I've been pining for a Cricut for the past 2 months... well, in all honesty, it's been a bit longer than that, but I only just recently got really vocal about wanting one when I picked back up with sewing... because... wait for it... it cuts fabric!😍
Anyone who knows me and my sewing habits, knows I HATE cutting fabric. I'd rather listen to fingers against a chalkboard than measure, cut, and prep fabric.
Given Black Friday was just around the corner from my birthday, I decided to indulge and get one for myself – at a discount of course. Happy Birthday to me!
To be 100% honest... the thing sat in the box for 5 days before I even had a chance to play with it, until last night.
I learned quickly after attempting my first cut last night with Dilynn that I have not spent nearly enough time on YouTube watching tutorial videos. It was an absolute shit show. 😂 My husband, of all people, ended up teaching me how to do the more complicated things... you know, like weeding my vinyl, and not fucking up my shirt – too much.
So. Now that I've had this thing open and running for the last 24 hours, I thought I'd share a few things I've learned as a beginner with my Maker. All you pros out there have mercy on my un-crafty soul!
Do NOT Place Your Cricut Up Against a Wall
I guess it should have been obvious that the mat has to go somewhere when it's cutting, but clearly I thought, "Oh! It looks like a printer! I'll shove it against the wall to maximize my crafting table space" ...
After prepping a 12x12 mat with my daughter's vinyl, I hit the Cricut button, and holy shit did panic ensue like 2 seconds after! The mat hit the back of the wall with such force and violent sound that I thought for a moment, "OMG. I just broke a $400 machine." 😱
Fortunately, I found and hit what looked like a pause button (have since confirmed it is indeed a pause button) and was able to save everything. Needless to say, I moved the machine AWAY from the wall, and we were able to finish. Nothing broke.
YouTube and Google How to Cut Vinyl
I must have read the instructions on Cricut's website for SportFlex Iron-On like a hundred times before we cut, and I still fucked it up.
"Place iron-on sheet, liner side down, onto Cricut StandardGrip Mat."
What is liner side down? 😂I had no idea. I mean, after we ruined a sheet of vinyl we figured it out... but for reference, it needs to be placed bubbly side up... however helpful that is for anyone reading this.
For reference, I finally figured out my wrong-doings after reading this blog post on SportFlex.
So, apparently there's a thing called "Weeding" with Cricut, and it's just as thrilling a task as it is in the garden... NOT.
I suck at it, too.
Pulling vinyl off a mat with a tiny tool that looks like it belongs in a dentist office is pure and utter torture. Fortunately, my husband gave me some tips that made it less painful... like scoring larger pieces so they rip away easier. ALSO, had I not purchased the additional "weeding" toolset on Black Friday, we wouldn't have been able to do anything... it's legit a requirement.
Pluck Your Fabric QUICKLY
I just cut 16 mats worth of Fabric today. 16. 16 FULL SIZE MATS. Why? Oh perfect, I never though you'd ask!
I'm making a Riley Blake Half Log Cabin Quilt (like the one she's making), because I've really wanted to start quilting, and it seemed like the easiest one to attempt first – NOTE: I am NOT doing it in the god-awful colors they suggest on Cricut's Design Access thing. I picked out my own colors (navy and yellow patterns/colors). Which I guess sounds awful written out, but the swatch I picked is cute, so chill.
Anyway, after cutting all the fabric today, I realized that you can't just slowly peel the fabric off the mat with your tweezers. You literally need to pluck it off the mat like you're plucking a chicken trying to get away from you, otherwise the cuts will fray – and omg, do they fray! I ruined quite a few squares for my blocks the first few mats, but I think with my seam allowance they can be saved. 🤞I'll keep you posted.
That's about all I have after playing with the Marker for the first time. Hopefully you've found this as amusing, and can learn from my Day 1 mistakes! 😂