Fussy Cut & Hand Applique with Jen Kingwell - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Fussy Cut & Hand Applique with Jen Kingwell

Hi everyone! We recently had the honor of having Jen Kingwell visit the FQS studio to film some amazing tutorials for you. Today, we’re chatting about fussy cutting your fabrics and hand applique. 
For those of you that have never heard of fussy cutting, it is a method of cutting a particular piece of pattern from the fabric, as opposed to just cutting a strip from the fold to the selvage. Jen’s quilts featured some amazing fussy cutting (like the image below), and she has some great tips to share here

Next is up is hand applique, which is something that we all would love to try at FQS! Jen’s video is so helpful, you’ll be a pro in no time. 

SURPRISE! Jen was gracious enough to give us a few patterns to give away! To enter, all you have to is share something you have learned from Jen’s videos in the comment section or tag a picture of your project on Instagram using #fqsfun and #jenkingwell. We will randomly select a winner on April 14th! 

Thanks for joining us and tune in next time for more Jen Kingwell fun!


  1. I love the idea of drawing registration marks on the template to be sure to make all the cuts identical. Jen's patterns are so fun and inspiring–thank for the chance to win!

  2. I didn't know anything about fussy cutting, I've heard the term before but had no idea that it meant! Thanks for the explanation and for the intro to the little accessories one can use to accomplish that look.?

  3. I learned thread has a nap! And I learned to thread with the leading end and tie the knot on the end where I cut from the spool — didn't know that! Thanks so much for the video and the giveaways. I hope I win!!

  4. I love Jen's work she is so talented! I learned about blacking out the seam allowance on the templetes I make for fussy cutting! Such a great idea. The second is two draw around the templete and go back and cut out with scissors instead of using a rotory cutter. I plan on trying both of these ideas next time I am fussy cutting!

  5. I did not know thread had a nap, which end to thread first to prevent twisting and knotting. Priceless.

  6. I learned same thing than an other women: I have to put the thread through the needle, before I cut the thread and make a knot. This is really new for me, I'm doing patchwork and quilting since about twenty years but – I've never finished to learn a lot about my hobby – thank you very much for this helpful idea!

  7. I love fussy cutting and have always bought premise templates to do it. I love how Jen showed how to make your own and even how to draw an image on there to make sure you are getting the same cut each time.

  8. I can't say I learned anything I didn't already know but from another of her videos I learned about the microstitch basting gun.
    It was nice to watch her work and explain what she was doing.

  9. I never thought of myself as a "groupie," but I am a HUGE Jen Kingwell fan! I LOVE her patterns and am excited to get some of that beautiful Gardenvale fabric…she is amazing. I've currently got three EPP projects going and love hand applique. Thanks for the videos and the chance at this awesome giveaway!!

  10. I learned a new use for my circle templates. Listening and watching Jen inspires me and gives me confidence that I can be successful with one of her patterns.

  11. I loved all of the fussy cutting tips, especially in regards to making templates and blackening the seam allowance. I love the way fussy cutting can so enhance a pattern. Jen has such a wealth of information to share. Thank you. kathleendotlutzatcomcastdotnet

  12. LOVE IT! This was extremely helpful to me. I'm making a baby quilt and now I can add more detail! Thank you for peaking my creativity! Now I have purchase more supplies!! Love it! Thank you Always!

  13. I learned more about fussy cutting (how to use the templates more effectively) and how to do points in hand applique. These videos are great!

  14. I love fussy cutting- thanks for the info on making my own templates! Sarah:crjandsbj(at)netzero(dot)com

  15. I didn't know that thread has a nap ~ I'll be more careful when threading my needle from now on! Thanks so much for the great video tutorials!

    This is such a wonderful giveaway ~ I'm a big fan of Jeni Kingwell ~ love her designs!

  16. I love the tips about the inside and outside points didn't know that! Now I hope my appilqués will look better:-)

  17. It was news to me that thread has nap! I love the use of fussy cutting for patterns especially with big prints and flowers. Using and making your own templates was also a neat idea – the world is a black canvas. Thank you for sharing!!

  18. I learned how to make my own fussy cut templates and how to draw an image on there to make sure you are getting the same cut each time.

  19. I really like the window template idea. I thought the center was cut out, but it is just the seam allowance is darkened with a marker. Great tip!

  20. Putting the black edge around on the homemade template is a great idea! Really helps to define the area that's desired. Thanks for the tip!

