Fussy Cutting Fabric Requirements – Part 1

Fussy Cutting with Inklingo

If you have been following the blog, you know that there are two methods of fussy cutting with Inklingo.

  1. Traditional Templates (Making “Swiss cheese” of the fabric.)
  2. No Waste Fussy Cutting (Printing identical sheets of fabric.)


If you are willing to do some plain arithmetic, you can buy exactly what you need and not be surprised with too much or not enough.

Some surprises are fun. Some aren’t.

This article is long, so I am breaking it into two or three parts. I hope all the detail will be especially helpful to quilt shop employees and teachers.


Inklingo On-Point Star Quilt

Sample Inklingo Quilt (84 x 84 inches)

My example uses the free Inklingo Diamond Triangle Square shape collection for the stars and Inklingo On-Point Triangles for 4.5 inch Squares.

How much fabric do we need to fussy cut all of the gold stars to get kaleidoscope stars?


Window Template and Freezer Paper Template

With Inklingo you can print window templates and FP templates without seam allowances, so there is no need to buy acrylic templates. (Probably better for the planet.)

This method works well when you don’t have enough fabric to print identical sheets. There are examples on the blog:

However, this is not a good alternative if you want 144 sets of 8 identical diamonds.

Unfortunately, the 3 traditional approaches for determining fabric requirements with the Swiss cheese method seem to be:

  1. Buy it all and check other quilt shops and online for more.
  2. Buy as much as you can afford.
  3. Let the amount of fabric you have determine the size of the quilt.

Easy, eh? If you plan to make Swiss cheese of the fabric, you just need to buy as much as you can.

Ten or twelve yards might not be enough—and you won’t know until you try.

The only alternative is to unfold the fabric at the shop and count sets of 8 identical shapes. That might work if you only need a fat quarter or a half yard of a particular fabric but even then it can be tricky because cutting one flower might make the surrounding designs useless because it doesn’t leave enough seam allowance. Count, but buy extra if you can!

For this method, no arithmetic is required. . . as long as you don’t mind surprises.


Fussy Cutting Arithmetic

With simple arithmetic (sometimes lots of arithmetic, but all simple multiplying and dividing) you can determine exactly what you need for No Waste Fussy Cutting. If you are uncomfortable with multiplying by 12 and dividing by 36 in your head, use a calculator.

Before you leave home.

Monkey’s Cheat Sheet is perfect for staying organized.

  1. How many identical diamonds for each star?  8
  2. How many stars?  144
    You can see how simple it was to determine the number of stars when I prepared Monkey’s Cheat Sheet for a blue variation of this quilt. (12 rows of 12 stars. Easy peasy.)
    (Example of Monkey’s Cheat Sheet.)
  3. Print to take with you:
    1. Extra copy of Monkey’s Cheat Sheet
    2. Window Template, so you can preview fabric. (I carry mine in a plastic sheet protector.)
    3. Suggested Custom Page Sizes
    For Diamond Layout A, print page 47 of the shape collection (Catalogue of Shapes).


Suggested Custom Page Sizes for Diamonds

I need a lot of diamonds. The Suggested Custom Page Sizes on page 47 (above) show me that I would like to print 25 diamonds at a time, 7.75 x 11.5, if possible.

This tells me that a pretty fabric with a 12 inch repeat would be a luck find.

Let’s shop!


Inklingo Window Template

At the Quilt Shop

1. Preview fabrics with your window template to see whether the scale is suitable.

The great big flowers in this fabric make wonderful kaleidoscopes when cut into small diamonds. I might not have been able to see it without my window template.

There are suggestions for choosing fabric for fussy cutting in a video on the Main Lucy Boston Page.

In a nutshell, look for “busy” fabrics without big empty spaces or a lot of background. Choosing fabric for No Waste Fussy Cutting is similar to Stack n Whack™, One Block Wonder, and other Kaleidoscope methods.


Measure the repeat.

2. Measure the repeat in the design.
Common repeats are 12, 18, and 24 inches. Measure parallel to the selvage from one motif to the next identical motif.

This fabric is one of my favorites. It has a 12 inch repeat, which is common. Even after the fabric shrinks, I will have enough for a sheet of 25 diamonds (7.75 x 11.5) in each repeat, as illustrated below. PERFECT.

After washing, a 12 inch repeat is often only about 11 5/8 (11.625). There will be very little waste.

