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How to Transfer Embroidery Designs with A Cricut

How to transfer embroidery pattern with cricut
By now I’m sure you know a Cricut machine is good for personalizing things, from furniture and cups to shirts and tote bags. You also know it is great for paper crafts and home decor. In fact, this month’s Craft and Create challenge is filled with a huge assortment of home decor ideas for the Cricut:
14 Cricut home decor projects sm
Buffalo Check Wooden Pumpkin from Weekend Craft • Inspirational Candles from Happy Go Lucky • Rustic Wooden Sign from Refresh Restyle • Paper Pumpkins from Create & Babble • Charting Embroidery with the Cricut from The Kim Six Fix • Rainbow Bookends from SeeLINDSAY • Dollar Tree Sign Upcycled For Fall from Daily DIY Life • Coco Inspired Pillows from Upright and Caffeinated • Pumpkin Spice Latte Towel with the Cricut EasyPress from Cookies, Coffee and Crafts • Fall Inspired Sign from Every's Creations • Quick and Easy Home Decor with Your Cricut: One Cricut SVG File 12 Ways! from Happily Ever After, Etc • DIY Clipboard Wall Art from Real Girls Realm • Welcome Fall Cricut Shadow Box from the Inspiration Vault • Fall Wreath from Our Crafty Mom

But did you know you Cricut can be handy in the world of HAND EMBROIDERY?  Oh yes..  It is like there aren’t many crafts that a Cricut can’t crack.   Check out my recent embroidery project, all done with the help of my Cricut Maker! Embroidery version of tattoo

Cricut actually has a tutorial on using a Cricut to chart embroidery patterns, but I am going to be real with you here.. as someone who embroiders, their tutorial was great for entry level embroidery, but I wanted to push it farther.

Their example was using a simple oversized design.  But I don’t need help with those kind of designs.. I need help with the COMPLICATED ones. The ones with lots of detail, straight lines, text.. stuff that is hard to trace by hand.
Image source

So I ran an experiment where I used Cricut’s method and then I modified it, to get more detail.  This was the design I wanted and I only wanted it to be about 6 inches tall
Crafty bird embroidery pattern

I uploaded my image into Cricut Design Space and selected “Write” instead of "Cut".  One problem with uploading your own designs is that Cricut wants to TRACE the outline.. so you are already starting right off the bat with double lines.  Screen Shot 2018 09 08 at 8 22 36 PM
But I continued to press on anyhow.. in hopes it wouldn’t matter much.  I put my fabric (I was using a yellow hand dye cotton) on the pink Cricut Fabric mat and my Cricut Washable fabric pen into the pen holder of my Cricut MakerEmbroidery transfer with cricut
This is where the second problem came around.  The fabric pen is JUST TOO THICK. I mean, it is like writing with a extra fat sharpie, and bled like crazy on my cotton fabric.
Cricut fabric pen
I could immediately see that it was not detailed enough when it was running through the machine.
Using cricut to draw on fabric
So I needed a plan B.  I decide to try a soft lead pencil.  I have hand drawn designs with pencil beforehand I love the accuracy and detail.
Replacing cricut pen with pencilSo first I lined up the Cricut fabric pen and the pencil (make sure the tips are lined up ) and marked the insertion line that is printed on the Cricut pen.

(You will still need to buy the Cricut pen to get this mark)
Using any pencil in cricut machine
Next I loaded that into the pen holder making sure to line up the little mark at the top.Using pencil in cricut makerWithout this line you have no idea how far to insert your pencil and you could damage your machine, tear your fabric, or break your pencil.


“Danger” is my middle name.. so I went for it!
Inserting pencil into cricut make
Here is what my fabric looked like after one pass (leaving the Cricut setting as the “Washable Fabric Pen”) Pattern transfer with cricut
You can see, using the Cricut water soluble pen itself just wasn’t going to work. The bleed was too great. I couldn’t even read the words. It was just a hot mess.  But the pencil.. it was PERFECTION.
How to transfer embroidery designs onto fabric with your Cricut machine without getting the huge thick lines from the washable fabric marker.  Perfect for small intricate designs, straight lines, text or anything else you want to embroider but it too difficult to draw by hand.I made sure to cover or erase all the lines with my actual embroidery work.  (I use a soft white polymer eraser on my fabric if I have any extra pencil marks.. unlike the water soluble marker.. you do need a little more work to get it off the fabric) Using cricut for embroideryBut the finished product was worth it.  American traditional tattoo embroideryAnd if you have any detailed work where accuracy in tracing is important (straight parallel lines, wording etc) this method is so much better than hand drawing. Crafty american traditional swallow embroidery
Once again, Cricut to the rescue!
Transfer embroidery pattern with cricut

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