Technique Tuesday - Fussy Cutting

What is fussy cutting? When I first heard that quilting term, I thought it referred to not liking what you have cut out, and having to redo it multiple times. I was wrong. 

Fussy cutting refers to strategically cutting out specific parts of the fabric to show off the print in a certain way. 

This is a couple of examples of some fussy cutting I did on a quilt a few years ago. In this example, I cut around the bird's heads and a flower center to show off those specific parts of the fabric for the applique circles. 

Fussy Cutting example with Cranes in circles

In this example, I cut around the birds to their wings. When you are cutting around the same image multiple times for the same block, make sure that the image is centered in the same way each time. Otherwise it will not look as sharp.

Fussy cutting example with birds in the corners

For this quilt, I did not want there to be a specific 'top,' so I made sure the birds faced outward, instead of all the same direction.

When you are fussy cutting, make sure you add in your seam allowance where applicable. You can also use a clear ruler so you can make sure your image is centered when you cut it out. 

Fussy cutting can also use things like polka dots to make sure they line up, or go a certain way through a block. I recently saw someone use fussy cutting to have one line of polka dots go through the center of hexagons. She then pieced the hexagons in a way that made it look like they were circling around the center. 

Let me see what you have made using fussy cut blocks! You can comment on this post or tag me on instagram @bobbininquilts.

Have fun quilting!


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