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Fussy Cutting Border Prints for Hexagons

My first patchwork quilt was a Grandmothers Flower Garden design, made with hand block printed fabrics, purchased from local textile markets in India where I was living at the time. Little did I know that that quilt would catapult me into a world of design and color that would affect the rest of my life.

More than 30 years ago I purchased an antique quilt made in the early 1800’s. I had already been “fussy cutting” border print fabrics and mirror imaged fabrics to create interesting effects and I was thrilled to see that the maker of that quilt had “fussy cut” motifs in the fabric to center in each hexagon.

Border prints with their mirror image motifs can lend another level of interest altogether and give a wide variety of diversity to the design. For the best effect, use the ring of hexagons around the central piece.

To fussy cut hexagons, mark a mirror line down the middle of the template. Center the mirror line over a mirror-imaged portion of the border print, then draw some portion of the fabric design directly onto the template. This will provide a guide for cutting five more identical pieces for the first ring of hexagons.

Place the template on on a variety of different mirror motifs in the border print. There will be very little waste when you cut pieces in this way. The challenge is to see how many different designs you can get from just one fabric.

Cutting hexagons in the positions above creates all these different looks.

Some of the effects are achieved by simply turning the hexagons upside down. See the examples below: both blocks use the identical patches, but the striped portion is positioned toward the outside of the block in the first example, and the inside of the block in the second.

Tip Notes

Jinny set her hexagons with a diamond path.  These are the shapes she used.

Fabrics used in these illustrations are from the Ashford Collection:
Border Print:1695-04
Light Background: No Longer Available.
Red Accent: 1696-04