How to Make a Starfish Without Even Trying (fussy cutting)


When I mix scraps of fabric with bits of nature, I try for realism for at least part of the design.  This means I am forever fabric shopping online, roaming through my local quilt shop, or pouring through stash.  Take the time to study nature in order to see its patterns.  (If I’m not in my garden, I’m looking at images from an internet search. There are thousands of free stock photos to enjoy.

The commonality in these starfish images are the hues of tan to brown, and the pattern of lines radiating from the center.

I found this batik from my stash, so I don’t know who the designer is, but it has the right color range and a radiating pattern.  I fused the center of the fusible webbing in the center of the fabric pattern and cut out the starfish.  This is a method called fussy cutting, a way for the fabric to help tell the story.


My wall hanging was for a child’s room, so I added the eyes and face, but you can see the pattern in the fabric and how the pattern is reinforced by a line of variegated thread.

Here is another example of the fabric telling the story.  This time with a snail.fussy cutting 010

As I say in my tag line for my blog:  “When I look at paper, my mind goes blank, but when I look at fabric, I see endless possibilities.”

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