How to cut fabric with the Brother ScanNCut

Prepare your appliqué fabric

My machine embroidered appliqué designs use pre-cut appliqué shapes that are fused into position on the background fabric. Before cutting your appliqué shapes, apply fusible webbing to the back of the appliqué fabric. To achieve the best results with your electronic cutting machine, my favorite fusible webbing is HeatNBond Lite.

Cut your appliqué fabric to the size specified in the instructions.

If you are using a light colored appliqué fabric on a darker colored background, chances are you will get some show-through.

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To eliminate the show-through and have a nice, bright appliqué shape, fuse a piece of light weight white cotton fabric to the back of your light colored appliqué fabric. You’ll end up with light colored appliqué fabric + fusible webbing + white fabric + fusible webbing.

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Leave the fusible webbing backing paper on the back of your appliqué fabric.

Prepare the cutting mat

Remove the protective sheet from your cutting mat. Be sure to keep it so that you can put it back on the mat when you have finished cutting your appliqué shapes.

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Prepare your design

I’m using the Brother CanvasWorkspace application. You can also use the web-based version of CanvasWorkspace.

Launch the application:

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Click the SVG button on the left hand side of the window. Navigate to the SVG file that you want to open and select it. Click Open.

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My SVG files include a box around each appliqué shape to show you where on the mat to position your appliqué fabric. They also make it easier to ensure that your appliqué shapes will be the correct size.

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Ctrl+A to select all.

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On the right hand side of the window, click the Edit button to open the Edit panel.
Set position X = 0 and position Y = 0. This will move the design into the top left corner of the cutting mat. Note where the appliqué fabric will need to be placed on the cutting mat.

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Click anywhere outside the selected objects to deselect them. Then click the corner of each black box to select it and then delete it. The appliqué shapes that you want to cut will be revealed!

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I like to be able to see the outline that I will be cutting rather than a solid filled shape. It also ensures there isn’t anything hiding underneath the black fill! Ctrl+A to select all:

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Click the Properties button in the top right corner of the window to reveal the Properties panel. Click on the black box by Fill and select the transparent fill option, then click OK.

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Your shapes are now ready to be transferred to your ScanNCut machine. Make sure that it is turned on.

Click File -> Transfer FCM file…

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You’ll see a window telling you that the machine is ready to download the file that has been transferred to it.

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Ready to cut!

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From the main window, touch Pattern.

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Touch the wi-fi download button in the top left corner of the screen.

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You’ll see the shapes that you are going to cut. Touch OK.

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Touch the Settings button in the bottom right corner of the screen.

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Use the + keys to set Cut Speed = 4 and Cut Pressure = 4.

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Touch OK.

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Set the blade

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To cut quilting cotton backed with fusible webbing, set the blade depth to 4.

Prepare and load the cutting mat

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Place your fusible webbing backed fabric onto the cutting mat in the position that was indicated by the black boxes when you opened the SVG file in the CanvasWorkspace application. Use the top of the handle of the spatula to make sure that the fabric is firmly adhered to the mat and eliminate any bubbles.

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Position the mat against the machine, so that the top edge is tucked under the roller and the left side of the mat is butted up against the left hand side of the machine.

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While holding onto the mat and giving it a gently push, press the Load/Unload button on the right hand side of the machine (the button above the Start/Stop button).

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The rollers will grab the mat and feed it into the machine.

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Touch the Cut button. The Start/Stop button will light up. Press the Start/Stop button.

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When the machine has finished cutting, it will tell you! Touch OK.

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BEFORE YOU UNLOAD THE MAT FROM THE MACHINE:

Make sure that the appliqué pieces have been cut.

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The 2 frame pieces on the left have cut beautifully with a blade set to a depth of 4. This is one layer of fabric with fusible webbing on the back. The light blue fabric did not cut all the way through. Because the mat is still loaded in the machine, these uncut shapes can be recut with more blade revealed.

Deleting cut shapes so you can recut uncut shapes

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Touch the Back arrow in the top right corner of the screen.

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Touch the Pattern Layout button in the top left corner of the screen.

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Touch the arrows until the frame piece on the left is selected (with a red line around it). Touch the Delete button.

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You need to confirm that you really want to delete this object. Touch OK.

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Touch the arrows until the frame piece in the middle is selected (with a red line around it).

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Touch the Delete button. Confirm you want to delete the frame object by touching OK.

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You are now left with the two lens pieces which didn’t cut all the way through the first time. Touch OK.

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Touch OK.

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Touch Cut.

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BEFORE YOU PRESS THE START/STOP BUTTON

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You need to increase the amount of exposed blade. I tried with the blade set to 5 and it still didn’t cut all the way through. 6 worked perfectly.

The light blue appliqué consists of light blue fabric + fusible webbing + white fabric + fusible webbing (+ backing paper). A blade depth of 6 is required.

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Finally a clean cut!

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Press the Load/Unload button to unload the mat.

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Use the spatula to peel the appliqué shapes off the mat. My shapes lifted very easily off the fusible webbing backing paper (which stayed stuck to the mat). Peel the fusible webbing backing paper off the mat.

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Some beautifully cut appliqué shapes ready to use in your project!

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To maintain the tackiness of the cutting mat, replace the protective sheet on it.

3 Comments

  1. Giuliana Nakashima

    Hey Sarah, This is great. But I have a question; you post “I’m using the Brother CanvasWorkspace application. You can also use the web-based version of CanvasWorkspace.” When you write APPLICATION, there is an app to use on ipads? or just PC? Thanks,

    • Hi Giuliana,
      It’s a Windows based application – thinking back to pre-tablet days when we really did run applications, or programs!

  2. Thank you Sarah
    This was very helpful. I’m trying to learn more about my Scan n Cut before I attempt the intricate pieces in the pattern I purchased from you.

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