Kaleidoscope Stars – No Waste Fussy Cutting

Inklingo Kaleidoscope Star


In Wednesday Tute 13, we showed you our “no waste” method of fussy cutting with Inklingo.

We promised you a few bonus tips, so Monkey is back.


Inklingo - Cut the fabric smaller than the freezer paper.

1. You can cut the fabric smaller than the freezer paper (red arrows).

Normally I trim around the freezer paper at the ironing board because it is easier and faster, as described in our Top Ten Tutes: Print on Fabric – Best Tips.

In those illustrations, you can see that I usually only have to trim two adjacent sides because the FP extends beyond the fabric on the other two sides. It is a fast way of preparing fabric sheets for the printer.

However, if I need to, I can cut the fabric separately and then position it on the freezer paper.

It takes a little longer, but in this case I needed to save every little bit because although the fabric seemed to have a 12 inch repeat (as described in Wednesday Tute 13), after washing the repeat was closer to 11.5 inches.

I needed to cut the fabric shorter and leave a little space at the top (leading edge) and bottom.

Inkjet printers normally allow for 0.25 inch margins on the top and sides and 0.5 inch on the bottom, so Inklingo layouts of shapes do too. That means you can cut your fabric 0.5 inch shorter than the FP and still print everything you need on the fabric.


Sometimes you can save fabric by cutting it separately.

Since I needed to cut the fabric separately anyway, I decided to cut it a little narrower too. Instead of 7.25 inches, I cut it 7 inches and centered it on the FP.


Print 6 identical sheets for 6 pointed stars

Saving 0.25 x 6 might make the difference to get an extra row of identical sheets from 42-43 inch wide fabric.

By the way, there are other nifty tricks for saving fabric and using scraps and jelly rolls in the first chapter of The Inklingo Handbook which is included in the free shape collection on pages H5 – H38.


Print 6 identical sheets for 6 pointed stars.

I am careful to position the fabric exactly the same way on all 6 sheets of 7.25 x 12 inch FP.

As long as all of the sheets are identical, all of the stars will be perfect kaleidoscopes! (NOTE: That means you have to put the sheets  in the printer all facing the same way too, okay?)


Inklingo - Cut Rows - No measuring!

2. You can rotary cut several layers at a time.

This is faster than cutting with scissors AND it has an additional advantage when you stack identical rows because the shapes are already sorted into sets for the stars.

Remove the freezer paper from all 6 sheets. (It can be used again.) Cut each single layer into rows (above).


Stack the rows and rotary cut several layers at a time.

Stack identical rows, keeping an eye on the printed lines on the edges.

I find it too difficult to rotary cut 6 layers of fabric even with a fresh blade, so I generally stack and cut 3 rows at a time.

By stacking identical rows, the diamonds are already sorted into perfect sets for the stars. My portable kit is organized and ready any time.


You can see how I cut and stay organized in the video.


Inklingo Kaleidoscope Star

This method of printing diamonds for Kaleidoscope Stars has several advantages over other methods, whether it is called “fussy cutting,” “One Block Wonder,” or “Stack n Whack,” as described in Wednesday Tute 13.


Inklingo Kaleidoscope Star

The diamonds for all of these stars were printed on the same fabric with Inklingo.


Inklingo Kaleidoscope Star

There is so much variety that you might think there is more than one fabric involved.


Inklingo Kaleidoscope Star

Each one is a little surprise, but you know they will all look great together because they all came from the same fabric.

Can you imagine how long it would take to cut each diamond separately with an acrylic template?

WOW. Life it too short!

Please be sure to check the “Top Ten Tutes” tab (above) for more of our best tips for using Inklingo.


Inklingo Print Checklist

The Print Checklists will keep you organized and make the printing easier.

All of the steps are so fast and easy with Inklingo that we think you might take the time to fussy cut/fussy print more of your quilts. It can transform a beautiful quilt into one that will amaze everyone!


You can catch up on our other Wednesday Tutes too:


In the past two weeks there have been 100 new “likes” the Inklingo FB page. Conchita, Rosa and other FB fans have been busy! Thank you!

Monkey looks so happy when there are new likes! If you use FB, please help us get to his next goal of 1500.

We’re working on something new, so please subscribe to to get an email when we add to the blog (top of right sidebar).

See you again soon!

Linda & Monkey

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Quick Start (Always FREE.) There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

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Inklingo for Beginners

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11 thoughts on “Kaleidoscope Stars – No Waste Fussy Cutting”

  1. Hi Linda,
    A question on the kaleidoscope stars: In general what sort of size would the largest of say the flowers in your fabric be in inches? I purchase a fair bit of fabric from Equilter and while Luana does sometimes give repeats she more generally gives sizes of largest flower which I find incredibly useful when ordering. I currently am making up an order at Equilter and want to do the POTC which I am about to order from you but am also keen to try out the Kaleidoscope stars on fabric which I already have as previously I have used Bethany Reynolds Stack and Whack method and also been taught a different method which really didn’t work for me.
    Many thanks

  2. Thank you for another very informative and fun blog post, Linda… Monkey, too!
    The POTC vid is amazing!
    Thank you for everything you sew freely share with all of us. I am reinvigorated to get my hexies out again! lol
    Cyn; -)

  3. Inklingo is incredibly easy. I have been using window templates for all my Lucy Boston POTC blocks and have been fussy cutting almost every hexagon in the block, not just the central 4. I have been so pleased and thrilled with the results.
    About 12 years ago, after having seen the Lucy Boston quilt in an English magazine, I attempted the POTC quilt using EPP. I gave up after block 7. With Inklingo, I have just finished 50 Inklingo blocks. My old EPP blocks are not a fraction as lovely and were so painstaking to construct.
    Thank you ever so much Linda and Monkey!

  4. Dear Monkey, is there any chance you could take Linda on holiday for a while.I want to get my hexes finished and she keeps putting these beautiful stars on the blog and sending me emails to come and look at them and my brain is in overload at the moment.Monkey please help.Jeannette

  5. Looks like I will be looking for the perfect fabric today to have a go at these stars. I love the surprise when you sew the star together and see the new pattern they create.

  6. I’ve been trying oh, so hard to resist but this does it! I have window templates made of the 2″ and 3″ diamonds and two or three fabrics picked out that just might make some very interesting Kaleidoscope Stars! That may be the perfect project for a stitching day with freinds!


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