You know that the Cricut is an amazing tool for cutting paper, and last month I showed you how it can cut polymer clay. But did you know that you can also use it to cut fabric? With just a little preparation, you can cut fabric appliques with the Cricut to make fun, low-sew projects!
Last year, I made these cute placemats using my Cricut, some fusible webbing- then I stitched it down with my sewing machine.
Really, the key to this technique is preparing the fabric so that it’s stiff enough. The easiest way to do this is to fuse paper-backed fusible web to the fabric & set you machine up accurately. So here are my best tips for success!
- Use light-weight, cotton fabrics like quilter’s cottons. I don’t recommend felts, upholstery fabrics, or denims. Keep it light weight.
- Wash and iron your fabrics first. If you are making something that you’ll want to wash later, like a quilt or placemat, you certainly want to make sure that you’ve gotten the shrinking out of the way.
- I found that Heat-n-Bond lite was a great brand to use, but if you can’t find that, it’s OK to use other brands that have a “light.”
- Use a NO-STEAM iron to adhere the fabric to the fusible web. Make sure you adhere the bumpy side of the paper-backed web to the WRONG side of your fabric:
- Make sure you have NO BUBBLES- that ALL the fabric is securely adhered.
- Let the fusible-backed fabric cool completely, and then remove the paper backing.
- Make sure your mat is super-sticky. (You might need to hit it with a spray of basting spray.)
- Press the fabric securely onto the mat. Again, make sure there are NO BUBBLES that might cause the fabric to shift.
- Use a fresh, new blade. The blade you use for paper is already too dull. (Just like paper scissors!)
- Load the mat into your Cricut and set the PRESSURE at 4 and the SPEED at 2. It’s important that the pressure be high (you may need to even go to 5) and the speed is slow, so that you get a nice clean cut. (You may want to practice on scrap fabric first.)
- Carefully remove your fabric, and get ready to fuse to your project!
Alternatively, you can leave the paper backing on and tape the fabric to the mat- but this is best for small, simple cuts. OR you can flip the fabric over so that the fusible is UP, but then make sure to flip your images as well (like you would for preparing a t-shirt iron-on.)
This is a great technique to learn- once you master cutting fabric with your Cricut, you can make quilts, baby onesies, fun pillowcases, wearables, totes, and more. What would YOU make?