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Why I love my Gingher Rotary Cutters

September 10th, 2014

Not all rotary cutters are made equal!

I bought my first Gingher rotary cutter (the purple flowery one in the photo below) because it was so beautiful. And then I used it - and fell in love! 

Gingher Rotary Cutter

The handle is weighted perfectly in my opinion - it's a tool that is a pleasure to use. The blade is smooth and super sharp, especially when brand new, so cutting is very easy. But all blades need to be replaced at some point.

This is where I think the Gingher rotary cutter rises above all others. It is possible to change the blade without ever actually touching a blade - either the old one coming off, or the new one going on. Here's how...

New Gingher Rotary Cutter blades come in a package containing not just the new blade, but a holder for the new blade and the old one. First you need to take the old blade off the cutter - this is done by twisting the knob on top of the blade and , still holding onto the knob, lifting the blade away from the cutter. 

Gingher Rotary Cutter

The old blade can now be placed in the open space on the blade holder.

Gingher Rotary Cutter

Next, slide the protective shield up as far as it will go.

Gingher Rotary Cutter

Then remove the knob from the old blade. The protective shield will allow you to do this without having to touch the old blade. Slide the protective shield all the way up until the new blade is exposed.

Gingher Rotary Cutter

Now put the knob into the new blade and lift the new blade away from the blade holder.

Gingher Rotary Cutter

The new blade can now be placed onto the Gingher Rotary Cutter, and the knob tightened. You are all ready to go with some super clean cuts! And you haven't touched the old blade or the new blade, so all of your fingers should still be intact :-)

Gingher Rotary Cutter

The old blade can be tossed into the garbage can in the protective blade holder and there is no risk of anyone or anything being cut unawares.

Gingher Rotary Cutter

I love the Gingher Rotary Cutter so much I now have three of them. Many of my friends who have been in my studio and used my Gingher Rotary Cutters now have Gingher Rotary Cutters of their own.

What's your favorite quilting tool? Leave me a comment below telling me what and why!

Happy cutting :-)

Sarah Vedeler Designs


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How to cut crystal/rhinestone templates using the Cameo

August 27th, 2014

While I was working on "It's a Sterling Life on Berkeley Square" I fell in love with crystals - largely because it is so easy to apply them using the BERNINA DesignWorks software and the CrystalWorks tool. But what if you don't have a CrystalWorks tool - and you do have a Silhouette Cameo? How can the Cameo be used to cut crystal templates?

Creating a Crystal Template

I'm assuming that you have a design file for the template that you want to create. This could be a design that you have purchased or one that you have created using the Silhouette Studio software.

You will need the following supplies:

  • Rhinestone template material
  • Rhinestone transfer film
  • Rhinestone backing board
The easiest way to get started is to use a Silhouette Rhinestone Tempalte Kit which contains 3 of everything!

Silhouette Rhinestone Template Kit

The template material needs to be placed on a cutting mat and then the cutting mat can be loaded into the Cameo.

Silhouette Rhinestone Template Material

The recommended blade setting for cutting Silhouette Rhinestone Template Material is 6. I decided that I would add some extra cutting power, so I set my blade to 7.

Silhouette Cameo Blade

You might be wondering why I'm using a blue "fabric" blade to cut the Rhinestone Template Material. There's a really simple answer... it's the blade that happened to be in the Cameo when I turned it on! It turns out that the black blade and the blue blade are exactly the same with the exception of the color of the housing. So... if you're organized, you can have one blade for cutting fabric and another blade for cutting everything else.

Once the template material has been placed on a cutting mat which has then been loaded into the Cameo, start cutting! I was quite surprised how quickly the cutting happened, given that there are quite a lot of tiny circles being cut! 

Silhouette Cameo Rhinestone Template Cutting

If cutting fabric generates lint, cutting rhinestone template material generates lint x 100! And it's sticky lint. I used a pair of tweezers to pull all the lint and stickiness away from the blade

Silhouette Cameo Blade

There are little black dots everywhere when you have finished cutting. I found that it is a lot easier to rub as many as possible off while the template material is still on the cutting mat. Then remove the template material from the backing paper and remove any remaining dots by poking them from the back.

