How I create a cutting file of my Appliqué embroidery design for my Silhouette Cameo or Brother ScanNCutPosted: June 8, 2014
I love that there is a way to cut fabric shapes for appliqué that is as simple as printing a document or pressing the copy button on a photocopying machine. Technology may be a bit frustrating at times to grasp, but once you do, man do the ideas of “what can I try next?” come flooding on in. So when I got my Cameo, I knew I had to find a way to create the shapes for my appliqué embroidery designs – the exact size so there would be no trimming at the machine.
Here is the sample design open in my software – on the right I see the two design objects for the lettering and the frame. At the bottom right I see the color breaks in the design. I use Embrilliance Essentials and this program has a nice function of being able to print a selected color. For those with a Brother ScanNCut, all you need to do is make this choice in your printing preferences, select the color of the run stitch, print, scan and cut. BOOM how easy was that?!
I do suggest that you change the thread color before you print to something with high contrast. Black or Dark Blue or Brown for example will work quite nicely. You can always change it back if you need to 🙂
Since I also print actual size templates of my regular embroidery designs, I have gotten used to using the Print Preview when I am on my Windows computer – in case I forgot to uncheck this preference…. yup if you have nothing selected, nothing will print. Using print preview reminds me right away to either change the setting or simply go to Edit > Select All then print again. Always more than one solution to the problem at hand.
So that’s great for the ScanNCut, but how do I get something that my Cameo can use? Like I mentioned – there are many different ways to accomplish a task – this just happens to be my way. AND you’re going to keep an eye out on my blog, because in a few weeks I’m going to show you something that will make you flip! And for those on the fence for getting a cutting machine – it could be what says “Go For It!” but let’s get started with the steps.
First, I again go to the Preferences and this time choose Grid and set it for 1 inch (25.4mm). Be sure to apply and that the grid option is checked under the View menu. The one inch grid is going to help us make sure we create the correct size cutting file.
Next, I expand the appliqué design so I see all of the object breaks and select the running stitch for the shape. It can be either the placement or the material – sometimes the material color will have a more detailed cut line so you will want to use that one. If the appliqué has a “hole” in it, like the letter A – the placement may just be the outside line of stitching but the material run will also have the hole stitched so you can trim it. So check to see which one is the best to use.
When I have this object selected, I check to make sure that I can see the line on screen. If I can see the line, I’m ready to take a screen capture of what I’m looking at. I use a program called SnagIt but there are many other programs out there. You can even use the SHIFT+PRT SCR command in Windows which is on every windows computer. If you do not have a screen capture program or don’t know how to take one, I recommend that you go to your favorite search engine and type in “how to I take a screen capture in Windows XYZ” where XYZ is the name of your operating system. This will be the best way for you to find the best way for your to do this.
The next step is to open this graphic of the embroidery design into the Studio software. I have not upgraded to the newest version yet – not enough hours in the day! But what you want to do is change the size of the picture of the design by dragging the handles – and matching the 1 inch grid of the graphic with the 1 inch grid of the studio software. This is the key – the graphic must be the exact size in order to create the correct size cut file.
I can not simply type in the size because I don’t know what the size is. The “size” that you type into the Studio software is of the entire graphic, not the stitch line that I want to create. Using the grid was the simplest way that I have figured out to make sure that the picture of the embroidery design is the exact match so that the resulting cut file will work. Getting the right size is the most important part of the information I want to give you. I am in no way an expert in the Studio software! I just know enough to get the job done that I want to do without too much work.
Since I am not using the current version of Cameo Studio, what you see may be a bit different. I use the freehand drawing tool to quickly click and make an outline that sort of looks like the shape I want. Creating the perfect shape on the first pass is never my intention. I use the node/point editing tool to reshape to create an exact match to the line of stitching. I always find it easier to edit something than to try and draw it perfect the first time.
If you are not familiar with how to use the Cameo Studio software, I would recommend you check out the tutorials on the Studio website.
If you are more of a visual person, I would check out their youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/SilhouetteAmericaInc
Now one might ask why I don’t use the tracing function. When you bring in a low resolution image like a screen capture, you get a message about not getting a smooth cut file. Even if I brought in just the running stitch line – two problems exist. One, you have a grid that the software will try to “trace” as well. It doesn’t know you don’t want to cut the grid. So if you trace the design, you’ll have to go back in and delete. So using the grid technique to size the graphic to create the correct size doesn’t work well with the tracing function.
But like I said – there is always more than one way to get to the final result – you may find a better way! I just hope that the information presented helps those that haven’t tried using their Cameo to cut appliqué shapes! Have fun!
And don’t forget to follow my blog to get the exciting news I’ve been hinting about 🙂 Seriously – its gonna be wicked cool and you don’t want to miss out on news!
Until next time – may your bobbins be full!