Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Slice Fabrique Product Review

Edited 3/3/11*

The Slice Fabrique arrived here at IHAN headquarters yesterday and those who have pre-ordered them, they are on the way!! 

I'm going to do a review and I'm warning you it is a long post with more photos than probably should be here...but if I do it by video camera...I have to wait for Mr. McSteamy to edit and post....well....it may be awhile....so go to the bathroom now, turn off the oven, get a drink and then you might be ready :)

Please don't make any conclusions until you read the entire post.  I will link it to the side bar on this blog under Product Reviews in case you want to read it another time.

Since I'm as good of an "anybody" as anyone else, I decided to give it a whirl.  This is the box....

and this is what is inside.  It comes with everything you see here: Slice Fabrique Cordless Fabric Cutter, 6 x 6 tempered glass cutting mat, power cord, reposition able adhesive, foam brush, 3 replacement blades, blade adjustment wrench, applique basics design card, user manual and 3 6 x 6 fusible web sheets.

You might notice there is a "Quick Start Guide" (upper right).  I figured that must be the way to go because who wants to drag out the process....giddy up go baby.
First thing, paint some adhesive on the glass cutting mat -CHECK (let it dry 2 min)
Run over and iron the Slice Fusible onto a piece of fabric - CHECK
Set the button to Applique  - CHECK
Press the Cut Button on the Side - CHECK
Cut out the letter I - CHECK
Press the button and select the letter H and press cut CHECK
Then repeat for the letter N - CHECK  (wonder what I'm spelling don't ya?  I didn't think so...easy one to guess.)
Here is a close up of the right side of the fabric.  You can barely see where the N is until I did a close up photo.
 
Here is the back side.

Neat isn't it?  Then you peal off the paper backing and press with a hot iron (no steam).
These are like stickers, you have to pull off the paper backing.  I had no trouble removing the paper backing,  but if you have a manual dexterity problem this may be very difficult.
I wanted to conserve space on my fabric and cut out more than one letter but I could not figure out how to place the cutter so I could maximize the fabric.  I only have the 3 pieces of Slice Fusible Web that was included with the cutter.  I read the Users Manual and there is no mention of  how to place the fabric on the cutting pad so you can get more than one cut out of the fabric.  Which makes me wonder, why the measuring lines on the glass cutting pad?  What difference does it make if you can't line it up to get another design cut. 

Now I'm thinking to myself, perhaps there are tips and additional information on the Making Memories Website.  On their website there is a Quick Start Guide posted  so I looked to see if it was the same one that just came in my brand new, just released, Slice Fabrique.  The information they have there is not the same as I have enclosed in my box.  This must be for the other Slice Cutters.  There was  no additional information to help me trouble shoot.  There is a phone number and yes I obviously can phone them....but for now, my job is to be the "average person" and do what everyone else does....open the box and start using your Slice Fabrique....isn't that what most people do?

At this point I have used  2 of the Slice Fusible Web sheets that came with my Slice Fabrique Starter Set, so I figured I would do a test of some other fusible that I had handy. 


and lastly, Steam-A-Seam 2.   Keep in mind there are many paper backed fusible I did not have handy...you could also try Heat and Bond.  I did not have any handy.  

I decided to refer to the Slice Fabrique Fabric Cutter Users Manual because I had read in the Quick Start Guide under" Step 8 - Additional Tips: #2 For thicker materials, be sure to adjust your blade housing 3/4" of a a turn to the left (counter-clockwise).  This lowers the blade to allow Slice Fabrique to cut through thicker materials." 
Being somewhat normal, I could not figure out what they were talking about in the Quick Start Guide.  No where did they mention anything about the "blade housing" much less how one would turn anything.  I made an educated decision and referred to the Users Manual.  I do not understand why they would have a "Quick Start" booklet when really....you have to refer to the Users Manual to really understand what you are doing.  My opinion....waste of paper. 
This is when the whole operation stops.  Now I have to understand what they are saying in the Users Manual. 
Page 12 Basic Operations
Step 5 Turning On Slice Fabrique - CHECK
Step 6: Homing the Blade (for initial use) No CHECK 
"6.1 Press Menu button.  The menu screen appears with the Settings option highlighted. "  Not mine, mine started with the "Applique" highlighted....see photo below....if you are thinking the darkened in Applique means highlighting....then it would reason that if you pushed the Menu button the homing the blade would appear....it doesn't.  I turned off the machine and restarted the sequence to be sure I had not messed something up (operator error)...the same thing happened.  (no operator error...at least not that I can figure.)