The template material can then be stuck onto a piece of backing board. Make sure that the template material is smooth and flat. There's nothing worse that having little air pockets in a template that crystals can get stuck in!

Silhouette Cameo Rhinestone Template

Applying Crystals using a Template

Now that you have a template it is super simple to use it to apply crystals to your project.

In the beginning, I would pour out a few crystals at a time and nudge them into the holes. I discovered that it is a LOT easier to dump a bunch of crystals (more than you think you will need) onto the template...

Silhouette Cameo Rhinestone Template

... and use a crystal brush to get the crystals into the holes. You may be pleasantly surprised how many crystals will fall into a hole the right way up! You can always use a pair of tweezers to flip any upside down crystals or fill the few remaining holes.

Silhouette Cameo Rhinestone Template

Now it's time for the Rhinestone Transfer Film. I apply one motif at a time using the smallest piece of transfer film possible. You can't be too gentle when placing the transfer film on the crystals - you want to get it down so that it knows you're the one in charge! Try to put it down gently and I think you will understand what I mean! The crystal brush can come in really handy here too - I rub it over the transfer film to make sure that all of the crystals have stuck to the transfer film.

Silhouette Cameo Rhinestone Transfer Film

Peel the transfer film away from the template slowly. If there are any crystals that did not stick to the film, you can usually catch them and rub over the film with the crystal brush. If you don't catch them (see photo below!) you can always add the missing crystals later.

Silhouette Cameo Rhinestone Transfer Film

Place the crystals where you want them and make sure that the transfer film is flat with no kinks in it.

Silhouette Cameo Rhinestone Transfer Film

Now cover the transfer film with a piece of fabric and use a hot iron - held in place for the count of 10 - until you have covered the whole template. 

Silhouette Cameo Rhinestone Transfer Film

It can be very tempting to pull the transfer film up as soon as you are done with the iron. Chances are you will bring up a whole bunch of crystals too. Let the transfer film - and the crystal adhesive - cool before very carefully lifting the film up and away from the crystals. 

Silhouette Cameo Crystals/Rhinestones applied

And there you have it! 

Here's a bigger glimpse of the quilt that I've been working on for the last couple of weeks. 

Inspired by Libby by Sarah Vedeler

There is also a "sister" quilt in different colors, which is still a work in progress...

Inspired by Libby by Sarah Vedeler

Which is your favorite color combo? Green and blue or light and dark pinks? Leave a comment below with your answer!

Until next time... Happy Stitching - and cutting!

Sarah Vedeler Designs


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How to cut appliqué shapes with a Cameo

August 20th, 2014

My first attempt to cut appliqué shapes with my Silhouette Cameo cutter was a disaster! Since that time I have discovered a formula that is working very successfully, so I'd like to share that formula with you.

In a nutshell:

Fabric + Heat N Bond Lite + Blade at #2 = Success

Let's see it in action.

Cutting appliqué shapes using a mat

Prepare your appliqué fabric by applying Heat N Bond Lite to the back. The key here is to make sure that the bond is really good. 

Why Heat N Bond Lite? It melts into the fabric as you are fusing it to the fabric and you don't need to apply anything else to the fabric you are trying to cut! 

Leave the backing paper on and place the fabric on the mat, backing paper down.

For the project I was working on, I had a bunch of smallish shapes to be cut out of different colors of fabric. I arranged the shapes on the 12" x 12" cutting mat so that they were aligned with the grid - that way I could position my pieces of fabric on the mat to match up with the grid.

Cutting appliqué shapes with Silhouette Cameo

I have found that the best way to make sure the fabric is secure on the mat is to use one of my smaller rotary cutting rulers as a scraper/smoother. If I have a 12" x 12" square of fabric to cut, then I will use a 12" long ruler to help smooth the fabric onto the mat.

Cutting appliqué shapes with Silhouette Cameo

The default blade setting for cutting fabric (thin fabrics) is #3. I have found that this will cut through the fabric and the backing paper - and I don't necessarily want to cut through the backing paper, so I usually set my blade to #2.

