Fussy Cutting with Inklingo – Part 4

Passacaglia rosette fussy cut with Inklingo

In Part 3, I showed you how to use Inklingo for traditional “Swiss cheese fussy cutting” and I explained Template Rule # 1:

Always use templates without seam allowances.

 

Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein

In Part 3, the example was Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses.

This time it is Passacaglia rosettes and I am sharing bonus tips for using freezer paper templates. (Passacaglia is the quilt on the cover of Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein.)

This is another very long article. I considered breaking it into several parts but I hope you will find it helpful to have everything in one place.

 

Use templates without seam allowances

If you have been using metal, acrylic, or plastic templates with seam allowances for Passacaglia rosettes (or any design), you will love how much simpler and more accurate it is to work with templates without seam allowances!

This article focuses on fussy cutting shapes for Passacaglia rosettes but the info is helpful any time you need templates, whether you are sewing by hand or by machine.

Freezer paper templates are a wonderful method for fussy cutting in situations where Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting (see Part 2) is not an option.

If you haven’t used freezer paper (FP) before, I think you will be amazed by the advantages!

FP is the best template material and it costs almost nothing compared to the alternatives. There is an article about it (what it is, etc.) under the Top Ten Tutes tab (above).

 

How to make templates

You probably have everything already!

  • freezer paper
  • scissors or a rotary cutter and mat
  • an acrylic ruler (for rotary cutting)
  • a thin ruler and mechanical pencil (for marking seam lines, if required)
  • 1/2 inch strip of paper (useful for spacing templates to allow for two 0.25 inch seam allowances)
  • optional: highlighter marker

You do NOT need acrylic, plastic or metal templates, so this method is inexpensive and better!

 

Window template and template without seam allowances

STEP 1

Make window templates and templates without seam allowances. Both are made with freezer paper.

As I explained in Part 3, I print the shapes on freezer paper with Inklingo to make both of these templates. However, you can trace the shapes from the Millefiori Quilts book. Tracing is free. Printing is precise and fast.

(You don’t need the window template if you aren’t fussy cutting.)

 

Freezer paper templates

There are two choices:

(1) Print the shapes with seam allowances on freezer paper (above). Chop the freezer paper into individual pentagons (above). When you cut out the center, each can be used for a window template and a template without seam allowances, so you get both from the same page.
(2) Print the window template and the template without seam allowances separately on two pieces of freezer paper (below).

CUT THE WINDOW  Rotary cut on the stitching lines to accurately cut the template without seam allowances AND get a window template. It is okay to cut a little beyond the seam ending as long as the window template still holds together. Try to work in good light so the ruler does not cast a shadow. (Cut with scissors, if you prefer.)

REPAIR TIP  If you cut too far (or if a freezer paper template rips), you can repair it with another layer of FP. Iron the plastic side of the damaged template to the paper side of an FP patch. (Trim to size, if necessary.) Freezer paper templates never wear out.

CUTTING TIP  We use the same method for cutting paper as we use for cutting fabric. Plant the blade on the line first and then nudge the ruler into position. It improves accuracy and is safer. (See the free Diamond Triangle Square shape collection, page H28-H29 for more rotary cutting tips.)

You can cut with scissors if you prefer but if the lighting is good, rotary cutting is fast and accurate.

TIP  Make enough. In this case, I have 10 window templates and 10 templates without seam allowances because I will be fussy cutting 10 pentagons. You can work with fewer but you don’t have to.

 

FP templates without seam allowances

If you prefer, you can print two sheets of freezer paper, one with seam allowances (first photo) and one without seam allowances (this photo).

There are two reasons you might want to print the two templates separately.

  • You might find it easier to rotary the shapes without seam allowances than to carefully carve out the window template.
  • When you cut the layout without seam allowances, the matching marks are included along the seams.

CUTTING TIP  This layout of pentagons (no seam allowances) can be rotary cut but it might not be obvious at first glance. Sometimes you have to examine a layout for a moment to understand where to start. For this layout, rotary cut horizontal rows first to make it easier to rotary cut the shapes apart. As usual, plant the blade on the line first and then nudge the ruler into position.

SPEED TIP  You can print one sheet of freezer paper (no seam allowances), layer it with 3 or 4 unprinted sheets and rotary cut several layers at a time. It is helpful to strategically staple the sheets together, so nothing shifts while you are cutting.

Layouts of shapes without seam allowances are always included in Inklingo shape collections for the special times when you need templates.

 

Use a hi-liter to mark the edges

SAVE-YOUR-EYES TIP  Use a highlighter to make it easier to see the edges of the freezer paper against white background fabric. Just run the highlighter around the edges of each shape. Work on a piece of scrap paper, so you can get all the way to the edge of the template.

That is Step 1. It is all about preparing the two templates. They never wear out and they are easy to store in an envelope between uses.

Template Rule # 1 – Always use templates without seam allowances.

 

Window template on the wrong side of the fabric

STEP 2 – FIND A DESIGN YOU WANT TO FUSSY CUT

The design might be an individual flower or other motif. The window template makes it easy to see what will show when the shape is sewn because it does not include the seam allowances. (One of many reasons to use templates without seam allowances!)

Check to see if the design shows clearly on the wrong side of the fabric (above). This is the case with many fabrics.

If possible, I always work on the wrong side of the fabric when I expect to mark sewing lines (below) because it saves an extra step .

 

Window template for pentagon

STEP 3 – PRESS THE WINDOW TEMPLATES IN POSITION

On the ironing surface, press the window templates in position over identical designs until you have enough. Use a hot, dry iron. (No steam.)

It is better when you can position templates on straight grain but you can usually ignore it to get the design you want. Pentagons are always going to have some bias edges anyway.