  21. I really appreciate when pros share specific info about the tools that they use. I added the pink ceramic lead pencil she recommended to my must-have list after I watched this video.

  22. wow — what a great video –to many tips to pick from — but defiantly looking forward to adding this to my "to do list!"

  23. I've been wanting to try fussy cutting – I think this might be just enough to get my nerve up to go for it!! Thanks for the help and the chance to win 🙂
    Debby E
    samtaylorcjsmimi at yahoo dot com

  24. I learned to draw the registration marks or trace the motif on the template and use it to match the fabric so all cuts will be the same. Love Jen's patterns. Thanks for the chance to win some!

  25. I love the idea of using a sharpie to draw the seam allowance on the plastic template. It makes so much sense.

    dbienick at comcast dot net

  26. I had the pleasure of meeting Jen at Quiltcon and I'm in love with her and everything she does! I've watched all the videos and I'll continue to watch them over and over, mainly because I love her approach to quilting. I think I learned the most from her video on quilt as you go. It's something I've wanted to do for a while now and I much prefer her method to others I've seen. Please continue to feature great artists like Jen! I would LOVE to win these patterns because she's inspired me to do hand piecing 🙂

  27. The registration marks for fussy cutting seem obvious, but I hadn't done that before. Great idea! And thanks for the giveaway.

  28. All of the videos were sources of great information. I was happy to learn about registration marks in fussy cutting.

  29. I've thoroughly enjoyed Jen's videos. Very helpful and insightful. One thing that I struggle with, and probably seems kind of silly, but that is when I run out of thread, the transition of stopping a stitch and starting a stitch once I've re-threaded my needle.

  30. I learned fussy cutting wasn't just for squares! Haha! That's the only way I'd ever seen it (or noticed?). I love all the fun shape templates Jen just introduced to me! And the neat ways to use them!

  31. I learned about fussy cutting. It is a great tool I can't wait to try.

  32. Thanks for posting the EXCELLENT Jen Kingwell videos. She is such an amazing designer.
    I have watched her fussy cutting video several times. I love her technique of using the template plastic with the cut out window to fussy cut the fabrics. I cut my own templates and found that it makes getting the cuts exact so much easier.

  33. Fussy cutting is something I had never heard of but I can't wait to try it! Jen explained it so well and makes it look so easy!

  34. I didn't know what fussy cutting was and now I do! And I can say I learned something on my birthday! 😉

  35. I loved learning how to applique but I couldn't see the epp video Kimberly mentioned. I would have loved to have seen that as it's my next project! (I ended up finding it on youtube.) However, learning how to applique and about how to properly thread & knot the thread was all new to me! Thanks for the chance at the give-away.

  36. I had heard about fussy cutting, but I didn't understand the reason for using it outside of just wanting to center a little motif in something like a center hexagon in flower garden quilt. Now I see how it can be used to create a completely different design.

  37. Oh…lots and lots of great tips…haven't really gotten into the fussy cutting so that was really interesting to watch…this is so much fun and now I have to go and practise…. ;0)))

  38. The tip of the which end of thread to knot is helpful and easier to remember. I love Jen's demonstration of several needle turn applique skills. It is very useful to see it being done and hear her gentle voice. I am looking forward to trying it again.

  39. Learned about all the benefits of fussy cutting. I hear people talk about it all the time, but never truly appreciated how it can enhance the look of a quilt!

  40. I love the idea of making my own templates and using registration marks on them for particular fabric patterns. Brilliant!

  41. I really enjoyed the fussy cutting video! I have never tried it but now I will! Looking within the fabric for a new design seems like it could completely change your approach to fabric buying and quilting. Thanks so much.

  42. I learned how great the pink and or green ceramic lead pencil can be…..putting that on my wish list. From her paper piecing video I loved how she used the red clover binding clips. Love everything Jen Kingwell creates!

  43. I loved the paper
    Uecing and also the dresden plate one. Thanks for the chance to win. Love your site.

  44. Drawing the registration marks on your templete makes it easy to see exactly where to draw your lines.

    lin.web.28 at gmail dot com

  45. I learnt to start stitching by bringing the needle through only the appliqué piece and not the background. That's what I've done till now, but this method gives much more control. Thanks Jen.

  46. I learned that you can color in the seam allowance on your template to see exactly what your fussy cut piece will look like when sewn.

