KNK Studio – My Go-To Software

When I want to create a shape or image to cut on my KNK Maxx Air, I have two software packages that I use.  KNK Studio was bundled with my first KNK cutter – the “Yellow Beast”.  Make the Cut was bundled with my Maxx Air.  Each of the software packages has its strengths and weaknesses.  When I want to create an image to be used as an illustration to be included in some documentation or instructions for a sewing project, I will use my KNK Studio software.

As an example, at my part time job at the sewing machine/quilt fabric store, I taught a class on making appliqued quilt blocks using a machine accessory that sews circles.  Depending on the placement of the center of the circle and the diameter of the circle, a multitude of different patterns can be created.  If you’ve ever played with a compass to draw intersecting circles or the children’s drawing set called Spirograph, you will understand what I am talking about.  Since the sample quilt that we were working from had been created ‘on-the-fly’ there was on documentation as to the dimensions.  I did not know ahead of time that I would be teaching the class.  I quickly made some measurements, and was able to guide the ladies in making the blocks that the class time allowed.  I decided that I would document all of the 9 blocks in the quilt and provide that document to the ladies that had taken the class that day as well as to have it for future sessions of the class.

I had never found a software program for drawing that I was comfortable with until I got KNK Studio (Thank you, KNKUSA!).  Working with it I was able to easily create the diagrams for the documentation for this class.  Once the diagram was created, I saved it using the “Export Image” feature and saved it as a PNG format file which I then opened in Adobe Photoshop Elements to add fills and text.

Follow along with me as I go through the process of creating a diagram.  Here is a picture of the quilt.  I am going to be creating diagrams for two of the blocks:  the bottom left – a four petal flower – and the center block at the right hand edge – a six petal flower.

Quilt-Optimized The finished block size is 7.5 inches.  I began by drawing a square that was 7.5 inches on each side in my KNK Studio software.  I saved this empty square as a separate file since I would be using that as a starting point for all of my diagrams.  I switched the units of measurement on my screen from inches to millimeters.  Sewing machine designers think in metric therefore most of the accessories for the machines have metric measurements rather than inches.  It is really a great feature of the KNK Studio software to be able to switch back and forth while working on the same file.

To create the four petal flower, I drew a circle that was 16 cm (160 mm) in diameter in an area of the screen outside of the square.  I copied that circle so I had two circles of the same size.  I drew horizontal and vertical lines across the square so they intersected at the center of the square.  These lines were used as guide lines.  I could also have used the “Guideline” feature of KNK Studio.

One circle was placed so its right edge was touching the center of the square and the center of the circle was on the horizontal center line of the square.  The second circle was placed so the bottom edge was touching the center of the square and its center was on the vertical center line of the square.


The two circles were selected and welded using the second of the three options (“And”) leaving a petal shape.


A second set of two circles were drawn at 12 cm (120 mm) in diameter and a second, smaller, petal shape was created as a result of another “And” weld in the same manner as the larger petal.  The smaller petal shape was placed inside of the larger one with the points at the center of the square.  The two petals were selected and welded with the third option (“XOR”).


The combined petal was duplicated and rotated around the center of the square to form the four petal flower.  The center vertical and horizontal guide lines were deleted.


This completed the image I wanted for the diagram.  To make the diagram easier to see when included in a document, the measurement units were changed back to inches and the “Stroke and Fill Tools” used to widen all of the lines to 0.050 inches.


The entire image was selected and the “Export Image” function used to create a PNG format file to be inserted into a document.

To create the diagram for the six petal flower, I began with my empty 7.5 inch square, drew a 16 cm (160 mm) circle, and centered the circle in the square (select both items and press ALT + 7).  To mark six evenly spaced points on the edge of the circle, I drew a 6 pointed star which would serve as my guide lines for the next steps.


I drew two more 16 cm (160 mm) circles and positioned them so the edges intersected the 1st circle at two of the star points and overlapped to form a narrow petal shape.


The two circles were selected and welded using the “And” function to create the petal shape.


The petal shape was duplicated and rotated to position it in each of the six points of the star so one end was at the point and the others met in the center.