 

10 Window Templates for Passacaglia

In this example, I need 10 pentagons, so I have 10 window templates pressed on the wrong side of the fabric.

This is going to make Swiss cheese of a lot of fabric. This is one of the reasons Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting is always my first choice!

 

Add template to window

STEP 4 – PRESS THE TEMPLATE INSIDE THE WINDOW

Still on the ironing surface, place the FP shape WITHOUT seam allowances into the window opening and press it into position.

Each identical design is now marked with two pieces of FP, the window and the center (above).

 

Peel off the window template

STEP 5 – PEEL OFF THE WINDOW TEMPLATE

Still at the ironing surface, peel off the window template leaving the template without seam allowances in position. Check the points/corners to make sure they are all identical. Re-press if necessary.

This template won’t move while I cut! Perfect!

You can use the window template over and over and over again, so put it in a safe place.

 

Add the seam allowance when you cut

STEP 6 – ADD THE SEAM ALLOWANCE WHEN YOU CUT

Slide a cutting mat underneath and cut around the FP, adding the seam allowances.

The highlighted edges are great when the fabric is a light color.

RULER TIP  Use masking tape on the under-side of the ruler to mark the seam allowance. Position the edge of the masking tape (full width) along the appropriate line and rotary cut to trim the excess. (This is easier than fiddling with pre-cut, narrow strips of masking tape.)

SCISSORS TIP  You can cut with scissors, if it is easier. With a small amount of practice, you might be surprised how easy it is to “eye-ball” an accurate seam allowance. If you are going to mark the sewing line, matches, and crosshairs (below), the seam allowances don’t have to be perfectly uniform. Otherwise, you can rough-cut a generous seam allowance and trim with a rotary cutter.

 

Passacaglia with a running stitch

SEAM ALLOWANCE TIP  If you will be sewing with a running stitch (recommended), 0.25 inch is perfect for most shapes. If you will be using English Paper Piecing, you might want to use a wider seam allowance. When you use templates without seam allowances, the width of the seam allowances is your choice.

 

Use a mechanical pencil and a thin ruler

STEP 7 – MARK THE SEWING LINES (IF REQUIRED)

Still on the cutting mat, mark the stitching lines, crosshairs and matching marks to imitate the results you get when you print the shapes on fabric with Inklingo (below)–fine, accurate lines.

Use a thin, flexible ruler, so you can extend the lines beyond the edge of the FP to create crosshairs. A thin ruler doesn’t cast a shadow. An ordinary mechanical pencil is fine in most cases but there are other colors available.

In this example for pentagons for Passacaglia rosettes, I want sewing lines but sometimes the lines are not necessary. If you are machine piecing a design that doesn’t have inset seams, you do not have to mark any lines on the fabric..

If the fabric design does not show clearly on the wrong side:
If you need to mark the sewing lines the way I do for Passacaglia pentagons and you have to work on the front to choose the designs, it takes a little more time because you have to move the template from the front of the fabric to the back and iron it into position again. It is an extra step but the results can be stunning with the right fabric.

 

Print on fabric with your Inkjet

In this example, the yellow diamonds are not fussy cut, so I just print those on fabric with Inklingo, rotary cut rows, stack the rows and cut several layers at a time. Ready.

 

Sew with a running stitch

The stitching lines are a huge advantage over acrylic, where the best you can do is mark dots through holes and then sew “Dot to Dot.”

This is the template method I teach in my Quilted Diamonds books (pre-Inklingo). Those books are an excellent introduction to hand piecing and the template technique applies to machine piecing too.

 

Passacaglia rosette (Millefiori Quilts)

TEMPLATES FOR FUSSY CUTTING

I think now you can see why I use FP templates WITHOUT seam allowances for fussy cutting—NOT shapes with seam allowances.

  • They can be ironed securely into position for greater accuracy.
  • I can have as many as I want.
  • I can have any shape, any size—anything I can draw on freezer paper!
  • I can choose a wider or narrower seam allowance.
  • They make it easy to mark the sewing lines, if I need them.

 

Passacaglia rosette fussy cut with Inklingo

Someone might try to tell you “You can’t fussy cut with Inklingo.” That is wrong!

There are TWO great methods:

  1. Traditional Swiss Cheese Fussy Cutting (above and Part 3 for POTC)
  2. Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting (print identical sheets of fabric, similar to Stack n Whack™, etc. Part 2)

Once you know how to use freezer paper, you will never need to buy acrylic/plastic/metal shapes again—whether you use Inklingo or not.

Freezer paper is inexpensive and does more than any other template material.

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Introduction to Inklingo

This VIDEO on the Welcome to Inklingo page on the website explains how Inklingo works with your ordinary Inkjet printer.

SUMMARY
USE FREEZER PAPER TEMPLATES WITHOUT SEAM ALLOWANCES:

  • whether or not you are fussy cutting
  • whether you are using scissors or a rotary cutter
  • whether you are sewing by hand or by machine
  • whether or not you will mark sewing lines, crosshairs, matches, etc.
  • whether the shapes are curved or straight
  • with any shape, including new ones you dream up on your own
  • even if you are using English Paper Piecing

 

Inklingo Headquarters

Spring is my favorite time of year.

I have been sharing photos almost every day on the Inklingo Facebook page.

ARE YOU SUBSCRIBED?

Please subscribe to the blog and follow the Inklingo Facebook page for more.

This is an extremely long article but I think it is worth it. Freezer paper is one of the most important quilting tools available to quilters, and now you know even more about it!

Just in case you are wondering, I do not have any affiliation with freezer paper companies and I don’t sell it myself. It is a fabulous product. I love using it and I recommend all the time.