  47. Well I learned a LOT! Probably because I don't know enough about hand applique. Thread has a nap, the stitches are much tinier than I would have thought, and the trick about clipping a bit of fabric away from an outer point. I really do want to try my hand at this. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  48. Firstly I think the clip is brilliant, as a beginner I loved it..and I have watched a few times!! It's just so useful…I do English paper piecing (mostly just hexigons!…..so this clip was great as showed me I could actually create other shapes!) but really had I clue I did not have to stitch it all away around the shap. It makes perfect sense really to leave the end open that your not going to see!! And doing a circle to cover it….brilliant!! I have learnt something new everytime I have watched and re watched the clip!! I just think it's brilliant and so informative…thank you!

  49. I learned d from Jen to be free and quilt with any "needle with a point" instead of the tiny ones I learned to use years ago! I love Jen and all the videos! Thanks for producing them! I would love to win the patterns!

  50. Watched all the videos on Saturday. Learned thread has a nap. Loved the crossed thread way to quilt. I had quilted in my lap, too and was glad a pro does it. Peggy from MS

  51. Loved the fussy-cutting video – very helpful and I love Jen's work!!
    The tip about cutting out the template on plastic and then blacking out the 1/4" seam allowance is great – I'd just been winging it without great success. Also good to know about the registration points.

  52. Well let me just say the videos are awesome!!!! I know nothing about hand sewing and learned so much. I had no idea that thread has nap so I'll use the tip bf Kimberly to put the needle on before cutting and knotting. So clever!!!

  53. I never really thought about why my thread would tangle! The tip about thread have a specific direction and making sure to thread the needle with the leading end will definitely help.

  54. I use a lot of novelty prints so really enjoyed the fussy cutting tips, especially the one about marking a reference point on the template to get uniformity among multiple cuts.

  55. Loved the fussy cuts video. I never thought to put registration marks on the template while fussy cutting. Great tips!

  56. It seems like I always appreciate the professional's reminders on how to do outside and inside points. That tiny clip on the outside point of the heart was a new tip for me. Thanks so much and what a lovely giveaway!

  57. I learned that in hand appliqué, to hide the knot under the fold! I've never done that before? Loved watching all of the videos!

  58. I learned that thread has a nap and the registration mark on a template is a good idea.

    senstrings at yahoo dot com

  59. Interesting videos. Learned a lot form the applique video. I did not realize thread has a thread has a nap. I will be certain to always thread my needle and then cut my thread so I do not mix up the two ends. Thank you!

  60. making the same registration marks and cutout templates are such a great idea. thanks for all the information.


  61. Thanks for the tip about threading the needle BEFORE cutting the thread, I never remember that thread has a 'direction'…. also like the tip about outside points and clipping that tiny little bit of extra fabric.

    Love all of Jen's patterns. Thanks for the chance to win one!

  62. I learned that thread has nap and a tip to keep it right by threading your needle first. The patterns are amazing.

  63. I liked the hint about making registration marks on the template to assist in fussy cutting. Thanks for the chance to win patterns.


  64. I have been sewing a long time and never knew thread had a nap! I have really loved watching these videos! Thanks for the chance to win the patterns!

  65. I learned about Sew Line glue and will be trying it when I English paper piece. Thank you for the chance to win.

  66. Love all Jen's work including these videos. Didn't know there was a nap on the thread. I like Kimberly's idea of leaving it on the spool to cut.

  67. I'd really like to know where she gets her acrylic templates! Love those. I ended up watching about 4 or 5 of the Jen Kingwell videos FQS hosted. They are wonderful. She gives such clear precise instructions. Would love to see an online class (Craftsy!) with her. Love, love, love her quilts and patterns!

  68. I really liked Jen's tips on using the clear templates for fussy cutting, both purchased and making your own templates. I also liked her tiny and secure 20 or so stitches per stitch when English paper piecing. Almost invisible compared to other instructions saying you only need 8 or so per inch. Those stitches show and don't seem very secure. I've always done 20+ and glad Jen validated it with her beautiful, creative work.

  69. It was great to hear about the basting gun – something I must try as it seems so much easier than pins or stitch-basting. Great videos! thanks for the opportunity 🙂

  70. All of the video had wonderful tips. The one I never knew was to thread the needle then cut and knot the just cut end. I took notes. Thank you

  71. I have never tried hand applique but am willing to start now. I like how Jan explains the reason for each stage of the applique, the size of the needle and the thread weight. 50 wt. Aurifil is used in a lot of my work. Love the stuff. I also love English paper piecing but have never appliqued my projects to a backing. Love her designs.