Now that I have chosen a fabric with a 12 inch repeat, how much should I buy?


Print 8 identical sheets of diamonds

To get 8 identical sheets, I will need to buy 8 repeats of 12 inches each, measured along the selvage. Arithmetic: 12 x 8 = 96 inches and 96 divided by 36 = 2.66 yards.

The diamonds in the positions marked * will all be identical, so those 8 diamonds will make a fabulous kaleidoscope star.


Print identical sheets of fabric.

Since each sheet of FP/fabric will be 7.75 inches wide, I can fit 5 across the width of the fabric because the fabric is 40-42 inches wide without selvages. Arithmetic: 7.75 x 5 = 38.75.


Staggered start

I prefer a staggered start (above). If you don’t stagger, you might end up with too little variation in the sets of diamonds because of the repeat across the width of the fabric. Round up from 2.66 to at least 2.75 or 3 yards. Let’s say 3 yards.

You may want to allow for 9 repeats, as described in Part 2 of this tutorial.


So far, we have allowed for 8 sheets x 5 sheets across. Arithmetic: 8 x 5 = 40 sheets of 25 diamonds each and 40 x 25 = 1000.

However, Monkey’s Cheat Sheet tells us we need 1152 diamonds. Arithmetic: 8 x 144 stars = 1152, so we need 152 more diamonds for 19 more stars.

152 diamonds requires 8 identical sheets of 19 diamonds. There is no way to print only 19 diamonds at a time, so I will print 20 at a time on sheets 6.25 x 11.5. This is not one of the suggested Custom Page Sizes on page 47, but it is one row narrower than printing 25 at a time.


Option # 1
Double the yardage (3 x 2 = 6 yards) and print one row of sheets along the selvage of the next 3 yards too. In this case you will have lots of fabric (approx 32 x 108) to use on the back or for binding or for stash.

This is probably what I would do if I really love the fabric.

Option # 2
Make the other 19 stars without fussy cutting (no kaleidoscope effect), and just buy enough for 8 more sheets of 20 diamonds.

8 more sheets requires 24 inches (diagram above). Arithmetic: 24 divided by 36 = 0.66 yards, round up to 0.75 yards.

Total yardage for diamonds is therefore 3.75 yards. Arithmetic: 3 + 0.75 = 3.75.

This is a good solution if you cannot do Option # 1, either because of the expense or because there is only 3.75 yards left on the bolt.


Modified Inklingo Star Quilt

Option # 3
Modify the quilt layout so 20 of the stars would be from a different fabric (red stars, above). You might even like the modified design better!

Option # 4
Examine the repeat ACROSS the fabric for the remaining 19 stars. The repeat in the design that we normally rely upon is the one parallel to the selvage, but designs also repeat across the width of the fabric.

The design at the selvage might be repeated 2, 3, or more times in the same 12 inch strip across the width of the fabric. If you can find 3 repeats across, for 8 sheets you would need 3 more repeats (12 x 3) to get 8 or 9 identical sheets of 20 diamonds.

Seeing the repeat across the width of the fabric can be tricky, so ask someone at the quilt shop to help.


That is a lot of info already, but we have more tips to share that give you more options when you are determining how much fabric to buy, so please stay tuned.

In the meantime, you might enjoy these articles too.

Fussy Cutting is a hot topic!


Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting for 6 pointed Stars!


Part 2 of this tutorial also discusses how to determine yardage requirements for other shapes, like 6-pointed stars and Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses (POTC).

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Linda & Monkey

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NEW Inklingo Diamonds 60 Degree

Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting

We are in love with Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting for stars and for Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses.


Inklingo 60 Diamond 1.25 inch

Today there is a new size—60° Diamond 1.25 inch.

(All Inklingo shapes are named with the finished size.)


Inklingo 300 Pieced Hexagons

This new shape collection is ideal with Inklingo 60° Hexagon 1.25 inch for 300 Pieced Hexagons and this size might be perfect for fussy cutting the fabric in your stash.


Inklingo is handy for printing a window template too.

You can print on paper with Inklingo to make a window template to decide which size works best with any fabric.


Inklingo is handy for printing a window template too.

This fabric has a little more “background” than I prefer, but I can see potential.

Too much background can make the results less interesting.


Each set of 6 diamonds is different.

Each set of 6 diamonds is different and some are more exciting than others, but this works!