Ok, onward...the Blade is now "homed" - CHECK

I selected a little car design.  As you can see it cut the paper but not the fabric. I remembered Step 8.2
Then I went back to Step 8.2 (copied from above) Step 8 - Additional Tips: #2 For thicker materials, be sure to adjust your blade housing 3/4" of a a turn to the left (counter-clockwise).   No photos of this in the Users Manual....and no photos of how to change the blade either.  I'm a visual person....what can I say

 
The fabric was scored but not cut through.
So, I used my trusty Dovo scissors (they have the sharpest and finest point).  No worries....I got the little car free.  But I thought the Slice Fabrique was going to cut it all the way through.....hmmmmm.  I remember reading about adjusting the blade....time to refer back to the manual.... 

Then I went back to Step 8.2 (copied from above) Step 8 - Additional Tips: #2 For thicker materials, be sure to adjust your blade housing 3/4" of a a turn to the left (counter-clockwise).

So I figured out how to turn the blade to raise it so it will make contact with the fabric...that took me a few minutes to figure this out.  I did exactly as they suggested and moved on to the fabric with Steam-A-Seam 2.


 
Same result....it cut the paper but not he fabric.  By now you can imagine my frustration.  Either I'm doing something wrong or the Slice Fabrique won't work with other fusible.  I keep moving on.....
This time the screen says "Shadow"....I don't want the shadow....I want the 4 inch Car I had cut the first time.  I could not change the setting so I did what I figured most folks would do....turned it off and back on.  Still the Shadow.  Next I pushed the menu button and the arrow buttons to see if perhaps I'm just "slow".....

I start to see these screens....go figure....no mention of this in the Users Manual....ok...none of my business I guess....keep moving.....
The Users Manual (Step 7 Setting the Cutting Speed) does say to adjust the speed of cutting to low or medium  or high.  The low and medium speed is for using embossing tips.  Oddly enough....mine only has two settings....low and high.

Ok, time to use my last remaining piece of Slice Fusible Web....I should have stocked up...LOL  At this point I was thinking it was the other fusible webs that just would not work....I was wrong. 

 

 
The cutter would not cut through the Slice Fusible Web on the fabric either.  So...I've adjusted the blade just as the instructions indicated....did it three times to be sure I was doing it correctly.  Ok...forget it....I'm installing a new blade and if it doesn't work....then I know it is the cutter and not me.....
PERFECTION!!! 
Not only with the Slice Fusible Web....but also with the Steam-A-Seam Lite and Steam-A-Seam 2. 

(After I wrote this entire review...I went to You Tube....and of course I might have noticed that I was supposed to have the fabric facing up....well my, my, my....guess I caused a great deal of my own frustration!  So you may ask....why didn't I just erase the above and skip to the chase?  Because I report what I find and what I've done.  Mistakes is how we learn sometimes and it may help the Making Memories folks see what us "regular untrained folks" do...not to mention what other people might do too!  :)


and the Wonder Under....HURRAY!!! 

Gotta love when you get it right :)



I think this is an excellent video and you should definitely watch it first, even before referring to the Owners Manual.

Even after my initial frustrations and some things not being clear....I still think the Slice Fabrique is a great way to cut appliques and alphabet (from 1 inch to 4 inches in 1/2 inch increments).  Talk about easy hexagons for Grandmas Flower Garden...you can even cut the paper templates and then the fabric...gotta love that!  English paper piecing just got a whole lot easier!!!  Embellishing children's clothing with their names....that will be very fun!! 
Cutting blades and design cards are interchangeable, that is great if you already have one or find a sale on them.  Some designs are more intricate and are meant for paper and not fabric so keep that in mind when you are looking at the design cards.
The Slice Fabrique is really light weight, the cutter alone weighs 1 lb 13 oz here on my postal scale.  The design cards are small like a camera card which I find convenient.  It would be a good idea to store them carefully so you don't loose them.
Just a reminder for those with manual dexterity issues....you might want to try a friends first to see if you have any problems.
I have no reservations about recommending the Slice Fabrique....definitely a good investment if you like applique.
 Edit:  Since I mentioned Grandmothers Flower Garden the question came up....do you have to use fusible because most of us don't fuse our Grandmothers Flower Garden....darn good question Jenn!!!
No, it will not cut just the fabric....however....I did spray some 505 Temp Adhesive on a piece of fabric and then put a piece of copy paper on the back...cut perfectly.  Thanks Jenn!!  Anyone else have any questions or recommendations...e-mail me at ihaveanotion@yahoo.com   Thanks !

