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Have you ever wanted to make a quilt? Have you ever been intimidated by all the cutting? I’m excited to share with you my experience making my first quilt, this adorable Dinosaur quilt and how the Cricut Maker made the process so much simpler than I anticipated.
This post is sponsored by Cricut and may contain affiliate links.
I have been sewing for years now. I’ve made my fair share of dresses, skirts, even some shirts and shoes. I’ve made pillows, pillow cases, and even a few baby blankets. There was a time when rag quilts were something I made as baby shower gifts and even for my own children. Rag quilts were fun and relatively easy and because of the fraying on the top having perfect lines and corners wasn’t a requirement.
When the Cricut Maker came out in 2017 I was most excited about the Rotary Blade and the ability for the Maker to cut fabric. It’s taken me a while to get up the nerve to tackle making a quilt but this Dinosaur fabric from Riley Blake was calling my name and I knew I had to make a Dinosaur quit for Morgan.
In this post we’ll be talking about the process of choosing a pattern, cutting the pattern pieces out with the Cricut Maker, and sewing the top of the dinosaur quilt together.
With the help of our Instagram followers I selected the Riley Blake Happy Squares Quilt pattern in Design Space. I selected a few quilt patterns I liked the look of and then let them vote on which one I should make. I didn’t realize at the time that it is considered an advanced pattern. If I had realized, I might have talked myself out of making it, so I’m glad I didn’t know until I had it mostly sewn together. One of the great features about the quilt patterns in Design Space is that before you purchase your pattern you can see how much of each fabric you need and you can even review the entire pattern assembly pdf! This means you have the opportunity to look through the steps of each pattern to find the one exactly right for you and your project without having to purchase each one.
I chose the Riley Blake Fossil Rim fabric collection for my dinosaur quilt and I am so pleased with how they look together. To prep the fabric for cutting on the Maker I cut each piece of fabric to 12″ wide. This is how wide the Cricut Maker can cut and makes putting the fabric onto the fabric grip mat so simple.
Here is a tip (once you have your fabrics cut to size):
Before you start cutting – using the Materials to Cut list above (this will be different depending on which pattern you select) write down which fabric number matches up with which fabric you’re using in that place. This will become especially helpful during the cutting phase. I second and third and even fourth guessed myself every time I put a mat into the machine so…take your time, read the instructions, and don’t skip ahead thinking you know what you’re doing.
As you remove each mat from your machine remove the excess fabric from the mat first and then remove each piece. I found that starting at a corner and removing from the mat at an angle resulted in a nice clean cut piece of fabric.
While you can cut all your pieces with one pink Fabric Grip mat, if you have more than one it definitely makes keeping the fabrics organized as they’re going into the machine much faster and even speeds up the cutting time since you don’t have to remove the fabric from the mat before you start cutting the next fabric.
Once I had all the pieces of my quilt top cut I took a break for 10 days – HA! It was Valentine’s week, Anna and I headed to Arizona for a long weekend for a volleyball tournament, and you know…life! Once we were back in town I was ready to start sewing.
I cannot stress enough the stress it will remove from the whole making process if you check and double check the pattern as you’re moving through each piece. Even though the pattern is just 1/4″ straight seams I pinned all my pieces together before sewing. This helped in 2 ways. 1. I knew as I was sewing my fabric would stay in place which would help with those strait lines and corners. 2. I was able to lay the pieces out on the table before sewing to make sure I was putting them down in order.
Here’s real life friends! My craft room is my kitchen table and while I was sewing together this dinosaur quilt my family lovingly picnicked on the kitchen floor during meals. As you can see in this photo I have my big blocks sewn together and my strips sewn together and I’m working on laying out the rows. I probably laid this quilt out 8 different times, doing this though really did help me feel very confident as I was sewing that each piece was being sewn to the proper next piece. I will tell you this and will back it 100%, this quilt wasn’t HARD at all. It was a bit time consuming (not as bad as I was anticipating but it’s a quilt so…) but not difficult. Just take your time and follow the pattern and you’ll have a beautiful row of fabric all sewn together and once that happens you’ll be excited to do the next row, and the next, and the next.
Once I had all the pieces sewn together I took a nap, and then I picked out the bottom strip row because the corners weren’t matching up as well as the other strips and rows were. That strip was the first row I attached and I thought I had done a pretty good job but when I was done it wasn’t as good as I had hoped. I heard my mom’s voice in my head “when making a quilt the most important part is your corners matching up” and decided I would sew the rest of the dinosaur quilt together and see if there was even a hope of the corners matching up the rest of the way before picking that row out. With a bit more patience during the pinning process I am happy to report that I think I have corners even my mom would approve of and removing the bottom row was no longer a question. It had to come off and adjustments had to be made. It was pretty painless and I am much happier with the final look having fixed that bottom row.
Another thing I remember my mom repeating about most craft projects was that the back shouldn’t be a hot mess. She probably didn’t call it a hot mess back then but it’s definitely what she meant. If we were cross stitching or doing embroidery the back should look as good as the front. When she’s sewing clothing most of the time, all seams are encased and the inside of the garment looks beautiful. I know with quilts your seams should be pressed the right direction and excess threads should be trimmed up.
That is where I am at right now, I have my seams pressed (if you have an EasyPress you should definitely have it out while you’re making your quilt. It was great for pressing the folds out of pieces before sewing and perfect for pressing the seams to the right side) but need to do some final thread trimming and then I’ll be ready for the 2nd part of our dinosaur quilt blog post.
In the next post I’ll be showing you the final steps of the quilt:
Picking the back fabric (I’m thinking a smooth finish grey minky)
Sewing the back and front of the quilt together (with the batting in between)
Binding the quilt
and the actual quilting
If you want to follow along with the finishing of the dinosaur quilt in real time make sure you’re following us on Instagram because I’m sharing the whole project there in stories!
I have really enjoyed the process of making this dinosaur quilt. My favorite part so far has been Morgan sitting next to me from time to time commenting on each fabric and innocently asking “Mom, this is really for me right?…because it’s dinosaurs!” I haven’t told him yet it’s really his, because sometimes the anticipation is just fun as the gift itself.
I’m hoping the next steps go as smoothly as the top has and I can’t wait to show you the finished product!
So tell me, have YOU ever made a quilt before? If you have, did you cut all the pieces out by hand or did the release of the Cricut Maker finally convince you that with it’s help you could make a quilt too? Tell us in the comments, bonus if you have photos or a link to the quilt you made.
Have a wonderful day and we’ll see you next time!
If you’re not quite ready to tackle a dinosaur quilt here are a couple of my favorite dresses I’ve made and they’re the perfect dresses for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter coming up:
Rainbow Ruffle Dress
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.