Quilting with the Cricut Maker: 7 Things You Can Do
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It’s no secret that I believe a Cricut Maker can carve itself a spot in any craft room.
While I primarily use my Cricut to personalize items with iron-on or vinyl and for other non-sewing tasks, I also use it when cutting machine embroidery applique, sewing patterns, and even quilt pieces.
So, can the Cricut Maker help with quilting? Yes, it can.
Here’s everything you need to know about quilting with the Cricut Maker! From 7 ways you can use it while quilting to step-by-step learning how to make a quilt with the Cricut Maker.
Quilting With the Cricut Maker: 7 Ways!
Before getting into a more in-depth tutorial to show how I constructed my Cricut Maker quilt, here’s a quick list of fun things you can do with the Circuit Maker when it comes to quilting!
(I’ll primarily refer to the original Cricut Maker or Cricut Maker 3 here, as they can cut unbonded fabric with the rotary blade. At the time of writing, the other models of Cricut cutting machines require the fabric to be bonded before cutting.)
1. Cutting Quilt Squares and Shapes with the Cricut Maker
The most obvious quilting use of my Cricut Maker is cutting fabric pieces for quilt blocks.
You can get quilt fabric cut to the correct size and shape by importing your own .svg files, creating shapes within Cricut Design Space, or using Design Space’s built-in quilt patterns and shapes.
Not all shapes are worth cutting with the Maker, though. For instance, an 8″x8″ square is faster to cut by hand. However, more complicated shapes like hexies for English Paper Piecing are so much easier to cut with a Cricut!
Now, always use the pink fabric mat and rotary blade for best results and smooth fabric with a brayer.
And, while Cricut reports you can cut multiple layers of fabric simultaneously, I’ve never had luck using temporary adhesive and avoiding fabric slippage between layers. So, I cut a single layer at a time for the best results.
2. Cutting Applique Fabric with the Cricut Maker
If your sewing or embroidery applique has a vector file (like .svg), this is the best file format to load to your Cricut.
However, if you only have a .jpg, .png, or .bmp image of your applique, you can also load this, but extra steps will be required to use it as a cutting file.
For sewing machine appliques, one fun thing is to also cut your freezer paper with the Cricut Maker. Then, use this to help turn edges for applique with a sewing machine. (This is one of many ways to use freezer paper in sewing!)
For using machine embroidery designs, you can get more information and details in my Cricut and machine embroidery tutorial.
3. Print and Cut Fabric Quilt Labels
While you can personalize quilts with iron-on vinyl, another way to use the Cricut Maker is to cut fabric quilt labels.
I prefer June Tailor quilt labels and first create the design in Canva or my Electric Quilt 8 software (Some of the free quilt design software have this option also.) I then load it into Cricut Design Space and use the Print then Cut function to make sure my labels are perfectly cut.
This method is especially helpful when creating labels that are more unique shapes that aren’t easy to cut by hand! (Think hearts, hexagons, stars, etc.)
4. Cut Stippling or Free-Motion Stencils
Do you like finishing quilts yourself instead of sending them to a longarm quilter but aren’t quite comfortable making up the patterns as you go?
My free-motion meandering and stippling aren’t very good, which is why I often prefer using my embroidery machine for quilting.
However, if I need a specific design for my sewing machine, I import .svg or image files of FMQ designs and create a cutting file in Cricut Design Space.
I then use stencil material sheets to create the quilting template. After a template is cut, simply place it over your project and mark with your favorite method (pounce pad, washable pen, etc.)
While this helpful video applies specifically to the Brother ScanNCut, the process of using tracing paper to make a stencil from a free-motion design can be applied to creating quilt stencils with the Cricut Maker. (So, this is worth checking out if you’re lost about this part of the tutorial!)
5. Creating Cutting Templates
If you don’t want the Cricut to cut fabric for a quilt block, you can create a plastic template of the shapes you want and then cut them yourself.
I don’t use my Cricut to cut stretchy fabric (like for t-shirt quilts), so creating a cutting template is useful for several circumstances.
Create cutting templates using Cricut stencil material, cardboard, cardstock, or your favorite plastic template material. Each template should work for many repetitions of the quilt shape, although some don’t last too long when using your rotary cutter.
And, if you cut something super thick like acrylic, switch to using the knife blade.
6. Adding Sewing Lines or FMQ Lines with Washable Pen
If you’re handy with Cricut Design Space or other graphics software, you can use the Cricut washable pen to mark quilt pieces’ scant 1/4″ seam allowances. This is helpful for beginners still working on sewing straight and mastering accurate seam allowances.
And, if you don’t want to create a stencil template for free-motion quilting, you can also add stippling or horizontal or vertical lines, etc., to small mini quilt projects as sewing guides.