Cutting appliqué shapes with Silhouette Cameo

Each time I start a new cutting session, I make sure that the blade is clean. Did you know that you can remove the little white cap on the end of the blade to make cleaning easy? A fair amount of lint usually builds up - and the cuts will be a lot better if the lint is cleaned away.

Cutting appliqué shapes with Silhouette Cameo

This is what a clean blade should look like!

Cutting appliqué shapes with Silhouette Cameo

Feed the mat into the Cameo. The white grippers are at the outermost positions on both ends of the roller.

Cutting appliqué shapes with Silhouette Cameo

Now you are good to cut!

Cutting appliqué shapes with Silhouette Cameo

When cutting has completed, remove the mat from the Cameo. Use a spatula tool to lift up each shape. It will lift cleanly off the fusible webbing backing paper (which will be stuck to the mat!). I like to leave the backing paper on and have it stick to the mat rather than removing the backing paper and having the fusible webbing backed fabric stick directly to the mat as when the fabric is stuck to the mat there is always the risk that the fabric will be stretched, especially the edges, when you attempt to remove it from the mat.

Cutting appliqué shapes with Silhouette Cameo

There is usually a thread or two that needs to be clipped with a pair of scissors.

Cutting appliqué shapes with Silhouette Cameo

Who can guess what it is I'm going to be making with these shapes? Make sure you stop by next week to find out!

Cutting appliqué shapes with Silhouette Cameo

Cutting appliqué shapes without a mat

If you are cutting a full 12" x 12" square of fabric, there is no need to use a mat! Simply apply the fusible webbing to the back of your fabric - and leave the backing paper on. Move the white gripper on the right hand side of the roller in one notch and choose the "Load Media" option on the Cameo.

Cutting appliqué shapes with Silhouette Cameo

When you are not using a mat, you want to make sure you are doing a "kiss" cut - i.e. you don't want to cut through the backing paper! If you have the blade set to #2 when cutting on a mat, set the blade to #1 when cutting without a mat. Make sure you check that the fabric has been cut before unloading it - if it didn't cut all the way through, you can always do a second cut as long as you haven't unloaded the fabric from the Cameo.

Cutting appliqué shapes with Silhouette Cameo

This is what you should see from the back... the backing paper has been scored, and for the most part it has not been cut all the way through (although there are a couple of areas where it did get cut through).

Cutting appliqué shapes with Silhouette Cameo

It's really easy now to use the spatula tool to lift the appliqué shapes off the backing paper. 

Cutting appliqué shapes with Silhouette Cameo

The best thing about cutting without a mat is that you don't have to deal with removing the backing paper from the mat! 

Do you remember...

What I showed you last week? 

Inspired by Libby

I thought you might like to see the work in progress :-)

4 each of each block have been stitched and I now need to get them assembled into a finished quilt. I'm excited about this particular project as it has been completely quilted in the hoop. Leave me a comment at the bottom and let me know what you think!

Inspire by Libby

This is what I'm also working on this week. Who can answer this question... What is the significance of the grey spools? Leave your answer in a comment below!

AURIfil Thread with Frond Design Studios fabric

Until next time... Happy Stitching!

Sarah Vedeler Designs


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Are you Cutting with a Cameo yet?

August 13th, 2014

I love my AccuQuilt GO! cutter and all of the dies I have created - it's fast and it's accurate. What more could a quilter want when cutting appliqué shapes?

This quilter wants to be able to cut a new appliqué shape... now! 

Along came the Silhouette Cameo digital cutter. It's not as fast as the GO!, and the cuts aren't quite as clean (they're getting there, though) BUT... if I think of a new shape that I want to cut, I can be cutting it in minutes.

Silhouette Cameo

This week the girls started the new school year at a brand new school. We've been watching the construction of the buildings since about January - and I have to say the new campus is beautiful. Now you might be thinking... what's this got to do with cutting with a Cameo?

At pick-up time, parents line up in their cars and by the time you get to the front of the line, your child is ready and waiting to be escorted to you. They key is to have a sign in the window with your child's name and class number on it. I decided that I was going to create the swankiest sign in the school using my Silhouette Cameo cutter and some of the Silhouette vinyl on a piece of mat board.

