Applique with Art and Stitch and Brother Scan n Cut

It has been way too long since I posted anything, but today I have to share my fun with my newest toy: the Brother Scan-n-Cut machine. I got it yesterday - it's one of the first machines in our country - thanks to Leo Rijkers in Veghel, my absolute favorite Brother dealer :)

My own applique design, drawn and digitized in Art and Stitch, 

patches cut with the Brother Scan-n-Cut machine, 

finished on my embroidery machine

Let me start with a short description of the whole process and show the photos at the end of this post:

* I drew a Baltimore applique in Art and Stitch, saved it as file 1, to be used for embroidery.  For most parts I used the 3-pt Arc tool and made all parts symmetrical (see tips below). I just drew a quarter of the whole design and used the Magic Square in Art and Stitch.

* Saved the vector artwork again, this time
as file 2, to be used for the cutting machine. In this file I moved all applique pieces apart so that none of the pieces overlap. Selcted all and ticked the box "Fill" in the artwork tab in Properties Panel. Printed this file in actual size.

* Then I used the original file 1 to digitize the embroidery design, converting the artwork into applique  (see tips below), saved as PES for my Brother Quattro (Innov-is 1).

* Scanned the printout of file 2 with the Brother scan-n-cut machine and saved the scan in the machine as "scan to cut data". 

* I used the printout to see where to place the different colored fabric pieces on the mat. Then I scanned the cutting mat with the fabric as "background". 

* On the touch screen of the machine you can clearly see the cutting lines on top of that background. And that is the sheer brilliance of this machine! It makes it easy to move the various parts exactly on top of the right fabric color.

* I let the machine cut the pieces and pulled them off the mat, used spray adhesive on the back - ready to be used in the embroidery hoop.

* Opened the embroidery design (file 1) in my embroidery machine and stitched the placement lines first, glued the pre-cut pieces in place and finished the separate applique parts. I did NOT take the hoop off the machine! I used the little spatula that came with the scanner to adhere the patch in place.


Tip 1:
In our new upcoming Art and Stitch PLUS version 3, there is an extra setting for applique: you can turn layers on and off and you can also let the second tack down be a small open zigzag instead of a run stitch. That small zigzag will secure the patch and because it is an open zigzag the patch stays nice and flat. As finishing layer I chose the default Satin here, but one of the over 300 motifs will be nice too for a next project. 

Tip 2:
The stems are so small that I did not turn them into applique, but just outlined them for placement and put a motif line on top to cover the fabric. 
Hopefully you can see this all in the photos below.

Tip 3:
All pieces I used in this baltimore applique design are symmetrical. That way you can never go wrong, no risk of mirroring the design parts by mistake. They will always fit :)

Tip 4:
I stabilized the fabric pieces with iron-on Pellon Wonder Under 805, fabric peeled off before placing on the standard mat.

Tip 5:
I used a standard mat, standard blade, set to depth 3, pressure 2. You always have to do a test first, because your fabric may be thinner of thicker than the fabric I used.

The digitizing, scanning, cutting and embroidery process in photos: 

1. Drawing the design in Art and Stitch, using the vector drawing tools. Only drew the parts of one flower and used the Magic Square to get 4:

2.  I saved the file again under a different name and pulled all artwork pieces apart, color by color without any overlaps, exactly the way I want them to be cut. Printed this file at actual size, to be scanned into the Brother Scan-n-Cut:

3. I opened the original file and turned the artwork into applique objects:

4. I used the printout to see where to place the different colored fabric on the cutting mat and then scanned the printout into the Scan-n-Cut machine:

5. Then scanned the mat with the fabric on top into the machine, as a background:

6. The brilliance of the Scan-n-Cut machine!! The touch screen shows the fabric on the mat, making it a breeze to move the objects to the right place (forgot to make a photo when everything was in place):

7. Let the machine cut the fabric:

 8. Pull the fabric off the mat, using the little spatula:

9. Used spray adhesive on the back of the patches (in the sink, on a sheet of paper):

10. Opened the embroidery design in my machine and stitched the first placement lines (running stitch):

11.  Glued the first patches in place, exactly inside the placement lines and guess what - the fabric patches cut with the machine are exactly the size of the stitched lines :)

12. I had digitized a motif on the small stems, and used a small open zigzag tack down layer with satin finish for the other objects (see tips above):

13.Glued, tacked down and finished the rest of the applique: 

 14. The result is absolutely beautiful (if I may say so):

To know that I can create my own shapes and designs, ANYTHING, in Art and Stitch and by just printing and scanning get it in true size into the Brother Scan-n-Cut, resulting in the exact matching pre-cut applique patches is a dream come true!

OK, so this is how I spent my Sunday, tomorrow back to finishing the User Guide for our new Version 3 of Art and Stitch PLUS.
See Overview of what's inside Art and Stitch PLUS version 3):


Have fun!



  1. Amazing! Thank you for the step by step guide.

  2. What a great article, i just loved it and i loved to read it.Excellent thought author,i have bookmarked it.

  3. I never knew that it depended on the number of stitches one got. I just assumed that it was so much per image that was placed on the garment. Guess you learn something new each day.

  4. hm.. I am reached here by searching for calibration details of embroidery machines ... think it is right place for it and this site should be an encyclopedia for the embroidery business.

  5. Thanks for the sweet coimments :) Loes

  6. It looks amazing, I am crazy about this blog and it works. Really its so good and i am very thankful to you. In very informative and useful for me. Thanks for share.

  7. What a great way to use this stencil. A beautiful piece of work.