Embroiderers have been using cut work to embellish fabric for centuries. Lace like designs are created by cutting away areas of the fabric and then stitching around the raw edges of the holes with various embroidery stitches to both decorate and prevent the fabric from fraying. The process became a lot quicker with the introduction of embroidery machines. While the stitching was taken care of by the machine, the holes still had to be cut by hand. Now even that is taken care of with special chisel like needles that chop out the shapes. No longer do we have to remove the hoop from the machine.
While originally designed to make the embroidery of cut work designs easier, users of this technology are finding new uses for it in various art and craft applications. One such use is the making of stamps and or stencils. The needles will cut through a number of materials, and the foam sheets you find in craft stores are ideal for cutting out your own stamps, while stencils can be cut from a number of materials including template plastic and freezer paper.
Designs for use with this tool are becoming more plentiful, but you can create your own with software such as the Bernina Cutwork software. Here is a video to show you how to create a simple Bat stamp with the Bernina software and following is a video showing how the stamp is made on your sewing machine. I chose a bat as at the time of writing it is not long until Halloween. This would be a great little project to do with children.
If you would like to buy the bat image to do this project, it is available here. It comes with a Black Cat image and is in the following formats:- .cdr .cmx and .jpeg.