Sewing with Silhouette – Quilting & Appliqué + Free Cut File + A Giveaway!

I’m so excited to launch my latest blog series — “Sewing with Silhouette”.   As you may know, cutting machine embroidery appliqué is what brought me into the world of Silhouette!  I owned a Brother sewing/embroidery store for 13 years & figured out how to cut your appliqué with a Cameo!  That was years ago (before you could import your embroidery designs into Studio) & Silhouette has grown by leaps & bounds to include so many more wonderful possibilities related to sewing & machine embroidery.

Upcoming posts will include information on Designing & Cutting Quilt Squares such as Half Square Triangles; Cutting Appliqué for Machine Embroidery; Cutting Specialty Fabrics;  Traditional Quilt Appliqué & Fussy Cutting with the PixScan mat;  Mixed Media with Fabric & Vinyl; Converting Studio files to Machine Embroidery & more!  Today’s post will focus on cutting quilt blocks & appliqué without any fusible backings.  While I’ve shared about cutting with fusible backing before for machine embroidery appliqué, many quilters do not like the “plastic-y” feel that stays in your fabric with fusibles such as Hean N Bond.  So, I’m going to share how I cut most of the parts for this Mini Easter Quilt on my Silhouette Cameo.   No need for stabilizers or freezer paper.

Preparing the Fabric 

The fabric I’m using is 100% cotton fat quarter bundle from Moda Fabrics.  I love blue & yellow together, and I’ve been saving this fabric for quite some time!  It just said “Spring” to me!  The first thing I did was treat the fabric to prepare for cutting.   Because the Silhouette blade is a straight blade, it pulls through the fabric — as opposed to a rotary blade that rolls across it.   If you don’t secure the fabric to the mat well, and stabilize it some way — then you will not get a clean, accurate cut.

While there are several ways to stabilize your fabric, my all time favorite is Terial Magic, Fabric Stabilizer.  Believe me, I’ve tried just about every product on the market to cut your fabric with the Cameo, and I like this the best.  Terial Magic is a unique liquid fabric stabilizer that binds the fibers of fabric together, magically transforming it into a stable and paper-like material that won’t fray when cut.  It is non-toxic and doesn’t leave any white flakes or build up on your iron or machine needles!  The thing I really love about it, is once your project is complete, you can wash the fabric –> Terial Magic washes out –> and your fabric returns to its original hand.  Love this!  No stiff or plastic-feeling stabilizers remaining.  Enter to win a free bottle of Terial Magic!  Just read through the end of the blog to learn more!  And get a 25% Discount Code for one week only!

So, let’s get started!  First, I cut my fabric to the size pieces that I needed for this project.  Each piece was about 6″ x 18″ and I used 8-10 different fabrics.

Next, I sprayed my fabric with Terial Magic, Fabric Stabilizer.   You can spray into a bowl or plastic bag, but my studio is upstairs at my house — so I just use the bathroom sink.  Be sure to saturate the fabric well.  I turn it over to the back side and check, to be sure there are no dry spots.  Then, I squeeze it to distribute the Terial Magic into the fibers & throughout the fabric.

Now, hang the fabric until it is damp dry — 10 to 15 minutes.

Once the fabric is almost dry — but still a little damp — you want to iron it completely dry & flattened out.   Then your fabric will be paper-like and fray-free.  In this picture, it is stiff — like a deck of cards.  Once your fabric has been stabilized, you want to cut it down into 6″ x 12″ pieces, so that you can fit 2 fabrics on the mat at once.

Cutting Your Fabric

While my fabric was drying, I created the files for cutting the blocks in Silhouette Studio.  Since I wanted my finished quilt squares to be 2″, I cut each square at 2 1/2″ — to allow for 1/4″ seam allowance on all sides.  Using the Rectangle Drawing Tool, I created a 2 1/2″ square.  (Hold down the Shift key while drawing your rectangle, and you will get a perfect square).

