English Paper Piecing, Day Four

Today is Friday and I want to show a few steps and tips for fussy cutting a motif. Fussy cutting is centering a design within the confines of the patch size. Let's see a few examples: First is my Wild Woods Fox in the center of a star. I turned it into a table mat (tho it's a wall quilt here with my Little Buddy.)
Fussy Cutting a motif for a 2" hexagon
The Fox and Duck are to be captured in a 2" hexagon, so the center of that freezer paper window on the Duck is the size of the 2" hexagon paper. 3/8" added around for wraparound seams. Cut out the fabric hexagon and EPP to a 2" paper! The triangles (blue) are 2" size. The diamonds (orange) are 2" size.

Finished Fox topper
And some little flower motifs become part of several blocks. The two blocks in the background are made using 1" size. See how lovely they are! Yes, I finally put clothes on my Helper.
Fussy cutting flowers
And some made using 1-1/4" papers and a Christmas collection from Benartex:

Capturing a snowflake motif in the center of a freezer paper window
Wait a minute! What about those Chickadees in the background?! Well, I'm glad you asked! But first, let me address freezer paper for those unfamiliar with it. You find it in the grocery store aisle with plastic wrap. Reynolds is the maker. It was created for wrapping your food to keep it from freezer burn in the freezer. Then quilters discovered it and the rest is history.

Freezer paper has a waxy side (Reynolds calls it "plastic" and I'm horrified by that term when I think of ironing it to my fabric!) and a paper side. You can draw on the paper side. The waxy side is placed on your fabric and you use your iron to press it and the wax (think "wax paper") sticks to the fabric. It's the perfect template material. Appliquérs use it all the time.

Now for the Chickadees. For one set of blocks I thought that a 1-3/4" hexagon would work best with the motifs I wanted to capture. But then I actually bumped it up to 2" to capture more.
Freezer paper window with 3/8" seam allowance
Here's one block up close:

2" hexagons and diamonds
I call these "Marie" because that is what Katja Marek calls this vintage block in her book. I squeezed the life out of this My Little Chickadee collection by Jackie Robinson for Benartex!

6 Marie Blocks awaiting a quilt
For another block I used a 3-1/2" diamond! I had to draft that myself. I chose 3-1/2" based on the size of the motif I wanted to capture.
Centering my freezer paper over the motif I wanted to capture
 Here is the block which Katja calls "Debbie." Wrong spelling of that name, for sure!

Little Debby (not Debbie) block
And, of course, a hexagon! This is centered in my Twisted Hexagon topper.

Center of a Twisted Hexagon table mat
Isn't this "tweet"?
Twisted Hexagon table mat

Wait a minute! What's that seam through his little neck? I had to piece this. What do you think? I put those decades of garment sewing to the test and they came through for me!

My little pieced chickadee!
OK. Enough for today. Yes, I have another dozen or so blocks and projects where I fussy cut motifs for EPP. You can do a search for these using the Search window on the sidebar on the right side of this blog. Just scroll down and have a good time!

See you tomorrow for a few more shapes to round up the week's EPP focus!


  1. So beautiful....we have lots of these little birds and what a beautiful way to display their characters. thank you for all your designs.


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