I hope you will also tell your friends about the new Inklingo mystery quilt, The Case of the Diamond Necklace (COTDN). There are seven clues so far.

Thank you for leaving comments and encouraging me to write more very long articles like this one.

Happy May!

Linda & Monkey

[]

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Main Beginner’s Page  There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

$10 Coupon! 10 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook

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Fussy Cutting with Inklingo – Part 3

How to make Quilt templates

This time, let’s look at the second method of fussy cutting with Inklingo—templates!

Template Rule # 1 

Use templates without seam allowances.

It’s a beautiful rule. It applies all the time:

  • whether or not you are fussy cutting
  • whether you are using scissors or a rotary cutter
  • whether you are sewing by hand or by machine
  • whether or not you will mark a sewing line, crosshairs, matches, etc.
  • whether the shapes are curved or straight
  • with any shape, including new ones you dream up on your own
  • even if you are using English Paper Piecing

My first choice is always to print on fabric with Inklingo but there are situations when templates make sense.

This article focuses on fussy cutting but the info is helpful any time you need templates. I do not recommend EPP for any design but the tips below will help you with that too.

 

Use templates without seam allowances

Use templates without seam allowances!

If you have been using metal, acrylic, or plastic templates with seam allowances for Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses (or any design), you will love how much simpler and more accurate it is to work with templates without seam allowances!

I love anything that is simpler and faster with precise results!
(Especially when it costs less—almost nothing!)

 

Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses

In the POTC book, I recommend freezer paper (FP) templates whenever you are not printing the shapes on fabric with Inklingo.

Once you learn how to use freezer paper to make templates, you will never need to buy acrylic/plastic/metal shapes againwhether you use Inklingo or not.

If freezer paper (FP) is new to you, there is an article about it (what it is, etc.) under the Top Ten Tutes tab (above).

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Swiss cheese fussy cutting

TRADITIONAL TEMPLATE METHOD – SWISS CHEESE

The fabric above has holes all over it!

“Swiss cheese fussy cutting” can require a lot more fabric and it takes longer than printing identical sheets of fabric with Inklingo but it works beautifully in the right circumstances.

My first choice is Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting (see Part 2) but Inklingo is the very best method for traditional Swiss cheese fussy cutting with templates too.

 

Fussy Cut POTC with Inklingo

For example, templates are ideal for fussy cutting when:

  • you only need a few shapes from a particular fabric
  • you need ten or more identical shapes from several fabrics
    (e.g. Millefiori Quilts Passacaglia rosettes)
  • you don’t have enough fabric for Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting
  • you don’t have a suitable fabric for Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting

 

Yes to freezer paper!

FREEZER PAPER TEMPLATES
WITHOUT SEAM ALLOWANCES
ARE
 ALWAYS BETTER THAN ANY SHAPE
WITH SEAM ALLOWANCES

I have never liked using acrylic or plastic templates. They slide . . .  but the main problem is that they include the seam allowances.

If templates with seam allowances were ever a good idea (doubtful), it stopped being smart when quilters started using freezer paper more than twenty years ago.

 

FP template plus acrylic ruler

THE “AH HA MOMENT”
Freezer paper templates without seam allowances can be matched with any of your acrylic rulers, so you can rotary cut more accurately!

People who make templates don’t tell you this, of course. They don’t want you to know our little secret.

Buying acrylic shapes makes no sense if you have freezer paper and an acrylic ruler.

The photo shows how I add seam allowances around a hexagon template when I cut (one seam allowance left to trim), but it is the same for diamonds, hexagons, triangles, kites, Cleopatra’s Fan, Double Wedding Ring—ANY shape for ANY design.

FP + an acrylic ruler can be used for ANY shape!

 

Sew along a line

Which one would you rather sew? Dot to dot or along a line?

This is my main problem with templates with seam allowances—they add extra work and make it more difficult to sew.

The sewing line is more important than the cutting line, so it makes no sense to use templates with seam allowances. They are not designed to let you mark sewing lines on the fabric.

Sewing “Dot to Dot” is a heart-breaker. (No wonder hand piecing gets a bad rap!)

 

How to make templates

MAKE TEMPLATES WITH FREEZER PAPER

You probably have everything you need to make templates without seam allowances, so you won’t need to buy anything. (If you feel like shopping, buy fabric. You can never have too much fabric!)

  • freezer paper
  • scissors or a rotary cutter and mat
  • an acrylic ruler (for rotary cutting) (mark the desired seam allowance with masking tape underneath)
  • a thin ruler and mechanical pencil (for marking seam lines, if required)
  • 1/2 inch strip of paper (useful for spacing templates to allow for two 0.25 inch seam allowances)

Even in countries where freezer paper is not available in grocery stores (the way it is in North America), freezer paper costs less than other templates.

That’s it! Do you have everything?

 

Window template and no seam allowance template

For Swiss cheese fussy cutting, I use a window template AND a template without seam allowances.

FP templates are great when I am fussy cutting because they make it easier to ensure that I am cutting identical shapes but I love them even when I am not fussy cutting.

In this example, I printed POTC hexagons on FP with Inklingo. You could just draw or trace the shape from the book to make these two FP shapes.

 

Window templates for fussy cutting

STEP 1 – PRINT WINDOW TEMPLATES! 

First, I print the Inklingo shapes WITH seam allowances on FP and cut it into separate windows, as many as I need.

I cut on the stitching lines with a rotary cutter (or scissors), so I get a window template AND a template without seam allowances—two for one. (I’ll share my best cutting tips in a future article.)

 

Iron FP window templates in position.