Now, using the Replicate Tool, I created a row of 4 squares.

Then, select those four squares, and choose Column of Four – to give you a page of 16 squares.

At this point, I selected the top 2 rows and moved them up.   I also selected the bottom two rows & moved them down — so that I could be away from the edges of the two fabrics when cutting.   (I’m going to cut two different pieces of fabric on the same mat.)

Place two of your fabrics on the mat like the picture below.  Note:  It is very important that your fabric be securely stuck to the mat.  If not, then it will lift up when cutting & distort your cuts.  Unless my mat is new, I usually spray it with a temporary, repositionable spray adhesive like Scotch 3M Mount Spray, just to be sure that the fabric will stay stuck to the mat.

Use your squeegee or a brayer to smooth over your fabric & be sure that it is tacked down well.  This is very important!  Now load your mat to cut!

I often get questions about whether or not I use the fabric blade — and I usually do!  Just to let you know, the blue Silhouette fabric blade & regular ratchet blade are the same.  They are simply color coded so that you  can keep them separate.   Just like your good Gingher scissors are kept only for fabric, its smart to keep a blade just for fabric.   Paper & vinyl will dull your blade much quicker.   Now, in this example, I actually used the AutoBlade and selected the setting for “Fabric, Thin like cotton”.   Personally, I LOVE the AutoBlade, and at the rest of it getting dull with other mediums, I just stocked up on AutoBlades when they were on sale!

Once the fabric is cut, remove any excess fabric, leaving only your squares.  (For purposes of the blog post, I separated my squares before cutting – so that you could see how well they cut.   I realize that in the software pics, my squares are all touching & sharing cut lines.  This is actually the preferable way to do this.  Just be sure they aren’t overlapping).

Repeat this process with all of your fabrics & set your blocks aside.   I realize that this process may take a few minutes — and you might be thinking – “I can cut this faster with a rotary cutter”.   However, you will never get the accuracy from a rotary cutter that you can from this process, using Terial Magic & the Cameo.  You can see how the fabric acts like paper in this picture, and the pieces stack up like a deck of cards.  When using 1/4″ seam allowance, accuracy & precision are so important in creating your quilt!  No stretching or shifting when you cut or sew!

Cutting Bunny Applique

For the Bunny Appliqué portion of this project, download the FREE Bunny Cut File here, to be used with your Silhouette Cameo.   I flipped him horizontally, to create the second bunny — and sized them to about 6″.  Repeat the cutting process above, and cut out your two bunny appliqués!  (Don’t you love how crisp & clean the appliqué is cut??)  Now you are all ready to sew.

At Your Sewing Machine

I first created the borders, using a row of 7 blocks across the top & the bottom, and 5 blocks down the sides.  Stitch the blocks together, using a 1/4 seam allowance.   Press the seam allowances open as you go.  These blocks, treated with Terial Magic, go together so quickly & accurately!  There is no stretching of the fabric or shifting.   Terial Magic acts as a stabilizer, not only when you cut, but when you stitch!

Once my borders were complete, I cut a 12×12″ block for my center background (which will be trimmed down later) — and placed all of my pieces down to get an idea of where I wanted them to go.   Place your bunnies in the center of the block.  (Take a picture on your phone of your layout, just in case you get interrupted!)   

Once I have everything where I want it, I sprayed the backside of the bunnies with a little temporary fabric spray adhesive (Sulky KK200) and put them back in the center of the block.   At my sewing machine, I used a tiny blanket stitch to secure them.   Again, with the bunnies treated with Terial Magic, there is no need for extra stabilizer when you stitch.  If you don’t have a blanket stitch on your machine, you can use a tiny zig zag stitch, or even a straight stitch to appliqué the bunnies in place.  If your machine has a “needle down” setting, I recommend you use that — so that you can easily navigate the small curves on these bunnies.

Once the bunnies are appliquéd in place, cut your center block down to 10 1/2″ square, keeping the bunnies centered.  Now, sew your two side borders to the block, and then the top & bottom — You are almost done!

