Top Ten Tips for Fussy Cutting your Favorite Fabrics – Plus a Giveaway!

I’m not usually fussy until that is, it comes to fabric. I believe that every piece of fabric in my stash is there for a reason and should be used to its full advantage. My collection of yardage is vast and deep, but it does have a few holes. And I take full responsibility.

I’m breaking out the rotary cutter, templates, and home made fabric viewing windows (more about those later) and making the most of the fabulous motifs and charming effects that can be achieved with fussy cutting.

The term “Fussy Cutting” simply means to intentionally cut a piece of fabric that features a specific detail or image, leaving nothing to chance. It’s not the most economical way to cut fabric, but we quilters know…scraps of all shapes and sizes are essential to a well-rounded stash! Who hasn’t sliced strips of a favorite fabric and cut right through a favorite motif? Now that’s a waste… some cloth just calls out to be cut with more care. And who can resist the charming prints available today, especially these darling ones from our friends at Dear Stella?

I’ve compiled a list of tips and techniques to pair with these gorgeous fabrics from the Dear Stella giveaway on their blog… Hint… one lucky winner will have lots of fun cutting into this yardage! I sure did!

Ten Favorite Fussy-Friendly Fabrics and How to Use Them

1. Plan your cuts to maximize the use of the fabric No doubt about it, fussy cutting does require more yardage. Count the number of times the motif repeats to make sure you have enough for your quilt. I always purchase a bit extra yardage to make sure I don’t run out.

2. Cut more than one motif from each fabric Aren’t these circus animals adorable? Make cuts that feature a variety of the images and spread them over your entire quilt. Imagine playing I-Spy with a toddler: what’s her favorite animal?

3. Try a different angle Cutting on the grain is our go-to direction as quilters, but fussy cutting allows us to look at the fabric differently. You might want to set your motifs on point like I did with Little Red Riding Hood.

4. Cut a viewing template from cardboard Sometimes I have a hard time visualizing the chunk of fabric I am cutting, especially if the print is busy or large. By framing the motif I want with a cardboard template, I eliminate visual clutter making cutting and planning much easier.

5. Think outside the box Fussy cutting works for so many more shapes than squares. Each motif should be used to its advantage, so why not center this deer skull on an equilateral triangle?

6. Mix and match Good designs are often serendipitous, so that means you have to have a lot of choices in your stash. Find a stand-out image and pair it with a solid or tiny print for a surprising composition.

7. Cut a few pieces, then play You might change your mind about your initial fussy cuts and want to change them slightly for a different effect.

8. Make your life easier Cut all of your identical shapes at once and organize them in plastic bags or clip them together so they won’t get lost. You’ll be happy you did!

9. Accuracy matters If you make a mistake, repurpose that piece of fabric for another project and cut another piece correctly. That’s why you have extra fabric!

10. Have fun! Fussy cutting is just one of the many techniques we quilters use nearly every day. But to do it, you need to build your stash, and we have a fun way to do just that.

We’ve partnered with Dear Stella to give one lucky reader a chance to win a bundle of 1-yard cuts of select fabrics from our Fussy Cut Favorites! Hop over to their blog to enter! (This contest runs until 3PM EST on February 21, 2018. Winner will be randomly picked and emailed shortly after the giveaway closes.)

Good luck!

Comment (1)

  • Linda C

    I love all these fabrics, but the red riding hood and the animals having a party are so cute.

    February 15, 2018 at 3:07 am

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