Monday, January 6, 2014

Previewing fabric for a fussy cut centre

I know that some of you are already working on Part 1 of  my Soupcon Quilt Along pattern. There are already some lovely pictures posted on the FLICKR page. If you haven't started yours I thought I would share another little tip with you about how I preview a fabric for a center.

When I'm making fussy cut hexagons I love to play around with my fabrics because is a great way to get inspired and to come up with some interesting combinations that I might not have otherwise considered. One of the challenges however is getting a feel for a how a fabric might look when it is fussy cut for the center in a block that has already been made. I've been making red stars from modified 3/4" hexagons. I haven't decided if they will have fussy cut centers or if I will leave them open so that the background fabric shows through. Before I decide I want to audition different fabrics but it can be hard to know just how the block will look. Look at this fabric. It is interesting and I think it will be great for for fussy cutting centers.

The problem is that when I put the red stars on the fabric they almost disappear and I can't get a good feel for how they might look because of the surrounding fabric. See what I mean? Bummer. I don't want to start cutting up my fabric if I'm not sure it's what I want.

So what's the solution? I get a sheet of paper and I cut a whole that is slightly larger that the hexagon center of my block. I move it around on my fabric until I've isolated the motif I am considering..

Then I just put a star on the paper and voila! I'm auditioning the motif but I don't have the distraction of all the other fabric! I've used white paper but you could use coloured paper that more closely matches the fabric you will use as a background.

Here's the same star with a different motif  from the same fabric as a center. Also I wanted to point out that you don't have to fussy cut the entire block? Just a little detail  like a fussy cut center is pretty little detail! So if you are thinking about sewing along in my Soupcon Quilt Along but fussy cutting is daunting, why not make your star like this?

And to make it even easier, you can reverse applique the center. Just find a motif you want to use as a center, cut it out making sure to leave a generous seam allowance of say 3/8 to 1/2". Place a little glue on the seam allowances around the hexagon opening,

and place the star on the motif being sure to center it. This is what it will look like from the wrong side.

Stitch it in place with a matching thread and a blind stitch!  Hand applique not your thing? That's not a problem! This would be a great place to use one of those fancy machine embroidery stitches on your machine (the stitches that I never seem to use). Others will marvel at your skills and you can tell them how you sweated over this piece for hours and hours! We'll keep the fact that it was super easy between us!

And speaking of skills, Kath of Hillside Railway Cottage has completed her Soupcon star and it reminds me of a fine bone china teacup! I love the little fussy cut butterfly! A butterfly motif is something she could repeat in upcoming steps! How you ask? Well you'll just have to stay tuned to find out!

Until I post again, happy sewing!


  1. I can't wait to see what comes next! Thankyou for sharing your ideas and expertise Karen.

    1. You are welcome Kath. I can assure you that I am so happy to have this vehicle to be able to share with others!

  2. great star by Kath. I got mine pieces cut and glued to the paper. Now to sew them together and decide on my center.

    1. Thanks Carrie! I'm so glad you are sewing along and I hope you'll be happy with your quilt!

  3. Hi Karin, I discovered you blog and love de Soupcon quilt!
    I will make that quilt.But on this moment I 'm working on the Fussy Friday from Temekula quilt.
    I have a question, I think that I must also notice the tread direction when i search with the window for a lovely cut pattern?
    I'm I right?
    I'm a new follower of you blog because it very helpful and interesting!
    Thank you so much for sharing this info

    Have a nice weekend,