The star shape and the 1st circle were deleted.  The units of measurement was changed to inches and the lines thickened as for the four petal flower.


All of the image was selected and exported using the “Export Image” function as a PNG format file.

Make the Cut software could also be utilized to create drawing images as well.  The “Shadow Layer” function would be used to make the lines thicker.


Little Card

Making cards on my KNK Maxx Air is always fun and lets me tap into my creative side.  I recently made a card that can be used for many different occasions.  I made it for a friend who was accepting a year long temporary job assignment in another location and I wanted her to know that I would miss her.  I didn’t want anything fancy or wordy or flowery.  So I made her a Little Card with a Big Thought inside.



When closed the card measures 3 1/4″ x 3 1/4″ so it really is a little card.

Materials Used:

Cardstock – white and pink

Double sided adhesive tape

Foam Pop-Dots


KNK 15″ Maxx Air

Thick Materials Blade – Blue Cap

Force – 55, Speed – 80, Blade Offset – .75, 1 pass

Instructions, etc.:

I created the heart border using KNK Studio and Make the Cut software. Because of the small size of some of the cuts, I decided to use the blue blade rather than the standard material blade.  The scalloped center panel on the front of the card, the heart on the inside of the card and the card itself were print-and-cut items.  The score lines on the scalloped panel were added manually since they are scored from the back side of the panel rather than the front.  I used a Martha Stewart Score Board so my lines would be straight and have extra definition.  The scalloped panel was secured to the front of the card with foam Pop-Dots so it would be raised above the surface of the card front.

The following photo shows the placement of the heart inside of the card.  The center fold of the heart is placed on the center fold of the card.  The point of the heart is right at the bottom of the card and the folds towards the top of the heart are almost at the top of the card.  Thus when the card is folded, the heart is completely concealed inside so it is a bit of a surprise when it pops up as the card is opened.  Adhesive should be placed only on the lower portions of the heart that are below the side-to-side fold lines.


To make the presentation a bit more special, I cut an envelope from a sheet of flower printed scrapbook paper using the printed side as the outside of the envelope.  I then cut my friend’s name out of coordinating vinyl instead of writing her name on the envelope.

Files for the card and the envelope can be downloaded by clicking on the link here.  LittleCardCuttingFiles_JudyKay





Stick Your Neck Out with a Popup Card

I recently participated in a card swap in which the theme for the card was animals.  At the time I signed up, Popup Card Studio had not been released but I had already decided that the card I would make was going to be a popup card.  A dear friend had given me a gift of a wonderful book on creating popups and I was determined to learn to use some of the knowledge in the book.  When PCS was released, I revised my plan for the card to include my original popup idea plus a second popup element created in PCS.

This was the finished card incorporating both types of popup.  When the card is closed the giraffe’s head and neck are hidden inside.



Materials Used:

Photo paper – glossy and matte finish

Giraffe print scrapbook paper


1/4″ double sided adhesive tape


15″ KNK Maxx Air

Various cardstocks:  Blades – KNK Standard Blade (red cap) or Thick Material Blade (blue cap) depending on thickness and density of cardstock.  Force:  60 – 80, Speed:  70 – 100, One or two passes depending on cardstock, Offset – as appropriate for blade (red cap – 0.35, blue cap – 0.75), Blade holder height – 25 PIN

Glossy photo paper – (Heavy):  Blade – Thick Material Blade (blue cap), Force – 80, Speed –  70, 2 passes, Offset – 0.75, Blade holder height – 25 PIN

Matte photo paper – (Thin):  Blade – KNK Standard Blade (red cap), Force – 50, Speed – 100, Single pass, Offset – 0.35, Blade holder height – 25 PIN


After spending quite a bit of time searching the Internet for pictures of giraffes, I finally settled on the two shown in the photos of the card above.  I opened the pictures in the Adobe Photoshop Elements software and removed the background except for the area of grass under the standing giraffe.  Since I wasn’t going to cut the picture of the giraffe head, I was able to print the photo for the card front directly from the Adobe Photoshop Elements software onto the glossy photo paper.  The photo was then trimmed, matted with giraffe print scrapbook paper and adhered to the front of the dark blue cardstock card.

