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What Is Fussy Cut Fabric?

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What Is Fussy Cut Fabric?

Threads don't always run at exact 90-degree angles to the print in a fabric.

©Janet Wickell

To fussy cut is to target and cut a specific area of quilting fabric, rather than randomly cutting the yardage.

How Can I Use Fussy Cut Fabrics?
  • I Spy quilts are made by cutting and sewing together all sorts of novelty and pictorial objects, showcasing specific areas of a print.
  • Attic Windows quilts are other projects where fussy cut fabrics are often used, and so are Kaleidoscope quilts.
  • Fussy cut fabrics can be used any time you wish to display specific areas of a fabric.

To fussy cut, center a specific print within a patch, and be sure to add a 1/4" seam allowance around all sides of the image.

Some quilters like to construct a window template to help them visualize the print that will be seen when they cut a specific area of cloth. Make a simple preview window by cutting out a shape that's equal to the finished size of your patch from the center of a piece of cardstock -- tape cardstock together for large shapes.

  1. Position the template on fabric and use a non-permanent pencil or marker to draw lines along its inside edges -- the finished portion of the patch.
  2. Use a rotary ruler to add a 1/4" seam allowance, and cut on the outermost lines with scissors or a rotary cutter.

The template can be the unfinished size if you prefer, but be sure to remember that its outer edges will become part of the seam allowance.

Patterns that Work Nicely with Fussy Cut Fabrics

You'll find many more suitable patterns on the Quilting site -- browse my quilt patterns and quilt block patterns archives.

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