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Appliqué (and everything else) Is So Much Easier With The All New Artistic Edge Digital Cutter

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The Artistic Edge Digital Cutter makes it easy to get creative with your sewing projects in ways that simply weren't possible before. If you look just at what it does in appliqué – one of its many capabilities – you're going to think of dozens... maybe hundreds of ways to use it. That's not an exaggeration. We've been immersing ourselves in everything this updated cutter can do, and it's almost overwhelming. If you have an embroidery machine, you're going to want to take a serious look at how the Edge can expand what you can do. If you don't have an embroidery machine, the Edge may just make you want to get one – immediately.

A new kind of digital cutter 

When we first heard about digital cutters a few years ago, it took a few minutes to understand how they work. So in case you're also scratching your head, here's what they do. 

A digital cutter uses the precision of a computer to cut fabric, paper, vinyl, stencil plastic, or any thin material you could cut with scissors (even thin metal works!). But it does it with a precision that's beyond what even the most skilled seamstress could do by hand.

Basically, it works on the same principle as an inkjet printer. But instead of moving the print head to apply a micro dot of ink, it moves a little knife and makes a cut. You send it a digital file from your computer. Stick your material to be cut to the special cutting mat. Insert it into the machine. And it cuts out your design. EZ!

You can send over the most intricate snowflake pattern and your digital cutter will have it cut out in seconds. Sort of like how Edward Scissorhands did those instant topiaries.

That's what you can do with a basic digital cutter.

The Artistic Edge is a step above that. Not only does it have precision that's unmatched by any other brand, and cool features like laser alignment; it's also a lot sturdier. While other cutters are made of plastic, the Artistic Edge has an aluminum body with rigid molde end caps.

But here's the best part. As is typical with higher quality tools, the Artistic Edge is also a lot easier to use. You won't end up with a huge skill gap between what you can imagine creating and what you can actually start doing.

A whole new world of appliqué

We're focusing here on the embroidery and appliqué functions of the new Artistic Edge, but of course you aren't required to have an embroidery machine to take advantage of this incredible cutting tool. It's great for hand appliqué, repetitive shapes to build 3-D embellishments, and stencil cutting. More on this later.

Appliquéing is simply attaching one piece of fabric on top of another piece to create a decorative effect. Most often, you stitch along the edge of the decorative piece to both affix it and highlight its shape. We love appliqué at Sew4Home because the technique is such an easy way to customize an otherwise basic project, giving it a unique and upscale look.  

As we mentioned, doing appliqué takes two steps: 1) Cutting out the decorative fabric, and 2) sewing it to your main fabric. If your decorative fabric is going be a simple geometric shape, the cutting and the sewing aren't too difficult. But when you start getting into more complex, multi-layered appliqués, both cutting and sewing get a lot more challenging.

Here's where the the Artistic Edge cutter is so exciting. It not only does the cutting of your shape for you, if you have an embroidery machine, it also takes care of the stitching! And it's currently the only digital cutter that can do this because it's the only one that can interface with your embroidery machine.

For example, let's say you found a fun daisy design you wanted to use as an appliqué. After making sure it was copyright-free, you'd scan the illustration into your computer. 

Then you'd use the software that comes with the Edge (called SimpleCut 7.1) to create the cutting pattern and the embroidery stitch pattern for your design. The Artistic Edge cuts out all the pieces of your daisy for you. And your embroidery machine stitches them all perfectly in place.

The result is amazingly precise. And the best part is how easy it is to set up thanks to the SimpleCut software.

SimpleCut Version 7.1: Easier than ever

SimpleCut 7.1 is the PC-compatible software that's included with your Edge Digital Cutter. This newest version of the software has been completely revamped to make it very easy and intuitive to use.

You can import designs from all major image, design, and embroidery formats. That's right, all. Any major graphics software and any brand of embroidery machine. (See the full list of supported graphic file types.) 

You can then edit and combine files as needed to make your finished design. When done, simply output the cutting file for your Edge and the accompanying embroidery file for your embroidery machine.

SimpleCut 7.1 gives you incredibly detailed creative control when you want it, down to individual stitches. But it also does a lot of things automatically, if that's what you'd prefer. For example, you can take that simple daisy appliqué graphic you imported and have SimpleCut 7.1 automatically convert it into all the separate elements that need to be cut out: stem, petals, center, leaves. The software can then assign all the appliqué stitching to attach it, including the order in which each piece should be sewn. The screen images below show some of the easy steps within the software to set up stitches, preview the design, and break apart the sections.

