Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Duel of the Cameo Silhouette 
vs. the Brother Scan & Cut Part 5 

 For those of you who have been following the duel there have been some questions raised about how we created our design, and in my excitement to compare these two products I did leave out some without further ado..

1. The applique design we are using (the bunny) was downloaded from one of the many applique sources available on the web.  You may use any design source, bearing in mind that not all digitizers were created equal (avoid websites that tell you that you HAVE TO USE A FUSIBLE WEB WITH THEIR APPLIQUE DESIGNS) during the machine embroidery process, if you read our applique blog down below you will understand why.

2.  We used a fusible web because we needed to have the cutters "trim the fabric neatly" and a fusible web makes this job easier.  I prefer Steam-a-Seam and Steam-a-Seam lite, I do not care for Heat-n-Bond as it is not designed to embroider thru and I don't care for their 'lite' version as both are stiff and gummy, in my opinion.

3.  What we are actually trying to accomplish is to have the cutters (Brother Scan and Cut and the Cameo) pre-cut our applique pieces before they are put into the machine. This saves trimming around the design while the item is in the hoop and makes things much neater.  

If you followed along so far you know that we converted our pre-made applique design into a cut file and this is what we have so far.

Now it is time to use our machine embroidery design to our advantage.  I am using Floriani Total Control to combine more than one machine embroidery design and add some lettering to make a cute Easter Pillow, you could do the same with most editing software to include Babylock Masterworks Every Day.  Here is what the combined design looks like on the software screen.

Here is the design combined with lettering for a pillow, you could do  this for shirts or burp pads or anything really.
Now I will hoop my stabilizer and the item I plan to add the applique to, in this case a pillow top.  The first item to stitch in this design will be the placement lines for the applique bunnies, I have 3 bunnies so I have three placement lines.  Peel off paper backing from the shapes and place bunnies directly inside of the placement lines.

Once you have the applique designs where you want them, use an iron to fuse the shapes in place, following the manufacturers guidelines.

At the machine you can go ahead and skip the 'tack-down' stitch of the applique design and move right on to the satin stitching.

This design was purchased from 'Planet Applique". I like many of their applique designs because they use a zig-zag stitch prior to the actual final satin stitch, this ensures the applique fabric stays in place.  Not all applique websites do this but they do and it is a sign of a quality machine embroidered applique design.

Complete the design as directed.  

Finished Pillow

To summarize: the Brother Scan and Cut has made the applique process very simple by allowing us the opportunity to use pre-cut pieces for ALL APPLIQUE designs. No more taking the hoop off the machine a dozen times to trim around shapes, hoping that you get close enough without getting 'too close', and ruining the design.

This technique will work on any textile you choose to work with;  t-shirts, pillows, banners...literally anything that you want to applique can be used.  You can use any machine embroidery applique design that you purchase or create yourself.

The Brother Scan and Cut has made applique fun again...because honestly before this machine I avoided applique like the plague.  I didn't avoid applique because it was difficult but because it was so very time consuming it was not very profitable.  

The fact that this machine can cut multiple pieces in seconds means that offering applique designs can become a great revenue generator for many cottage based embroidery businesses.  If you have not considered a Brother Scan and Cut for your business you may want to think about the benefits this machine offers.

If you purchase the Brother Scan and Cut from your local dealer you will receive $100 worth of extra goodies that are not included with the online purchase of this machine, besides it is always a good idea to support your local dealer!

Nicci Brazzell
MaEd, M.F.A