Fussy Cut Bee :: Block Tutorial

I thought I had my block design figured out for my month in the Fussy Cut Bee, but after I posted it in the flickr group, I changed my mind. A little indecisive I am. But, now I’m sure. The fabric should be going out in the next day or so. I apologize for the delay.

I’m sure most of you could look at this block and figure out what to do… but since there’s some pieced strips of a certain size, I figure a tutorial would help you put the blocks together.

Fussy Cut Bee (A) :: Block Tutorial

I guess you could call this a Pieced-Frame Fussy Cut Block.

Ready to Cut [Tula Pink's Nest]

The fabric is from Tula Pink’s Nest collection. I’ve been gathering this fabric for the last year and half and am so excited to finally be using it!

I divided the fabrics into two color groups: warm (red, orange, pink, yellow, brown) and cool (green, teal, blue). The fussy cut piece and the outer borders are from one color group; the pieced frame is from the other color group. In addition to the pieced frame and borders, there’s also an accent strip in the blocks. I’m hoping the accent strip will give each block its own personality and it’s up to you where you want to put it (or you can choose not to use it at all).

Other things to note:

  • Please use a neutral cotton thread if you can. And, if possible, please make sure your stitch length is small (between 2.0 and 2.5 — my machine is set to 2.2). The only reason I ask this is because I have received blocks from others before where the stitch length was too long and in turn the blocks started to come apart during the process of piecing the top. I don’t want your blocks to come apart.
  • Please try to keep the fussy cut piece mostly centered in the block. It doesn’t need to be perfectly centered; just don’t try to offset it.
  • Also, I’d prefer non-wonky blocks. Again, no need to stress about making it perfectly square; just don’t try to add wonk, if that makes sense.
  • The blocks should have an unfinished size of 12.5″ (12″ finished). If you don’t want to trim to the final size, that’s fine. I can do it for you.
  • Please don’t add any other fabrics to the block, other than what I have sent. If, for some reason, you need more just let me know and I can send more. 🙂
  • If there are any scraps leftover after you have made your block, they are yours to keep, if you want them.
  • These blocks are going to made into a quilt that I’m going to give my niece when she graduates from high school. I’d love for her to take it to college and have it folded at the end of her bed so it’s easy to nap with it, study on it, watch movies curled up under it, or picnic on it outside. The fabric colors are funky and the design is quirky. I hope she’ll love it.
  • If anything isn’t clear in the tutorial below, please let me know and I’ll answer any questions as soon as I see them. This is my first time doing a tutorial like this, so hopefully I didn’t miss any steps or makes things confusing for you.

Now, on with the show!

Fussy Cut Bee (A) :: Block Tutorial

In your package, you’ll receive:

  • a fussy cut piece (with either a bird or an egg as the focus). It’s already been cut to the right size. No need to trim further.
  • 4 — 2″ x 18″ strips (or 2 — 2″ x WOF strips), for the outer-outer border
  • 2 — 2″ x 18″ strips (or 1 — 2″ x WOF strip), for the inner-outer border
  • 1 — 2″ x various, for the accent strip
  • about 14 small strips (2″ x 5″), for the pieced frame

Measurements listed above are all approximate.

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Fussy Cut Bee (A) :: Block Tutorial Fussy Cut Bee (A) :: Block Tutorial

Trim the small strips (lengthwise) to widths varying between 1.5″ and 1.75″.

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Fussy Cut Bee (A) :: Block Tutorial

Once you have trimmed all of the small strips, sew them (lengthwise) into pairs. Press the seams (open or to one side, doesn’t matter).
Not to confuse you, but in the photo above, I’m showing the small strips for two different blocks.

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Fussy Cut Bee (A) :: Block Tutorial

At this point, you will need to kind of figure out how you want your block to go together. Meaning, you’ll need to decide where you want the accent strip to go because that may change how long your pieced frame should be on certain sides (if that doesn’t make sense, keep reading and hopefully it will later).

In general,

  • For the EGG blocks (on the left), you will need to sew together ~4 strips (or 2 pairs of strips) to get enough length for the first two sides to be framed. The number of strips needed will depend on how wide you trimmed each strip in the first step.
  • For the BIRD blocks (on the right), you’ll need to sew together ~6 strips (or 3 pairs of strips) to get the right length for the first two sides to be framed. The number of strips needed will depend on how wide you trimmed each strip in the first step.

Once you have sewn together your pairs of strips, press seams.

Again, the photo above shows strips for two different blocks.

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Fussy Cut Bee (A) :: Block Tutorial

Next you are going to create part of the pieced frame that goes around the fussy cut center. Cut the strips to create 2 pieced frame strips that are between 1.5″ and 1.75″ wide (you’ll have some excess that you can toss/keep if you want).