The cleaned-up standing giraffe image was saved as a PNG format file to maintain the transparent background.  The PNG image was Pixel Traced in Make the Cut as an object with Texture to keep the graphic.  I decided where I would separate the giraffe and used the Eraser Tool in the Node Editing Toolbar to separate the image into two parts.  Because I wanted the two pieces of the giraffe to overlap when his head was popped up, I duplicated the whole image and made differently placed eraser lines in each image.  I discarded one portion of each image keeping the longer head piece and the taller body piece.

A graphic file was created using the body portion of the standing giraffe and a pale blue background so I could use the MTC software’s Print and Cut feature for the inside of the card.  The whole inside of the card is a PNC image.

The body portion of the giraffe was copied in MTC and pasted into PCS.  To create the flat edges needed for a successful attachment to the card sides, the image was rotated and cropped.  The height measurement of the cropped image was noted and the image was cut from the screen.  The plane was then relocated to a measurement that was one half of the height of the giraffe body image and the previously cut image pasted onto that plane making sure it was even with the left side of the card and the bottom of the plane.  The Fold feature of PCS was used to fold the giraffe body in half and attach it to the card.  The Print Preview feature was used to check that the body would be centered on the card and that the fold lines were in place.  The file was then Exported as an SVG format file.

The exported SVG file from PCS was imported into MTC, the graphic of the giraffe body and blue background was added as a Texture to the imported file and saved as an MTC file.  Options were set in MTC to be able to use the file in a Print and Cut operation.  The inside of the card was printed on the matte photo paper and then cut using MTC.  Score lines were added by hand.

The giraffe head image was duplicated and printed and cut using MTC in a second PNC operation.  Since the matte photo paper is thin, a shaped piece of cardstock was cut to be glued to the back of the giraffe’s neck to provide extra support for that piece.

The popup mechanism for the neck and head was designed in the KNK Studio software and several prototypes cut and tested before the design was finalized.  During that process, I decided that using cardstock for that mechanism was not what I wanted because the test ones did not hold up to the repeated folding and unfolding.  I determined that the glossy photo paper was more durable and used it to cut that element of the card.  I also modified the edges of that popup mechanism to fit the contours of the pieces attached to it and it’s placement on the card.

The heart sign around the giraffe’s neck is three layered cardstock hearts that were created in the KNK Studio software.  The heart shape began as a square turned 45 degrees so it sat on a point.  Two of the sides were pulled into outward curves to create the top of the heart.  The shape was resized to provide three different sizes.  The middle size heart was modified using a small circle and the Transform/Fit Object to Path and Weld functions to create a scalloped edge.  The smallest heart was copied into MTC and a graphic file with text added as Texture.  It was then duplicated, printed, and cut as a third PNC operation for the card.  The ends of a length of heavy thread were glued to the back of the layered hearts to create a sign that would hang from the giraffe’s neck.

The little sign hanging form the giraffe’s neck makes it a Valentine card.  However, with some minor modifications, the card could be used for many different occasions.  A note included with the cards for the swap suggested replacing the heart sign with one reading “Happy Birthday!” and adding wording inside the card such as “Seriously???  39 Again this year???”.  I’m sure you can imagine other wording for other occasions that would follow the lead-in on the front of the card.

A custom envelope was created for the card and lined with the border portion of the giraffe print scrapbook paper used on the card front.


If you want to create a similar card and cannot find, or would prefer not to use photographic images, cartoon or coloring book or line art giraffe images would work as well.  Each different image would need to have custom PCS files, MTC files, and popup mechanisms created for it.

The heart sign around the giraffe’s neck could be used and resized, if desired, to create simple Valentine cards or signs to hang around in unexpected places for your loved ones to find on Valentine’s Day or with loving messages for any time of the year.  The sayings found on the Valentine candy hearts would be fun to use on the signs.

Files for the heart signs and the envelope with the liner are available for download in KNK, MTC, & SVG formats in the following links.

