How to cut fabric with the Silhouette Cameo

Using the Silhouette Cameo to cut your appliqué shapes is super easy! For machine embroidered appliqué I use pre-cut shapes that are fused into position on the background fabric. Before cutting the 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.

Turn on your Silhouette Cameo machine:

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Open the Silhouette Studio software:

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Open the SVG file containing the design you want to cut. The design will land in the middle of the mat. You’ll barely be able to see anything, only faint outlines.

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Ctrl+A to select all:

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Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move everything into the top left corner of the mat on the screen.

When moving things around on the mat, I like to have a grid with 8 divisions per inch. When the design in is position, set the divisions to 1 per inch so that you can see everything more clearly.

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Click the SEND tab in the top right corner of the window:

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Click Line. Now you’ll be able to see all of the lines in the SVG file clearly. In my SVG files, I included a line to show where to position the fabric on the cutting mat (usually black). The lines that you will actually cut are usually colored – in this case they are blue.

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Place your appliqué fabric on the cutting mat in the positions shown by the black line in the Studio software. The big arrow on the mat can be either the top OR bottom of the mat.

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The black line isn’t going to be cut, so uncheck it.

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For the blue line that is going to be cut, set the Material to Fabric, Thick (Canvas).

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Choose the blade that you will be using: the red circle on the left is for the auto blade (the auto blade should always be put into the left side blade holder) and the blue circle on the right is for a ratchet blade.

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If you’re using a ratchet blade, you need to set the blade depth on the blade. Put the blade into the adjustment hole on the machine with the red dot facing the arrow. Twist the blade so that the desired number is at the front.

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With the blade lock pulled out, put the ratchet blade in the right hand blade slot. Make sure it is pushed all the way down.

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Push the blade lock in to secure the blade.

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Place the mat so that the front edge is tucked under the rollers and the left hand side is aligned with the blue arrows.

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Touch the LOAD button on the machine…

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… while gently pushing the mat into the machine.

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In the Silhouette Studio software, click the SEND button.

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The machine will start cutting!

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The machine will eventually tell you JOB COMPLETE.

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Make sure that the fabric has been cut all the way through, then touch UNLOAD

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Use a spatula to lift the fabric off the cutting mat.

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NOTE: If you have a brand new mat, it will probably be way too sticky and the fusible webbing backing paper will stick to the mat. To make it easier to get the backing paper off the mat, get a bit of lint on the cutting mat. Put it sticky side down on a (clean) carpet – or onto a t-shirt or sweater.

NOTE: It’s much easier to pull the fabric and backing paper off together, rather than lifting the fabric off and then pulling the backing paper off.

Your appliqué shapes are beautifully cut and ready to use!

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  1. Did you use the auto blade? I haven’t been able to find anywhere whether the auto blade will cut fabric or not.

  2. wonderful! thank you for this.

  3. Thank you for such a perfectly simple explanation of how to use my cameo and your designs. I tend to over think things and confuse myself.
    Nan Wakefield

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