Cut a backing that is 14 1/2″ square.  Layer your completed block with a layer of thin batting, and backing.   Since this is such a small mini quilt, quilting the center block is not necessary — but of course, you can if you want!   I simply straight stitched “in the ditch” around the center block.


To cut the fabric for the binding, I cut strips 2 1/2″ x 18 (because I’m working with fat quarters).   You will need a total of 56″ to go around your quilt, plus a few extra inches to miter the corner finish off the beginning & end, so cut your number of strips accordingly.   You can use your favorite binding method.   If you need a little help with this, I highly recommend the Ultimate Quilt Binding Tutorial from Missouri Star Quilts.

And now you are done!!!  I love making seasonal Mini Quilts because they are fast & you can change them out often!

And to make this tutorial even better — the folks that make Terial Magic (Imagination Interational), have given us (5) 16 oz bottles of Terial Magic to give away!!!  You can enter through the Widget below — and increase your chances by visiting our Facebook page — and comment & share!  5 winners will be chosen randomly, and I will announce the winners on Monday, March 26th.   Terial Magic will be shipped to those winners from the company.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And that’s not all!!  (Do I sound like an infomercial??)   As a special “thank you” to the readers of Terri Johnson Creates, they have given us a discount code of 25% off any Terial Magic product — March 19-25, 2018.  Use the code ThanksTerri to take advantage of this discount!!!  This discount code is good for one week only!!


I hope you enjoyed this first installment in “Sewing with Silhouette”!   The next sewing post will be How to Design & Cut Half Square Triangles – with a free Cut file & pattern!  Watch for it soon!

Until next time


FYI – This post may contain affiliate advertising. This means that if you click a link in the post, I may make a commission based on your purchase. The price you pay for the product or service is not higher, and the commissions I earn allow me to keep sharing tutorials & info with you!


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  1. Jayme Coonce says

    wonderful tutorial and super cute project!

  2. Love this blog post, Terri! It is exactly what I taught in my class last week. Beautiful fabric combination! I can hardly wait to read the rest of the series!

  3. I like how crisp the pieces are

  4. I love this tutorial! It made me want to make my own wall hanging right away! Great job! Such a cute project!

  5. Cathy Hansen says


  6. I’m excited for this new series! I enjoy sewing and using my silhouette so it will be fun too learn more about using them together.

  7. Heather Hudson says

    This is so pretty! thank you for the inspiration! I am excited to try sewing again, will share with a local sewing group I have joined.

  8. Laura Stevenson says

    Thank you! Terri this is great- getting ready to start a quilt and to make a little girls shirt with a sunflower- this will come in handy!!!! I have a lot learn- I am a self taught sewer and quilter!

  9. Wendy Burkhouse says

    Thanks for this blog topic. Applique using the Cameo is the one reason I purchased the Cameo in the first place. Thanks of for the help.

  10. Carolyn Rollberg says

    Thank you! I’m going to try this.

  11. Carolyn Rollberg says

    Do you use a fabric blade in the cameo or the regular blade?

    • Carolyn — Great question & I realized that I left that info out of the blog. So, I have updated it to include the following information.
      “I often get questions about whether or not I use the fabric blade — and I usually do! Just to let you know, the blue Silhouette fabric blade & regular ratchet blade are the same. They are simply color coded so that you can keep them separate. Just like your good Gingher scissors are kept only for fabric, its smart to keep a blade just for fabric. Paper & vinyl will dull your blade much quicker. Now, in this example, I actually used the AutoBlade and selected the setting for “Fabric, Thin like cotton”. Personally, I LOVE the AutoBlade, and at the rest of it getting dull with other mediums, I just stocked up on AutoBlades when they were on sale!”

