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

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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Fussy Cutting with Inklingo – Part 1

Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses

In the 1950s and 1960s, Lucy Boston was a pioneer of fussy cutting and she created fascinating effects with simple shapes, like her Patchwork of the Crosses (POTC), above.

By artistic use of designs in the fabric, she created masterpieces.

 

Fussy Cut Clamshells

No matter what the shape—clamshells, hexagons, diamonds, pentagons, squares, anything–there is a big reaction when I post fussy cutting on the Inklingo page on Facebook. It is a phenomenon on Pinterest too.

Surprising effects! .

 

Swiss cheese fabric

Lucy Boston acknowledged that traditional methods of fussy cutting are wasteful and that is not consistent with the traditional ideas of quilting—but we all love the look!

 

Lucy Boston Patcwork of the Crosses

The brilliance of Lucy Boston was the way she used the designs in the fabric, not her sewing method!

 

Inklingo Kaleidoscope Stars

Of course, Lucy Boston was sewing at a time when there were no rotary cutters (gasp), no acrylic templates (or plastic garbage floating around the Galapagos Islands), and very limited resources.

 

Print hexagons on fabric

Lucy Boston was ahead of her time, going where other quilters feared to tread, so if she was alive today, I think she would be printing with Inklingo, rotary cutting and sewing with a running stitch. The incredible selection of fabric available now would feed her creative soul!

 

Print hexagons on fabric

It makes me sad to think how many more exquisite quilts Lucy Boston could have finished if she did not use paper piecing! All those hours basting—and removing basting!

Stack n Whack ™, Kaleidoscope Stars, One Block Wonder and other riffs on this theme have become popular in the last 15 years or so.

Now, Inklingo makes it easier than ever to get astonishing effects with simple techniques.

TWO METHODS OF FUSSY CUTTING 

With Inklingo, there are TWO ways to get fabulous fussy cut effects!

  1. Traditional Fussy Cutting – by printing freezer paper templates to make Swiss Cheese of the fabric (The sewing lines are marked manually.)
  2. No Waste Fussy Cutting – by printing identical sheets of fabric! (The cutting and sewing lines are printed.)

 

Print identical sheets of fabric

Printing identical sheets of fabric with Inklingo makes fussy cutting more fun and saves waste! The effect is fabulous.

With either method of fussy cutting, you can use a rotary cutter or scissors and cut several layers at a time. No basting, no whip-stitching, no removing templates.

Stay tuned for more:

  • How to choose fabric for fussy cutting.
  • How to print identical sheets of fabric.
  • How to determine yardage requirements.

 

The Case of the Diamond Necklace Mystery Qult

The new COTDN mystery quilt is very pretty without fussy cutting but it is a nice small project, so we’re hoping to tempt you.

I hope you will subscribe to the blog (top of right side-bar), so you don’t miss the details.

.

Introduction to Inklingo

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

Please tell your friends about the COTDN mystery too. It is perfect for beginners AND experienced Inklingo quilters.

ARE YOU SUBSCRIBED?

I hope you are subscribed here and following the Inklingo Facebook page for the clues.

I would love to see and share photos of your fabric choices too. linda@lindafranz.com

More on fussy cutting 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

Two Inklingo Fussy Cutting Methods

Judy Martin's Waltzing Matilda fussy cut with Inklingo

The 3 new shape collections for Judy Martin’s Waltzing Matilda are fantastic for fussy cutting!

EIGHT star points. . .

 

Judy Martin's Waltzing Matilda fussy cut with Inklingo

. . . or just ONE octagon.

In fact, you can fussy cut ALL Inklingo shapes

 

Print templates with Inklingo for traditional fussy cutting.

FUSSY CUTTING WITH INKLINGO – TWO METHODS

1. Traditional

Print freezer paper templates from the Inklingo PDF (shapes without seam allowances).

Cut individual designs and make Swiss cheese of the fabric.

This is a good option if:

  • You only need one shape, like the octagon for Waltzing Matilda or Castle Wall.
  • You want complete control over the motif to be cut.
  • You are working with fat quarters or scraps and do not have enough fabric for No Waste Fussy Cutting (method 2).
  • You don’t need to know exact fabric requirements because you have lots or are only fussy cutting a few shapes.

Freezer paper templates have many advantages over acrylic templates.

 

POTC made with Inklingo by Joan Cumming in Australia

2. No Waste Fussy Cutting

Print identical sheets of fabric with Inklingo.

Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting

This is similar to Stack n Whack™, but simpler and faster. This is my favorite method.

Inklingo on Quilting Hub

There is a detailed article on QuiltingHub which describes both methods.
http://www.quiltinghub.com/Articles/ArticleID/210

 

Fussy Cutting with Inklingo

SEWING VIDEOS

These two methods of fussy cutting work beautifully whether you will be sewing by machine or by hand, including EPP.

I do NOT recommend English Paper Piecing for POTC or any other shapes.

The brilliance of Lucy Boston was in the way she used the designs in the fabric, not her sewing method.
However, there are 8 good ways to use Inklingo for English Paper Piecing if that is the method you love.

There are videos on the Main Hexagon Page on the website showing how to sew by hand and by machine.

 

Inklingo Star 9 inch

Inklingo Star (Print 8 identical sheets for No Waste Fussy Cutting)

There has never been a better selection of cotton fabric than there is today. Lucy Boston was not as lucky as we are!

 

Judy Martin's Waltzing Matilda fussy cut with Inklingo

I have been posting photos like this on the Inklingo Facebook page every day, so please have a look.

SALE ENDING!

Monkey wants to remind you that the intro sale price of $15 ends on the 16th, okay? Main Waltzing Matilda Page.

SUBSCRIBED?

Coming soon:

  • some of my favorite fabrics for fussy cutting
  • an Electric Quilt project file for Judy Martin’s Waltzing Matilda
  • quilt settings for stars
  • and more!

Please subscribe (top of right sidebar), so you don’t miss anything.

Whether you fussy cut or not, I think you will love sewing the new stars! Join me?

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

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Kaleidoscope Stars – No Waste Fussy Cutting

Inklingo Kaleidoscope Star

BONUS TIPS FOR KALEIDOSCOPE STARS

In Wednesday Tute 13, we showed you our “no waste” method of fussy cutting with Inklingo.

We promised you a few bonus tips, so Monkey is back.

 

Inklingo - Cut the fabric smaller than the freezer paper.

1. You can cut the fabric smaller than the freezer paper (red arrows).

Normally I trim around the freezer paper at the ironing board because it is easier and faster, as described in our Top Ten Tutes: Print on Fabric – Best Tips.

In those illustrations, you can see that I usually only have to trim two adjacent sides because the FP extends beyond the fabric on the other two sides. It is a fast way of preparing fabric sheets for the printer.

However, if I need to, I can cut the fabric separately and then position it on the freezer paper.

It takes a little longer, but in this case I needed to save every little bit because although the fabric seemed to have a 12 inch repeat (as described in Wednesday Tute 13), after washing the repeat was closer to 11.5 inches.

I needed to cut the fabric shorter and leave a little space at the top (leading edge) and bottom.

Inkjet printers normally allow for 0.25 inch margins on the top and sides and 0.5 inch on the bottom, so Inklingo layouts of shapes do too. That means you can cut your fabric 0.5 inch shorter than the FP and still print everything you need on the fabric.

 

Sometimes you can save fabric by cutting it separately.

Since I needed to cut the fabric separately anyway, I decided to cut it a little narrower too. Instead of 7.25 inches, I cut it 7 inches and centered it on the FP.

 

Print 6 identical sheets for 6 pointed stars

Saving 0.25 x 6 might make the difference to get an extra row of identical sheets from 42-43 inch wide fabric.

By the way, there are other nifty tricks for saving fabric and using scraps and jelly rolls in the first chapter of The Inklingo Handbook which is included in the free shape collection on pages H5 – H38.

 

Print 6 identical sheets for 6 pointed stars.

I am careful to position the fabric exactly the same way on all 6 sheets of 7.25 x 12 inch FP.

As long as all of the sheets are identical, all of the stars will be perfect kaleidoscopes! (NOTE: That means you have to put the sheets  in the printer all facing the same way too, okay?)

 

Inklingo - Cut Rows - No measuring!

2. You can rotary cut several layers at a time.

This is faster than cutting with scissors AND it has an additional advantage when you stack identical rows because the shapes are already sorted into sets for the stars.

Remove the freezer paper from all 6 sheets. (It can be used again.) Cut each single layer into rows (above).

 

Stack the rows and rotary cut several layers at a time.

Stack identical rows, keeping an eye on the printed lines on the edges.

I find it too difficult to rotary cut 6 layers of fabric even with a fresh blade, so I generally stack and cut 3 rows at a time.

