Machine cut mat by Carolyn Sinclair

Carolyn Sinclair is a textile artist/designer and an expert in computer embroidery and software. She recently sent us these photographs of an ingenius new development for embroidery machines with special needles, which can cut; thereby turning an embroidery machine into a creative cutting tool!

Carolyn tells us Bernina (who were the first to introduce this technique), actually developed a tool called the ‘cutwork tool’ with 4 different positions which replaces the normal sewing needle. Bernina patented their invention, so other manufactures have produced 4 needles which do a similar job.

In her own words, Carolyn describes the process –

“I took a piece of Lutradur 130gsm , wet it, then painted it with Derwent Inktense pencils. To set the colour, I ironed the painted Lutradur with a hot iron, as I was going to have to wash it to remove the water-soluble stabiliser.

I created the design in the embroidery software and then transferred it to my Bernina 830 embroidery machine. I hooped plastic water soluble stabiliser to which I attached the painted Lutradur and then embroidered my design.

I then took the needle out and replaced it with the 4 position cutting tool and began to cut out (with amazing accuracy!) the small circular holes, before cutting out the outer edge.

The photographs show how well and cleanly the Lutradur cut. And then of course the final picture is the finished mat, all completed in minutes and cut beautifully.”

Carolyn loves teaching and helping people, so if you would like to learn more about machine embroidery and embroidery software, in a small and friendly group, please email her at –
In the meantime, you can see more of her work by visiting the Bernina Blog. Here’s a link to her most recent post –

by Ruth Morgan | November 11, 2019 | Posted in Lutradur