Win $25 GC and a Subscription to VDBC!!! Now CLOSED!

Congratulations to Visual Designs by Chris and her team of designers! They are celebrating three years of providing cutting files to all of you wonderful customers creating magic with your machines!

To celebrate this 3rd Anniversary of www.visualdesignsbychris.com, I am offering a $25 gift certificate to www.knkusa.com AND Chris is donating a Qmc “The Gift” which is a set of 15 cutting files focused on gifts you can give for this holiday season or throughout the year:

Here are a few project ideas using files from this membership:

The winner will be selected randomly from those who post a comment HERE to THIS post today. Note that I will need to approve the posts and will do so as quickly as I see them. As long as your post makes it to my approval section by midnight PDT, it will qualify. I will then draw the name of the winner Sunday and announce in a new post! Good luck to all!

And don’t forget to then head over to VDBC to see the adorable cutting files available by Chris and her designers. Also, click on the Forum there to join in on more celebrations this weekend!

Happy Anniversary, VDBC!

Make-The-Cut Hot Keys Plus Reasons #10, #11, #12


Oops! Been a while since I posted about Make-The-Cut! Now that the Denver Retreat is complete and I’ve had a chance to catch up on the umpteen To Do items that were postponed because of the retreat, I can now get back to this site and the 25 reasons to check out MTC! Now that Andy has released a new beta 4.0 of MTC, the list is growing, so expect it to be at least 30 reasons by the time I have the MTC User Manual completed and our new Zing is released!

But first… I have a hot key list for MTC now ready to share. This will go into the user manual, but since it’s mostly complete, I wanted to go ahead and make it available to all of my readers. Here’s the link:

MTC Shortcut Keys

And now for three more reasons to check out MTC:

Reason #10 Rhinestone Feature

MTC’s Rhinestone window provides an automatic way to outline your vector shapes or do a horizontal fill using the circle size you choose, along with the spacing. Additionally you can preview the results before accepting and also see the circle count in this same window:

Video of Rhinestone Feature in MTC

Regarding the tweaking of the designs, MTC has short cut keys set up for top (T), bottom (B), right (R) and left (L) alignment, as well as equal vertical ([) and equal horizontal (]) spacing. I also really like the new Esc hotkey to unselect all images.

Reason #11 Path Thinning

Path thinning is the same thing as Center Line Tracing in KNK Studio and other vector programs. It converts a thick line shape into a single line, such as shown above in the image of the glasses. This can greatly simplify some rhinestone designs, especially lettering, as shown in the video below. It can also be handy when pens or markers are going to be used for drawing images and/or lettering.

Thin Paths Feature in MTC

Reason #12 The Font Name Is Automatically Listed in the Layers List

How many times do we forget the name of the font we used in a design? Well, MTC has a solution for that! When you type new text, the name of the font will be assigned as the name of the layer! This was a brilliant feature to include in a program that is used by those who love to collect the thousands of free fonts available on the Internet!

Click on the image to see the fonts names that were assigned for each text I typed:

Speaking of collecting fonts, here are some of my favorite sites to grab free fonts:

http://www.dafont.com/

http://dingbatdepot.com/

http://www.urbanfonts.com/

http://simplythebest.net/fonts/

http://www.acidfonts.com/

If you’re ready to take the plunge to Make-The-Cut, here’s the link to MTC in my own store:

http://www.iloveknk.com/products-page-2/make-the-cut/

You will receive an activation pin for registering MTC and your registration number will work for all of your computers. Other videos for MTC are now available at this link:

MTC Support

And the first detailed on-line User Manual will be available within about 3 – 4 weeks!

3 “WOW” Make The Cut Features!

Lattice, Jigsaw Puzzle Generator, and Conical Warp

In my continuing series of 25 reasons to check out MTC, I have quite a show for you today! Three features in Make The Cut provide some out-of-the ordinary designing functions that may be of interest to many of you. I’ve made videos for all of them and I encourage you to download the trial version of MTC and play along! So, getting started….

Reason #7: Lattice Feature

This simple-to-use feature involves selecting your shape and then clicking on the Lattice icon on the Magic Toolbar. The following window opens and you can begin playing with the various settings:

As with most other features in Make The Cut, you can see what you’re creating before accepting those settings. In the video, I encourage you to go to the extremes with these settings so you can fully grasp the range of different looks you can achieve with your lattice. I also explain the difference between the regular and the inverse lattice, the latter of the two being the most commonly used in my experience of helping KNK customers in their designing. Note that preferred settings can be saved to apply to future shapes.

Video: Using The Lattice Function

Reason #8: Jigsaw Puzzle Generator

The MTC Jigsaw Puzzle Generator launches as a separate program. First, make sure you have installed Version 3.3.3 of MTC and then click on your Windows start button, select All Programs, and locate your Make The Cut folder. You should find the Jigsaw Puzzle Generator located there and ready to be selected.

