Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Fussy Cutting Challenge

Most of you have done some fussy cutting at least once I imagine.
Early in December, I shared a group of hexie flowers here that I pieced along with Naomi's #fussycuttingsewalong for the Christmas season.
She started a year long group in January with changing monthly themes and each week, we have the opportunity to stash dive and create another hexie flower.
I really wondered about the "why" of  the "pattern matching" exercises but I'm to the point now where it's pretty easy.  I think it's easier for me since I'm machine piecing (another opportunity to show off the Set-In Piecing Simplified technique) than it would be to do traditional English paper piecing -- if one doesn't get it basted just right, matching the hexies back together with the pattern of the print aligning perfectly would be a real challenge.

I've made myself an auditioning window the finished size of a hexie flower.  I move it around until I find a motif I like then I check to see how many complete motifs I have on the fabric.
One needs three complete motifs to cut up to make one hexie flower.
I liked this one, but only had one repeat of it.
Happily I did have three of this simpler motif -- and there is a bird in it!! 
Step one is to cut out the center hexagon (thereby rendering that complete motif useless) -- I'm using the 1" template from Marti Michell's Set G. 
Then I center that cut out hexagon onto the wrong side of the fabric aligning it as perfectly as possible with the second complete motif.
Once I'm satisfied with the alignment, I put the template on top of it and trace around the outside with a pencil.
I lift away the template and the first hexagon, then recenter the template and mark all six of the dots (pencil through the holes at each corner) onto the fabric.
You can see the dot in the upper right corner the easiest in the picture below. 
The purpose of the dots is so I can line up the template as I cut three hexagons from that motif.
One has been cut and I've moved the template to the top of the hexagon outline and lined up the dots.
This guarantees that I will have the correct amount of seam allowance and simplifies the matching.
Two cut out and the third lined up. 
Nothing here except holes!! 
The center hexagon and the first three hexagons. 
I repeat the process and cut the remaining three hexagons needed from a third motif of the fabric.
Then it's off to the sewing machine!
I do all the cutting on the wrong side and keep the hexagons laid out that way to avoid putting them in the wrong place. 
Naomi has given us a "pattern matching" assignment every month -- so here are my four so far!
If you are curious about the group, it's all on Instagram.
Naomi's name is @naomialicec or search for the #fussycuttingsewalong hashtag.
It's only one hexie flower a week, you can choose your own size and fabric style and most of the gals are doing it English paper piecing style.

Back to the sewing machine!!


  1. The accuracy with this method is incredible! I'm happy to have seen your process in person last month. Thank you Mary!

  2. This is so soft and beautiful! I love the fabrics you've chosen. Congrats on a lovely finish, and thanks for the link to the pattern :)

  3. Great job! You have a lot more patience than I do.

  4. What a clever idea to use that "window".

  5. Very cool! I had been wondering how to do this! Thanks for sharing!