STEP 2 – FIND A DESIGN YOU WANT TO FUSSY CUT

Check to see if the design shows clearly on the wrong side of the fabric. This is the case with many fabrics and it is helpful because we prefer to iron FP templates on the WRONG side of the fabric, so we can mark the seam lines. Working on the wrong side saves an extra step when we want to mark lines on the fabric.

 

Iron FP window template

STEP 3 – PRESS THE WINDOW TEMPLATES IN POSITION

On the ironing surface, press the window templates in position over identical designs with a hot, dry iron. Repeat until you have found enough identical designs. (It is usually okay to ignore straight grain to get the right design.)

In this example, I need 4 POTC hexagons, so I have 4 window templates. That’s another advantage over acrylic shapes. I can have as many as I want on the fabric at the same time!

I have some cool template tips to share in a future article, like marking “FP” on the paper side, so you don’t mistakenly touch the plastic side of the template with a hot iron.

 

Drop FP template in opening

STEP 4 – PRESS THE TEMPLATE INSIDE THE WINDOW

Still on the ironing surface, place the FP shape WITHOUT seam allowances into the window opening and press it into position.

Each identical design is now marked with two pieces of FP, the window and the center.

 

Inklingo fussy cutting

STEP 5 – PEEL OFF THE WINDOW TEMPLATE

Still at the ironing surface, peel off the window template leaving the template without seam allowances in position. Check the points/corners to make sure they are all identical. Re-press if necessary.

This template won’t move while I cut! Love it!

 

Rotary cut around template

STEP 6 – ADD THE SEAM ALLOWANCE WHEN YOU CUT

Slide a cutting mat underneath and cut around the FP, adding the seam allowances.

I have a few cool tips to share in a future article for rotary cutting and scissors cutting, so please stay tuned!

 

Mark sewing lines.

STEP 7 – MARK THE SEWING LINES (IF REQUIRED)

Still on the cutting mat, use a mechanical pencil and a thin, flexible ruler to mark the stitching lines, crosshairs and matching marks to imitate the results you get when you print the shapes on fabric with Inklingo (below)–fine, accurate lines.

This is the method I teach in my Quilted Diamonds books (pre-Inklingo). Those books are an excellent introduction to hand piecing but the template technique applies to machine piecing too.

 

Print on fabric with Inklingo

In this example for hexagons for Patchwork of the Crosses, I want sewing lines but sometimes the lines are not necessary.

For example, if you are machine piecing and there are no inset seams, you do not have to mark any lines on the fabric.

If the design does not show clearly on the wrong side of the fabric:
If you need to mark the sewing lines the way I do for POTC and you have to work on the front to choose the designs, it takes a little more time.

After cutting the shapes, remove the template from the front of the fabric and go back to the ironing surface to press it on the wrong side of the fabric (centered), so you can mark the sewing lines. It is an extra step but totally worth it for the right fabric!

 

Sew POTC with a running stitch

Marking the seam lines is a huge advantage over acrylic, where the best you can do is mark dots through holes and then sew “Dot to Dot.” I’m an experienced piecer but D to D is doomed to disappoint!

 

plastic and punch

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL QUILT SHOP

Quilt shops like selling stuff—templates, sheets of plastic, punches, special markers, etc. but when you learn about freezer paper, you won’t need those things.

Spend money on fabric and skip the stuff you don’t need—especially anything that adds extra work.

You will be a better customer if you finish your quilt faster and buy fabric for the next one sooner.

 

Passacaglia rosette fussy cut with Inklingo

Imagine how well this works for designs like Passacaglia, where you sometimes need TEN identical shapes for fussy cutting. You can have enough FP templates for each one, not just one or two acrylic shapes to slide around.

I cut several Passacaglia photos from this looooong article but I have more to show you about fussy cutting the shapes for it in another article.

 

The best quilt templates!

TEMPLATES FOR FUSSY CUTTING

I think now you can see why I use FP templates WITHOUT seam allowances for fussy cutting—NOT shapes with seam allowances.

  • They can be ironed securely into position for greater accuracy.
  • I can have as many as I want.
  • I can have any shape, any size.
  • I can choose a wider or narrower seam allowance.
  • They make it easy to mark the sewing lines, if I need them.

 

Fussy cut POTC with Inklingo

Please don’t listen when anyone tries to tell you “You can’t fussy cut with Inklingo.”

I hear it all the time but it is NOT true. There are TWO great methods:

  1. Traditional Swiss Cheese Fussy Cutting (above)
  2. Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting (print identical sheets of fabric, similar to Stack n Whack™, etc.)

Once you know how to use freezer paper, you will never need to buy acrylic/plastic/metal shapes again—whether you use Inklingo or not.

Monkey says, “You’re welcome.”

By the way, I do not have any affiliation with freezer paper companies and I don’t sell it myself. It is just a fabulous product. I love using it and I recommend to everyone.

Freezer paper is less expensive and does more than any other template material.

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Introduction to Inklingo

This VIDEO on the Welcome to Inklingo page on the website explains how printing on fabric with Inklingo works with your ordinary Inkjet printer.

MORE FREEZER PAPER TIPS

This article got soooo long that I cut out several good tips for using freezer paper. I will share them in other articles. If you subscribe to the blog (top of right side-bar) you won’t miss anything.

ARE YOU SUBSCRIBED?

Please subscribe to the blog and follow the Inklingo Facebook page for more.

Before you go, review the list under Template Rule # 1—and then  tell your friends about freezer paper. I put that info at the top because it is so important.

I hope you will also tell your friends about the new Inklingo mystery quilt, The Case of the Diamond Necklace (COTDN). New clue coming soon!

Linda & Monkey

[]

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Main Beginner’s Page  There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

$10 Coupon! 10 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook

Inklingo on Facebook

Fussy Cutting with Inklingo – Part 2

There are two methods of fussy cutting with Inklingo.