Once again, we have a simple-to-use application where you can create a jigsaw puzzle with the options to:

  • Set the overall dimensions of the puzzle (i.e., width and height)
  • Set the row and column numbers of pieces you want, such as 4 x 4 for 16 pieces, 4 x 9 for 36 pieces or even 20 x 50 for 1000 pieces!
  • Round the four corner pieces of the puzzle from 0% to 100%


  • Even further, you can actually modify the shapes of the pieces themselves! By clicking on the Advanced tab and playing with the settings, I was able to create some really wonky looking pieces!


  • Just like with the Lattice feature, settings can be saved for future use. And don’t worry… if you mess up those advanced settings and want to return to the defaults, just close the Jigsaw Puzzle Generator and reopen!

    To then use your jigsaw puzzle design in MTC, you click on the Export Puzzle button, save the design as an SVG file, and then import into MTC. Note that the design can the be resized, if necessary, for your application.

    To see how I used the Jigsaw Puzzle Generator to set up a print and cut application in MTC, watch this video:

    Video: Jigsaw Puzzle Generator

    Reason #9: Conical Warp

    Last but definitely NOT least, have a look at the conical warp feature, which is a new addition to the latest free update of MTC. It was added with two specific designing applications in mind – tumbler wraps and cupcake wrappers. The basic settings involve entering the top and bottom diameters of the object you are wanting to fit your images/lettering to, along with the height of your object. Further, there are settings for shifting your object’s location on the wrap and even resizing (scaling) without returning to the main window:

    But then… wow oh wow… have a look at what happens when you click on the Rolled View tab:

    You get an advanced 3D look at the wrap you’re designing! Further you can still tweak settings in this view and observe the changes! (A personal note to Andy – you outdid yourself on this one, dude!!!) To see in detail how to use the conical warp, watch this video:

    Video: Conical Warp for Tumbler Wrap Designing

    And if you’re into cupcake wrapper designing, then grab Judy Keating’s cupcake wrapper template file, open that up in MTC and then watch my video on how I combined the conical warp feature with her wrapper template and easily created a cupcake wrapper!

    Video: Conical Warp for Cupcake Wrapper Designing

    Finally… warp versus wrap? Yep… two different words! And in all likelihood, I probably got mixed up somewhere in those videos and said “conical wrap” and “tumbler warp!” lol But you know what I meant!

    Stay tuned for more of the list soon. Again, if you’re interested in purchasing Make The Cut, it’s sold for $58.36 under my Shop tab above.

    Reasons 4, 5, and 6- Importing Files into MTC!

    Ready for some more Make The Cut! (MTC) features? Here are three more all related to having more files available and how easy it is to get them into MTC for cutting:

    Reason #4: Make The Cut! will import SVG files and several other formats not available for import into KNK Studio.

    SVG files are readily available on the Internet, both from web stores selling cutting files but also free at many blogs and user forums. MTC will also import SCUT files (created in Sure Cuts A Lot) and the latest AI formats. While KNK Studio does offer a wide range of file import filters, unfortunately SVG and SCUT are not included. Further, AI files must be version 8 in order to easily edited. Newer versions of AI can be troublesome in KNK, but not in MTC!

    It’s very simple to import SVG files: just look for the icon at the top of the screen:

    Reason #5: Make The Cut! comes with over 4500 free cutting files uploaded by users!

    It’s a simple click to bring up a search window where you can not only search by category, date, and tag word, but also by an ID indicating which user uploaded the file! Further, this is a growing database as more and more MTC owners freely share their designs with other owners. Here’s a video to see how this works:

    MTC On-Line Gallery

    Reason #6: You can copy and paste images, text, and notes directly from KNK Studio to Make The Cut!

    This one is extremely important because the new KNK Zing will come with Make The Cut! software and I know that KNK owners will want to be able to cut their existing .knk files as well as continue using KNK Studio for some of the designing functions they’ve already been using for years. No problem! The copy and paste is very simple to do.

    I was especially happy to see that you can also continue using those 1300 fonts that came on your KNK Clipart and Fonts CD and copy/paste text you’ve just typed directly over to MTC, even though MTC cannot install these particular font formats. Further, if you use the Notes function in KNK Studio, you can also copy/paste this text into a similar Notes function in MTC.

    Here’s a video showing how easily these three copy/paste situations work:

    Converting From .KNK to .MTC

    Make The Cut! uses a layers function to separate images for cutting. This would be used any time you have different colors in a KNK file and specifically need to keep those colors separated fur cutting. For example, a fold-up project with scoring lines could be one instance in which you would want some parts of an image put into a different layer from the rest. Another would be a paper piecing project where one would put all of the images to be cut from each color of cardstock onto separate layers. There could be several ways to do this when converting from KNK to MTC, but here’s my initial recommended method:

    Converting A Multi-Color KNK File to MTC

    Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out my next post in a few days when I’ll present three designing features in Make The Cut! that will make you cry out, “Wow!”

    MTC is sold for $58.36 in my store.