The kit comes with a set of four cutwork needles - each color-coded needle has a "chisel" point angled in a different direction.
Click here to see the Cutwork Needle Kit in action.
This is design #17 from PFAFF collection #441 - Creative Cutwork. These designs can be stitched using the Cutwork Needle Kit, or cut with scissors like traditional cutwork designs. The benefit to the Cutwork Needles is you don't have to remove the hoop and trim out all those tiny areas by hand.
Embroidery designs digitized to use the Cutwork Needles have teeny tiny running stitch lines (0.3mm) programmed to follow the area that is to be cut out. When you get to that color stop, you remove the regular needle and insert the correct Cutwork Needle and the design continues.
To begin, we hooped some black fabric and Inspira Whisper Web mesh stabilizer. I love using Whisper Web - it's a polyester mesh cutaway and it supports the embroidery nicely, drapes well, and doesn't have to be removed - although, you can cut away the excess if you wish. I often sew it into my quilt projects. When you wash away the water-soluble stabilizer that we'll talk about later, the Whisper Web will hold up after rinsing (unlike tear-away stablizer). The designs in this collection are all running stitches and satin stitches, so they don't require lots of extra stabilizer.
Color #5 prompts you for the yellow Cutwork Needle and runs around the same cutwork areas. The yellow needle's point is angled a different direction and helps ensure that the edge is cut completely.
Designs that will have satin stitches covering the cut edges (like this one) use only the first two needles.
Designs that leave the cut edges raw use all four needles - each needle cutting bits of the line at different angles to give you a cleaner edge (this is best for materials that don't fray, such as felt, vinyl, paper, etc.) Designs that use all four needles cannot be rotated or mirrored because that would change the angles and mess up the cutting.
After the cutting is done, leave the cutouts in place and slip a piece of water-soluble stabilizer under the hoop - Color #6 will baste the new stabilizer to the top fabric and run a tack-down stitch around the cutwork edges. The water-soluble stabilizer will support the satin stitches as they are sewn over the cutwork edges. (In our example, we added a bottom layer of contrasting fabric instead of stablizer. This gives us an interesting reverse-applique effect and doesn't have to be washed out at the end!) Leaving the cutouts in place during this basting step will support the cut edges and help keep the securing stitch from distorting them.
Color #7 sews the satin stitches around the leaves and Color #8 sews satin stitches around the flowers.
After that, you just need to remove the basting stitches, wash out the water soluble stabilizer, and your cutwork piece is ready for finishing!
Here's the final project with backing, batting, crystals, and a simple fused binding added:
The Embroidery Cutwork Needle Kit includes a package of four color-coded Inspira Cutwork Needles, a Multi-Purpose Tool for inserting the needles (identical to the tool that comes with the CV and Diamond machines, but thoughtfully provided for older machines that didn't come with one.), an instruction booklet, and a CD with designs, instructions, templates, video, and a very handy tip sheet.The original run of kits has an error in the printed instruction booklet. The color coding of the needles is listed in reverse. PFAFF has said this will be corrected in subsequent printings.
The correct Needle order is:
Needle #1 - Red
Needle #2 - Yellow
Needle #3 - Green
Needle #4 - Blue
Also, the five designs on the CD that comes with the Kit do not have securing tabs programmed in them to keep the cutouts from falling out until you clip them away. PFAFF has provided updated versions of the five kit designs for Dealers to download and distribute.