  12. I bought my cameo because I want to use it to cut Applique’s for 2 McKenna Ryan quilt kits that I own, so this series is perfect! Thanks

  13. Jane Waite says

    I bought my cameo because I want to use it to cut Applique’s for 2 McKenna Ryan quilt kits that I own, so this series is perfect! Thanks

  14. You’ve inspired me. I want to start quilting and mini quilts might just build my confidence up without overwhelming me. Thank you!

    • Sharia — Mini quilts are a great way to start! Be sure to let me know how it goes & share pictures on the Terri Johnson Creates Facebook page!

  15. Shannon Thomas says

    So excited to get this method!

  16. Elizabeth Griffin says

    Great tutorial! I’m excited to try it out!

  17. Elizabeth Griffin says

    Great tutorial! I’m excited to try it out! Thank you for sharing

  18. Carrie Jones says

    I have been looking forward to this! I love my Cameo and love sewing, but have not combined the two yet! Thank you, I can’t wait to try this!

  19. Thanks so much for the info!

  20. I can’t wait to give it a try

  21. Judi Corrado says

    I’m looking forward to this series! Thank you.

  22. Thank, Terri, for the clear tutorial. Cute project, too.

  23. It looks pretty easy. Must try the Terial spray!!

    Thanks for the information!!!

  24. Thank you for the detailed instructions for using Terial Magic and cutting with the Silhouette. Can’t wait to give it a try

  25. Elizabeth says

    Thank you for showing how to do this! I was looking for info on how to use the Cameo to cut appliques for embroidery.

  26. I just used Terial Magic a few months ago and it worked really well. My cameo cut it like a dream

  27. Debi Farrell says

    I don’t do a lot with the Cameo and fabric, but this makes me want to try. I’m not a quilter either, but I can probably handle a small one like this

  28. Jennifer Ruck says

    Thank you for this tutorial! I’m just starting out with my Silhouette and I’m excited to try cutting fabric with it!

  29. Christina says

    Thanks Terri. Would love to try to start making quilts and using my dusty sewing machine again. You inspire me . Looking forward to this series.

  30. Tammy Jones says

    Thank you so much for teaching this technique! I love learning new ways to use my Cameo.

  31. I am so excited to follow this series, thank you, Terrie!

  32. Sandy Wootten says

    Very cute. Going to try this tomorrow

  33. What a cute project Terri! I’m going to like and share the FB page with a bestie who is a wonderful quilter. I can show her a Silhouette is not just for me and my Christmas cards she enjoys so much! Look forward to this series!

  34. Dale Fulton says

    Can’t wait until I can try this!

  35. Victoria Wilson says

    I have material and the spray – now just have to set aside time to give it a try. You make it look so easy! 🙂

  36. Thank you for the detailed post on how to prepare and cut fabric. I agree that this may take a little longer, but the accuracy will matter in the long run. I have a book of quilting motifs that I trace onto tracing paper and then cut so this will be much easier on my hands.

  37. Thank you for this tutorial:)

  38. Thank you for this tutorial:) Now, I just need to get busy!

  39. Thanks so much for this and your future sewing with Silhouette blog posts.

  40. Sheryle J Augustine says

    Love this technique! Works great with tricky blocks like hexagons. Thanks for the contest.

  41. Debbie Mitchell says

    I am so excited to try this! Thanks Terri.

  42. I’m really excited for this series! I have been cutting appliqué shapes for machine embroidery for several years but I’m excited to try more projects without the HNBL plus cutting quilt squares—genius! Thank you for all your wonderful information!

  43. Thanks for a great tutorial.

  44. Betty Davis says

    Terri. Your tutorial is amazing. I have quilted for years but never thought the cut out my squares with the Silhouette. Will definitely be doing that in the future! Tutorials like this get me excited to get back into embroidery. Thanks for this tutorial. Today will be an excellent day to start a mini wall hanging using your technique! First day of spring and they’re calling for snow!!!

  45. Dottie Gentry says

    Thank you so much for this series!!! This has been so much help for me as I am currently working on a project that this will help. Genius! Also, when appliqueing do you put the feed dogs down or keep them up? Have sewed all my life, but never done quilting until now.