By stacking identical rows, the diamonds are already sorted into perfect sets for the stars. My portable kit is organized and ready any time.

 

You can see how I cut and stay organized in the video.

 

Inklingo Kaleidoscope Star

This method of printing diamonds for Kaleidoscope Stars has several advantages over other methods, whether it is called “fussy cutting,” “One Block Wonder,” or “Stack n Whack,” as described in Wednesday Tute 13.

 

Inklingo Kaleidoscope Star

The diamonds for all of these stars were printed on the same fabric with Inklingo.

 

Inklingo Kaleidoscope Star

There is so much variety that you might think there is more than one fabric involved.

 

Inklingo Kaleidoscope Star

Each one is a little surprise, but you know they will all look great together because they all came from the same fabric.

Can you imagine how long it would take to cut each diamond separately with an acrylic template?

WOW. Life it too short!

Please be sure to check the “Top Ten Tutes” tab (above) for more of our best tips for using Inklingo.

 

Inklingo Print Checklist

The Print Checklists will keep you organized and make the printing easier.

All of the steps are so fast and easy with Inklingo that we think you might take the time to fussy cut/fussy print more of your quilts. It can transform a beautiful quilt into one that will amaze everyone!

MORE WEDNESDAY TUTES

You can catch up on our other Wednesday Tutes too:

1500 ON FACEBOOK?

In the past two weeks there have been 100 new “likes” the Inklingo FB page. Conchita, Rosa and other FB fans have been busy! Thank you!

Monkey looks so happy when there are new likes! If you use FB, please help us get to his next goal of 1500.

We’re working on something new, so please subscribe to to get an email when we add to the blog (top of right sidebar).

See you again soon!

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!  7 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook

Inklingo for Beginners

25 Signs YOU are an Inklingo Quilter

 

Wednesday Tute 13 – Kaleidoscope Stars

Inklingo Kaleidoscope Stars

NO WASTE FUSSY CUTTING

I had something else planned for the tute this week but our fussy cut stars have been such a hit that we are going to show you how to print the diamonds for dozens of stars without waste.

 

No Waste Fussy Cutting

Kaleidoscope Stars are so beautiful that in the past quilters have been willing to use acrylic templates to cut individual motifs from the fabric.

It is slow and tedious and wastes a lot of fabric.

As Glenda, a quilting teacher in Oregon, wrote:

I have a quilt like this – almost done, but put aside for awhile. It is beautiful, however, it was all done by using a clear plastic template to cut one diamond at a time, then finding 5 other matching areas to cut the remaining pieces. After cutting, I then traced the seam on each diamond before I could begin sewing. Whew! OH HOW I WISH I HAD KNOWN ABOUT INKLINGO BEFORE I DID THIS!!!!
All that work took the fun out of the project, so I haven’t finished it. Someday I will, but my NEXT kaleidoscope will be done with INKLINGO!  In fact, I have been using Inklingo for a variety of other projects, too.

HOW CAN YOU FUSSY CUT WITH INKLINGO WITH NO WASTE?

This tutorial walks you through it, step by step.

If you are not familiar with Inklingo, the Quick Start Guide illustrates the basics, so you understand how we print on fabric so easily.

 

Inklingo Kaleidoscope Stars

EXAMPLE: DIAMONDS FOR KALEIDOSCOPE STARS

My example uses the 60° Diamond 2 inch shape collection ($15) for Kaleidoscope Stars, but the same principles work for other shapes like Hexagons, Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses, other sizes of diamonds, and well . . . .  any other shape.

CHOOSING THE FABRIC

  1. Use a Window Template
  2. Check the Custom Page Sizes in the Catalogue of Shapes

 

Inklingo Window Template

1. WINDOW TEMPLATE

Print the Inklingo layout on paper to make a window template you can use to preview fabric in your stash and at the quilt shop.

The window helps you see how much of the fabric will show so you can judge whether it will be interesting when it is cut into small pieces.

I also tried 1.5 inch diamonds on this fabric, but the design looked better with the 2 inch size (above). Some quilters use a folding mirror too, but I have not found that to be necessary.

It doesn’t matter what you call it—Kaleidoscope—Stack n Whack—One Block Wonder—Fussy Cutting:
Busy fabrics WITHOUT large plain areas work the best!

No “background!”

Some of the best fabrics are ones you might otherwise call ugly.

We have shown you the fabulous fabric Jeannette in Australia found for her Inklingo Pie & Tarts. It was in a discount bin for $4/m but Jeannette recognized the potential.