This is how I created my sign.

There are two ways to cut vinyl.

One way is to feed the vinyl straight into the machine:

Silhouette Cameo cutting vinyl

If you do it this way, you will need to move the right hand roller one notch to the left.

Silhouette Cameo cutting vinyl

It took me a long time to figure out that the easiest way to do this is to twist the roller on the bar so that the "teeth" are out of the notches and then pull it.

The other way is to put the vinyl on a cutting mat:

Silhouette Cameo cutting vinyl

The piece of vinyl I was cutting was 13" long, so I used my 12" x 24" cutting mat. If you do this, be sure to specify the size of the cutting mat on the "Page Settings" tab.

When you specify you are cutting vinyl in the "Cut Settings" tab, the recommended blade setting is "2". I have found that this setting will cut the vinyl and also the backing paper. Not so bad if you're using a cutting mat, but it can lead to a really big mess if you are feeding the vinyl straight into the machine. "1" works much better for me!

Silhouette Cameo cutting vinyl

When the cutting is finished, you can peel away the unwanted "background".

Silhouette Cameo cutting vinyl

In order to "dig out" the little bits inside the letters, the hook works really well.

Silhouette Cameo cutting vinyl

So the vinyl is cut out and ready. How do you transfer it onto the background of your choice?

Silhouette Cameo cutting vinyl

This is where transfer paper comes in. Peeling off the backing paper all at once always ends in a mess for me, so I peel back a couple of inches to begin with...

Silhouette Cameo cutting vinyl

and position the vinyl where I want it...

Silhouette Cameo cutting vinyl

Then I use my rotary cutting ruler to ensure the transfer paper goes down smoothly as I pull the backing paper away - slowly.

Silhouette Cameo cutting vinyl

Now you can pull the transfer paper away from the vinyl backing paper - and the vinyl will come with it!

Silhouette Cameo cutting vinyl

Now it is time to position the transfer paper onto the real background.

Silhouette Cameo cutting vinyl

I put it down gently and then used my rotary cutting ruler again to smooth it with a little pressure - starting from the center out working out to the sides.

Peeling away the transfer paper now will leave the vinyl stuck to the background!

Silhouette Cameo cutting vinyl

Here's the finished sign, all trimmed and ready for use in pick-up car line.

Silhouette Cameo cutting vinyl

From what I saw in the pick-up line today, I think I achieved my goal of creating the swankiest sign in the school!

Here's a Sneak Peak!

Vinyl isn't the only thing I've been cutting with my Cameo this week. I'm now all cut out and ready to go with a new quilt that I am working on. 

Sarah Vedeler Designs using the Silhouette Cameo

I'm still working on thread color choices. Leave me a comment and let me know which of these thread colors you would choose! I'm also going to be doing some fun stuff with the ribbon :-)


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Introducing "It's a Sterling Life on Berkeley Square"

August 5th, 2014

"It's a Sterling Life on Berkeley Square" was created for the brand new BERNINA 880 Sterling Edition sewing and embroidery machine which was released at BERNINA University in July, and will be available at your local BERNINA dealer in November 2014.

 It's a Sterling Life on Berkeley Square by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Join me on a walk around the square to see everything in a little more detail!

Abundance Avenue

It's a Sterling Life on Berkeley Square by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Radiance Road

It's a Sterling Life on Berkeley Square by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Wisdom Terrace

It's a Sterling Life on Berkeley Square by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Prosperity Place

It's a Sterling Life on Berkeley Square by Sarah Vedeler

The Cottages

Happiness House

It's a Sterling Life on Berkeley Square by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Harmony House

It's a Sterling Life on Berkeley Square by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Infinity Cottage

It's a Sterling Life on Berkeley Square by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Serenity Cottage

It's a Sterling Life on Berkeley Square by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Center Block

It's a Sterling Life on Berkeley Square by Sarah Vedeler Designs

The Flower Border

It's a Sterling Life on Berkeley Square by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Leave me a comment and let me know which of the houses on Berkeley Square you'd like to live in!

Check back soon for some even more closeup photos.

Sarah Vedeler Designs


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