1. Traditional – Printing templates to make Swiss cheese of the fabric.
2. No Waste Fussy Cutting – Printing identical sheets of fabric.

In this installment:

  • Choosing fabric for No Waste Fussy Cutting
  • Tips for printing identical sheets of fabric

 

Stack N Whack™

FABRIC FOR FUSSY CUTTING

The key to Inklingo No Waste Fuss Cutting is choosing the right fabric. If you get that right, everything else falls into place.

 

Fabric for fussy cutting

Any fabric that works for Stack N Whack™, Kaleidoscope Stars, One Block Wonder and similar techniques works for Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting.

If you have any of those books, the information about choosing fabric also applies to Inklingo.

 

Fabric for fussy cutting

Window templates are a simple, easy, reliable way to determine the suitability of a fabric for fussy cutting a particular shape and size.

For me, a window template works much better than acrylic shapes (and costs nothing!).

If you have a folding mirror, you might find it helpful to see the effect. When you get a little bit of experience, you won’t need the mirror anymore.

 

Fabric for fussy cutting

I can see great possibilities for this fabric! (No folding mirror or acrylic needed!)

If you use a window template, you don’t have to remember any rules but you will probably notice some common characteristics:

  • overall designs without a lot of plain background
  • medium to large designs, depending on the size of the shape
  • at least 3 or 4 colors
  • variety of lines
  • shapes with defined edges
  • high contrast

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Fabric for fussy cutting

FIND THE REPEAT

The next step is to find the repeat in the fabric. This is the same as Stack N Whack™ and other kaleidoscope techniques.

If you have ever hung wallpaper, you are familiar with this idea. A “repeat” is the measurement parallel to the edge (selvage) from one motif to the next, where the design starts over again.

In the illustration above, I isolated one blue flower. No matter what part of the design you choose, the measurement to the next identical motif will be the same, so you can choose any easily identifiable shape as your starting point.

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How to find the repeat in the fabric

MEASURE THE REPEAT

The length of the repeat will determine how much fabric you need.

For example, 6 repeats of 12 inches = 72 inches (2 yards).

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Fabric for fussy cutting

TIP  If you don’t have enough fabric to cut all the repeats along the length of the fabric, you can locate and use repeats across the fabric.

With many fabrics, you can use repeats from anywhere, not just along the lengthwise (selvage) grain. This can reduce the amount of fabric you need to buy.

It might also mean a favorite fabric in your stash will be enough!

(Stay tuned for another article with details for determining fabric requirements.)

 

Print identical sheets of fabric

PRINT IDENTICAL SHEETS

Are you ready for a little miracle? This is it! When you print identical sheets of fabric with Inklingo, you get sets of identical shapes!

In this example, I printed 6 identical sheets of diamonds for the Case of the Diamond Necklace Mystery (COTDN).

 

The Case of the Diamond Necklace Mystery Quilt

That gives me sets of 6 identical diamonds to make fabulous kaleidoscope stars.

For 36 diamonds for the COTDN mystery quilt, I printed 6 identical sheets of diamonds 4.5 x 8.5 inches. (That is one of the Suggested Custom Sizes in the 60° Diamond 1.75 inch shape collection.)

I cut off the selvage (as usual) and rotary cut a 4.25 or 4.5 inch strip long enough to include 6 repeats. Then I cut the strip into identical sections, iron to the FP and trim.

TIPS FOR PRINTING IDENTICAL SHEETS

Printing identical sheets takes a little bit more “fussing” but almost everything is the same as ordinary non-fussy-cutting printing. (Best Tips in the Top Ten Tutes)

For example, I always wash the fabric first. Always! Some say this will distort the printed design. That is exactly my point! If it is going to distort, I want to know about it before I invest my time and creativity!

 

Print identical sheets of fabric

My Canon printer is beautifully jam-free (another Top Ten Tute) if I leave about 1/8 inch of FP without fabric on the leading edge (red arrow).

If you have checked the Top Ten Tutes, you know that leaving the leading edge bare is easy to do for non-fussy cutting. I just position the freezer paper on the fabric at the ironing board with the FP overhanging a straight edge of fabric and trim the other three sides of the fabric to match the FP. (Best Tips in the Top Ten Tutes)

This step is slightly different for No Waste Fussy Cutting: To leave the leading edge of the FP bare and get identical sheets, I need to cut the fabric and the FP separately and then line them up. . . identically . . when I press them together.

 

Inklngo Fussy Cut Star

When I first started printing identical sheets of fabric, sometimes there were small variations in the diamonds. In the star above, you can see that the diamond in the 5 o’clock position is slightly different from the others. It is still a very pretty star.

 

Lucy Boston POTC

Not a problem? In some situations  variations add more charm for me than mechanical precision does. This is a fabulous example from Lucy Boston’s Patchwork of the Crosses.

 

Lucy Boston POTC

Lucy Boston’s fussy cutting often had variations—and her work is stunning.

In this second example from Lucy Boston’s Patchwork of the Crosses, the flowers are not positioned exactly symmetrically. In fact, if you look closely, they are not even identical flowers! I think I love it even more for its quirkiness. This happens many times in the POTC quilt.

 

Print identical sheets of fabric

This might be the best tip!

In situations where it is important that every shape is as close to identical as possible, there is a simple solution.

Before you print, double-check that the fabric is positioned identically. To do that, stack the sheets with an offset (above). Repeat for all four sides.

This simple visual check will tell you whether you want to re-position the fabric on some sheets to match the others.

If one sheet just will not match, you can cut another sheet that will—if you have enough fabric.

