Making a Quilted Pillow with Cricut Explore Air 2

I am excited to share a fun experiment gone right with you today. I was invited to participate in The Fat Quarter Shop’s Pillow Fight (I outlined what that means and all about the amazing book HERE) and thought this would be a fun time to experiment with my Cricut Explore Air 2.

Because I wanted to cut out circles from fabric, but I wanted extreme control over where the fabric was cut, I decided that using freezer paper would be my best option to get the results I was desiring. Did you know you can cut out freezer paper using your Cricut Explore Air 2? I sure did not.

To begin, make sure you have freezer paper. I found the cheapest place to get this is at the grocery store. Shocker there. 🙂

Cut the freezer paper down to the size of your Cricut light grip mat. I used a 12″ x 24″ mat, so I cut my freezer paper down to 12″ x 24″ using my rotary cutter that has been deemed my “paper” rotary cutter. Adhere it to the mat with the shiny side DOWN. Work in Cricut Design Space to prep whatever shape you are wanting to cut out (for me it was circles).

When you go to cut out your freezer paper shapes, turn the Smart Set Dial to “custom”. You will then need to search the custom materials until you find parchment paper. That will cut your freezer paper perfectly!

If you are using freezer paper to center on a fussy cut section of fabric, simply heat your iron up, and press it shiny side down onto the RIGHT side of the fabric. Good news. If you mess up a bit, you can lift it off and readhere it using your iron. Freezer paper is the best!

But wait, there’s more!!! You can also use your Cricut Explore Air 2 on the exact same settings to cut Heat ‘n’ Bond Lite!!! I cut out the circles I needed for my fabric fussy cuts using the same process outlined above (just make sure the paper side goes onto the sticky side of the Cricut mat)

I loved this experiment and I am so glad it worked out in my favor! If you are interested in making a pillow of your own, be sure to grab Edyta Sitar’s book Pillow Talk from The Fat Quarter Shop HERE!

Felt Bunting with Cricut Explore Air 2

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

During this crazy, hectic holiday season, I have LOVED having my Cricut Explore Air 2. This is my first holiday season having the ability to make things I never would have contemplated making before, all because of my Cricut. I want to share 5 reasons why I LOVE my Cricut Explore Air 2 with you today and also a fun, fast project you can make on your own Explore Air 2!

1 – It. Is. FAST! I recently shared my tutorial for making car/sewing machine decals and highlighted there how fast this machine is. I can literally make a sticker in less than 30 seconds. The Explore Air 2 is 2X faster than previous models and it shows!

2 – When your project is ready to cut out, the Explore Air 2 literally shows you what to do. The buttons flash! I love this feature so much. It helps give me the reassurance as I’m learning a new technique that I am doing it in the correct order. I also love that my kids can help as I’m working on projects. They love it, too. 🙂

3 – I love the dial feature on the Explore Air 2. You can choose from a variety of pre-selected materials on the dial, or turn it to custom if you’re not sure. When you turn it to custom, you then get to search from Cricut’s extensive library of materials and choose the one you are using. From outdoor vinyl to infusible ink to felt to cardstock, everything you could need is in the library.

4 – Cricut Explore Air 2 comes in a wide variety of colors. I happen to love the mint color that mine came in. If mint isn’t your thing, there is black, red, lilac, rose, fuchsia, sky, blue, peach kiss, raspberry, and the fancy Martha Stewart pearly white version.

5- My absolute favorite thing about my Explore Air 2 is the versatility. If I can imagine something, I can make it. Literally anything. I have used it to cut iron on vinyl for t-shirts, iron on vinyl for tote bags, infusible ink for coasters, cardstock to make a template for a door mat, car stickers, freezer paper. It cuts everything.

I was really curious if the Explore Air 2 could cut felt. If you follow me on instagram, you know I’ve recently become obsessed with working with felt. I am so happy to report that the Explore Air 2 can easily cut Cricut felt!!! I read a few tutorials with differing techniques and settled on one that worked really well for me. I made this fun Holiday Felt Bunting and you can too!

All you need is:

Cricut felt

12″ x 12″ strong grip mat

Fine Point Blade (this came with your Explore Air 2)

Baker’s twine

A needle

To begin, download my project file from Cricut Design Space!

I chose to use 2 colors of green felt, 1 pink, and 1 red. My Christmas decor is retro and funky so this works great for me. The best news is if this isn’t how you style your house, you can choose whichever colors work best for you!

The project file is separated into the different colors. Design Space makes it really easy to cut from different colored materials by separating your canvases into colors when it’s time to cut.

It is much easier to be foolproof when it shows you which color to cut next!

Cut out all of your felt letters. This process takes a tiny bit longer than cutting out vinyl or cardstock. The blade cuts the path several times to ensure a clean cut.

If you look closely you can see on the felt where it has been cut. Once the cutting is complete, peel off the felt and the letters carefully. It came off relatively easily for me.

Gather all of the letters and trees and lay them out how you’d like them to look on your bunting. Using baker’s twine and a rather large needle, thread the letters and trees onto the baker’s twine. You’re all done!

I loved the look of layering this bunting with a felt ball garland I already have in place for the holidays. It makes my kitchen look really festive!

Knit + Minky Blanket

Chances are if you’re a quilter, the world “blanket” isn’t necessarily one you like. This is one of those instances when this is an actual blanket, and not a quilt being called a blanket. 🙂 I first saw my friend Kristen make a blanket out of knit and minky at a quilt retreat about 2 years ago. I thought she was super brave and there was no way I’d ever be willing to try sewing with such finnicky and stretchy fabric. Fast forward 2 years and it’s funny how that has changed! I’ve become more brave with trying new things and not just sticking to quilts.

To make your own knit + minky blanket, you’ll need:

1 1/2 – 2 yards of stretch knit

1 1/2 – 2 yards of minky

a jersey needle

a walking foot

lots of pins

patience

I used a glorious knit from Riley Blake as well as Riley Blake minky and let me tell you, this is the softest knit and minky in the history of ever. My knit comes from the Under the cCnopy collection by Citrus Mint Designs. In case you didn’t know (I didn’t), Riley Blake makes Designer Knits out of select prints from their collections!!! They are so cute and such a fun way to use some favorite prints in a different way.

When you purchase your fabric, make sure you buy the same quantity of the knit as you do of the minky. I did 1.5 yards and ended up with a square about 54″, but if you wanted a rectangle, use 2 yards!

The most non-negotiable thing you need is a jersey needle. I tried sewing with a regular needle and it was NOT pretty. Take the time to head to your local fabric store and buy a package of needles. You will spend less time unpicking than it will take you to do that. Trust me on that one.

Place the right sides of the knit and minky together and profusely pin around the edge. Leave a 10″ hole in one end. Sew using a 1/2″ seam all around the edge, except for your 10″ hole.

Flip the blanket right sides out, then pin the hole closed. You will then topstitch around the edge of the entire perimeter.

That’s it! You’re done! This particular blanket is destined to be a teacher gift for my son’s awesome 2nd grade teacher. I think I see more of these as gifts in my future. I love the ability to make something warm and snuggly without going to the huge time commitment of making a quilt! What’s your go-to teacher gift??