Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tutorial: Another way to fussy cut

The weather is always so unpredictable in January so rather than bring in a speaker my Quilt Guild has a demonstration night. Three Guild members are asked to do a 15 minute demo. The Guild members are divided into three groups and then they rotate from one demo to the next. I've been asked to demonstrate English paper piecing/hexagons. I decided to make some samples with different sizes of hexagons for my demo.

I have two fabrics that I thought would work well together so I decided to play with them! The top fabric is an old fabric Malvern Hill by Judy Roche & Carienne Kramer for Henry Glass Fabrics. It is a leftover bit from a backing. The bottom fabric was purchased more recently and it is Return to Romance by WillowBerry Lane and Maywood Studios. I bought it because I love the colours and thought it would be well suited to fussy cut hexagons.

There are loads of ways to fussy cut fabrics and I'll use different methods based on the fabric I'm using and the number of patches I require. I will often fussy cut by placing a window template on the wrong side of the fabric and move it around until I find the image I want to use. I'll glue a hexagon paper in the opening and then cut out the hexagon leaving a generous seam allowance. For the remaining hexagons I line up my hexagon on the next motif being sure to line up the landmarks. In the following picture you can see that I lined up the upper left corner and the lower point of the paper template  at the yellow circles. This method works great if you can see the print on the back of the fabric.

My problem is that I couldn't really see the print on the back of the fabric. On the left you can see the print and on the ride is the back of the fabric. So how did I fussy cut six hexagons to make a rosette? I could have cut one out on the right side of the fabric but how would I line up the paper template on the back if I couldn't see the print? Let me share with you what I did!

The first step was to place a window template on the right side of my fabric.

Once I found the motif I wanted to use I tacked a hexagon in the window with a tiny dab of Elmer's Purple Glue.

I carefully removed the window template. Here you can see the paper template glued to my fabric.

I next position the remaining five hexagons on the right side of the fabric being sure to line up the landmarks as described above. I don't stress about getting things lined up perfectly - close is good enough for me! The red circles indicate the landmarks I used to line up my paper templates. At this point I could cut out the hexagons adding a generous seam allowance. I like to work with a 3/8" seam allowance if I can!

When I hold the fabric up to the light with the wrong side facing me I can see the hexagon that is on the right side.

I apply a dab of Elmer's Purple Glue to a hexagon template and while holding the fabric up to the light I positioned the hexagon on the wrong side of the fabric being sure to line up the hexagons. I remove the hexagon from the right side of the fabric and I am ready to start English paper piecing as usual!

So what did the hexagon rosettes look like after they were stitched together? This is the hexagon rosette made with 1 1/4" hexagons.

This is the hexagon rosette made with 1" hexagons.

And here they are together! I think the 1" hexagons work best with these fabrics although both are pretty! I love the stars that are created by fussy cutting the peaks in the Malvern Hill fabric.

So what will I do with these hexagons after the demo tonight? I'll put them in the box of hexagons to be used in a future project!

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and much as I enjoy sharing with all you people! If you leave a comment I will be sure to send you an email. If you don't hear from me it means you are a no reply blogger and I have no way to contact you unless you include your email address in the comment.

Until I post again, I hope you have fun fussy cutting!
Karen H


  1. interesting method, will have to give it a try, thanks.

  2. This is really helpful. Thanks.

  3. You will be a hit with your demo. Beautiful flower. It has such energy - looks like a starburst.

  4. I like your demo. I use the same way. The flowers are beautiful.

  5. My guild asked me to do a hexie trunk show in October. That makes two that month. LOL. Guess what I'll be spending 75% of my time on this year?? I have lots of hexie UFOs to finish so I have something to show and Mom said I could actually borrow one of her small antique trunks. I hope your guild enjoys your demo!

  6. Great demo - and the result is stunning. I love that Malvern Hill fabric - have some in red that I use a lot!

  7. I would have never guessed a star was going to form! How neat! I can see where this could become addictive. Now if there were only more hours in the day

  8. Fabulous tip! Thé résultats is amazing ans si beautiful..i must try one day

  9. Very clever, thanks for sharing that with us.

  10. Doing fussy cutting for hexagons sure make them look so different. What a great demo you will show.

  11. I can cut them, I can sew them but I'd need a DNA modification to approach your color sense, composition and fabric savvy.

  12. Excellent tutorial! I've not yet tried playing with fabric patterns to create secondary designs - you keep pushing me to do it though!

  13. Very interesting tutorial. I like the end result of the bigger one. Both are pretty, but the center of the bigger one is more finished looking to me.

  14. I'm thoroughly enjoying catching up on your blog! Oh, how I wish we could sit and stitch together some day! We would have a great time! You have been VERY busy sewing and I have been very busy doing paper work!! I'm jealous! Everything posted is stunning Karen!