You can see all of the Inklingo diamond sizes on the Main Diamond Page on the website.

Inklingo Kaleidoscope Stars

Each star is a surprise.


Inklingo and sew!

I fussy cut 6 identical sheets of fabric (8.5 x 10.5) to get 25 Kaleidoscope Stars with Inklingo 60° Diamonds 1.25 inch. It worked well with the repeat on this fabric.

Twenty-five stars may sound like a lot, but these are so fast that Monkey says it won’t be long before I need to print 25 more. (Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting)


Examples with the Inklingo Diamond Shape Collection


You can get amazing designs without fussy cutting too.

All of these pieced hexagons can be made with the 4 shapes in the new 1.25 inch Inklingo Diamond shape collection. The pieced hexagons have 2.5 inch sides (finished) and are 5 inches across from point to point.


Inklingo Kaleidoscope Star

Download the shapes, print on fabric, and let your imagination soar!


Print shapes on fabric with your Inkjet


Whichever size you choose, when you print the shapes on fabric with Inklingo, you have many advantages:

  • Portable
  • Precise, with perfect straight grain, crosshairs, stitching lines
  • Print and rotary cut several layers at a time to get a fast start
  • Alternate layouts for scissors cutting (sometimes saves fabric)
  • Alternate layouts for a choice of straight grain
  • Half and quarter diamonds (triangles) for more design options
  • No templates
  • No waste
  • No basting
  • No whip-stitching
  • Sew by hand or by machine
  • Sew some seams by hand and some by machine if you prefer (hybrid)
  • Ideal for fussy cutting (“fussy printing”) as shown on YouTube
  • Fabric requirements are provided
  • Compatible with any design which uses the same shapes
  • Can be used to rescue a quilt you started with English Paper Piecing


Rotary cut several layers at a time.

You can rotary cut several layers at a time or use scissors.


Examples with Diamonds

Whether you combine the shapes to make Pieced Hexagons, or . . .


Inklingo Kaleidoscope Stars

. . . fussy cut, we think you will love inklingoing!


There is a new article on QuiltingHub showing how I get perfect intersections on stars. You don’t have to register to read the article, but if you do, you can rate the article AND the Inklingo page on QuiltingHub. Monkey is longing for a few 5 star ratings!

QuiltingHub has a new look and new features, so we think you will want to register and visit over and over again.


As usual, the new shapes are at a very special intro price—but for a few days only!

Are you subscribed?

If you don’t want to miss anything, you can enter your email address (right sidebar). There’s more good stuff coming!

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.

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Inklingo on QuiltingHub 02

Inklingo Kaleidoscope Stars

I was pleased to be invited to write an article about how to get perfect intersections on Kaleidoscope Stars for QuiltingHub’s September Newsletter.


Inklingo on Quilting Hub

We’ve mentioned QuiltingHub on the blog before.

It is a great tool for quilters worldwide—just like Inklingo.


Inklingo Kaleidoscope Stars

You can read the newsletter online. (Click)


Print shapes on fabric with Inklingo

The 60° Diamonds 2 inch used for these stars were printed with Inklingo.


Inklingo Kaleidoscope Stars

The article includes my best tips for getting perfect intersections.


Inklingo Kaleidoscope Stars

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Inklingo on Quilting Hub

We hope that means you will like, fan, and rate Inkingo’s page on QuiltingHub.

THANK YOU to everyone who has registered and rated Inklingo so far!

We love those 5 star ratings!


The benefits of QuiltingHub for quilters are described in the video.

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Any registered user can make suggestions. It only takes a minute to make a suggestion that will help other quilters.


Inklingo Kaleidoscope Stars

Kaleidoscope Stars are s similar to Stack n Whack, Fussy Cutting and One Block Wonder as described on the blog in No-Waste Fussy Cutting.

Monkey and I hope you find the new article so helpful that you will give it 5 stars too!


A new tute will be posted on Wednesday, so please enter your email address (top of right sidebar), so you don’t miss anything good.

Thanks for visiting. See you 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.

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Inklingo for Beginners

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Kaleidoscope Stars – No Waste Fussy Cutting

Inklingo Kaleidoscope Star


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!


You can catch up on our other Wednesday Tutes too:


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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

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Wednesday Tute 13 – Kaleidoscope Stars

Inklingo Kaleidoscope Stars


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.


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


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.


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


Inklingo 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


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!


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


  • 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


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)


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