How to Fussy Cut with No Waste


Quilters and non-quilters are fascinated by the Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses blocks,  Kaleidoscope Stars, and fussy cut LeMoyne Stars posted online and especially on Facebook. This article describes how simple it is to get spectacular effects without wasting fabric using Inklingo. You don't have to tell anyone how easy it is. It can be our little secret.

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How to Fussy Cut with No Waste



Tip! (Not for the faint of heart)

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How to Fussy Cut with No Waste

Quilters and non-quilters are fascinated by the Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses (POTC) blocks Kaleidoscope Stars, and fussy cut LeMoyne Stars posted online and especially on Facebook.

This article describes how simple it is to get spectacular effects. You don't have to tell anyone how easy it is. It can be our little secret.


Lucy Boston created The Patchwork of the Crosses (POTC) by cutting 4 or 8 identical designs for the hexagons.

In the past, the only way to get these stunning effects was to cut identical motifs and make Swiss cheese of the fabric. It is slow and tedious and wastes a lot of fabric. Lucy Boston acknowledged that there is more waste and that this is contrary to the idea of economy which motivated patchwork quilters in the past.


With Inklingo, it is possible to get the same WOW factor with no waste—just by printing identical sheets of fabric!

There are 4 easy steps.

  1. Identify the repeat in the fabric.
  2. Cut freezer paper to a Suggested Custom Page Size.
  3. Print identical sheets.
  4. Cut sets of identical shapes.

POTC Hexigons Printed And Ready To Sew

Monkey says it's so simple it is almost embarrassing.


1. Identify the repeat in the fabric along the lengthwise grain (parallel to the selvage).

Common repeats are 12 and 24 inches.


Measure the number of inches between identical motifs.

In this illustration, I isolated one red flower. You can choose any part of the design when you measure. A “repeat” is the measurement parallel to the selvage from one motif to the next, when the design starts all over again.


2. Cut the freezer paper to a Custom Page Size that fits within the repeat (in this case less than 12 inches.)

Suggested custom page sizes are illustrated in each shape collection.  In this case, 12 POTC hexagons fit on a page 8.25 x 9.5.


3. Position the FP identically and print!

For Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses (POTC), you may only need 4 identical sheets, but this method works if you want 8 too.

You need 6 identical sheets for 6 pointed stars and Grandmother`s Flower Garden and 8 for 8 pointed stars like LeMoyne Star.

4. Cut each sheet into rows and stack identical rows to cut several layers at a time. With identical rows, the shapes will already be sorted into sets for you.

With the right fabric, these effects can be amazing.  


This video includes some of my best tips for choosing fabric.

For example, you can use Inklingo to print on paper to make a window template to take to the quilt shop, so you can see whether it will be interesting when the fabric is cut into small pieces.

It doesn’t matter what you call it—Kaleidoscope, ­Stack n Whack­™, One Block Wonder or Fussy Cutting: Busy fabrics without large plain areas work the best!

This method is similar to Stack 'n Whack™ because you need to identify the repeat in the fabric. 

However, it is different from Stack 'n Whack™ because we always wash the fabric first, there is no stacking, and no measuring to cut.

With Inklingo, we have a line to cut along and a line to sew along and we can sew by hand or by machine.


There is a video in another article on QuiltingHub showing how to sew Kaleidoscope Stars. Each star only takes 10-12 minutes to hand piece.

Each finished kaleidoscope is a lovely little jolt of pleasure.


It's no wonder quilters want to make blocks like Cathi's Kaleidoscope Stars.  You can see the fabric she used on her Quilt Obsession blog. For these stars she printed 6 identical sheets of diamonds with Inklingo.

Ready for More?

  1. The example in another tutorial shows how you can print more than 400 fussy cut diamonds from 2 yards of fabric with almost no waste!
  2. There are a few bonus tips in another article on the All About Inklingo blog.
  3. If you are not familiar with Inklingo, the Quick Start Guide illustrates the basics, so you understand how we print on fabric so easily.
  4. Jams should be very rare, but if you have never printed on fabric before, there is another article on QuiltingHub with our best tips for care-free printing.


No Waste Fussy Cutting with Inklingo has many advantages:

  • no waste (or useful scraps instead of Swiss cheese)
  • no templates
  • no measuring or weird, expensive rulers
  • no need to carefully stack and pin layers of fabric
  • each shape is the perfect size
  • cut several layers at a time OR use scissors
  • sewing lines, precision corners, matching marks, and crosshairs are printed on each piece so you can get the precision you want
  • sew by hand or by machine


We post fussy cut blocks frequently on the Inklingo Facebook page.

Facebook LogoPlease choose Get Notifications from the drop-down menu under Like to be sure Facebook shows them to you.

The beauty of learning how to print on fabric is that it works for everything — fussy cutting, appliqué, triangles, hexagons, Double Wedding Ring, Storm At Sea, Joseph's Coat, and other designs.

You can search for Franz or Inklingo to find more articles on QuiltingHub and there are more to come.

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Attaching individual pieces of fabric to a background to form a design.

Same As: Applique
The basic unit of a quilt top, usually square but can be rectangular or other shapes. Blocks can be pieced, appliqued or plain.
Double Wedding Ring
Arced pieces of squares sewn together to form interlocking rings or circles.
Fussy Cut
The cutting out of specific areas of a fabric to use the image or motif on the fabric. Often used to isolate animals, flowers, etc from a Conversation Print or Novelty Print fabric. A template may be used to cut out many images to be the same size for use in a block. Because the remaining fabric then looks like Swiss cheese, it is wasteful of fabric.
The lengthwise and crosswise threads (warp and weft directions) of a woven fabric.
A quilt block pattern that is pieced so it looks like an image seen through a kaleidoscope.
A decorative applique design or figure, as of lace or velvet, used in trimming.
The basic method of making a quilt by sewing many small pieces of fabric together.

Same As: Piecework
The outer edge of both sides of a woven fabric where the weft turns to go back across and through the warp. This is a stiffer and denser woven area of about 1/3-1/2 inch and is usually trimmed off and not sewn into a quilt.

Same As: Selvedge
An easy way to create quilt blocks with unique kaleidoscope designs. These designs require a set of identical pieces cut from a print fabric. Rather than finding and cutting each piece individually, a quilter can cut and layer a number of large, identical print rectangles to make a stack.

Same As: Stack-n-Whack, Whack
A large central star, made up of diamond shaped fabric or a square with right triangles, to form the star points from the center out.
Pattern pieces made out of paper, cardboard, plastic or metal, giving you something to draw around so that you can accurately replicate any shape.
Linda Franz

Linda Franz is the inventor of the amazing brand of Inklingo. It has revolutionized piecing and accuracy for the entire industry. Check out her brand page by clicking Inklingo

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