A while back there was a discussion on one of my email lists on software that let you create your own design for one of the personal die cutting machines. I was intrigued, but discovered that the software didn't support Mac, and didn't really "need" one, so moved on to other things.
|Silhouette Studio work space|
I found the Silhouette SD, from Silhouette America. It had very good reviews, met all my criteria and I got a great deal on it by buying from Overstock.com.
I've been using it to cut adhesive vinyl for the project for work, with excellent results, and tried it out this weekend on fabric, with acceptable results which should get better with tweaking the settings.
Here's a review.
|heavy adhesive vinyl cuts very well|
The software comes with a library of 50 or so images, and you can download images from the Silhouette site at a cost of about $1 each. I like the idea of buying just what I want, rather than paying big bucks for a collection I might not use.
|fabric prepped with MistyFuse|
There are two ways to save images. You can save items into your library, which you will import to a file later. Or you can start a file and create the images on the file. You can combine these by creating new images or text and importing from the library. It's easy to create text and change fonts, but I found it a little difficult to go back and select the text for editing after I'd moved the cursor away.
|fabric loaded on carrier mat|
|in the die cutter|
When you are ready to cut your item, you "send" the design to the Silhouette from the software, and choose from a large number of settings, for different materials, different speeds, and different blade depths. Once you've sent a particular file, the settings are saved with that file, so you don't have to enter them every time.
|letters cut out|
|letters quilted and applied to project|
But a little trimming with applique scissors and my letters were cut out and ready to use.
I think next time I'll try leaving the fabric on the parchment paper and using it as backing instead of the carrier mat. I'm confident that with a little tweaking, the cutter will do a good job on fabric.
When time permits, I'll experiment some more and report back.