Friday, July 30, 2010

Cutting Fabric with Cricut Expression: The Joys of Heat-n-Bond

I've been wanting to use my cricut machine to cut fabric for a long time. Wouldn't sewing be so much easier if you could skip the pattern tracing/cutting step? I knew you would agree.

First Attempt:
I grabbed a square of pre-washed fabric, stuck it to the mat and set the machine to cut. No go. The fabric came loose from the mat in certain places and ended up being a partially cut but mostly balled up mess.

Second Attempt:
Based on a youtube video tutorial, I learned that applying Heat-n-Bond to your fabric will make it less give-y and help it adhere to your sticky cutting mat better. I ironed thie HnB to the fabric and used a new mat and new blade with the speed set to low and blade depth set @ 6. I didn't even remember to change the pressure, so I have no idea what setting it was on.

I set the cricut to cut two 6 inch tall numbers: 1 & 7. The fabric cut out wonderfully with nice clean edges! The Heat-n-Bond seemed to do the trick. JOY!

Third Attempt:
Having a successful cut under my belt, I thought I'd cut out the reverse sides of 1 & 7 for the bean bags I want to make for Brooklyn.

FAIL! The letters didn't stick and the result was very similar to the first trial run. I guess I ironed the HnB for too long because the surface didn't feel smooth like it did on the 2nd trial run. It was more scratchy and I could see the adhesive left behind on the paper layer as I peeled it away. Can you scorch HnB?

Fourth Attempt:
I tried ironing more HnB to new fabric. I didn't even get to the cutting part this time. I cannot get the HnB to go on any more smoothly. What the heck am I doing wrong? Re-reading the directions "iron for 2 seconds." Okay, that's what I'm doing!

Fifth Attempt:
Okay, at this point I'm about to have a little mini tantrum. I hate wasting supplies! And apparently I'm no match for the cricut machine if the Heat-n-Bond is kicking my butt. However, not wanting to be someone who gives up so easily, I try to iron the HnB onto a tiny scrap of material, leaving the iron on for a nano-second. After it cools and I peel off the paper I see the HnB is bonded beautifully.

Should I try to cut one more time? I know that if it gets honked up in the cricut machine again I will start to throw stuff, so I decided to save that perfectly bonded little square of fabric for another day.

It may never go through the cricut machine. It may turn into an iron-on that will spruce up baby's onsie. Of course I will post pics of whatever I do with it. Stay tuned. =)

No comments:

Post a Comment