Saturday, December 17, 2011

Review of the Slice Fabrique and a Fabric Postcard Tutorial!

Hi all!

I was lucky enough to be given the chance to review the Slice Fabrique fabric cutter.  If you have been reading my blog for a while - you know that I love to use my die-cutters to create projects quickly, easily and with great precision.
The Slice has been around for a while for scrapbookers but now they have come out with one for us quilters!  The Slice Fabrique is a different from my other die-cutters.  For one it is electronic and it is computerized.   This means that we can re-size the images!!!  Yes, you read that correctly - you can re-size the images from 1" to 4" big.  It also primarily focuses on applique images - not piecing - although there are a few piecing images on the Applique Basics card that comes with the machine - but here I am getting ahead of myself.

First let's open up the box:

Inside you will find everything you need to get Slicing right away.  The roll of fusible on the right is extra fusible that the good people at Making Memories sent me :-D  I think they knew I wouldn't be able to stop once I started LOL!  The Slice uses SD cards, like they type in cameras,  instead of dies so the storage of your designs is very minimal.  


The Slice Fabrique comes with the Applique Basics SD card which contains ALL of these re-sizable shapes!  And yes that is an upper and lower case alphabet and set of numbers there.   this is a major plus to the Slice Fabric in my eyes!  The cost of the alphabet and numbers dies for the Accuquilt Go! or for the Sizzix are quite costly.  To give you an idea - the cost of the one alphabet available for the Go! is MORE expensive than buying the Slice Fabrique which comes with this alphabet!  The SD cards are about $60.00 CND regular price and many come with additional alphabets on them.  Plus, these alphabets are re-sizable to give us even greater freedom.  I absolutely love that.


Ok let's get to slicing!  First you need to prepare the 6" square glass mat but spreading the adhesive over the mat.



And let it dry for a couple of minutes.
 
Next we need to prepare our fabric.  The Slice Fabrique requires that you put fusible on the back of your fabric before you use it.  This is a necessary step since it stabilizes the fabric  during the cutting process.  Some of the designs like the hexagons would be great for piecing and we wouldn't want fusible on them.  I am told that you can spray baste paper onto the back and then cut and peel the paper off if you want them for piecing.  I haven't tried this though - just passing it on ;-)


Now let's turn to the machine.  The Slice Fabrique is cordless so I let it charge for about an hour before I used it.  You can also use it while it is plugged in and charging.  First it takes us to the home screen.


Then we press Select and choose settings.
  
Then it asked me to home the cutter - which I did because the instructions told me to ;-)  I guess this centers the blade.
  
Back to the menu now and I chose Applique.


 

I chose this pretty snowflake.
 

The snowflake could be as small as 2" or as large as 4"

 

For this project I chose 3.5" to work with my fabric postcards.
 

Another couple of cool functions the Slice Fabrique can do are Shadow - which is when you would want to give your applique 3D shadowing.  You would put the shadow behind the applique.  Really neat!  The other thing is mirror - but since the snowflake is already it's own mirror image that was unnecessary here.

After I had chosen my design and the size it was time to load the fabric.

 
You NEED to make sure that the prepared fabric is firmly adhered to the glass mat.  If you don't smooth it out and make sure that it is sticking your design will completely mess up.  This happened to me the first time and it was completely user error.

 

Next place the Slice on top of the fabric and glass mat.  Hold the sides firmly and press the button on the back right to start cutting.  You really do need to hold the Slice down here since it will want to move a bit as the blade drops down and starts to rotate around and cut the fabric.  Can you see the white part on the right of the slice?  That is the mechanism and the blade is in there.

 

The Slice will tell you when it is finished.  Then you lift off the Slice and it will look a little like this - huh??!!  Did it do anything?
 
It sure did!  Look at that!!  Cool huh?  Beautiful and intricate.

 
We now have a positive and a negative design.  I love it!  Look at how pretty they both are.
Let's talk a bit about the Slice Fabrique now.  

I really like this little machine.  There are lots of positives:
  • I think that for the alphabets alone it is a great idea.  
  • Even if you're not interested in the alphabets the ability to re-size designs will give quilters an affordable way to die-cut applique shapes and lots of options!
  • By using SD cards instead of dies the cards are less expensive than dies.  The Applique Basics card alone is filled with many wonderful shapes that I think would make any quilter happy.  
  • If you read the instructions it is user-friendly.
  • It is cordless so you can charge it and take it with you.
  • There is a hands free attachment that you can purchase if you don't like holding onto the machine.
  • Frankly, this machine is another option for quilters - it won't replace the other machines but it does give us more flexibility in out applique designs.  It is a great addition to any sewing room.
Now, there are s few negatives to this machine. 
  • There is a learing curve to using it.  I did mess up my first cut because I didn't ready the instructions clearly enough - but after that I was fine.
  • There is a bit more fabric waste than with other die-cutters.  Now that said Making Memories has an excellent blog with video tutorials which are extremely well done and really helped decrease fabric waste.
  • The glue needed for the glass mat could get seriously expensive - however - they have a spray adhesive that you can get and I am told that it works better than the glue.
  • The size limitations on the applique - 4" is as large as you can go.  However, I think that the ability to re-size out-weighs this negative for me.
  • They recommend using the Slice fusible webbing but I am told that other brands like Steam A Seam 2 and Wonder Under will also work.
  • The blades do wear out but they are not expensive and I have still not worn one out yet.
I am really happy with this machine.  It has honestly filled a gap for me with my die-cutters.  It allows us to re-size designs and give us an affordable source for multiple alphabets.  I really, really like those options.  I think that the Slice Fabrique would be great for ANY quilter would does applique - especially if they don't like cutting those shapes out like me!  I think it would be a great present under the tree this Christmas ;-)

Ok since I was cutting up some fabric I decided to work on a project while I was trying out this machine.  Every year I make fabric post-cards for my Christmas cards and the Slice is PERFECT for this!  You probably noticed that I started off with a rectangle of fabric that I cut into with the slice.  This was a 4" x 6" rectangle that is the size of a postcard.  As you saw int he review I pre-fused it and then cut out the shape.

