Monday, August 30, 2010

Important Update in regards to Cutting Fabric

Last night, Tom Meeks at the Create and Cut blog tried my method for cutting fabric by using an adhesive on the back of the fabric before cutting it.  He used Xyron and it worked just as well as the Heat & Bond that I had used.  This morning on the eCraft Crafters Yahoo Group, he posted a question about cutting fabric without the use of an adhesive, by maybe using something such as freezer paper.  I had sent Craftwell an e-mail about this over the weekend before I had figured out using the cardstock stabilizer with the fabric.  Sara replied to me this morning and said that the way they have cut fabric is by using freezer paper applied to both sides of the fabric, and leave about a 1/2" border all the way around of freezer paper.  So of course, I immediately had to try it.  Here is a picture of my fabric that has been sandwiched in between two pieces of freezer paper and trimmed down. (Sorry the picture is so horrible, took it in the basement)

And here is the final result!  It worked!

I will say this in regards to this method.  The cut is very clean, but it is not quite as crisp as when I used the Heat and Bond.  There is one petal where at the very top there was a thread that did not get cut, so I will need to trim it out before using it.  The other thing to be aware of when doing this is that the fabric will unravel unless you stitch it or use a seam sealing product.  I am going to ask my mother what she would recommend, because she is my sewing expert, I don't know enough about it to make a guess.  If you use the Heat & Bond you won't have to worry about unraveling.  I think everyone is going to have their own preferred method for this, but I for one am excited that I can cut fabric without the adhesive, and I believe my mother the quilter will be too!


Eileen said...

There are different types of Heat N Bond - the lightest weight one is the only would that you can use a sewing machine with (& I personally wouldn't want to try & hand sew through the heavier either). Now the quilters still in most cases won't even be happy with this. Depends on exactly what they are doing, how they are doing it (hand or machine) & if they are purists or not. Now machine embroidery people could use the lightest weight. The problem with any of them is the stiffness they add. Stitch witchery is lighter in weight but it does not have a paper backing & would need to be applied with a heat protector sheet. To get it to go smoothly through the ecraft it probably would need to have freezer paper on the stabilizer side after applying it to the fabric. Now the lightest weight of this type product is "misty fuse".
Also this would also vary on the type of fabric that was being used (weight, tightness of weave, fabric content, etc).

Denise O'Connor said...

Thanks for your comments Eileen, I definitly do not have the expertise to advise on this. Since I am a paper crafter, I think more in terms of that. The Heat & Bond that I used was the Ultrahold, and I have used this product before with success in making iron on appliques. I have not tried to machine sew it, I am guessing that I would need a special needle for that, because the fabric really does get stiff. I have even ironed it on paper. I think the trick to cutting the fabric is by stiffening it up enough, so I am not sure if the lighter weight would stiffen the fabric enough to cut. The freezer paper is a great alternative for those that do not want the adhesive and want to be able to sew (either by hand or by machine) the pieces into place. When I mentioned to my mom that I can cut pieces without adhesive, she mentioned an idea for a quilt that she wants to do, so I am going to help her out with it. I will keep a look out for the products you mentioned, and if I think a product may work, I will post about it here. Thanks for the suggestions, I love the spirit of crafters to help one another!

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