That brings us to a new topic for a future article: How to determine yardage requirements for fussy cutting. I have written about this before (and the blog is searchable). I have more info about using Inklingo templates for traditional Swiss cheese fussy cutting too.

In the meantime, I hope you are following The Case of the Diamond Necklace Mystery Qult.

The mystery quilt is very pretty without fussy cutting but I hope I have tempted you to try it!

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Introduction to Inklingo

This VIDEO on the Welcome to Inklingo page on the website explains how Inklingo works.

If you know anyone who is interested in learning about Inklingo, please let them know. The COTDN mystery is great for beginners AND experienced Inklingo quilters too. The clues for the Case of the Secret Garden (COTSG) and the Case of the Stranger in Margaritaville (COTSIM) are still on the blog, so you can see what to expect.

The new mystery is NOT just for hand piecers. There are instructions for machine piecing too.

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Please tell your friends about Inklingo. The more, the merrier!

Linda & Monkey

[]

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Main Beginner’s Page  There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

$10 Coupon! 10 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook

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Tessellating for Clamshell Quilts

Clamshell templates

It is amazing to see the many ways this simple shape can be used when you print Clamshells on fabric with Inklingo!

This shape fits together like a mosaic without overlapping or gaps and that is “tessellating.” That makes some wonderful quilt designs and settings!

 

Traditional Clamshell Quilt Design

The new Inklingo Clamshell shape collections include the worksheet for a traditional layout.

Main Clamshell Page (Several Sizes, Downloadable)

 

The new Inklingo Clamshell shape collections include the worksheet for a traditional layout.

You can be happy as a clam sewing this wonderful shape into rows.

Use three fabrics, or go scrappy for “Clam Chowder” by printing on charms like the ones in previous articles on this blog.

 

Clamshell Quilt 4 patches

Clamshells also make intriguing 4-patches.

I’ve been sharing ideas like this on the Inklingo page on Facebook too.

I hope you visit there every day! Just because you have liked the Inklingo page does NOT mean that Facebook will show everything I post there on your timeline!

 

4-patch Clamshell Quilt

Clamshell 4-patches are amazing! They can even disappear depending on the color placement.

 

Clamshells also make intriguing 4-patches.

The 4 patches can be sewn in rows or on the diagonal.

 

Fussy Cut Clamshell Quilt

If you want to spice up your clam recipe, you can print 4 identical sheets of fabric with Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting to get sets of 4 identical Clamshells!

 

Fussy Cut Clamshell Quilt

Clue: No Waste Fussy Cutting is similar to Stack n Whack ™ but without the stacking!

Just like traditional Fussy Cutting, fussy cutting with Inklingo all depends on finding the right fabric!

There are TWO methods of fussy cutting with Inklingo.

 

Clamshell Quilt Design

There are other variations too. This is just the tip of the Clamshell!

 

Fussy Cut Clamshell Quilt

I can’t stop tweaking until I get it right but . . . 

 

Clamshell template

. . . when you print the shapes on fabric with your ordinary Inkjet printer, you can afford to spend a little time perfecting the design.

The preparation and sewing goes fast!

Sew by hand or by machine!

 

Stof Genoeg Blog

Annika in Holland shared modern Clamshell quilt designs on the Stof Genoeg blog. I know you will want to see those too! She is a long-time Inklingo quilter.

 

Electric Quilt celebrates 25 years!

CLAMSHELLS IN EQ?
Annika designed her Clamshell quilts with Electric Quilt software.

I am interested in designing with Clamshell shapes in EQ too. Where to start?

If you have any tips that would help me get started with Clamshells in EQ, please let me know. If I can figure it out, I’ll add EQ Clamshell project files to the collection on the blog. (Look under the EQ tab above, for a large selection.)

 

Introduction to Inklingo

If you are new to Inklingo, there are step by step instructions and a new VIDEO on the Welcome to Inklingo page on the website.

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Fussy Cut Clamshell Quilt

There is a “slide show” of Fussy Cut Clamshells on the Inklingo Facebook page too. I try to post something new every day, so there are several others.

There are many photos of projects made by Inklingo quilters too.

I am playing with ideas for Clamshell borders. I’ll let you know what happens, okay? In the meantime, you probably want to visit the Main Clamshell Page (Several Sizes, Downloadable)

Thank you for visiting!

Linda & Monkey

[]

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Main Beginner’s Page  There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

$10 Coupon! 10 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook

25 Signs YOU are an Inklingo Quilter

Inklingo on Facebook

Fabric for Fussy Cutting

I did not fussy cut any of the shapes for my version of the Case of the Stranger in Margaritaville mystery quilt because I did not have a fabric in my stash that I thought would work.

The key to Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting is finding the right fabric!

This method is similar to Stack n Whack™ and One Block Wonder. The fabric determines how happy you will be with the results.

 

Fabric for fussy cutting

This is an old Kona Bay design. (2012)

I love fussy cutting, so I decided to audition it for the Key West Beauty 6 inch diamonds.

 

Measure the repeat in the fabric.

First, I measured the repeat in the fabric parallel to the selvage. This one is 11.375 inches (11 3/8) after washing.

Then I checked the Catalogue of Shapes to see if any of the diamond layouts for Key West 6 inch diamonds would fit in the repeat without a lot of waste.

 

Key West Beauty 12 diamonds

Hooray! If I print 5.5 x 11.25, I get 12 diamonds, so I could print 8 identical sheets to get 96 diamonds (12 sets of 8 identical diamonds).

There would only be a tiny sliver (1/8 inch) between the identical sheets of fabric if they are laid out parallel to the selvage.

(There is an article about fussy cutting on QuiltingHub with more illustrations, if you need to visualize this.)