  46. Thank you for sharing!

  47. Terrific tutorial! Great product!

  48. Kathleen Picon says

    Thank you for sharing. Will have to share with my girlfriend who is starting to quilt but is afraid of cutting wrong. I will also give this a try. I am starting to get “arthritis” in my hands and cutting with scissors is difficult sometimes. This will help me greatly.

  49. I have only used fabric once with my silhouette. I think I need to use it more often! Such a fun way to use the machine!

  50. I happen to love Terial Magic! This is great to see that they offer the larger bottle of it, since I am almost out of it! Those bunnies are just darling, too, Terri! Thanks so much.

  51. Kathy Serrahn says

    Awesome project!!!!!

  52. I am excited about this! What a cute project!

  53. Mary alexander says

    Thank you Terri

  54. Tawn Deavers says

    I love to sew and embroider….now I need to learn to quilt!! Thank you, Terri.

  55. Eve Hutchison says

    Thank you so much. I am new to the Silhouette and appreciate all the help I can get. You did a wonderful job with the tutorial.

  56. Steph Morinville says

    What a great idea!!

  57. This is so cute ! thanks for the bunny file, cant wait to try !

  58. I’ve been waiting for this information — thanks!

  59. I’ve never tried cutting fabric, but it looks interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  60. What a neat product! Thanks for the introduction, and a really nice review!

  61. I really enjoyed your blog post using Silhouette to cut your quilt squares.
    One of the main things about quilting, is to minimize stretching of fabrics.
    Terial sounds like a great product! Thank you for sharing!
    Have a wonderful day!

  62. Terri, he explanation(s) of the process for cutting with the Cameo and Terial Magic are excellent and easy to follow. There are a few steps I had missed when I tried before, so I am definitely going to try this. Love this blog!!

  63. Thank you for the tutorial. I bought the Cameo because I am a quilter. I mainly use it for applique and cutting embroidery files. Now I’ll be able to cut things like triangle in a square blocks, which my next quilt has over 100 of. Great timing for this information.

  64. I first learned about terial magic spray through blog. Thanks! It has helped make cutting fabric easier on my silhouette.

  65. Cathie Vaughn says

    Always love your tutorials and tips. And fabric cutting for appliques was why I bought the cameo too!

  66. Pam Sullaway says

    Thanks for the information. I need to get some of this!!

  67. I’ve had the cutest fabric since I got my machine but have been too intimidated to try it out. THANK YOU! I have only heat & bond and didn’t think I knew how to use it correctly. This seems like a way easier process. Can’t wait to get some and try it out!

  68. Great tutorial! Thanks!

  69. Virginia Blevins says

    Thank you for the tutorial! I’ve wanted to try Terrial Magic! I’ve looked for it at several craft stores. I’d really LOVE to win some though!!! 🙂 Thank you again!
    Blessings in Jesus’ Name

  70. I’m adding this to my shopping list! I’ve always wanted to cut fabric with my Silhouette but never tried. I even have their stabilizer and just haven’t done it. This looks so much better.

  71. Kimberly O'Donoghue says

    I originally bought my Silhouette to do just this and I’ve yet to try cutting fabric, have cut just about everything else. You’re motivating me to do so ty!

  72. Peggy Dilbone says

    Love it Terri! Thanks sew much for sharing! Love the project. Such a clever use of the silhouette. Hugs, Peggy

  73. MelNussbaum says

    Love the tutorial!! Thanks Terial magic for the giveaway!! You are the best Terri!!

  74. WOW, I had no idea you cut fabric on the Silhouette. Love this idea. Thank you so much!!!

  75. Shanon Davis says

    The Terial Magic looks interesting. Just might have to purchase and try.

  76. Trudie Case says

    I can’t wait to try this for appliqué on my embroidery machine! Love it.

