How to “Fussycut” Fabric for a Quilt



Hi. It’s Jenny from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.

As quilters, we sometimes use terms that we think everybody knows, but not everybody always knows them, and one of those terms is “fussy cut.” And when we fussy cut, what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to cut out one special area of a quilt. This is a cute, little quilt I made using a Hoo’s In the Forest, and I did a scrappy four patch, and then I fussy cut each one of these squares so that it would have the little tree. The fabric came like this, and what I did was I figured out what part I needed, and then I cut just that part out, and so it made this cute, little quilt with the tree. We did a little two-inch sashing in between the blocks, a little vine edge border, not exactly scalloped, but a vine edge. It just made a really cute quilt.

Another quilt we did recently where we used fussy cutting was this one with the pirate fabric.Hopefully, you saw the blog on this. It was on our site. Let me see if I can get it going here in the right direction. And we fussy cut this fabric. We had this great map fabric in the center. We used a charm pack on the sides, and we used yardage to create this border. But in the corners, up here, I fussy cut these little images from the fabric so that they would fill out the borders. It just makes it a fun detail.

So let me show you actually how we do that fussy cutting. All right. So what you’re going to do — I generally — well, I sometimes use scraps of fabric, and this is a scrap. And when you use that middle piece, you cut off pieces from the side, and what you want to do is you want to determine the size that you’re cutting, of course, first. And let me move this little board over here so I can turn it as we go. And so the size that I was looking for at that time was five inches, which is equal to a charm pack, and so I’m going to use a ruler that’s kind of clear so that I can see what’s underneath — and see how this ruler has these good five-inch — the lines so you can really see where you’re cutting — and if I — I just — you want to just try and center that up, and then what you want to do is you want to go ahead and you’re going to cut off two of those sides. Let me grab my rotary cutter. And so I’m going to cut off this side here, and then I’m going to turn this, and I’m going to cut off this side here. And if you’re in the middle of your fabric, you know, you just are going to have a piece like that.

And then what I’m going to do with this ruler is that I’m going to turn it around like this so this now lines up on the edge. No. I’m sorry. I’m doing it the other way. There we go. So this outside edge where we want to stop lines up on the edge. See how this is now on the edge of my fabric. And then I’m going to cut this, and I’m going to turn this and cut this edge, and what it gives you then — what it gives you is a little block that, hopefully, has the image that you want right in the center, and it will work for just about anything, so this is what we call fussy cutting. And you can see him a little better that way, and so we’ve made the cut out of a piece of fabric from the center.

So we hope you have a better understanding of the term “fussy cut.” We hope you enjoyed this quick tutorial from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.

posted: Basic Skills & Techniques, Intermediate Quilting Tutorials, Tips and Tricks, Trimming | tagged: ,
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  • guil01234

    I LOVE YOU GUYS! You are so good at explaining! Thank you for being there! George

    • JackieMSQC

      Thanks quil01234…you are so very welcome!!!

  • Maria

    I love all your tutorials !!!!! Want to buy this ruler!! When sale over? Send me e-mail This is Maria I’m hard-of-hearing n I hope you remember lol!!!

  • Cheryl

    I love all your tutorials!!!! I’m trying to do stippling but just can’t get ! But I’ll keep trying