The pen washes out after you’ve finished sewing.
Just direct your Cricut to draw sewing lines before cutting the fabric. The same order applies if you plan to transfer patterns for embroidered motifs or need to mark other aspects of your pattern like darts or buttonholes.
7. Add Handwriting or Designs to a Quilt with Infusible Ink
Infusible ink pens and ink transfers only with polyester-based fabric (or fabric coated with a special polymer).
However, if you sublimate onto polyester fabric, you can quickly turn polyester fabric into an iron-on with fusible adhesive to use on your cotton quilt.
Ideas for using infusible ink or sublimation pens with a quilt are to incorporate handwriting on quilt labels or other quilt parts. Infusible ink heat transfers can also add unique motifs to fabric or create applique fabric with a custom print.
Cricut Maker Quilt Patterns
Now that you know what you can quilt with a Cricut, here are some pre-made patterns for Cricut quilts to get you started!
For Cricut Access subscribers, the best place to find quilt patterns waiting for you is in Cricut Design Space.
Navigate to your Cricut canvas’s “Projects” section and search “quilt” in the upper right box. Anything with a green and white a is included for free with a Cricut Access subscription.
If it doesn’t have an Access a next to it, click on the picture, and the bottom left corner should tell the price.
If you don’t have Cricut Access, you can still purchase individual quilt designs, but one quilt often costs more than a month of Access!
If you have a Cricut Maker and are looking for the free Cricut quilt patterns, select “Free for Cricut Maker” in the top right and type in “quilt.” This will show a small selection of free projects to get started on!
The freebies have cycled over the years as I’ve watched, so keep an eye on this section. (The same applies to the free Cricut Maker sewing patterns in general.)
Supplies for Cricut Quilting
Now, onto construction details! Here’s what I used to create my Riley Blake Cricut quilt for this tutorial.
- Cricut Maker with rotary blade and FabricGrip mat
- Sewing machine (Consider a 1/4″ piecing foot and walking foot.)
- Fabric for quilt blocks plus binding and backing
- Batting (I used low-loft polyester for this to make it lightweight. My go-to for other quilts is usually 80/20 batting.)
- Pins and basting materials (I prefer curved safety pins and Odif 505.)
- Best Press, starch, or preferred stiffening spray
- Iron, scissors, and essential sewing tools
How to Make a Quilt with a Cricut Maker (Assembly Instructions!)
As I created my Riley Blake quilt, I took brief pictures of the process. The total time for cutting was less than an hour, and I was able to complete the quilt assembly in two extra evenings. Not bad at all!
Here’s how to make a Cricut quilt with your Maker.
1. Pick the Pattern and Fabric
First, pick the pattern that you would like to quilt.
The most straightforward pattern available in Cricut Design Space for this tutorial and one that I could quickly put together with just fabric scraps was the “Around We Go Baby Quilt” by Riley Blake.
It was easy to choose fabrics from my collection as no one color required more than 1/3 yard.
2. Cut Fabric with Cricut Maker
First, use your rotary blade and cutting mat to cut all quilt fabric pieces. Using a brayer or other smoothing tool helps get a better cut.
And, if you have multiple cutting mats, get an assembly line going.
While the first mat is cutting, smooth the fabric on the second mat. Then, when the fabric on the second mat is cutting, remove and replace the fabric on the first. (I like to add even more mats into the rotation, so I have no downtime!)
3. Lay Out Cut Fabrics and Prep For Sewing
Follow instructions to layout the fabric row by row. I like to place numbered sticky notes next to fabric pieces and correlate these to the instructions.
4. Sew Squares Together
Next, sew your blocks together by row using a perfect 1/4″ seam allowance.
Once you’ve finished all the rows, press seams to the side or open, depending on your preference.
Last, sew all the rows together. Press, and then square the quilt.
5. Create the Quilt Sandwich
Layer the backing fabric right side down on the bottom, followed by the batting, and finally, quilt top with right side up. Ensure there are several inches of batting and backing excess around the quilt top.
Baste in your preferred method. (I used safety pins and fabric adhesive spray.)
Quilt the quilt sandwich as desired. A simple geometric pattern with my walking foot worked well with this simple Cricut quilt pattern and didn’t take much time.
7. Binding the Edges
Last, bind the quilt. I always use 2.5″ fabric strips that I cut with my AccuQuilt Go!. (The strip die is one of the best AccuQuilt Go! dies to have.)
As you can see, quilting with the Cricut Maker is a fun and exciting adventure. With the right supplies and a little patience as a beginner, you can create beautiful quilts with your Cricut and sewing machine in no time.
That’s why I think the Cricut Maker is one of the best fabric cutters for quilters and recommend all serious crafters have one in their sewing room. Happy quilting!