Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Using Your Silhouette to Cut Fabric for Patchwork.

Hello, Karen here.  Now I have to confess that before becoming a member of the UK DT I only used my Silhouette Cameo for scrapbooking but I have discovered a whole new world of craftiness out there involving my machine.

I decided to try cutting pieces to make a patchwork square (not sure what I am going to use it for yet).

You will need

Silhouette Cameo/Curio/Portrait
Fabric Blade
Silhouette Mat
Silhouette Fusible Fabric Stabiliser - Cut and Sew

STEP 1 - Designing your shape. 

  • As I had never tried patchwork before I did a little research on the internet and discovered that you can make many, many lovely quilt blocks from just a simple triangle.  I used the Polygon tool to draw a triangle that had a 3in vertical and 3 in horizontal line (hope that makes sense what I am saying).  This would give me a the correct size of triangles to make a finished piece measuring 12 ins square. On the cut settings I changed the lines to 'no cut' as I didn't want to cut out the triangle but to cut out the outer edge which we are about to make. 

  • From the internet I also learnt that you need to have a 1/4 (quarter) inch seem allowance and decided to incorporate this into my shape by firstly adding it to the left side and the bottom - again using the Polygon tool.
  • Next I selected everything (Ctrl A) and grouped them (Crtl G) and rotated the drawing 45 cw and added the final seam allowance. 
  • Finally I rotated it CCW 45. 
  • On a clean page I drew a 2 inch triangle and replicated it so that I had 32.  I then laid out the pattern I wanted for my patchwork square. 

  • From this I could see that I needed 4 triangles of four different colours and 16 triangles for the outside of the star.
  • I replicated my triangle 4 times to make the triangles for the star.

  • You can comfortably get 12 triangles onto a new drawing page to add to the four above to make up the 16 you need for the outside of your block.

STEP 2 - Cutting your fabric. 

  • I already had a fabric blade that I had purchased a while ago but never used - these are the same as the normal Silhouette blades but have a blue housing to distinguish them from the ones used for cutting paper.  The idea for this is that you keep your blue blade just for cutting fabric and the blade isn't blunted by using it on paper and card. 
  • I also used a new mat as I wanted to be sure the fabric would stick down nicely.  
  • To be doubly sure that my shapes would cut out I ironed my fabric onto some Silhouette Cut & Sew fusible fabric stabilizer.
  • I placed my pieces of fabric onto my cutting mat and used a fabric blade to cut them.  I chose double cut just to be sure they cut all the way through. 
  • I was really pleased with how quickly and easily the pieces cut out - 12 perfectly cut triangles in about 1 minute. 
  • Once I had all my pieces I laid them out to correspond with the pattern above and stitched them together.
  • As the Cut and Sew is has adhesive on both sides I left the paper on the pieces until I had sewn and ironed them  and also used a piece of silicone craft mat between the patchwork and my iron.  I think I will try stabilising my fabric with light weight interfacing next time. 
Now I have made my first quilt square I am going to investigate how many different patterns I can make just using a simple triangle.


Light hold cutting mat for Cameo



  1. What a lovely project and tutorial Karen. I'll have to look through my fabric stash and see if I can make a coordinated square like your's. I need a new iPad cover and this would be a great starting point.

  2. I think an iPad cover is a brilliant idea.