Friday, May 11, 2012

Cutting Fabric with the Cricut - Part 1

Ok... My newest crafting idea involves the new "My Quiet Book" cartridge for the cricut and my niece's birthday (which luckily is in the end of May, and I have some time). And this means cutting fabric with the cricut! Scary! I'm scared I am either going to ruin the fabric, or ruin the stuff that goes with my cricut.

Well, I am so lucky that I found some suggestions to cutting fabric with the cricut (at the end of this post). I have two new blades (one for fabric and one for paper). Lets face it, paper dulls cutting tools so fast! Always keep a pair of scissor, rotary, x-acto, what ever you use, as a pair; one for fabric and one for paper. I've learned this a little bit of the hard way. I have written on my rotary and scissor that they are for fabric or paper. It just makes it a little easier that way.

I had to go to the store to buy heat-n-bond. All I had was pellon (sad!), and I had a lot of it still too! Luckily, it isn't too expensive at Wal-Mart. I also got some heavy starch too. One, I needed it for another project; and two, I figure it may help keep the fabric stiffer (cause that is what it does) and help with the cutting. Heat-n-Bond has a sticky backing which may help keep it stuck to the sticky mat too, which is probably why this person suggested it. I am so excited to get started! :)

I will update with another post on how it worked out for me.....

Here is also, a video I found that seemed pretty informational...



I found this while searching for how to cut fabric with the cricut... RE: Cutting Fabric letters with Cricut - 7/1/2009 12:05:44 PM
 "Here is a post with tips I copied and saved for my files for future use - hope it helps you out! So sorry about your sister, my heart goes out for the whole family!

Cutting fabric with cricut

1. I used 100 cotton poplin fabric, but you could use anything that is cotton. Pre-wash your item with NO fabric softener and with your fabric. After you have washed your fabric, adhere Heat-n-Bond to your fabric. DO NOT USE PELLON....IT DOES NOT WORK! :) It is too "stringy" and will stick to your mat. Okay, enough of that. You can get Heat-n-Bond in the fabric store, or they also sell it in the crafting section at Walmart pre cut (near the sewing notions". Do NOT let them talk you into Pellon.

2. Peel the paper backing off the fabric and adhere it to your mat. Take your scraper thingy from the tool kit (I'm so professional!) and smooth it on the mat nice and tight. This will ensure that you will get good clean cuts. This is a VERY important step.

3. Here are the settings for your machine. Put the blade on 5, the speed on the lowest and the pressure to max. This will ensure that you will not go too fast and pull your fabric. If you have made sure to rub your fabric really well on the mat, this should not be a problem. I suggest using a NEW BLADE if possible. In fact, I have a "fabric" blade that I use only when I cut fabrics out.

4. I cut my images on portrait mode on the Expression. Most of them were 8-10" high. I tried to use the least intricate designs as I could, but one of the boys HAD to have a tiger. (You should have seen 5 boys piled into my craft room rummaging through my Cricut stuff!) On his, what I did with the tiger, and the Zebra for that matter was to cute the "shift" version, or the shadow version. On the Zebra, their shirts were white and I cut the Zebra in black on the shadow (shift) function and it worked out great.

5. I also practiced on paper first to make sure that my sizes were good. I bought the t-shirts at Walmart for $4.50 a piece in the men's section. They were Hanes 100% cotton and worked great. Honestly, the hardest part of the whole thing was figuring out the settings and which bonding material to use. After that they went really fast."