Layered Heart Cut Files_JudyKay

Envelope 5×7 wLiner Cut Files_JudyKay

“Sealing up” those Holiday Memories

At Christmas play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year.
— Thomas Tusser



Thank you for visiting Team KNK and reading this post!  Today our project is a mini book created from 6×9″ envelopes.  Our design focus is on three simple shapes (bird, heart and star) that repeat throughout the project. The above cover photo shows the bird.


Page 2 features the heart.


Pages 3 and 4 show the star and the bird.


Pages 5 and 6 show the heart and star (attached to the black pull out tag).  See how the shapes repeat and bring a familiar flow to this project?


Pages 7 and 8 feature the star shape.  You again see the reverse side of the star and now the heart that peeks out from the kraft pull out tag.


The final layout of this mini book features the bird, but you still see the star and heart from the tag pull outs.  Note how I embellished the hearts and stars differently each time they were featured?


I created each shape node by node.  I am amazingly quick at just starting with points, converting to poly-arc and curving lines.  I get lots of practice.  I usually import a clip art shape into my screen to use for scale and then I tweak the shape to suit my needs.

If you would like to create your very own version of an envelope book, here is  an instructional video that I created for a recent class.



Blue cap / thick materials blade


I keep my 15″ KNK Maxx settings at Overcut 15 & Trailing Blade 20 because I only use my machine to cut paper.

Please visit the KNK Gallery on my website to see more projects that I have created using my Klic N Kut.

Photos:  Courtesy of Petrini Photography


Printed Papers by Theresa Collins Designs

Cardstock by Bazzill Basics Paper

Ribbons, buttons, rhinestones and envelopes from Designer’s Stash

Thank you for visiting TeamKNK!  Your comments and feedback are appreciated.

Boxes are a Treat!

Holidays bring to mind many kinds of treats.  My creative friend, Cherrie, has partnered with her KNK Maxx to create 2 different boxes for giving food treats.  She embroidered kitchen towels with recipes for different chocolate treats, made the treats and fabric covered boxes to present the treats and towels as unique and special gifts.  The files for the boxes were created in the KNK Studio software.


Pie Box-Optimized

Materials Used:

Poster Board

Various Cotton Quilting weight fabrics

HeatNBond Ultrahold iron-on adhesive

Self adhesive Velcro dots – 1/2″ diameter

Office Supply clear plastic report cover

Vinyl for lettering on pie box

Liquid glue such as Crafter’s Pick The Ultimate



15″ KNK Maxx

To cut Poster Board:  Thick Materials Blade (blue cap), V=200, F=100 1 pass

To cut Fabrics:  Fabric Blade, V=400, F=120  2 passes

To cut Vinyl:  Red Blade, V=200, F=50  1 pass


Score and cut the box shape from the poster board.

Prepare a piece of fabric 2″ larger than dimensions of cut poster board shape.

Adhere HeatNBond Ultrahold iron-on adhesive to wrong side of fabric piece following directions that accompany the adhesive.

Remove paper backing from fabric/adhesive piece and place adhesive side down on a

very sticky mat.

Cut fabric using the same file as for the poster board.

Align the cut fabric and poster board pieces and adhere together following the direction included with the HeatNBond Ultrahold.

This picture shows the cut poster board and fabric pieces for a Truffle Box.  The word “Truffles” is also cut from fabric and will be adhered to the box lid by ironing after the fabric has been ironed to the poster board.  The cut fabric pieces have been placed on the HeatNBond backing sheet to preserve the adhesive until the box parts are assembled.

Box Parts-Optimized

Fold box on score lines with tabs to inside.  Glue tabs in place with liquid glue.

Add  self adhesive Velcro dot to hold lid flap closed.

For pie box, use poster board settings to cut the clear insert from an office supply report cover.  Place clear insert between poster board and fabric when adhering fabric to poster board.  NOTE:  Plastic insert will melt if touched with iron.  Use vinyl for the lettering on the pie box.

Click on the following link for the box files generously shared by Cherrie.

CutFiles CM Boxes