This latest version of the software has had a major overhaul from earlier versions to make the interface even more intuitive. Artistic worked hand-in-hand with their developers to make sure even people who'd never used embroidery software before would be able to open it up and start using it right away.

It really is easy to use. For example, if you're not sure what a tool button does, just hover your mouse over it and a little text box pops up with a full description. Love that! Wish everything in life came with a descriptive text box.

If you spend a few minutes watching one of the SimpleCut 7.1 videos (on iTunes or on YouTube), you'll be able to understand techniques like appliqué right away. For example, it only takes about a minute to explain how to create original lettered embroidery.

The Edge Digital Cutter and SimpleCut 7.1 are a powerful combination for creative inspiration. Our friends at Artistic told us about people who went right out and bought an embroidery machine after seeing what it could do in conjunction with the Edge system.

If you find yourself in the market for an embroidery machine, since we're big Janome fans, of course we'd suggest on of their embroidery models: such as the top-of-the-line Horizon Memory Craft 15000, the Memory Craft 9900 (pictured below), or the brand new embroidery-only model: the Memory Craft 500E.

The Edge Cutter: Professional quality all around

You know how inkjet printers are made of plastic? Well, so are most digital cutters. But Artistic felt a machine with a blade that can cut at a speed of nearly two feet per second (600mm/sec) with more than a pound and a half of pressure (750g) should really have a metal body with rigid molded end caps!The Edge looks and feels professional-grade.

The quality of the cuts is also at a professional level. You can choose from three blades: Fabric, Paper, or Template, depending on your material. And the results are stunning, such as the detail of the paper art shown below. 

But beyond its quality and precision, the Artistic Edge is different from all other home digital cutters because it's the only one that comes with the SimpleCut 7.1 software. And, as mentioned above, it's the only one that can interface with an embroidery machine.

The Edge cutter comes in two sizes, offering large and extra-large cutting areas. The Edge 12 has a 12" x 12" cutting mat. The Edge 15 has a 15" x 15" cutting mat. Both come with SimpleCut 7.1, industrial quality cutting blades, two versions of the cutting mat (for delicate and regular material), and all the other accessories you need to get started. 

Going beyond appliqué

As mentioned above, we've been focusing exclusively on what the Artistic Edge can do with appliqué. But that's actually just one of its many decorative techniques.

Rhinestones and Jewels

Do you love a little bling? You can use the Edge system to create designs for Artistic's heat-secured rhinestones and jewels. The software makes setting up complex designs a breeze,  and the cutter creates your placement template for quick and permanent application.

Drawing Pens

Take out the cutting blade and pop in one of the specially designed fabric pens. Instead of cutting your material, the Edge can draw on it, creating beautifully intricate designs.

Paper Art

Crafters were the first ones to use digital cutters and you can see why. When you can layer precisely cut designs on top of each other or use them as contrast, the visual effect is stunning. 

       

Embossing and more

The Edge has the unique ability to emboss paper and other materials. Rather than cutting through, it makes a crease, allowing you to make gorgeous medallions like the one pictured below. 

You can also do stencil making, glass etching, silk screening, and dozens of quilting techniques. We keep hearing of new ways to use the Edge. It really is proving to be a significant creative tool.

Try it out for yourself 

Find out more abut the Artistic Edge Digital Cutter and SimpleCut Software on their official site. You can also check out all the instructional videos on iTunes or on YouTube to see how easy SimpleCut 7.1 is to use.

Then by all means, get to your nearest Artistic dealership to see one in real life. They'll be happy to give you a demo of the whole, inspiring process. 

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Comments (30)

Anonymous said:
Anonymous's picture

I was given a used edge, but they could not find the manual.  While I can download a copy of the manual and the software, they no longer have the code for the software - do you know how I would get the code?

SJS said:
SJS's picture

I love this machine.  The software is really great, just takes some time to figure out.... the two together makes the price worth it.  The machine is simple to use.  I've only used it for fabric.  My only complaint is I wish the blades lasted longer.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ SJS - thanks for letting us know about your experience. It really does so much!

