How-To: Using ESK-1 for Cutting Applique Pieces | OLFA - CraftOLFA – Craft

How-To: Using ESK-1 for Cutting Applique Pieces

By Amanda Brown


I’m Amanda from Fabric Heart. I’m a quilter and a sewist who loves bright colors and bold patterns. I have a 9-year-old daughter Alice, who loves to help when I sew but she’s not big on the sewing part. She will help design projects, pick fabrics, and iron for me. I will take any help that I can get. I hope by the end of this summer she can become my quilt baster. It’s my least favorite job.

I was super excited when OLFA sent me an ESK-1 Beginner Craft Knife to try out because I knew it was right up Alice’s alley. I wasn’t wrong, she’s asked me to get her one of her very own. I knew that I could entice her into my sewing studio if I promised her a joint Mother/Daughter project using the ESK-1.

Cutting Fabric with the ESK-1

I started to play around with the ESK-1 Craft Knife to see how it would work with fabric. It worked great on thicker fabrics like felt and canvas but it was a bit tricky to use on lighter fabrics like quilting cottons. I played around with various stabilizers and then I pulled out my giant roll of freezer paper. I love this stuff. You can cut it to size to fit through your printer, it sticks to your fabric when you iron it but it pulls off without leaving a residue and you can use it over and over.

First I tried just one layer of freezer paper with some success. Then I decided to sandwich the fabric between two pieces of freezer paper and I hit the jackpot! It worked like a charm. Not only do the two layers of freezer paper help the fabric cut amazingly, but the thickness of the layers also offers the perfect resistance for a beginner. I called my daughter into my sewing room and I let her have a go. She was in love.

Creating a Craft Together

I told her that I would love to create a project together and she was all in. I figured a nice and quick appliqué piece would be perfect. She could do most of the design and cutting and then help out as much as she wanted throughout the rest of the project. People in our town have been putting rainbow drawings in their front windows and we don’t have front windows we can do this with so we came up with the idea of hanging a rainbow pennant beside our front door.

Alice was able to cut out all the appliqué pieces using the ESK-1 Beginner Craft Knife and helped get everything into place. I couldn’t convince her that she wanted to help with the sewing but I did manage to get her input for all the rest of the design elements. Maybe one day I can convince her that sewing is fun!

Click here for directions to make your own rainbow pennant.

Be sure to follow Amanda on Instagram.