Jinny Beyer Jinny Beyer

Fussy Cutting

Fussy Cutting refers to the technique of carefully selecting a specific motif or design in a fabric and cutting it to the exact size needed in a quilt block or pattern. It is often used with prints that have large motifs or a variety of designs in the print, such as flowers and other botanicals, or designs such as words or human or animal figures.

Benefits of Fussy Cutting

Fussy Cutting allows the quilter to feature interesting designs in quilt blocks as a focal point. Placing a different flower in the center of each block in a quilt can provide more interest than if every block was exactly the same. Or, on the other hand, several copies of the same motif can be joined together for interesting new designs.

Supplies and Tools for Fussy Cutting

A "window template" can be helpful when doing Fussy Cutting. A piece of paper or cardboard has a "window" cut out of it the size the finished piece will be in the quilt block. The card is moved across the fabric to find interesting motifs for that quilt block and to allow the component to be marked for cutting.

A "cutting template" may also be used when all the components need to be the same, as in a Kaliedoscope quilt or Millefiori quilt.  Make a template using a sheet of plastic, outline the finished and cutting lines of the component, then drawn lines matching the selected motif that are easy to find. Match the motif lines on the cutting template and outline the cut lines for the components needed.

What I Wish I Knew When I Started - Fussy Cutting

FUSSY CUTTING adds a lot of interest and a touch of whimsy when used in juvenile quilts. The extra time and fabric needed to cut out pieces individually is worth it for special quilts.

Fussy Cutting Resources