Introducing the All New Cricut Maker

As you may or may not know I had the chance to attend the Cricut Mountain Make -A-Thon in Salt Lake City this last week.

The best part for me was attending with my Sister Katie,
You know her as the Crafty Blog Stalker.

We stayed at the Grand America and were treated like royalty for three days.

When we first got there, we saw lots of displays hinting at what was to be announced and what we could create.
(Sorry for the less then perfect photos- the lighting was bad and I only had my phone)
Here are just a couple of my favorites.

The bright pad behind and soft fabric flowers.

See the foil stars, fabric clouds and leather straps?  More hints

Next we went to a general session where three new products were introduced.  
First was the Bright Pad, this was actually released a couple of months ago but after using it I understand why its a big deal.  It really does make weeding vinyl a lot easier.

Next up was the Easy Press.
I got to use this as well.
I will be honest here, I have a big industrial heat press and I love it, however the Easy Press is perfect for those looking for a portable, affordable option when it comes to applying your heat press vinyl.
It works much better than an iron and the temperature is more even, not to mention it covers a bigger area then your iron can. Its faster and more convenient.   
Its also portable, which is perfect for classes or a craft party away from home.

Of course the big reveal was the new Cricut Maker.
They showed us all the many things it can do and we got to see it in action.
Here are just a few of the things I am excited about.

First it is more powerful and has a couple of new blades. 
The knife blade- similar to an exacto knife, will cut thicker material including thin wood.

The Rotary Blade will cut 100's of different fabrics without backing. 

The design of the machine is very detailed and it includes a place to rest your tablet or phone and a charging port so even if you are low on batteries you can still create.
(I also took a class on using the Cricut App and I didn't realize all the possibilities- that will have to save for another post).

After learning about the new machine we attended some classes where we were able to see it cut, try it ourselves and make some fun projects.

We got to see how easy it is to cut a pattern from fabric and created this little tool carrier.

We cut felt, without backing and foil heat transfer vinyl to create this fun little pin or hair clip.
I didn't know you could use heat transfer vinyl on felt but it turned out so cool (picture doesn't do it justice)

We did a few other projects too, including more felt and a leather pouch but my favorite was this crepe paper succulent.
In fact now I am in love with crepe paper and ordered some from amazon to try my hand at paper flowers!

The best news came at the end of the show when we were told we would receive our own new 
Cricut Maker!

So after a few days of playing and learning here is my honest, unbiased opinion of the new machine.

I am excited for some of the features; the ability to cut thicker materials, fabric and Crepe Paper is going to take crafting to a whole new level.

The Software-Design Space- is the same.  There are a few updates but nothing unexpected. 
It is still internet based.

For those who want to craft mostly with paper and vinyl the new Cricut Maker is probably not necessary.  The company said they are going to continue to make and support Cricut Explore and I hope they do.  For many it is still the best machine for what they use it for.
However for those who want to be able to create with other materials the New Cricut Maker is going to open up a lot of possibility.  

The price tag is a little spendy, the new machine is $100 more than before. 

All in all I am excited for the Cricut Maker and can not wait to get mine and share some projects with you!

Tracy Rushton

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