Monday, April 19, 2010

A Small Finish and How I Fussy Cut

I thought it was high time I reported a finish. I think you all know I am a huge fan of Blackbird Designs. I cross stitched this back in 2009. It is no trouble to whip these cross stitches up, finishing them is another story. The instructions given are really easy to follow , I have no idea why I stall when it comes to this process. I have filled this Strawberry with Silica sand as per the recommendation however it was suggested that the wire sandwiched between the leaves should be glued. I am not and never have been a fan of glue so I sewed around half of the leaf and then slotted the wire shape inside and continued on sewing. After a couple of goes this way I finally managed to get them to resemble something that looked like leaves. I must admit I did think alot about Janet(Read Janet's posts about the frustrations of constructing some of her soft toys and bags) The thought did rush through my mind, should I just throw this in the bin, however I persevered. I am not altogether thrilled with the outcome but I will be able to stick my pins in the strawberry part.
I have had many requests for my method of fussy cutting so here goes.
Along with the tools shown below you also need a sheet of Templastic, which believe it or not is also in the picture but sitting on a white bench it is a little hard to see.


I draw around my template , on the outside and the inside. My templates have a 1/4 inch seam allowance.


I then colour in my seam allowance. I do not cut out the centre, it can still be used as a window but I use this to draw location markers from the fabric underneath.


You can see what I mean with these examples from a couple of my previous templates. They are reuseable, just rub out the lines when you have finished.
This template included the seam allowance , I drew around it and ruled 1/4 inch inwards. Once again colour in the seam allowance as per previous instructions.







Once I have made a decision on the shape that I wish to repeat I place the template over the area and draw some marker lines so that I will be able to line these marks up exactly
as I repeat this process for the next 5 hexagons.


You can draw as much detail as you feel necessary






Before you lift the template off the fabric , ensure that you draw around the outside of the template on the right side of the fabric. This will be taken to the back of the cardboard shape so you won't see the marks.

Cut shape out on the line.






I always make a small dot on the right side of the fabric (using a water soluble pen).
I can then line up the paper piece with a 1/4 SA.( SA= Seam Allowance)







This is a closeup of the dot.



you can see in the photo below the paper piece with the 1/4 inch seam allowance. It is important to get this accurate so that your shapes line up exactly.




when you feel that you have your 1/4 inch seam allowance aligned exactly, I use a spring clip to hold the first turn over of the seam allowance in place. ( I find that sometimes when using a pin the fabric moves and knocks the 1/4 sa out of alignment)



This somehow acts as a third hand and holds the fabric piece steady to get your first couple of stitches in place.
I find this method works for me and allows an accurate 1/4 sa all around.

The more of these you make the more dexterous you become.



I always sew my centre in last




I like to audition different fabrics to decide what I think suits the centre.
Generally it is a flower centre, sometimes though it can be just a spot or something quite geometric.



I hope this may give you a few tips to help you with your fussy cutting. If you would like any further explanations please leave a comment and I will endeavour to answer your queries.



I wish you all happy fussy cutting, but can I say it is addictive and it changes the way you look at fabric from here on in.
Happy sewing
j














31 comments:

Michele said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful tutorial. I would be so thrilled if you would do the same for clamshells. Not so much because of the fussy cutting, I get that, but I'm confused about laying them out, and sewing them down. Do you stitch them to a background fabric, or just to each other? Your fabric choices, and photographs are beautiful. Michele

Nedra said...

Love your strawberry, and thank you so much for the fussy cut tutorial. I have not spent a lot of time on fussy cutting things for quilts, and this gives me new ideas.

Karen said...

The strawberry is unusual and I like it very much.

Céline said...

Thanks a lot for this tutorial !! I hope I could try one time !!
And love so much your strawberry !!

Catherine said...

I think your strawberry is just perfect!

cathie said...

The Tutorial was just great and I agree with Michele - one on Clamshells would be wonderful. Just love reading your blogs, your photos and stories are just great. Keep up the beautiful work. Cathie

Cardygirl said...

Thanks for the great tutorial. Nice to have pointers! Love the strawberry!Embarrassingly, I have a christmas cross stitch strawberry fro Prairie Schooler that has never been constructed!

Sue-Anne said...

Hi Jean, Love the strawberry and I think the stem looks really good.