Maria Bedelia said:
Maria Bedelia's picture

Can the Artistic Edge and the SimpleCut software cut vinyl single-use stencils for glitter tattoos?  In particular, I am looking to find out how precise (i.e. mechanical precision) the Edge can get -- I couldn't find that info on Janome's site.  Also, it would be nice to know if the Edge can cut multiple tattoo stencils with a cut-out frame around each, on the same sheet.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Maria - based on the other types of vinyl it can cut, it seems plausible it could cut the material you're describing. The precision we've experienced with the machine is amazing. However, we did not experiment with the exact task you're describing so can't guarantee results. We'd suggest sending your question in directly through the Artistic website - or using their dealer locator to find a retailer in your area for answers to these specific questions.

http://janomespecials.com/edge/

kileigh said:
kileigh's picture

can the software that come with it actually create applique files to send to the sewing machine . or does it just cut already existing files

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ kileigh - you can create your own custom appliqué files - check out the Artistic website (links above) for more information and to locate a dealer near you for a demonstration. 

Donna T said:
Donna T's picture

I am seriously considering the Artistic Edge Digital Cutter mainly to cut fabric for machine embroidery. However at that price point I'd like more ideas on how to use it for other projects as well. The price has slowed me down but I would purchase if I could find more videos, tutorials, and other creative uses for the cutter. It's easy to find huge amounts of information and ideas re: the Silhouette Cameo but the Artistic Edge seems to be lagging behind in offering that level of support.  Please direct me to those places if somehow I have missed them in my search but the fact that I've missed them would suggest that the marketing department needs to get on the ball! I really want to get this machine but will hold off until there is more help available online - both practical and creative.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Donna - the combination of the software and cutter is a very good value when you look at all it can help you with. There are several links above, but you can also access PDFdownloads and links to YouTube tutorials directly from the Artistic website. This site also provides a contact link, so if you need more information or a dealer list, you can contact them directly:

http://www.artisticcreativeproducts.com/digital-cutters/artistic-edge-12

Deniz Ganowsky said:
Deniz Ganowsky's picture

I have the Artistic Suite and have used it with my Silhouette Cameo.  Embroidery files can be saved as PES (or other embroidery formats) to be used on embroidery machines.  It was a large learning curve... but I love the option of using Hot Fix Crystals with my embroidery designs.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Deniz Ganowsky - that's so great to hear - so, so, so much creativity. Glad to know you are having fun with Artistic. 

Linda R said:
Linda R's picture

I recently purchased the Janome 15000 and it came with the AcuDesign app. I now see the app has been updated and there is a section where you can export your design into the Edge cutter. Would love knowing how to do this. Feel free to write about this option in an upcoming post. Unfortunately the app has no directions.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Linda R - I'm sure if you contact your Janome Dealer or Janome America directly, they would be happy to help you find instructions for the app. Janome's customer service email is: custrel@janome-america.com

Noreen Rak said:
Noreen Rak's picture

Way out of price!!! I will still use my Scan n Cut for now. Thanks!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Naoreen Rak -The Edge's ability to work directly with an embroidery machine is so cool. Might not be right for you at the moment, but if you already enjoy cutting products, you should see the Edge in action. I think you'd love what it can do.

Linda C. in AZ said:
Linda C. in AZ's picture

I have a Cricut Explore.  Is it possible to do this with my machine?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Linda C. in AZ - I doubt it. Cricut is an entirely different product. We aren't familiar with their product options. 

Jane Coombs said:
Jane Coombs's picture

Wow on those yellow flowered pillows. Is the one on the right a single layer of fabric and the one on the left a double layer? I be hard pressed to say which one took the most work. Terrific results from another piece of technology.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Jane Coombs - The folks at Artistic allowed us to use their pretty photos, so we didn't see the pillows in person, but yes, I believe you are right. Such a cool effect.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Linda R - SimpleCut 7.1 comes bundled with the Edge cutter when you purchase it, but it is also available separately from an authorized Artistic dealer. The listed MSRP on just the software is $399. Check with your nearest dealer for additional pricing information an/or any possible discounts. 

scootertn said:
scootertn's picture

WOW! WOW!  I love this machine!  I looked at the website and found a lot of creativity but at the $400-500 price range it does put it in perspective.  I will just look and admire.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@scootertn - at just over a dollar a day, there's a whole lot o' creativity in there just waiting to get out. We were impressed at the flexibility and variety - something not found in many accessory tools that cost much more. 

Sally M. said:
Sally M.'s picture

Wow, this truly is an amazing machine.  The technology we have today simply astounds me.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Sally M -- it really is amazing, isn't it!!?!

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