Thursday, January 30, 2014

silhouette cameo made felt coasters
(ways to rid yourself of 30 yards of felt #8??)

the most attractive feature of the silhouette cameo is its' ability to cut multiple media types.   if you happen to be a regular reader, it is probably unsurprising to you that i've been most curious to try cutting felt with the machine.  while the company does not claim the ability to do so, they encourage users to experiment.   

and while blogs all over will tell you that the silhouette doesn't do a perfect job, it does do a decent one.  i was able to produce these coasters with only a few annoying complications.  

my coaster design is based on a little sketch i once made years ago, and it was relatively easy to conjure up using the silhouette software.  my love affair with felt coasters began when i discovered verso design years ago.  my last attempt with hand-cut and sewn ones left me wanting, so i was pleased when these came out as i imagined.   

lessons learned:  

1. using the double cut feature is essential. the blade needs to be set at 10, material thickness set at 33 and the speed at 1.  

2. steam-a-seam 2 works, particularly useful in this case when i was planning on fusing multiple layers of felt together anyway (i have 3 layers here-- two solid round ones under the flower pattern).  however, make sure you fuse the felt well to the steam-a-seam 2 before placing it on your cutting mat. i noticed that otherwise it can be really difficult to peel the piece off without destroying it and leaving the sticky residue stuck to the mat.  if you're planning on cutting a lot of felt, you will need a lot of time. and patience.  

i thought i had taken more pictures of the process but apparently i didn't... so pretend this picture is more relevant than it actually is. 

if you aren't familiar, steam-a-seam 2 is a fusible web. it comes in sheets with paper backing on each side.  you remove one side of the paper backing, iron it onto the felt/fabric, and then remove the other side -- and that's the side that goes face down on the cutting mat.   if you're fusing felt, be wary of the low melting point, and always have a piece of cotton fabric between the felt and iron so the felt doesn't wind up stuck all over the metal.  

i didn't properly test cutting with regular interfacing fused onto the felt since it wasn't useful for this project-- but i'll probably test it out in the future.  

3. perfect cuts will be rare if impossible.  i had to do a lot snipping with scissors on my own.  see how the top corner of the flower isn't cut that cleanly?

if you can believe it, i'm actually running low on some of my favorite felt colors (remember this post?). i'm rather tempted to go buy more...

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