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Fussy Cutting Hack: Paper Template

I love using big prints for the backs of my quilts. When I'm lucky enough to find a way to get one in a top, here's how I use it. Links in this tutorial help support this blog because feeding teenagers isn't cheap.

First of all, I use paper templates for fussy cutting. I know there are all sorts of clear templates made for fussy cutting but paper works great (and I can recycle it!).

Step 1: Cut out the paper template's center. I'm not too particular here, a rough cut works fine. In the photo, the black line on the template is the stitching line. I leave 1/4" of paper around it for the seam allowance.

Step 2: Center the part of the print you want to highlight. I got a rainbow and a unicorn! Win!

Step 3: Use a small dab of glue on the back of the template in each corner to hold it in place.

Step 4: Line the 1/4" mark of your ruler up with the stitching line and rotary cut. Repeat all the way around. Gently remove the template so it can be used again. I use the small version of this ruler all the time, especially for ruler work when longarm quilting, so I've added this pop up to use as a handle.

What do you think about this technique? Let me know in the comments below. If you want to watch a short video of this technique in action, I've put it here.

This gorgeous fabric I'm cutting from Riley Blake Designs is called Fairy Dust by Ashley Collett. It has little pops of gold glitter in the coral rainbow print and the mains of the unicorns in the cream print. I love the whole line so much that I've put it into a quilt kit using my Tumbling Blocks pattern. This big print shown in the tutorial is used for some of the blocks on front and the entire back of the quilt!

I hope your days are filled with beautiful fabrics that you love! Thanks for reading! Happy Quilting!


Hi! I'm Jen, a quilt pattern writer, product & fabric designer, mom, and retired nurse practitioner and certified nurse midwife. Whether you're new to quilting or making your 100th quilt, you're in the right place. Check out the tutorials, quilt patterns, coloring pages, and featured quilters. 

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