Last week Joanne commented that she wanted to know more about my Brother Scan ‘n Cut™. I’m actually using it on a current project and it is such a time and “hand” saver. Let me start at the beginning 😊.
A few years ago you might remember I made a quilt entitled “How Beautiful – Liberty”. It was one of my accordian door quilts, so it was made as 3 quilts: 2 were cut into vertical slices and sewn back together alternately, and the third was the base for the others to hang from. When viewed from the front the center portion is a bit confusing:
But by simply moving a few feet to the left you can see the New York Beauty quilt,
and viewed from the right the true New York Beauty appears!
While making the base quilt I wanted to include the first sentence in the Declaration of Independence, but how to make those tiny letters??? My husband suggested there must be a device that would save me from all that intricate and laborious cutting. So I called my friend Wendy at Sew Much More and she recommended the Scan ‘n Cut™. I did a post on how well it made the letters back in 2015 and you can click here to read all about it.
Since then I’ve used the Scan ‘n Cut™ for a variety of projects with great results. Many letters and shapes are loaded in the machine’s memory, so many projects can be created on the screen. Plus Brother™ has a site on the web called “Canvas” in which many, many more projects and alphabets can be found.
I made the words for my postcards featured in last week’s post with an alphabet in the Scan ‘n Cut™.
This week I began a new project in which I wanted to make 6 identical moths in fabric. I found a photo I liked
and traced the 3 different colored areas onto the paper side of fusible web. I ironed them to the appropriate fabric, cut them out by hand, and fused them all together. It worked, but my hand ached. That’s when I remembered the scanning feature on my Scan ‘n Cut™. I traced those 3 shapes again, onto paper this time, and placed it on the sticky area of the Scan ‘n Cut™ mat.
I loaded it into the machine, but this time I used the scanning feature to save my image in the Scan ‘n Cut™ memory. I was able to crop out the empty moth body shape in my scan and duplicate it 5 times on the screen to create my first “project”. I ironed the fusible web to the back of the black fabric, put it on the sticky mat, and chose the cutting feature this time to cut out 5 identical black moth bodies.
I was thrilled. I left the paper from the fusible web on the back of these shapes and went back to my original scan to crop out the shape to be cut from the dark blue fabric. I made a new project screen with 5 of those shapes. They were rather intricate and this time I was not thrilled 😟. The machine didn’t cut the tiny areas well at all and everything bunched up, and there were many areas that didn’t even cut through (sorry, I was frustrated and didn’t think to snap a photo).
It was then I had a lightbulb moment. I’ve been using this machine for over 5 years and never changed the blade. The size of the blade and the way it works is mind-boggling to me. This is what you see of it in the holder (it’s so tiny I had a difficult time getting a clear shot):
I decided to watch a few videos about it before purchasing a new blade and realized the whole area needed regular cleaning (duh). I took the unit apart and it was full of lint. I cleaned out the case with a dry cotton swab:
and used it to wipe off the blade also:
Once it was back together it cut the dark blue pieces perfectly! I fused them onto the black moth bodies.
The light blue portion of the wings was just as intricate – and the machine did a wonderful job! The background cutaway on the right is just laying on the mat loosely after I pulled it away from the wing pieces (please ignore the black lines on the mat – they were an oops from a previous project):
After fusing these final pieces in place
I was very pleased!
And so happy I didn’t have to cut it all out by hand. My hands don’t do the intricate cutting as well as they used to, so this machine is a real blessing to me!
The additional detail on the moths will be stitched in. These moths will be part of a new challenge quilt I’m making. Stay tuned to see what comes of them!
Lynn Stephens says
Such talent and creative ideas!
Suzanne Galliford says
Would you share your technique for the “accordion “ quilts?
You never cease to amaze me, Chris. Interesting way to make an complicated design.
Julie Vandermause says
Awesome Blog, thx for sharing . I too would like to know more about accordion quilt construction please??? Julie
Patty Mattingly says
I have been wondering about that machine. Its a lot of money if you don’t use it so i want to make sure i would use it.