Wednesday 15 January 2020

Using Acrylic Cutting Templates for Fussy-Cutting

'Fussy-cutting' it's a funny term, but quite simply; it is cutting and using a particular motif or repeating element of a fabric print intentionally. When used with the precision of English Paper Piecing, it's a perfect fit and you can understand why it's so incredibly popular - and addictive!

Using acrylic cutting templates for English Paper Piecing in general is a life-saver and produces accurately cut fabric pieces ready to baste to your paper templates. People are often confused by them and think they use them in place of paper templates, but they are designed to be used alongside paper templates as they have the seam allowance added around the edge.

All of our Sew & Quilt acrylic templates come with a 3/8" seam allowance. Why you ask? 1/4" is the minimum you need for turning over, 3/8" is 1/8" larger so it gives you a little more wiggle-room - which you will come to love!
*I should note, our teeny acrylics - under 1/2" have a regular 1/4" seam allowance - well, they are tiny after all!

Quilting Supplies:
* Quilting cotton, which features a repeating pattern or motif
* Sew & Quilt acrylic cutting template
* Pen or water soluble pen
* Medium sized scissors or 28mm rotary cutter
* Paper Pieces (of matching size)
* Sewline Glue Pen

1. First gather your fabric and find your perfect motif! A pretty drawing such as this, stripes, repeating patterns that you can spin and and tilt all work wonderfully for creating a kaleidascope, fussy-cut effect.

2. Use a pen or pencil to draw around the acrylic template. More often than not I will use a regular Biro (call the quilt police!) as I find it easiest to see and I'm cutting on the drawn line so I don't need to worry about spoiling the fabric. You can also use a water-soluble pen, which I use sometimes too. 

3. Cut out your shape. I personally find scissors give me more accuracy, but you can also use a small rotary cutter too if that feels more comfortable.

4. Dab a dot of fabric glue on the middle of the paper template, position the fabric shape on top centrally (the glue will hold it's place to stop it moving). Baste the fabric to the paper template, using your preferred method. 

5. Voila! Finished. Now see if you can stop yourself next time you look at a fabric in your stash, soon it will be swiss-cheese!
Fabric used: Liberty Sussex B Tana Lawn

If you're not fussy-cutting but still want to use an acrylic template, a speedy tip would be to rotary cut strips from your fabric, subcut them into the smaller squares or rectangles and then use the acrylic templates to trim off the edges to follow your shape.

At Sew & Quilt we offer them in set sizes that match your paper templates - no need to add the seam allowances, we do that for you to make it easy! So if you're working with 1-1/4" Honeycomb paper pieces, you will need a 1-1/4" Honeycomb acrylic template. Easy, peasy. 

1 comment:

  1. Jesse, this is great. I love acrylic templates for paper piecing.
    This fabric is so so soooo pretty. Now I want some, need some of this fabric


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