Thanks for the tutorial on fussy cutting. I am just starting to get into hexagons and have struggled with getting my paper dead centre. I have been using a pin but will look for a clip to hold them together.

Also loved the tip about drawing the shape onto the templastic.

Mannick...91 said...

What a nice surprise Jean, this is the tutorial that you had said! great joy in seeing ... here it is midnight and I'll go to sleep and dream about how you work. A BIG thank you.
Tomorrow, I'll see how you perform your beautiful hexies.
Annick (in France)

Nyla said...

Lovely post Jean. Thanks so much for sharing your expertise with us all! I love all of your fussy cutting and have been looking at fabric differently. I plan on doing much more fussy cutting as a result.

Karen said...

Thank you for the wonderful fussy cutting tutorial. I'm new to fussy cutting and just love it. The placement dot is an excellent idea, as is the drawing of location marks. I like the idea of using a clip, but stitching the center in last makes me a little nervous. Also, I too would love to see a clamshell tutorial.

Elain said...

I could have knitted two jumpers, a pair of socks and a handbag in the time it takes to fussy cut...

Maree: said...

Love your Strawberry it looks Beautiful..
cheers

Fiona said...

I enjoyed reading how you do your "fussy cutting" - lovely clear instructions.

I too use templastic, but not quite as accurately as yourself since I do not include the 1/4" SA in my template.

Interesting to read that you too call it "fussy cutting". Incredibly there is a quilt appraiser in the USA who says that we should not be using this term as it has been trade marked! Huh!??

Janet said...

Fabulous post Jean, I am a big fan of strawberries and what a stunning job you did. I love it a lot. Thanks for sharing all the info on fussy cutting. It's just made for hexagons.

Bernadette said...

thank you for the wonderful instructions, I have often wondered how you fussy cut so beautifully.

FIONA said...

Love the strawberry - it looks fantastic! And the tutorial is great also! Love the blog! Great inspiration! Thankyou! FIONA H

Vicki said...

Thats very cool - even I understood!

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

I love it when you post; all your projects are beautiful.

YankeeQuilter said...

Great tutorial! I just fuzzy cut a stack of triangles for a project and your technique would have helped a lot! Definitely using it next time...

Melissa said...

Great idea! Are those templates commercially available or did you have them made? I am new at hexagons but sat down and did 10 last night and really enjoyed it!

Valentina said...

Thanks Jean, I tried fussy cutting for the first time last week and I was so frustrated... But I was also hooked!
:) Thanks for coming to the rescue with such a great tut. I will be trying this out a.s.a.p!
and your clamshell is awe inspiring...
xox
Valentina from cyprus

Ginger said...

Thanks for the great tutorial. Could you tell me the brand name or where you purchased the amber colored templates shown in your pictures? thanks.

pajudie said...

Your strawberry looks great. This is my first visit to your blog and enjoyed your tutorial. I'm currently working on a Grandmother's Flower Garden and using mylar templates. I like them because I can see through them so they make fussy cutting easy. The only problem that I've found with them is that they are not very flexible so have to be "popped" out as you go along so that you can fold your material to add more hexies. Takes a little "brainwork" to figure out how to do that but works well in the long run :o) Hope you'll come visit my blog - www.quiltedscottie.blogspot.com
Judie

Siobhan said...

I just discovered your blog while blog hopping, and WOW!! What beautiful projects. BBD is a favorite of mine, too. I love how your strawberry turned out! Great job. Thanks for the tutorial on the fussy cutting for the hexagons, too. Great idea on the clip to act as a third hang--I love it! Your clam shell quilt is fanTASTIC!!

Q said...

OOO I have that exact same fabric! That's beautiful what you did with it. Thanks for sharing :)

ParisMaddy said...

That certainly simplified the process for me. I guess I thought the hexagons were way harder than they are. Thanks.

Your blocks are beautiful.

Bertie said...

Love the BBD strawberry, lovely blog too.
The hexagon tutorial is great, it doesn't look so daunting now and will give it a go.

Wendy said...

The hexagon tutorial is great. Where did you get your templates? I have never seen any without the center and would love to get some.

Beth Gracie said...

Great tutorial! i also would lie to know where you got your templates! i'm about to try hexies for the first time and the clip idea will be super helpful. thanks!

Sue said...

Thanks for the tutorial, I am going to become your newest follower! nice blog!