A fussy cut refers to cutting out a particular design in the fabric. Usually a quilt template is positioned over the design area. The template is traced on the fabric and then the design area is cut out. It is almost impossible to fussy cut designs when using rotary cutting and strip piecing methods.
Learn how to fussy cut a motif and a striped pattern from your fabrics.
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TRANSCRIPT: Fussy Cut – Encyclopedia
A fussy cut is a cut in fabric where you want a certain motif or certain pattern. So in this cowboy fabric, I would like a 4 inch square, or a couple of 4 inch squares, with the cowboys kind of in the center for another quilt block. So I’m looking at this fabric and I see this cowboy and he’s going to be one of the guys that I’m going to cut out. So I’ve got this smaller ruler and I’m using this ruler rather than a large one. It’s 6 inches not 4 inches. It’s just going to make it easy for me to go in. And instead of having to decide where this guy is, where I want him cut, I’m going to cut a big piece out. Just to make it a little bit easier on me. And because I know that I’ve cut more than I’ve needed, I’m not, I’m just going to make sure that this is bigger than 5 by 5. And get rid of all that, it makes it a little bit easier to concentrate on what exactly I want. So 4 inches by 4 inches, if I wanted to I could put tape on my ruler, but I’ve got my hands here to kind of guide. So I’m saying, oh that looks pretty good, although his feet are a little high, so let me move that up so I can catch his hand. His hands right up here, his feet there. I see that the selvage is over here, so I need to move to make sure that I don’t get that selvage in. So that looks good and I’m going to cut that off and I’m going to turn and I’m going to line up where my 4 inches and I’m going to cut, and there’s my 4 inch cowboy motif, and I have another one that I cut earlier. So those are two fussy cuts.
I can also fussy cut fabric that has like a design in it. So I need some triangles out of this fabric, and I’ve already evened up the edge of this fabric. The triangles that I need are the same size as this ruler, if I cut a line right through the middle and go like this. Now, these triangles go into a border, and the border, I want this pink line at the tips of all of my triangles. And so I’m going to, so here’s the pink line, you can see it’s in each one of these sort of stripes. So I’m going to line up this line, the bottom of the triangle. I’m going to make sure that my pink line’s in the middle. And because it wiggles, you can’t really be exact, so I’ve kind of got it in the middle. I kind of remember, I don’t kind of remember, I need to remember a ¼ seam allowance, the tip of that pink is not going to be up here, so the tip of the pink when I sew this is going to be about right there. So let’s move it like that, let me open my blade on my rotary cutter and cut and there I have my triangle fussy cut with the pink right in the center.