How to Fussy Cut EPP Diamonds

EPP Moravian Star Tree-1

How to Fussy Cut EPP Diamonds

Design possibilities are bountiful with a simple diamond shape, but the added element of intentional fabric placement adds endless opportunities. Once you learn how to fussy cut EPP diamonds, you will see fabric in a whole new way. And your English Paper Piecing game will soar!

One option for fussy cutting is to isolate a printed motif. Then cut your diamond shape to place the image wherever you want to on your block. You can repeat motifs or make each one different. If you use a clear template for cutting, you can see exactly how your finished shape will look after sewing. Just place, cut and sew! Repeat.

For kaleidoscopic designs, fabric selection and precise template placement are key. There are some tricks I used on my EPP Moravian Star Ornament that will help with fussy cutting. You can locate and cut exactly the pieces you need to take an already-beautiful fabric and multiply its visual impact.

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Here is the step-by-step directions, with tips and tricks on how to fussy cut EPP diamonds.

EPP Moravian Star Finished Angle-5

How to Fussy Cut EPP Diamonds

Once you learn how to fussy cut EPP diamonds, you will see fabric in a whole new way. And your English Paper Piecing game will soar! Follow along with How to Fussy Cut EPP Diamonds and make kaleidoscopic designs for English Paper Pieced quilts, ornaments, home dec and more.

Materials

  • Fabric with bilateral symmetry. also called reflection symmetry, where a motif is mirrored equally along a straight axis. 1/2-yard is good to start, but the total quantity will depend on the size and number of repeats needed to complete your design.
  • Diamond shaped paper pieces. Choose the size and quantity you want for your project.
  • Temporary fabric marker, such as a Chacoliner chalk marker
  • Fine-tip dry-erase markers

Tools

  • Magic Mirror for Quilters by Marti Michell or similar
  • Acrylic cutting template to match your chosen paper pieces, with seam allowance
  • Non-slip grippers for your acrylic template if it is not pre-treated to prevent slipping while cutting
  • Rotary cutter (28mm preferred) and mat

Instructions

    1. Gather tools and supplies as listed above. All fabrics in this tutorial are designed by Paula Nadelstern for Benartex. Paula is best known for her kaleidoscope quilts made with bilateral symmetrical fabrics. This tutorial focuses on fussy cutting diamond shapes. The additional items pictured will be used later for piecing any EPP diamond project together.EPP Moravian Star-1-Gather Supplies
    2. Use the hinged mirrors to audition different design possibilities. Adjust the hinge to match the angle of your paper template pieces. Keep the hinge at the correct angle with a piece of painter's tape at the top. Find a center axis in your fabric design and place the mirrors along that imaginary line. You will see how the designs reflect in the mirrors. That is how your fabric pieces will look when sewn together. Slide the mirrors along the axis to see how the design changes with slight movement. Then experiment with other lines of symmetry on the fabric. When you're done playing (take the time to have some fun with this), decide on your first repeating design.EPP Moravian Star-2-Audition Fussy Cut 1EPP Moravian Star-3-Audition Fussy Cut 2EPP Moravian Star-4-Audition Fussy Cut 3EPP Moravian Star-5-Audition Fussy Cut 4
    3. When you have selected your starting place, slide a paper diamond along the fabric until the edges touch the mirrors. Carefully remove the mirrors, leaving the paper in place. Trace all around the paper piece with the chalk marker.EPP Moravian Star-6-Adjust angle
    4. Remove the paper and set aside for later.EPP Moravian Star-7-Trace Paper Template
    5. With the fabric over a cutting mat, place the acrylic template over the traced diamond, matching the marked lines on the fabric with the seam lines marked on the template. It's okay that one point pokes into the selvedge a bit - the stitching line is well within the printed portion of the fabric.EPP Moravian Star-8-Position acrylic template
    6. Use a dry-erase marker (in a color that you can see over the fabric) to trace reference points from the fabric onto the template. You will use these drawn lines to place the template for subsequent identical cuts. EPP Moravian Star-9-Trace key motifs
    7. When you move the template, you have registration marks for placing it in exactly the correct position for the next cut.EPP Moravian Star-10-Acrylic template with traced motifs
    8. Carefully cut around the template with a small rotary cutter. A small cutter is easier to control on small pieces that keep your fingers so close to the edge.EPP Moravian Star-11-Match markings and cut
    9. If any marks rubbed off while cutting, you can redraw them now.EPP Moravian Star-12-Marked Template and Fussy Cut Diamond
    10. To check your fussy cut design and make sure the symmetry works the way you want it to, place the mirrors back on the seam line (marked chalk line). Now your diamonds are ready stitch together! For a refresher on how to do that, see How to Make an EPP Star Ornament with Diamonds. Remove the marks from the acrylic template with a dry paper towel. It's now ready for your next fussy cut.EPP Moravian Star-13-Mirror test on stitch lines

Learn how to use fussy cut diamonds to make this Monrovian Star ornament. Looking for a beginner EPP project? Browse through all of our English Paper Piecing projects and inspiration on Create Whimsy.


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