Hi creative friends! Over the past while, I’ve shared a number of sewing tutorials where I’ve included cutting fabric with the Cricut Maker, thanks to the rotary blade. Along the way, I’ve had a lot of you reach out with questions about how exactly the rotary blade works, and wondering if it’s something that they should be using in their own crafting and sewing (short answer, yes!).
So while I always share as much as I can in each tutorial about the materials and tools I use, I wanted to dedicate an entire post to answering your questions about the Cricut rotary blade and how you can cut fabric with the Cricut Maker. This post is sponsored by Cricut, and I’ll make sure to link to all the supplies I discuss so you can find them easily on their site.
Let’s start with the basics and have a close look at the rotary blade. The rotary blade is a part of the Cricut Maker’s revolutionary toolset, and although it’s hard to pick a favorite (if you read my posts about cutting leather with the Maker, you’ll see my love for the knife blade), it’s definitely one of mine.
Cricut makes it super easy to swap out one tool for another, and I made the quick video below to show you just how easy it is! You can also watch it here on YouTube if you’d prefer (be sure to subscribe to our new channel as we’ll have more videos coming soon!).
How to Install the Rotary Blade in the Cricut Maker
When I’m asked if I’d recommend for someone to buy either the Cricut Explore Air 2 or the Cricut Maker, I always ask if the person wants to be able to cut fabric with their machine and use it for their sewing projects. If so, the Maker is the machine to get as the rotary blade only works with it, and not the Explore Air 2. The Explore Air 2 is a great machine in it’s own right, but I’d say it’s best for those who primarily focus on cutting vinyl or paper. If you’re one of my regular blog readers, I’m guessing that fabric is more your medium of choice as it is mine ;).
A new rotary blade is super sharp, which helps it glide and roll over many different fabrics with ease. And best of all, it does this with no backing needed on the fabrics! Because it doesn’t pull on the fabric like a normal blade would, it can beautifully cut everything from cotton, to silk, to denim or burlap. I used it to cut out all my quilt pieces and it was so amazing to have all that work done for me while I worked on other projects! It can even cut up to three layers at a time if you use adhesive spray between the layers – such a great time saver!
When I first started using the rotary blade, I wondered how precise it could actually cut, and was surprised at the details it can achieve! Next week I’m sharing a project where I use the Maker and rotary blade to cut out fabric scallops out of the sweet Cricut fabric you can see in these photos, and I think you’ll be impressed at what it can do (and what it means we don’t have to do when it does the work for us, lol).
So, how long can you use a rotary blade before it needs to be replaced? I usually use mine for a handful of projects before it starts to leave uncut threads. Once that happens or you feel like you need to increase the pressure in the Design Space settings (although that’s a great hack to keep it going for just a little longer before replacing!), it’s time for a new blade. The nice thing is that once you’ve purchased the rotary blade housing (currently out of stock online as it’s a popular item but I’ll update the link once it’s back!), you just swap out the blade itself with a replacement blade, as I share in the video below! Again, you can also watch the tutorial on YouTube if you’d prefer.
How to Replace the Cricut Rotary Blade
When you’re cutting fabric with the Cricut rotary blade, you’ll need to use a Cricut FabricGrip cutting mat. If you scroll to the end of this post, you can see my favorite way to clean the fabric mat when it gets too many fibers on it and starts to lose its grip.
Another accessory that has come in handy is the washable fabric pen, as it mark your fabric before the Maker cuts it, which you can see in action in my Girl’s Backpack Pattern project.
Lastly, let’s talk about what kind of projects you can use the rotary blade for. For hundreds of sewing and quilting projects, you can browse through Design Space. In addition to the Girl’s Backpack Pattern I mentioned above, I’ve made one of the quilt patterns using a Riley Blake Quilt Kit (also found on Cricut’s site) and a Boy’s Bowtie Pattern, and there really are ideas for whatever kind of project you’re thinking of!
If you prefer to come up with your own project ideas, you can also easily create your own in Design Space or upload your own files like I did for the free Knee Patch Baby Pants Pattern that I shared.
There you have it! Have you cut fabric with the Cricut rotary blade yet? Let me know if you have any questions that I didn’t cover about using your Maker to cut fabric, and I’ll be back next week with two fun rotary blade projects for you!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.