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Fussy Cutting – what is it….

On the Camp Loopy sewing chat group there was a question about the fussy cutting I did in my bird quilt.  So I decided to snap some quick photos to try to explain what it is and why I used it.

DSCN3668Fussy cutting is basically just making the most of your fabric design and the way you cut that fabric.

If it’s an all over print or solid, you don’t need to worry about fussy cutting.  But some fabrics have larger prints that you may want to center or place a specific way within your block

This is the project we were talking about on the chat group – I fussy cut two of the fabric prints to get them centered in the blocks they are used in.

These two blocks were fussy cut to get the bird prints centered in the blocks.





One of the fabrics I fussy cut was this one – the rows of birds are basically done as wide stripes across the fabric.  That photo is just a scrap of what’s left over .



For the particular block I was making I needed a 5″ wide strip.  If I just started cutting at the selvage edge of the fabric as if I were cutting plain strips, I would have ended up with a strip that looked similar to this DSCN3675(I set black strips of fabric on each edge of the ruler to make it easier to see what the 5″ section would look  like since my ruler was wider than that).  As you can see I would be cutting off part of the bodies of the birds on the left side and cutting off their heads on the right side of the strip.


So instead of doing that, I fussy cut it (and this fabric just happened to work darn near perfectly for the size strip I needed).

So if I’m cutting a 5″ strip, I put the 2.5″ line on my ruler down the center of one of a bird stripe which looks like this



I get the full bird stripe and just the beaks of the birds on either edge (I bumped the table as I was taking the photo so my ruler shifted a little – I would realign it when I cut so that the little red head on the right side wasn’t showing.  That’s all fussy cutting is.  So if I need a second strip like that, I would be wasting a bit of fabric in between.  Since I’ve cut the beaks off on the birds at the right edge of the strip in the last photo, I’d have to skip that row of birds with no beaks and move my ruler over to center it over the  next row of birds to the right of that ( in this instance I’m wasting a partial strip of birds rather than cutting one strip butted up one right next to the other) so I could center it again, have just the beaks showing on each edge, and cut another strip to match the first one I cut.

Hope this explanation helps.


Fresh from the garden

My little garden plot, where once again today I pulled out tons of weeds – pigweed is my nemesis – is doing pretty well.  I’m waiting for that first ripe tomatoe – mine are all green and it will be a while before they ripen, but in the meantime I brought some back from my Dad’s and my sister’s gardens – he has red ones and she had some yellow ones to give me.  They live only about 3 hrs  away in Iowa but they are probably a good month ahead of us as far as growing season goes.

But what I did find in my garden — more cucumbers.

DSCN3673  Nothing says fresh from the garden like sweet and sour dilly cucumbers (at least to me) and the dill was fresh from one of my pots too.    I think it may be steak, cucumbers and corn on the cob for dinner tonight.

Now back to cutting the outer borders for my Camp Loopy quilt. The rows and sashing are all sewn together.  Could be I just might get to piecing the background tomorrow and getting it layered ..or I may just sit out on the patio and knit.   I’ve only got about 5 or six rows on my Summer KAL sweater to do on the cowl before I bind that off and see if I like it or hate the cowl (I’m hoping I like it ’cause I don’t want to rip all that back out), and then I’ll just have the armhole trim to add and sideseams to stitch – and a whole lot of ends to bury.


The Birds

My plan last night was to get my five bird blocks done, which I did. Then to cut out the main pieces that make up the other blocks, which I did. But then I wanted to see how some of the blocks looked stitched together and since there were so few pieces to stitch for a block, ended up making all of them.

And you know me – next I wanted to see just one row stitched together…. so when I quilt sewing in the wee hours of the morning, I had all horizontal rows stitched and the sashing strips in between made.

DSCN3664 It was a bit tricky to cut some of the fabrics since for this Camp Loopy challenge you needed to use two Short Stacks (FQ packs).  The blacks, tho they look the same in the photo were from one Short Stack of all black tone on tone fabrics.  The nuthatches fabric (to the immediate right of the top left bird) and the other bird strip (to the left of the top right bird) I would have liked to put more of in the quilt – they are my favorites – but I had to fussy cut them so that always wastes a bit of fabric.  There’s one fabric from the Short stack that didn’t make it to the front of the wall hanging so that one will be included in the backing.  I’m contemplating ordering regular yardage of these fabrics and maybe adding in some of the other colorways to make a bed size quilt.

Just have to sew these rows together and then cut the final black border that goes around it all.