Tuesday, November 12, 2013

DIY: Fussy Cut Quilted Christmas Stockings

Last year, I had a Christmas fail! No stocking for the baby : ( Well, I substituted an old stocking we had...but it did not match the other family stockings on the mantle. This year, I am determined to have all four family stockings coordinating, and lovingly quilted by "mom." Awww.

I found a classic and elegant Christmas print. It is the "Holiday Frost" collection by Jan Shade Beach for the Henry Glass Fabric company. I just love the graceful scrolls and snowflakes mixed in with graceful reindeer! The true Christmas red and green were a must for me...I just can't do aquas and purples at Christmas...it just doesn't seem right to me! Anyhoo~ I mixed in some red and green polka dots from my stash to emphasize that traditional feeling.
 I wanted to create quilted stockings for everyone. That way each would be unique! I chose the various blocks I would use for the designs. I knew I wanted to alternate the traditional quilt blocks with a beautiful piece of the main fabric. The images were so beautiful, I just had to showcase them!
Today I am going to share with you how I completed these "fussy cuts" in order to showcase the main prints. After measuring around the design I wanted to cut out, I decided that a 5" square would work best. After getting crossed eyes from my grid ruler, I wanted to be sure there were no mistakes! I have just enough of the prints to make 4 stockings.
I decided to create a viewfinder. I use them in the art classroom to help students focus on an item they are drawing...but it works great here too!
You need:
  • An old picture mat, cardstock, or just a cereal box!
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Chalk or a Fabric Marker
  • Ruler
  • Pen
  • Fabric that you want to fussy cut ( On this particular fabric, I needed 1/2 yard to get the 10 fussy cut suares I needed)
When you are done...you will have an accurate sturdy viewfinder that allows you to more easily center your fussy cut.
 First thing you need to do is cut the opposite corners of your mat on a diagonal as shown above.
Note: If you are using cardstock or a cereal box, you need to cut it into a 2" thick frame shape with no center first.
 You will now have two "L" shaped pieces.
Slide the pieces closer together and overlap them.
I slid and adjusted the pieces over my cutting mat so I was certain to get a perfectly straight 5" center square opening.
If you do not have a cutting mat. you can use 2 rulers!
Next, tape the sides together so it will not shift.
Do not let the tape hang over the edges or it will stick to the fabric and obstruct your tracing.
Next, I marked a few points along the outer edge so I could more easily see the centered object.
I measured and marked 1" and 2.5" points on all edges.
Next, I ironed my fabric. It is easier to work with when its wrinkle free!
I then used my viewfinder to center the design I wanted to cut out.
Mark all edges with chalk.
Do not worry about the corners...just mark all four sides neatly.
Although it is a bit hard to see here, I have a faint yellow chalk line surrounding the tree I want to fussy cut.
Then, I moved over to the next design I needed to fussy cut.
BE CERTAIN you do not cut into your previously marked square!
The purple arrow shows you the yellow chalk line from the previously traced square...
make sure this is NOT in the new square you are cutting!
Being sure that the other chalk line was UNDER my viewfinder, I centered and marked the next square I wanted to cut.
I repeated this until I marked the width of the fabric with 5" centered squares.
In the photo above, I marked my faint chalk lines with yellow boxes for you to see better.
Sometimes the print is more off centered...but this piece had pretty straight designs.
That was helpful in cutting!
Using a scissors, or a rotary cutter and straightedge, begin to carefully cut out your 5" pre-marked squares.
You can cut out one square at a time.
If your fabric print is in a straight line, you are lucky...and you can cut the top and bottom edges all at once.
Then cut off the sides and you have your perfectly centered 5" fussy cut blocks!
Gah! That sure did eat up more yardage than I like...but the results are just so stunning!
Here is a quick tip for those of you that use rotary cutters...
Sometimes my blade is dull in just one tiny spot and it
does not cut 1 or 2 threads ...ANNOYING!
So, instead of re-cutting and dulling the blade further, or pulling out the scissors
...try this: Your seam ripper!
Yup. It is quick, handy and does not pull or distort the fabric.
Finally, I arranged my 5" fussy cut blocks with my neatly trimmed 5" quilted blocks!
These are starting to look like stockings!
Then, I just finished piecing the blocks...
And I have my finished stocking "top"
...quilting and hand embroidering the names on is next!
Thanks for stopping by and
Have a beautiful day!