This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.
Late last month I received a fun, new addition to our home. We have had so much fun getting to know and use our new Cricut Explore Air 2 machine. I have never used any sort of cutting machine before and it has really exceeded my expectations. I look forward to sharing projects in the future that work into the wheelhouse of sewing and quilting. Did you know you can use fabric that has been bonded and cut out shapes that way? Heat n bond lite is my usual go-to and I can’t even imagine how nice it will be to not have to cut out shapes by hand any more.
The first thing that I noticed about the Explore Air 2 is that it is very well thought out. Cricut has included everything you need to make a little sample project as you are setting up your machine for the first time. I love that this gives you the flexibility to test out the machine on something that you aren’t 100% emotionally committed to. If it goes wrong (which it won’t!) then it isn’t something you’ve spent money in materials to make.
For my first project, I wanted to make something for Halloween. I have loved paying a bit of attention to my front porch this past year and thought I’d make a new doormat. I found many, many wonderful existing tutorials on the “how to’s” of the actual stenciling and cutting out existing cricut designs, but I wanted a nod to a classic 90’s Halloween movie.
My husband helped me by creating a file I could use to cut out “I SMELL CHILDREN”. Once we had the file made, I found the Cricut Explore Air 2 to be very, very easy and straightforward to use. We used the weeding tools to peel out the letters, and then I followed the instructions I found on Everyday Jenny’s site.
I dont imagine this will be my last doormat. I LOVED making it and was giddy as I peeled off my template. Can you imagine how fun it would be to make one for every season or major holiday? For a $10 blank mat (I found mine at a popular orange colored home improvement store), your time, and your existing cricut machine, it makes a perfect porch refresh project.
Two years ago, I made my sons quilts for Christmas. They loved them so much that last November, they requested quilts for Christmas. Knowing well how this pattern will likely continue this year, I took care of future me and cut out quilts for them back in June. I was pretty pregnant and not sewing much back then, but I hit the ground running after our daughter was born.
I love this tradition of making them quilts. I don’t know how long it will continue because let’s face it, how many personalized quilts do they need. BUT, I hope it continues for a long time. I so enjoy sewing with them in mind. I am using the Charismatic Quilt pattern by Villa Rose Designs. The best thing about her patterns is they are all $2!
For our daughter, I broke into my sample spree bundle of Darlings by Ruby Star Society. I made this one when I was still pregnant and as she is obviously a baby, I don’t expect much of a reaction on Christmas morning.
For our middle son, I chose to use mostly Bounce by Alison Harris of Cluck Cluck sew as well as as various blues and low volumes from my stash. He is 4 so I wanted it to feel jovial, without being juvenile.
For our oldest son, I chose to make his quilt in grayscale. He’s entering that lovely time of tween-ness. I wanted his quilt to be one he would *hopefully* be happy to use for a few years without feeling like it was made for a tiny child. It reminds me of checkerboard Vans, and if that doesn’t last him into his teenage years, nothing will! 🙂
I’m curious…. do you make your family quilts for the holidays? If yes, have you started your sewing already?
If you’re like me, you’ve probably seen people doing a newer binding technique that is referred to as “big stitch binding”. It is basically the brother to big stitch quilting, of which I am a huge fan. Up until last week I hadn’t tried big stitch binding and I am kicking myself for not trying it sooner. It was so easy and added SUCH a fun accent to the client quilt I was binding.
There are a few basic tutorials out there, but if you are comfortable with binding, you can likely figure it out even with out a tutorial. However, if you are interested in a tutorial, Kitchen Table Quilting has a fabulous one with photos.
The supplies required are exactly the same as those I’ve linked on my hand quilting post HERE.
I will definitely be doing big stitch binding on my next quilt where it seems like it will fit in stylistically. I found it to be much quicker and easier than normal binding!