Quilters have fussy cut quilt patterns for decades to get special effects and to create secondary patterns.
Two Great Methods
The keys for TWO fabulous methods of fussy cutting are Freezer Paper and Inklingo.
The fact that acrylic templates are NOT the best tool for isolating individual designs in the fabric might surprise you, so read on!
All of this info applies whether you use Inklingo or not!
Fussy Cutting is easier and more fun than ever today. I have a few secrets to share that take the mystery out.
Inspiration for Fussy Cut Quilt Patterns
The most influential fussy cutter is Lucy Boston. She was fussy cutting in the 1950s and 1960s when cotton fabric was rationed and the selection was very limited in England. Lucy Boston saw fussy cutting potential in the most unpromising places.
This was the kind of quilt book that was available to Lucy Boston in the 1960s. I’m not sure I would have found much inspiration in this . . .
. . . but it was love at first sight when I discovered the Patchwork of the Crosses in Diana Boston’s book.
I needed permission to do my POTC book (2009), so I contacted Diana. I was able to tell her that I had worked with the Jane Austen Memorial Trust to make the first accurate instructions for the Jane Austen Patchwork and she graciously agreed.
As Diana Boston says in her book, “This marshalling of the pattern in the fabric to create a new doubly-intricate pattern in the patchwork became Lucy Boston’s hallmark.” The Patchworks of Lucy Boston is a wonderful book and includes photos of TWENTY of her quilts,
Fussy Cut Quilt Patterns on Pinterest
Quilters all over the world have made spectacular POTC blocks with Inklingo. Many quilters have been influenced by her artistic fussy cutting.
If you look at Pinterest, you will see thousands of amazing blocks that Lucy Boston inspired and they are not all hexagons.
Best Templates for Fussy Cut Quilt Patterns
The best quilt templates for fussy cut quilt patterns are NOT made from acrylic! (Why I don’t sell acrylic templates.)
Freezer paper templates are the best choice.
Acrylic templates and templates made from plastic don’t do anything that freezer paper templates don’t do better—and cost less!
I just saved you some money and some extra clutter in your sewing room. Monkey says, “You’re welcome. You can spend more on fabric instead.”
Fabric for Fussy Cut Quilt Patterns
Some quilters assume that you cannot fussy cut when you print with Inklingo. I can understand why they think that way but it is wrong.
There are TWO methods of fussy cutting with Inklingo and the design in the fabric determines which method is best.
(1) Fabrics with widely spaced designs.
I recommend two-part freezer paper templates for fabrics like this.
This is sometimes called “Swiss Cheese Fussy Cutting” because we end up with fabric with holes all over it.
This video explains the method in detail, so I hope you will watch. When you do, it helps me if you click to “like” the video too.
(2) Fabrics with overall designs.
This is cool! (Freezer paper pun.) Print identical sheets of fabric with Inklingo to get sets of identical shapes. We call it “No Waste Fussy Cutting” because we don’t end up with Swiss Cheese.
I like to print from Inklingo to create a page of windows (above) to take with me when I shop. A preview helps me choose fabrics with the appropriate scale.
Print 6 identical sheets of fabric with Inklingo and get sets of 6 identical diamonds.
Ìnklingo “No Waste Fussy Cutting” is similar to Stack n Whack™, One Block Wonder and similar methods—but is faster and more precise.
We talked about it when I was a guest on The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. (Show premieres in November 2021.)
I teach “No Waste Fussy Cutting” in one of the clues in the Case of the Diamond Necklace Mystery Quilt (COTDN). (2017), so you might like to check that too.
(3) There is a third kind of fabric!
Jinny Beyer’s border prints are in a separate category.
Her meticulously symmetrical and mirrored designs are suitable for both Inklingo methods of fussy cutting, so I love them.
No Waste Fussy Cutting is one of the reasons I wrote my new hardcover Winding Ways book.
The instructions in this book are valuable no matter what pieced design you are considering. It’s new and it teaches many Inklingo tips that I have wanted to share in a book for years—in addition to fussy cutting.
Quilted Diamonds to Fussy Cut
Are you inspired to look for more brilliant examples of fussy cut quilt patterns? Kathy in Mexico did amazing fussy cutting with dragonfly fabrics when she made her Quilted Diamonds from my first book 20 years ago.
Even then, we were using freezer paper templates. You can see Kathy’s amazing diamonds on Flickr. They are sensational.
Summary: Why Fussy Cut?
It’s fun—and it elevates any quilt if there is even a little bit of fussy cutting to admire. Your quilt can create an unforgettable impression.
We have the best selection of fabric ever available in the history of the world AND we have a long history of examples to follow.
Freezer paper was the right tool 20 years ago and it is still the right tool today for both methods of fussy cutting. Nothing is better.
You are going to need extra fabric for fussy cutting, so save money on templates and spend more on luscious fussy-cut-able fabrics!
I am looking forward to seeing photos of YOUR next fussy cutting.
Thank you for visiting.
Linda & Monkey in Canada