Monday, November 29, 2010

Fussy Framed Block - Tutorial

This block combines fussy cutting (so your favourite prints can become the star of the block) as well as the stack and slash method, so there's very little wastage of fabric and the outer border will look continuous around the framed fussy cut part. You will be making two blocks at a time and if you maintain a scant 1/4" seam when piecing you wont need to trim your blocks at the end. It may seem a little tricky at first, but if you follow the steps carefully you'll get the hang of it quickly.


For each pair of blocks you will need fabric with a large print to fussy cut and one with a small print (that doesn't need to be fussy cut). You will also need two 1" strips (selvedge to selvedge) of solid fabric (I have opted to use lots of different colour solids in my quilt, but you may choose to use just one solid fabric). I cut my blocks 10 1/2" x 10 1/2, but you can cut them whatever size you like as long as they are the same size and there's a couple of inches all the way around the print you want to fussy cut. You wont lose anything in the length, but you will lose 1" in width, so my finished blocks will measure 9 1/2" (wide) x 10 1/2" (tall) raw edge to raw edge.

Stack and iron your two squares of fabric on top of each other, carefully matching the edges. Ironing helps them stay together as you cut them. Make sure the fabric that you want to fussy cut is on the top and the print on the bottom square is aligned correctly (especially if it has a directional print)


Place pins around the image you want to see in your final fussy cut window. Ensure the pinned image is atleast 1 1/2" away from all sides of your block.


Line up your ruler parallel to the side of your block and make a cut 3/4" away from the left side of your pinned area (see photo). I made a guide by cutting a 3/4" strip of white (from scraps) that I placed momentarily on my block to make it easier to judge where to cut.


Using your ruler and rotary cutter cut through both layers.


Turn your cutting board around and do the same on the opposite side, cutting 3/4" outside the pinned area.


 
Turn the cutting mat again so you can cut below the pinned image. Move the two side strips you just cut slightly to the side (but still maintain their position and orientation). Aligning the ruler so it is parallel to the bottom of your block, make a cut 1/4" away from the bottom of the pinned area (not 3/4" this time). I just eyeballed the 1/4", but you could cut a 1/4" strip from scraps or use 1/4" tape as a guide if you wanted.


Do the same to the top of your block, cutting 1/4" away from the pinned area.


Now, this is important ... you need to cut a 1/2" strip from the left and a 1/2" strip from the right of your pinned middle piece.



And then discard those 1/2" strips you just cut (they will be the only bits of fabric wasted from the blocks).


Take out the pins and arrange the block pieces so the small print fabric surrounds the larger print, and the larger print surrounds the small print fabric. Make sure you maintain the orientation of the outer strips. Decide which 1" solid fabric will go with each block.


I added a pin to the centre of my inner rectangle to maintain the correct orientation (force of habit) but this really isn't necessary.

Working on one block at a time...


With right sides together sew the solid strip to the bottom of the inner rectangle (the fussy cut part). Make sure you use an accurate 1/4" seam. Trim the strip in line with the rectangle.


In a similar fashion add a solid strip to the top of the rectangle. Iron seams away from the centre.


Add a solid strip to the left and right side of your block, trim and iron seams outward.


Then add the top and bottom outer strips, ironing seams outwards as you go. If you have cut and pieced accurately the strips should fit nicely without any trimming. If you do need to trim a little, no big deal!


Add the left and right strips and iron seams outwards.


There you have it!

My block looks a little skew - I must have ironed a little too vigorously! But I'm sure it will all come together nicely once I add sashing.

Now you can put your other block together in the same manner. The design on the outer fabric should look continuous (except for a small loss in the seams).


Please let me know if any of this doesn't make sense or you have any questions. I usually get one or two people to proof read/test my patterns before I put them out, but I haven't had a chance to do that with this one yet. I'll post new blocks as I make them.

I would love to see blocks you make using this tutorial (and any other quilts that are inspired by my patterns or quilts). Today I finally started a flickr group, so please feel free to add your photos. Its looking a little pathetic at the moment with nothing in it :)

26 comments:

  1. That is genius!! I recently made my Far Far Away 2 quilt, just cutting it all into squares... Fortunately I am pleased with it, but I do wish I'd had this first ;-)

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  2. Great idea! I love your fabric too.

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  3. What a lovely tutorial, Kate! Thanks for sharing!!

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  4. Wonderful tutorial Kate and I love your blocks! I really need to do something with the ginormous stack of FFA2 I have!

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  5. That's really smart! I'm going to have to try your method out.

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  6. You are........ BRILLIANT!!! I can't wait to try this with my FFA2 - I've been searching for a pattern that would show off the fabric without losing the design!! Woohoo!!

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  7. thanks so much for the tutorial. I love that fabric.
    I did some fussy cutting yesterday and it's a tad bit horrifying to cut it up, but the thing I made turned out great.

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  8. Brilliant! No wonder your dlocks look so good! You tutorial makes perfect sense-thank you!

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  9. This is such a good idea that I just had to post my "Thank You"!

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  10. Congrats on such a nice tutorial....great idea and I like the little frame. Smart lady!!

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  11. Fabulous tutorial! Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

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  12. Great tutorial. This is such a clever idea!

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  13. I give birth to infer from a only one of the articles on your website at this very moment, and I definitely like your fashionableness of blogging. I added it to my favorites net age file and resolve be checking assist soon. Cheer check in view my put as highly and fail me know what you think. Thanks.

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  14. This is SO cute! Thanks for the easy tutorial!

    Jennifer :)

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  15. Awesome post. Really enjoyed reading your blog posts.

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  16. I love this tutorial ... my far far away stash wlll not be safe now !!
    thanks

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  17. Wow, I'm now ready to fussy cut-thanks to your tutorial. Love the Heather Ross far far away fabric. Thank you from the bottom of my newbie sewer heart.

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  18. Great tutorial. Remember that scant 1/4" seam. I think mine was just out. They don't line up quite as nicely as Kate's but I still like them. Sew easy too! (Pardon the pun)

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  19. Thank you for posting this, it was quite helpful and told a lot

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  20. What a beautiful quilt and a fantastic tutorial! I'm waiting on some FFA2 to arrive and can't wait to use this tutorial. Thankyou!!!

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  21. This was a nice article to read, thank you for sharing it..

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  22. Wow! That's amazing. I totally love that method.

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  23. Great idea and a great way to show off those "special" prints. I'll be bookmarking this tutorial. Wonderful!

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  24. thanks for sharing..

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  25. I love your blog! Oh my word this is brilliant!! I googled fussy cut pattern because I am dying to make one.I will have to choose which pattern to get now! Thank you:0

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Thanks so much for leaving a comment! I try to respond but life sometimes gets in the way. If you have any questions please email me at kate(at)kateconklindesigns(dot)com