You can also see the colorful paisley Silmara in Brazil found for her Inklingo Kaleidoscope Stars on her blog. It looks fantastic when it is cut into 2 inch diamonds.

Now that we have seen what Jeannettte and Silmara were smart enough to see, we all want some!

 

Inklingo Custom Page Sizes

2. CUSTOM PAGE SIZES

If you choose a fabric with a repeat that works well with a good suggested Custom Page Size, there can be almost no waste!

One of the reasons I am using 2 inch diamonds in this example is that I can print 12 of them in 7.25 x 12 inches, and 12 inches seems to be a common repeat in fabric designs.

 

Fabric with a 12 inch repeat is perfect!

FABRIC REPEATS

Measure the number of inches between identical motifs. In this illustration, I isolated one yellow flower. You can choose any part of the design when you measure.

A “repeat” is the measurement parallel to the selvage from one flower to the next one, when the design starts all over again.

 

Preview with an Inklingo window template.

The first two fabrics I auditioned happened to have 12 inch repeats.

This was so efficient that I was able to print more than 400 fussy cut diamonds from 2 yards of fabric with no waste! Amazing!

 

Print 6 identical sheets for 6 pointed stars

Trim the selvages. Print a row like this to get 6 identical sheets of fabric for 12 Kaleidoscope Stars.

6 sheets of fabric fit on this 2 yard piece. (6 x 12 = 72 inches or 2 yards).

 

Print 6 identical sheets

If the fabric is 42-43 inches after the selvage has been cut off, you can repeat this 5 more times.

If the fabric is a little narrower, the last row might only be wide enough to print 8 diamonds on the 6 identical sheets.

  • 36 sheets of 12 diamonds = 432 diamonds for 72 Kaleidoscope Stars
  • 30 sheets of 12 diamonds + 6 sheets of 8 diamonds = 408 diamonds for 68 Kaleidoscope Stars

 

Inklingo Kaleidoscope Stars

Each star only takes 10-12 minutes to hand piece, but even 68 Kaleidoscope Stars are enough to keep you happy for a little while, don’t you think? When you see how the fabric comes together in each one, it is a lovely little jolt of pleasure.

 

4 identical sheets of hexagons for POTC

For Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses (POTC), you may only need 4 identical sheets, but this method works if you want 8 too.

The Custom Page Size in this POTC example is 8.25 x 9.5, so there will be a 2.5 inch strip between rows of FP (red outline). That is a useful scrap, and might be perfect for the binding, unlike the Swiss cheese you may get when you use an acrylic template.

Glenda also wrote:

“The fabric I used was amazingly beautiful and I worked long and hard trying to get as many stars as I could – cutting one diamond at a time.  However, it ended up looking like it was a bunch of holes held together with some fabric between each hole.  😮 I also had areas that I couldn’t use because I could only find 4 or 5 repeats instead of the 6 I needed just because I had cut into portions trying to get other diamond repeats. I know my fabric would have gone further, and I would have gotten more stars if I had used Inklingo.”

Thank you, Glenda, for allowing me to quote you here!

 

Inklingo Kaleidoscope Stars

“FUSSY CUTTING” WITH INKLINGO HAS SO MANY ADVANTAGES!

  • no waste (or useful scraps instead of Swiss cheese)
  • no templates
  • no measuring or weird, expensive rulers
  • no need to carefully stack and pin layers of fabric
  • each shape is the perfect size
  • cut several layers at a time OR use scissors
    (Example in several videos on YouTube, including this one.)
  • sewing lines, precision corners, matching marks, and crosshairs printed on each piece so you can get the precision you want
  • sew by hand or by machine

MORE TO COME – ARE YOU SUBSCRIBED?

Writing this tute was a last minute change of plan. I have a few more cool tips to add tomorrow or the next day, so please stay tuned. You can subscribe by email (top of right sidebar) if you don’t want to miss it.

In the meantime, you can see how I sew Kaleidoscope Stars by hand in two very short videos on YouTube.

 

Part 1 (6 minutes)

 

Part 2 (4 minutes)

MORE WEDNESDAY TUTES

You can catch up on our other Wednesday Tutes while you are waiting:

There has been more activity on Facebook lately. We would love it if you like the Inklingo FB page too.

Thanks for visiting. See you again soon!

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!  7 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook

Inklingo for Beginners

25 Signs YOU are an Inklingo Quilter