First off – what shapes are great for cutting on digital cutters? Which ones will cause headaches?
- Basic shapes
- Rounded corners
- Duplicate pieces
- Big pieces
- Repetitive motifs
- Skinny thin shapes
- Shapes that have thin points on them
- Small tiny pieces.
- Shapes that should be fussy cut. (it is very difficult to fussy cut on a digital cutter)
- Just one or two shapes from one fabric? Just trace and cut it and save yourself some headache.
Ok, let’s get to business of cutting fabric on your digital cutter. Here is the video, and I have written some notes below to help as you go through the video.
Let’s talk fusible. When using a digital cutter, I prefer MistyFuse. It is extremely light and will wash away eventually compared to other fusibles. Since it doesn’t come with paper backing you can’t use it for tracing, but it is great for digital cutters.
- Iron and starch your fabric very well to get all creases out.
TIP: Stiffer fabric makes for better cuts.
- Next spray it with Terial Magic. You want your fabric to act like stiff paper. For cutting – the stiffer the better. However, when we go to sewing, we do not want it to look stiff like cardboard, so it’s a fine balance. Although this will wash out, our patterns are not ideal for washing machine. So only use enough Terial Magic to get a good cut. It will take some practice finding the happy medium.
- Now cut a piece of MistyFuse a little larger than the size of the fabric you will need. Remember those notes I had you write down earlier? Reference those.
- Place the MistyFuse on the wrong side of the fabric and then place a applique pressing sheet over top. I know sometimes I recommend using parchment paper, but in this case use a pressing sheet. Press with high heat to insure a good fuse. Basically you are pre-fusing the fabric with webbing and using the applique pressing sheet to protect you ironing board and iron.
- Allow the pressing sheet to cool and peel off the fabric and fusible.
- Your cutting mat should be nice and sticky. If it’s lost it’s stick, use some 404 adhesive spray on and prior to laying the fabric.
- Place the fabric fusible SIDE DOWN, in the spot where you laid up your pieces – I always line it up in the top left corner.
- Smooth out the fabric and press it will with a scraper or backside of a spoon. It’s incredibly important to have it well adhered to the cutting mat. Be one with the cutting mat.
- You are now ready to load it into your cutter and cutter and cut the pieces.
TIP Have a exacto knife and scissors ready when removing the pieces.
TIP – As a last resort, if you are continually having problems and incomplete cuts or bunches, it may be time for a new blade. I recommend keeping your paper blade separate from your fabric blade.
These pieces are now ready for fusing and placing onto your quilt back. Digital cutters are incredible accurate and a great time saving tool. No tracing or hand cutting is required, but you will not be able to fussy cut the fabric and the fabric tends to be a little stiffer unless you wash it.