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Fussy Cut Bee (A) :: Block Tutorial

Take those pieced frame strips and lay them out on opposite sides of your fussy cut piece in preparation to sew to the fussy cut piece (I flipped mine around so that the designs didn’t match up across from one another).

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Fussy Cut Bee (A) :: Block Tutorial

Sew the pieced frame strips to the fussy cut piece. Press seams. Trim excess off of the edges.

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Fussy Cut Bee (A) :: Block Tutorial Fussy Cut Bee (A) :: Block Tutorial

Next up is creating the pieced frame strips for the other sides of the block. If you notice in the BIRD block (on the right), I’m prepping to add in the accent strip in the next step.

In general,

  • For the EGG blocks (on the left), you will need to sew together ~6 strips (or 3 pairs of strips) to get enough length for the remaining two sides to be framed. The number of strips needed will depend on how wide you trimmed each strip in the first step.
  • For the BIRD blocks (on the right), you’ll need to sew together ~8 strips (or 4 pairs of strips) to get the right length for the remaining two sides to be framed. The number of strips needed will depend on how wide you trimmed each strip in the first step.

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Fussy Cut Bee (A) :: Block Tutorial

In this step, I’ve added in the accent strip to the BIRD block and trimmed it to my liking.

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Fussy Cut Bee (A) :: Block Tutorial

Once again, you are going to create part of the pieced frame that goes around the fussy cut center. Cut the strips to create 2 pieced frame strips that are between 1.5″ and 1.75″ wide (you’ll have some excess that you can toss/keep if you want).

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Fussy Cut Bee (A) :: Block Tutorial

Lay out your pieced frame strips next to your block to see how they will look. Again, I flipped mine so the prints wouldn’t match up across from each other.

In the blocks above, the EGG (left) block’s pieced frame strips are close to the right length. In the BIRD (right) block, the pieced frame strips are a bit long. If that happens to you, just take care how you sew the strips to the center block so the seams don’t end up in awkward places.

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Fussy Cut Bee (A) :: Block Tutorial

Sew the pieced frame strips to the fussy cut piece. Press seams. Trim excess off of the edges.

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Fussy Cut Bee (A) :: Block Tutorial

Next up, making the inner-outer border for the block. Get the 2 — 2″ x 18″ strips (or 1 — 2″ x WOF strip) and lay them out around your block and trim a little longer than the block width in preparation for sewing them to two opposite sides of the block. 

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Fussy Cut Bee (A) :: Block Tutorial

Sew the inner-outer border strips to opposite sides of the block. Press seams. Trim.

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Fussy Cut Bee (A) :: Block Tutorial

Prep the inner-outer border strips that will be sewn to the other two sides.

In the EGG (left) block above, I’ve decided where to the put the accent strip and am prepping that as well.

Sew on the last two sides of the inner-outer border. Press seams. Trim.

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Fussy Cut Bee (A) :: Block Tutorial

Then prep the outer-outer border strips to be sewn to the block.

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Fussy Cut Bee (A) :: Block Tutorial

Sew on the outer-outer border. Press Seams.

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Fussy Cut Bee (A) :: Block Tutorial

Trim to 12.5″ square (or if you want, I can trim it to size; up to you). And, you’re done!

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Fussy Cut Bee (A) :: Block Tutorial

The finished blocks.

Fussy Cut Bee (A) :: Block Tutorial

And all four blocks made thus far.

Again, please let me know if any of this is confusing or if you have any questions. Thanks for helping make my niece’s quilt!

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8 thoughts on “Fussy Cut Bee :: Block Tutorial

    • Lucia says:

      Natural light… that’s the trick. I let the sun do the work for me. I placed my cutting mat on the floor next to a window with indirect light (‘on the floor’ so that I had a good angle above the fabric to take pictures). Then I kept the cutting mat in between me and the window so I wouldn’t cast a shadow on the fabric/mat. And I made sure my camera’s flash didn’t fire. Does that help?

      Like

  1. Vickie says:

    I love this. I really love this. Your tut is amazing and your block is so creative. I am going to have to make this one….for sure! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

    Like

  2. binyourbonnet says:

    This is really pretty- I’m thinking about using this tutorial for my upcoming bee. Can I ask what size are your center squares? I’d love to see the final once you’ve put it together- I’m sure your niece will love it!

    Thanks!

    Like

    • Lucia Wilke says:

      Hi Beth,

      I’d love to see your bee blocks using this tutorial. I haven’t put mine together yet because I am going to have members of another bee I’m in do the same block/fabrics/tutorial. Maybe after that bee I’ll have enough to put together the top.

      I just looked at my container with the quilt parts for the Nest quilt and I used two different sizes for the fussy cut centers. The bird pieces were cut to 6.5″ square (unfinished) and the egg pieces were cut to 4.5″ square (unfinished).

      I hope that helps and good luck!

      Lucia

      Like

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