 
I also cut a 4" x 6" piece of timtex - available at lots of quilt shops or fabric stores.  I grabbed my Lapel Stick - my absolute favorite fabric glue and started gluing.

 
I glued a 4" square of silver fabric to one piece of timtex and a 4" x 6" piece to another.

 
Then I very carefully ironed everything down.  The silver will melt if your iron is too hot.  At this stage you can do some machine quilting on these if you wish but I decided not to.

Then I used my Lapel Stick again to glue my postcard back onto the other side.  I have a stamp for this but you can draw this by hand.

 

Next zig zag around the outside - I love my uneven zig zag stitch for this since it is so forgiving - and if you use white thread it really looks like icicles!  So simple - so pretty!

So there you go!  I used both the applique shape and the background fabric to create these very pretty fabric post cards!  What do you think?  If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here!  Will you be asking for a Slice Fabrique for Christmas?

Whew that was a long one!  I feel like you deserve a prize if you made it to the end LOL!  Well how about this - our friends at Lapel Stick would like to offer one of my readers the chance to try Lapel Stick out!  If you would like the chance to win a Lapel Stick fabric glue stick just leave a comment here saying that you would like to be entered - I'll pick a winner on Sunday right after I pick a winner for the die-cut applique shapes from my other give-away!  There is still time to enter if you haven't yet!

23 comments:

Marilyn said...

I have a slice Fabrique. I have used it a few times. Still getting used to it. But agree it sure beats cutting all the letters or shapes by hand. I would love to try a lapel stick.

Judee said...

OK, I would like to try the Lapel Stick. That Slice sure is tempting. Maybe for my birthday?

Sallie said...

I would love to be entered to win a Lapel Stick! Thanks!

Cheryl said...

I would love to be entered into the drawing for the Lapel Stick, I have been wanting to try it! And thanks for the review of the Slice!

free indeed said...

I'd like to try the glue stick. Thanks for the review on the slice. I've not heard alot about it, but your review makes it tempting.

JustPam said...

Nice tutorial. I was kind of wondering how those fabric postcards were made. I would like to try the lapel stick. Merry Christmas!

Deb said...

For hexagons, do you think freezer paper will give enough hold?

And I'd like the chance to win a lapel stick as well.

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Very neat....how does it compare price wise to the accu cutters? if you don't mind me asking.

Scrappy quilter said...

I loved this machine when it was demonstrated at our local quilting store. However they did say you had to use the Slice fusible, others didn't work for them. It's a little pricey in Canada and I'm not sure I'd use it all that much.

Linda said...

What a great review. Thanks. I love the letter option. I would love to try Lapel.

Anita said...

I have the original slice...of course after I bought it they came out with Fabrique! I couldn't see spending more money to upgrade at that point. It works....and there are pro's/con's, as you stated. I'm also finding that all the stores around me are discontinuing their products....that makes me nervous. They do have sales online and are actually having one right now.

Thanks for the overview.

Gene Black said...

The Slice Fabrique is certainly interesting. I would like to try one.

I would also love to try the Lapel Stick. I have seen a few people using it online and I love trying new products.

ritainalaska said...

thank you, i'd like an opportunity to try the lapel stick ... lately i've glued a lot of my applique instead of fusing. good review of the slice ... i've not heard much about it; i need a cutter, and this may be better than the others.

Donna Joy said...

Thanks for the chance to win a label stick. I really enjoyed your review of the slice. I hadn't heard of it. Sure is handy to be able to resize appliqué.

Jan in CA said...

Your review is great. I have the Slice Fabrique and have only used it a few times but like it. However, I did try Steam a Seam 2 and did not have good luck with it. I purchased a large roll of the Slice fusible just to have on hand. I would love to try the lapel stick, have never used one before.

Jackie said...

I have heard lots about these sticks... btw totally love your postcards.

jazzy said...

I just received a Slice Fabrique using birthday money. I can't wait to cut some of the awesome designs. Great job on the postcard. Really unique.
I would like the chance to try the lapel stick.
Thank you for the opportunity.

Lisa said...

I'd like to try the lapel stick. Very cute postcards.

Fiona41254 said...

I'd love to try thr stick!

Teri said...

I would love to be entered into the giveaway....I like the slice. It would be very helpful for the postcards. I have made a lot of postcards for the troops in Iraq. They are fun to make, but it would much easier with the slice.

Kellieann said...

The Slice is on my "gotta have it" list. I would love a chance to win the label stick so I can make my own cards. love that snowflake.

VickiT said...

I keep thinking I might want one of these Slice machines and now I think you have totally convinced me. Great review.

Please enter me into the giveaway. Thank you.

Gwen McGinnis said...

Thought about buying a slice machine but had not read the reviews. I am considering it since I love to quilt. I have an accuquilt die cutter and agree the dies are very expensive. I would love to be entered in the lapel glue stik drawing.