  77. Patricia Richter says

    Hi Terri. Thank you for this tutorial. I love quilting but have not tried cutting fabric yet. You inspired me today.
    Thank you

  78. I’m excited to read this series. The stabilizer sounds very interesting!

  79. I am anxious to try Terial Magic. I don’t like the feel of adhesive stabilizers. I am looking forward to your new blog.

  80. Rosana Trinidad says

    Beautiful finished block. The Terial Magic is something new to me, I would love to win something so useful for my projects. Thanks for the information.

  81. What a great product, thanks for the demo!

  82. So excited for your new series. Even more excited to see you active and healed, Terri! Blessings. p.s. thanks for the coupon & the contest.

  83. Thank you for this post and for the info about Terial Magic. I am interested in trying it instead of using heat and bond. Also thanks for the tutorial and the darling bunnies!

  84. Alice Schlafman says

    Thank you Terri! I love this product for using on fabric.

  85. Helen Coletti says

    Thank you Terri! Although I do not quilt I do sew and embroider and craft. This technique would be applicable for all of the above. I can’t wait to meet you when you come to Georgia!

  86. Teresa Whitehead says

    Thanks Terri for the great tutorial! I love my cameo that I bought at your shop. Sure do miss you guys!

  87. Mame Johnston says


    I’m so happy you have felt well enough to do this tutorial. My original reason for the purchase of my Cameo was to use it to cut fabric and I have yet to do it two years + later, LOL! I love your choice of fabrics, too. I have every collection of Summer Breeze that Moda ever made, I think. It’s just a fabric that speaks to my soul. Thanks again for posting this and I will continue to pray for your healing.

  88. Thank you for the tutorial. Can’t wait to try it.

  89. Nicki Lundeen says

    Love this tutorial, and I can’t wait for the rest. Is there a way to program your sewing machine (I have a Brother sewing/embroidery machine as well) to do the stitching around the applique or can you only do it freehand?

  90. Great tutorial! You covered every detail for those of us who aren’t pros at this sewing thing. I love the idea of mini quilts! I think I’ll try one soon. Thanks, Terri! I’ll be keeping an eye on this series for more neat ideas and instructions.👍🏼

  91. Suzie Riggin says

    Love Terial Magic!

  92. Debbie Dolan says

    Great tutorial. I think I’ll have to try the Terial magic.

  93. Christina in SW FL says

    Wow, what a thorough tutorial, thank you! Terial Magic looks like a completely magical product!!! I am not fond of fused applique so I am excited to get started with this idea this weekend. Ooo come here my little picscan mat! 🙂

  94. Lola Fields says

    Can’t wait to try this.

  95. Stephanie S. says

    This tutorial was great and can not wait to try out the product.

  96. Becky Ethington says

    Well, honestly, it looks like a bunch of extra steps and I could just cut it myself in less or equal time, but I am willing to try it. I have a Silhouette but haven’t used it to cut fabric yet. I guess it’s a good thing since I didn’t know I needed a stabilizer!

  97. I’ve never tried or even heard of this product but it sounds like it would make all the difference in the world when it comes to cutting out fine line patterns. Fingers crossed.

  98. alice Minx says

    My sister would love this. She sews the most amazing things.

  99. My daughter is getting a sewing machine for her 8th birthday from my mom, and they need this. Thank you!

  100. Great tutorial Terri! I bought my first cameo from you at an Applique & Embroidery conference a few years ago, but haven’t tried cutting fabric with it. Excited to try this! Looking forward to seeing you in the fall.

  101. Jolene Fails says

    Wow! Life changer! It sounds like an amazing product. I’ll have to try it. And your quilt is darling!

  102. Toni Sprouse says

    I am so glad you introduced me to this product. What a great way to avoid the frustration of frayed edges!!


  1. […] Its just that easy!  Once you have designed your quilt block & have decided how many blocks you want to make, you are ready to cut your fabric!  Simply stabilizer your fabric by preparing it as described in the last blog post, using Terial Magic […]