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.
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.
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.
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.
This is what a clean blade should look like!
Feed the mat into the Cameo. The white grippers are at the outermost positions on both ends of the roller.
Now you are good to cut!
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.
There is usually a thread or two that needs to be clipped with a pair of scissors.
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 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.
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.
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).
It's really easy now to use the spatula tool to lift the appliqué shapes off the backing paper.
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?
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!
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!
Until next time... Happy Stitching!