I need to make sure I have at least 8 repeats. If I cut them all in a row, (8 sheets of FP parallel to the selvage), I would need about 96 inches or about 2.75 yards. If I have less than that, I would look for identical repeats across the fabric too. (There may be more variation in the printing of the fabric, so it is nice to keep them all in a row, if possible.)

 

Inklingo Window Template

Next, I printed the Diamond A layout on scrap paper to make a window template.

I think this could work but a few of the diamonds might be a bit boring because there is quite a bit of background between the flowers.

 

Variation with Key West Beauty Shapes

I could print 8 identical sheets of fabric for blocks like this . . .

.

block-for-fussy-03

. . . and this . . .

 

Fussy Cut Key West variations

. . . or I just print 4 identical sheets. . .

 

Fussy Cut Key West variations

. . . or use up the “boring” bits with other sets!

Preparing a window template works better for me than acrylic templates because I can move the window template around before I decide how to position the first sheet of freezer paper, so I can get the most interesting diamonds possible.

 

Key West Beauty 6 inch sample quilt

This design uses 25 blocks, and 12 of them could be fussy cut star blocks.

You can design more quilts with the blocks in the free Electric Quilt project file for the Key West shapes.

Key West Beauty 16 diamonds

Another option is to print 7.25 x 11.25, for 16 diamonds on each sheet instead of only 12. Then I could choose the 12 sets of 8 identical diamonds that I like the best.

The other 4 sets of diamonds could be used for something else. This approach could “waste” some fabric but it could make it possible to use a fabric for fussy cutting despite the boring bits in the design.

The Case of the Stranger in Margaritaville

Reminder: The special intro price of $20 for the Key West Beauty 6 inch shape collection has been extended but it will end in a few days.
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Print quilt shapes on fabric

Of course, you know that there are other suggested Custom Page Sizes too.

Love the lines. Quilt more!

COMING SOON

  • COTSIM Mystery Clue #2

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Already in the case file:

Of course, this fussy cutting method works for ANY shapes, including the diamonds in the free shape collection (link below).

I’m still thinking about this fabric. It is washed and draped over the ironing board now.

What do you think?

Linda & Monkey

[]

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Main Beginner’s Page There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

$10 Coupon! 9 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook

25 Signs YOU are an Inklingo Quilter

Inklingo on Facebook

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Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars!

Coming Soon! LeMoyne Star 3 inch

Last night I had some fun with twinkly little stars.

I cut out 336 diamonds for 42 fussy cut 8-pointed stars—and started sewing!

Last June, I started a shape collection for LeMoyne Stars 3 inch. A few quilters requested it and it seemed like a good idea to me because the size works very well with existing Star shape collections. Gotta love stars!

However, it is still not finished! I was distracted with other projects—like expanded 90° Hexagon 1 inch, expanded 90° Hexagon 1.5 inch, new 90° Hexagon 0.5 inch, new 90° Hexagon 0.75 inch, new Inklingo Star 9 inch, new Judy Martin’s Waltzing Matilda 6, 9 and 12 inch, Colonial Garden 1.32 inch, Passacaglia 3 cm, Passacaglia 1.5 inch, Inklingo for Quilted Diamonds, and on and on.  (All listed at inklingo.com > Shop.)

 

Marcus Fabrics Subtle Skies

Recently, I found a perfect fabric for testing little diamonds! Marcus Fabrics Subtle Skies was ready to print—washed and dried and folded.

(You have also seen Marcus Fabrics Subtle Skies in Wild is the Wind, when I used it for designs from Millefiori by Willyne Hammerstein.)

 

Print a window template

DIFFICULT
Finding the perfect fabric is a very important step—and sometimes it is the most difficult step too! I print on scrap paper and make a window template.

In this case, I like what I see!

EASY 
Everything else is easy enough to do with Game 7 of the Stanley Cup semi-finals on TV, especially if you are only a casual fan. (Congratulations, NY Rangers.)

  1. Measure the repeat along the selvage: about 11.75 inches after washing (also less than 6 inches)
  2. Decide on a Custom Page Size: 42 diamonds in 8.25 x 10.5
    (Suggested Custom Page Sizes are included in every shape collection.)
  3. At the cutting mat: Cut Freezer Paper 8.25 x 10.5
  4. At the ironing board: Iron FP to the right side for 8 sheets along the selvage.
    Position each sheet of FP is over the same part of the repeat, so the sheets will print identically.
    Trim with shears around the FP.
  5. At the printer: Print 8 sheets.
    (Print on Fabric Best Tips is one of the Top Ten Tutes.)

 

Print 8 identical sheets

The ironing and printing go fast!

This method is called Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting.

 

Rotary cut rows, stack 4 rows and cut.

I rotary cut one row from each of the 8 identical sheets, stack 4 rows, and cut the diamonds apart. This way, they are already sorted into sets for me! Cool.

 

Ready to sew!

Ready to sew by hand or by machine! (VIDEO Kaleidoscope Stars and Lessons in the blog archives.)

Can you imagine how long it would take to fussy cut the diamonds for 42 stars (336 diamonds) with the traditional “Swiss Cheese” method? WOW! And how much fabric would be “wasted?”

 

Ready to sew!

This uses less fabric, takes a lot less time, and gives beautiful, surprising results!

 

Print on fabric with Inklingo!

I’ll try to get this lovely little shape collection finished soon, so you can start playing too!

In the meantime, there are lots and lots of stars to entice you. Main Stars Page. Sew by hand or by machine.

 

Inklingo Fussy Cutting

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If you are following Inklingo on FB, you saw my first two stars last night.

