Table of Contents
- Preparing felt to cut quiet book patterns
- Cutting quiet book patterns with simple, no-nonsense tools
- Top tips for cutting quiet book patterns out of felt
- After cutting the felt
Quiet book patterns can be tricky to cut out of felt if you don’t know how. Here we look at cutting them using quick, cheap and effective techniques.
By now you must have learned about a number of different ways of cutting felt shapes. For example some people use freezer paper for cutting felt while others recommend tracing directly on to the felt fabric. Some crafters swear by cutting felt with Scan n Cut or Cricut, both of which are electronic die-cutting machines. A number of quilters recommend cutting felt with Sizzix Big Shot or other manual die-cutting machines. Still others might look into diving deeper into their pockets to have custom cut felt shapes by hiring the services of laser cutters.
However we will only be using a handful of things to cut quiet book patterns that are probably lying around your home right this moment.
We will also look into one optional method of cutting felt quiet book patterns, which is by using a manual die cutter. But remember that this is only an option and not at all a necessity. So let’s go ahead and learn about how to cut felt.
Preparing felt to cut quiet book patterns
Before cutting your quiet book patterns out of felt, you must stiffen and iron the felt to make it flat and even. If you have not, you can read all about how to make stiffened felt here. You will also need to treat your felt fabric with fusible web before cutting it out, as we see below.
Using Fusible web on quiet book patterns
Fusible web, also called Wonder Under, is essentially a thin layer of heat-activated glue. It sticks your felt quiet book patterns on to the quiet book page before you sew. Fusible web or Wonder Under comes rolled up on a sheet of paper. You first need to heat press the fusible web off this paper and on to the felt. Next you need to use a steam iron to heat press the felt on to the quiet book page. Finally you sew everything together.
Before you start cutting felt, first transfer the fusible web on to the back of the felt using the instructions provided in the packet. However don’t peel off the backing paper yet. First take a look at the two ways of cutting out your felt quiet book patterns below, and then decide whether you can remove the backing paper now or not.
1. Quiet book patterns with simple shapes
If you will be cutting simple felt quiet book patterns like circles or squares or ovals, draw these shapes on to the fusible web paper using a pencil. If it is an asymmetrical shape, make sure to draw a mirror image of the shape by flipping over your quiet book pattern.
Now you can simply cut out the felt shape along the line of the quiet book pattern.
2. Quiet book patterns with intricate shapes
However if you will be cutting more intricate patterns, it is best to stick the pattern directly on to the felt and then cut around it. This reduces the risk of you tracing uneven quiet book patterns on to the fusible web paper.
You will need Scotch tape or cello tape to stick the patterns on to the felt before you cut. However you will not need the backing paper of fusible web for this method, so you can peel it away before you start cutting out the quiet book patterns.
Cutting quiet book patterns with simple, no-nonsense tools
Once you know whether your shape is simple or complicated, and once you have decided how you will be using your quiet book patterns (trace them or stick them), you can look into selecting a few simple felt cutting tools. You should have all of these at home already. But even if you don’t they are super easy and cheap to buy.
You will need a pair of sharp scissors to cut felt effectively. Since you will be cutting stiffened felt, it is best to keep these scissors separate from your regular fabric cutting scissors.
Craft knife or small retractable cutter
This will help you get the cut started for cutting out enclosed or intricate felt quiet book patterns, for example the inner shape of the letter P. You can choose to cut out the entire inner shape using the craft knife. Or you could simply use the knife to make a neat incision into the felt. Next you could wriggle a pair of small pointy scissors into the incision and cut out the inner felt shape.
Entirely optional ─ manual die cutter with cutting dies
Once again, you do not need a die cutter at all for cutting quiet book patterns out of felt. Buying it is entirely optional and depends upon your need and budget. It will, however, speed up the cutting process to an extent. But you can still manage just fine without it.
Top tips for cutting quiet book patterns out of felt
Once you have traced or stuck the quiet book pattern on to the felt, it is time to start cutting. Make sure you follow these tips as you proceed.
Cut the more intricate felt shapes first
This is particularly true for complicated quiet book patterns such as the tail of a felt fish or the ears of a rabbit or an elephant’s trunk. Always cut around the more intricate parts of the quiet book patterns first. Then move on to the simpler, larger shapes. This will stabilize everything all the way until you finish cutting.
Use sharp scissors of varying sizes for perfect results
Sometimes, a single of pair of scissors is not enough for all the different types and sizes of felt cuts you will be making. Therefore it helps to have varying sizes at hand when you are in the middle of making a quiet book for toddlers. You might need a regular pair and a fine tipped smaller pair of scissors to cut out the details.
After cutting the felt
If you are using Scotch tape to stabilize your quiet book patterns and if you have finished cutting, carefully peel away the paper pattern from the felt. It should come away easily as all the sticky tape has been cut away already. You will be left with a beautifully cut quiet book pattern, ready to be pressed and stitched.
However if you have cut out a felt shape using a traced pattern, there is a trick to easily peel away the backing paper without fraying the felt’s edges.
The trick to removing backing paper from felt quiet book patterns
Use a sharp instrument like a needle or a curved pointy tool to make a shallow incision in the middle of the backing paper. Next, insert something flat, like the end of a ruler into the incision, and wriggle it to get some room. Finally, you can lift and peel away the backing paper from behind the felt shape. Remember to peel inwards from the edge of the felt shape. Never try to pull or lift the fusible web’s backing paper at the edge or it will fray your quiet book pattern’s edges.
Your felt quiet book pattern is ready to be heat pressed on to the quiet book page. So go ahead and get pressing!