Kelly

19 comments:

  1. Thanks for another awesome review...Now if my main point of buying a sizzix or accuquilt product would be hexagons, should I just get the slice? Or would it take more time and effort?

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  2. Great post Kelly. I do love the Slice and Slice Fabrique. I'm very excited to see the new memory cards for quilters, that were introduced with the Slice Fabrique. And I expect more to come soon. I also love the larger cutting board for ease of cutting. Have had good luck with a variety of stablizers, but sometimes need to remove paper on paper backed adhesives. Detail is amazing and I love that alphabet fonts come included on so many memory sets.

    SewCalGal
    www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

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  3. Wonderful review and it always something simple that we don't think about that messes us up;)

    Debbie

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  4. That certainly was a very detailed post....I appreciate the time you put into it and all of the information and honesty.

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  5. Kelly, I'm just the opposite of you, I read and re-read the instructions and get too nervous to take something out of the box. I had my embroidery machine for a YEAR before I summoned up the courage to start it at home, lol!

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  6. Kelly - Thanks for the GREAT review, cool tool! What will be next??? Quilting Apps for your cell phone...I bet they have them:) Hey I opened an Etsy shop, kind of excited:) (Link on my blog) Wanted to share with my blogging friend. Talk to you soon, hope all is good in your world!

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  7. great review! and I agree, mistakes are part of the learning process! it looks like a very handy tool.

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  8. Thanks for a great review, Kelly. I appreciate all the detail you gave...I have to add this to my wish list for Christmas now!
    Jacque in SC
    quiltnsrep(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  9. Thank you for the great tutorial and information. I would have gotten too frustrated with the lack of directions. I think for right now I will stick with my Sizzix Big Shot that you had such great info on.

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  10. While I'm notin the market for one of these machines, this is a wonderful, comprehensive review.

    Hope all is well up there. (pointing North and waving atcha!)

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  11. Kelly, I just can't tell you how much I (and I'm sure many others) appreciate your product reviews! I know how busy life can be with two young boys, so the time you invest testing and then reporting on these different items is precious. I just wanted you to know that your work does not go by unappreciated! :o)

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  12. I'm really glad that you left all of that stuff in the blog review, as that stuff is exactly what I would have done!! It definitely looks like a cute and handy tool for cutting, but I think that I'd be concerned about getting the most out of my fabric too. Did you figure out how to cut down on the waste yet?

    The mat that guy had in the video was a lot larger than the one that came with your tool. Is that an option that you can buy, or can you use any sheet of glass?

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  13. Wow! This machine looks awesome! I think this is the cutting tool I want! I love the fonts and older kids designs. It looks like a time saver and a great value.

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  14. Very nice review--that's exactly how it happens in the real world! I wasn't aware of this new tool. Thank you for all the information.

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  15. Thanks for putting the entire experience out there...I am not anywhere near as patient as you are and suspect I would have quilt halfway through, so I'm so glad you figured it out so the rest of us could learn how.

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  16. Wow never heard of this product thanks for the demo.

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  17. Wow. I'm doing a crossword puzzle quilt and this would be tempting -- if I hadn't already started on my letters....

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  18. The slice fabrique is great (or you can use any elite slice machine) but don't compare it to the Accuquilt Go Cutter, completely different really because the slice will only cut small shapes. If you want larger pieces for applique and patchwork piecing then the Accuquilt is the way to go (a lot more investment mind you)

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  19. How helpfull I need to cut letters for a church banner and your information was a blessing. Thanks so much.

    Jeanine

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Thank you for reading the IHAN Blog. I read every comment that is left here however I will not be responding to all coments for giveaways. There are times when I am juggling many tasks at one time and may not reply to all comments. Please e-mail me at IHaveANotion@yahoo.com if you need a reply quickly. I thank you for your understanding.
Smiles,
Kelly

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