Have you seen the Cricut? I couldn't wait to get my hands on one. I ordered the Cricut Expression from the informercial (I like the extras they offer) and am more than impressed with this machine. It is well made and easy to use. The Cricut machines are a line of electronic cutters advertised as a scrapbooking tool. The ads show snipits about glass etching, classroom use ideas and cutting a piece of fabric for applique.....that did it for me and I had to have one!
Since receiving my Cricut I have found a "ton" of uses for it. Every time I turn around I get another idea and am able to use my Cricut to make it materialize. I am a grandmother, a scrapbooker want-to-be and a second grade teacher as well as a quilter. This machine has sooo many possibilities. My grandson is having great fun making decorations for his room and cutting letters to spell his favorite words. He is a 6 year-old kindergartener who is learning to read. The Cricut is helping to advance his reading skills. I am learning how to make scrapbook pages for my favorite photographs and can cut my pieces 1/2 to 24 inches tall and up to 12 inches wide. There are so many uses for the Cricut at school that I don't where to start. Bulletin boards, publishing student works, games, flash cards, art projects, back drops for the stage and sooo many more.
I've saved the best for last --- Quilting of course!!! The possibilities are endless.
The Cricut is a self-contained machine. You do not have to hook it up to a computer for it to work. There are many themed cartridges to choose from and each one has scads of characters to choose from. There are many different fonts available for cutting letters. There are several licensed cartridges which provide some favorites from Disney. Holiday cartridges, animals, the 50 states, garden themed items, cartoony things, paper dolls with many accessory choices, flowers, scrolls, every day items etc., etc., etc. are available. Each cartridge comes with a flexible keyboard cover with symbols which make it easy to tell the machine what to do. There is a cutting mat very similar to a quilter's cutting mat but with a slightly sticky surface to hold the paper or fabric in place so it doesn't slip.
You place the paper or fabric you want to cut on the cutting mat. Load the mat into the machine (by pushing a button). Press the button on the keyboard to choose the letters or other images you want to cut out. Turn a dial to choose the size you want the cut-out to be. Press the button to cut and watch it go. It cuts very quickly and makes crisp, clean cuts. You can cut a single image or multiple images.
Cutting pieces for quilting is quick and easy. You can cut any image, any size (from 1/2 inch to 24 inches long and up to 12 inches wide).
Applique is made easy when you apply an iron-on fusible product to the back of your fabric before placing it on the sticky cutting mat. Set the machine for the image you want to use on your quilt and press the "cut" button. Presto, change-o, you now have a perfectly cut image ready to be ironed on to your quilt square and appliqued with your favorite hand or machine applique stitch. In a matter of minutes you can cut enough images for enough blocks to create an entire quilt. Since you choose the image, the size, the colors, the fabrics, the design, the threads and the method of applique you will be creating true one-of-a-kind works of art.
I haven't had my Cricut Expression for very long and have already found many uses for it. As I learn more, I will continue to share ideas with you. In the meantime, if you want to see the Cricut in action, you can visit Cricut.com or watch the infomercial "Scrapbooking Made Easy".
So many projects, so little time. I need to go now and prioritize my to do list!