Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cougar Frustrations and Fabric

I'm beginning to think I wasted my money on my Black Cat Cougar.  It's just too much machine for my abilities.  It works beautifully so no panics there.  It's just me.  I can't even get a blade to sit right in the machine.  I had bought it primarly for quilting.  I had grand plans for cutting fabric and for applique.  It was going to make my quilting world perfect.  It was going to eat the Go! Cutter alive with it's capabilities. It was one of those "manic" purchases where you are convinced you NEED this item.

The machine is based on scalable vector graphics (whatever that means) so any hand drawing has to be converted.  EQ products must work on the same graphics as the cutter knows exactly what to do with them.  Maybe I should just put it away and use it for my EQ quilt designs.

So I have to import a drawing, change it over to SVG and then figure out layers and deleting stuff that I don't need.  I'm not good enough to truly know how to edit and by the time I'm done, I could have had everything traced and ready to go.

For some reason, the blade holder and blade that came with the Cricut work perfectly on that machine but I can't get the settings right with the Cougar holder.  It either scores the paper but still leaves marks on the mat or cuts so deeply it scores the mat.  It's not like I can go to the store and buy a new mat either.

Then it hit me, instead of trying to cut out templates, have the machine DRAW them on fusible webbing.  DUH.  It does come with an ink pen that fits in the holder and I got everything ready to go.  I hit cut and it draws out 3 designs and then starts eating the  right side as apparently I don't know the dimensions of the mat!  Make the Cut only has the mat for the Cricut on it and I haven't quite figured out where the true cutting area for the Cougar is on the software.  I don't think the Cricut has a pen holder.

On to better news.  My hand dyed fabrics came today!

I found Chris's blog Dye Candy and had to check out the Etsy store.  These will be perfect for my Fiesta quilt.  They are fat 16ths but they will blend in with my other fabrics perfectly.

I think I will put the Black Cat Cutter away and work on a color scheme for my quilt.  I'll try to work out drawing on my fusible webbing later.  If I can get it to draw on my fusible webbing right, it will make this quilt easier.  I would just have to cut around the shape.  At least I know how to work with fabric so I feel better.



Linda said...

The hand dyed fabrics are absolutely beautiful! They do look like Fiesta! (We are in the midst of Fiesta right here in San Antonio this week!)
I understand where you're coming from with the Black Cat Cougar. I don't have one, but it is sometimes easier to just draw things out and cut by hand than to figure out some of the new technology.

Lacy said...

The Cricut does have pen holders. They are called cri-kits. But I have read many tutorials on how to make the quickutz pens work in the cricut and how also to make an old quickuttz pen into a gel pen holder for your cricut.
I got my cricut a month ago and I absolutely love it. I have to wait to get the pens because I blew my wad on the machine and a few carts, but I am excited to use it for applique and a host of other fun stuff!

Cynergy Diva said...

Amy Chomas has all sorts of holders for gel pens, mini gel pens and mini sharpies for the cricut. She also has an embossing and engraving kit for the cricut.

I love your hand dyed fabrics

Sandy Hoy said...

I have a Black Cat Cougar 13" and have cut varying thicknesses of paper perfectly. I am preparing to cut fabric as well.
The BIG thing about the Cougar is getting things set up properly before you work with whatever material you will use. Plain paper works just fine. Use your manual on the cutter to properly install the blade - this matters! You have to tell MTC whether you are going to cut WYSIWYG or print and cut. Print and Cut needs to be calibrated for each machine and program, and is a whole other topic.
About the fabric. I have been told that you need to use a stabilizer on the back of the fabric. And I will use the mat that comes with the Cougar. I am hunting videos now to see how to cut the fabric - that's how I found your thread. I am also in San Antonio, and those colors are gorgeous!
I will try to come back and post whether I have been successful or now with the fabric, and share any info I find.
Viva Fiesta!