most expensive, as you purchase supplies that you’ll be using over and over again. If you treat them right, these supplies will last a decade or more. In my over 20 years of quilting, I’ve only had two 6×24″ rulers. The first one lasted me 15 years – and my mom had used it for many years before she handed it down to me.

If you’re not sure – before you make the investment, ask around. Someone surely has some quilting supplies in their closet they’d be willing to loan you. And maybe you can get them excited about quilting again, and make quilts together!

That’s everything you need to know to get started! Make sure you bookmark this post so that you can keep the supply list handy. Or start yourself a “quilts I’m going to make” Pinterest board (if you haven’t already). This can be your first pin!

I’m super excited to start on this quilting journey together! Please reach out if you have any questions!

 

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