I post one or two photos on Facebook every day. I hope you will have a look at the photos I have posted in the last week or so. You do NOT have to have a Facebook account to see what I post there if you go directly to
https://www.facebook.com/inklingo

However, Facebook only shows my photos to about 20% of the quilters who have “liked” the Inklingo Facebook Page, so the best way to stay up to date is to subscribe to the blog (top of right sidebar).

If you are on Facebook, please “like” and “comment” and “share” my photos. It makes it more fun for everyone.

If you enjoy the video, How to Sew Passacaglia by Hand, please Like it on YouTube and share it on Facebook.

NINE YEARS!

I just realized that this month marks NINE YEARS since I published the first Inklingo shape collection. You can see all of the shape collections I have published since then in the Shop.

While you are waiting for LeMoyne Star 3 inch, you can practice your techniques on 4.5 inch stars too with the FREE Diamond Triangle Square shape collection.

By the way, I have more than a dozen shape collections “almost” finished, so please stay tuned!

Thank you for visiting!

Linda & Monkey

[]

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Quick Start (Always FREE.) There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

$10 Coupon! 9 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook

Inklingo for Beginners

25 Signs YOU are an Inklingo Quilter

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Inklingo Colonial Garden Wall Hanging

Inklingo Colonial Garden
30.8 x 30.8 inches

Q. Is this 9 Dresden Plate blocks or Colonial Garden?

A. 4 Colonial Garden blocks.

Makes you look, doesn’t it?

(There are also several beautiful Inklingo Dresden Plate shape collections!)

 

Inklingo Colonial Garden

This is one Colonial Garden block, 15.4 x 15.4 inches.

Octagons make a nice change from hexagons.

This size can be sewn by machine and the setting possibilities are exciting!

 

Inklingo Colonial Garden

This is the same as the first setting (above) except that I replaced some of the Colonial Garden kite shapes around the edges with shapes from the FREE Diamond Triangle Square shape collection.

 

Inklingo Fussy Cutting

The spaces between the octagons are filled with 8 kites.

My settings today have the emphasis on the kite shapes and that creates the Dresden Plate effect.

Colonial Garden looks completely different when the focus is on the octagons.

 

Inklingo Colonial Garden

This variation does not have as much intense fussy cutting.

I like to give fussy cutting some room to breathe. Sometimes fussy cutting can be overwhelming. The octagons in this version give the eye a place to rest.

 

Inklingo Colonial Garden

MORE SETTINGS ON FACEBOOK

I will be sharing more setting ideas on the Inklingo Facebook page and here on the blog. I will also share a Colonial Garden project file to use in Electric Quilt and settings that combine Colonial Garden with Periwinkle Octagon shapes, so stay tuned!

It is a good idea to subscribe to the blog (top of right sidebar) and to visit Inklingo on Facebook regularly, if you don’t want to miss anything.

I hope you will like Inklingo on Facebook, but that doesn’t guarantee you will see all of my photos. Facebook only shows my photos and videos to about 20% of the quilters who have “liked” Inklingo. Please subscribe to the blog too.

 

Inklingo Colonial Garden

Colonial Garden kites can be replaced with Diamonds Triangles and Squares from the free shape collection. (If you don’t have the free Inklingo shape collection yet, it is the best place to start!)

 

Lucy Boston Islamic Tile 1984

Lucy Boston’s Islamic Tile patchwork (1984) uses similar shapes. This is one of the amazing patchworks featured in The Patchworks of Lucy Boston by Diana Boston. It is one of my all-time favorite quilt books.

 

Kona Bay 1999 fabric for fussy cutting

Fabrics like this are ideal for Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting because there is no background.

Inklingo Fussy Cutting

With the right fabric, every shape is guaranteed to create stunning results.

Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting makes you look like a genius, but it is simpler than some quilters imagine.

If you need 8 identical shapes for each “plate” you need to print 8 identical sheets of fabric. (Pause to think.)

All you need to know is how to find the repeat in the fabric design along the selvage edge, so you can iron the freezer paper to the fabric in identical positions on the design. If each sheet of fabric is cut from the same part of the design, the shapes on each sheet will be printed identically. Simple. Smart.

You can also use Inklingo to print templates to fussy cut in the traditional manner and make Swiss cheese of the fabric, so there are TWO methods of fussy cutting with Inklingo!

No matter which method of fussy cutting you use, the key is choosing the right fabric.

 

Inklingo Fussy Cutting

I have written several articles about fussy cutting. This article uses Judy Martin’s Waltzing Matilda as an example, but it works exactly the same way for Colonial Garden.

Hexagon Quilt Design Book

HEXAGON QUILT DESIGN BOOK

The sewing and pressing instructions for hexagons also apply to octagons, so when you buy Colonial Garden shapes to print on fabric, I also add the Hexagon Quilt Design Book ($20 value, PDF download).

 

Print Inklingo shapes on fabric with your Inkjet

SUBSCRIBED?

I will be adding more articles and quilt designs and the EQ project file for Colonial Garden on the blog in the next few weeks. Please subscribe (top of right sidebar), so you don’t miss anything, okay?

Colonial Garden is in the Shop now. The special low intro price is a great deal, but only until midnight tomorrow tonight. (Sale extended by one day, thanks to Russ’s kidney stone.)

Thank you for visiting. If you have any questions, please ask. I always answer as quickly as possible and I am happy to help.

Linda & Monkey

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Quick Start (Always FREE.) There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

$10 Coupon!  8 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook

Inklingo for Beginners

25 Signs YOU are an Inklingo Quilter

Inklingo on Facebook

Are you following Inklingo on Facebook?

You don’t have to have a Facebook account to see what I post there, but if you do, please check “Get Notificatons” and like and share my photos.