  72. I have often fussy cut, but never used registration marks to keep things all even and get the same cut – mine was just eye ball & pray. I have signed up for a class with Jen next month, and really looking forward to it.

  73. I loved the hand quilting video from Jen Kingwell. It was great to learn how she buries the thread in the quilt at the start and end. I like her method very much. Also doing a cross stitch for a quilting stitch is genius!

  74. All three of the video's were very helpful. I like the templates Jen uses for her fussy cutting and the idea of using registration marks for more accurate cutting. Thanks!

  75. Jen K. is amazing. I loved all her great tips especially about the registration marks on the template so they can all be cut the very same way. Thanks for the videos and the giveaway.

  76. I liked learning about marking your template with seam allowance and I didn't know there was a correct end of the thread to needle.

  77. I like the idea of threading the needle before snipping. Always threads from the spool, really cool. I have always wanted to try paper piecing and now I think I just might do that! Would LOVE to have one of Jens patterns.

  78. I love the idea of making your own see-through plastic template with a frame so you can see what you're fussy cutting (as opposed to the paper templates). I also love the idea of using glue instead of basting stitches. I didn't know EPP stitches were SO tiny and SO close together. Can't wait to try all these wonderful techniques!

  79. I learned to hand quilt with Xs from Jen's hand quilting video and shared it with my boss. We both love the way it looks!

  80. Miss Jen you are absolutely amazing! Ok so now I have the courage to try hand work! Needle turn appliqué had not been my strong area but you made it look effortless so now I'll try again. I think I'll succeed now!

  81. These a re great videos! I never knew that I should knot my thread at the end closet to the spool as it comes off the spool. Hoping to try that and see if I have less issues with knotting thread as I am sewing. Thank you!

  82. Seeing that fussy cut flower is a total game changer. I mean WOW. So pretty. Love the idea of putting registration marks on the template as well. Total why didn't I think of that? moment!

  83. Oh…very helpful videos! I have never done needle turn applique and I picked up so many hints. Thank you FQS and Jen Kingwell. I never knew about knotting the end of the thread that is towards the spool.

  84. First of all, I LOVED this series! Thank you for ALL the tips!!! It's so hard to pick a favorite tip, but I think it's learning about Aurifil 12 weight thread for hand quilting. I can't wait to try it!!

  85. I will be threading my needle with the thread still on the spool before cutting it free to see if that helps prevent knots with my handstitching!

  86. I learned about the window technique and blacking out the seam allowance. That makes it easier to see the repeat! I also liked the tracing of the actual design to get the exact placement. I know I struggle with that. Thanks so much for the videos! K- lkw2x6-apq@yahoo.com

  87. I never knew there was a right/wrong way to thread a needle!! Now it makes perfect sense why the thread sometimes curls and knots up and other times it doesn't! Would have saved me so much aggravation… 😉

  88. I never knew there was a right/wrong way to thread a needle!! Now it makes perfect sense why the thread sometimes curls and knots up and other times it doesn't! Would have saved me so much aggravation… 😉

  89. I have to say that I was completely flabbergasted to learn that it made a difference which end of the thread you used to thread a needle! How persnickety is that? Haha! I really enjoyed all the videos and I'm sure I'll watch them more than once 🙂

  90. What the great videos! I have watched all of them, love the cross stitching/quilting (that I will try for sure) and also marking the template for fussy cutting is a great idea. Thank you for doing such a nice and helpful videos!

  91. While I knew most of what Jen said, I was blown away by her fabric choices, especially the two-color stripes for background. Love her style!

  92. I love the idea of the registration marks to get an accurate cut each time- how genius! Thanks for the chance!

  93. I have never thought of fussy cutting to make different looking blocks, great ideas and the thread Nap, who knew.

  94. The entire video on hand applique was very helpful. Especially threading and knotting the thread the correct direction to prevent tangled threads. I never knew that!

  95. I never knew that when doing needle-turned applique, I should bury the knot in the applique piece, not the background, when starting.

  96. I learned how to break down one of my aunts quilts after learning about fussy cutting. It is obvious, my aunt learned from a pro like Jen.

  97. Her thread tip is one I had not heard before-threading the needle from the beginning end and knotting the end from the spool. Also when Jen shows the tip on points-clipping the excess before turning under is another. Thanks!

  98. I love Jen Kingwell! I've been scared to start my La Passacaglia quilt- watching Jen demonstrate how to fussy cut has given me some confidence!

  99. learned that when doing needle-turned applique I should bury the knot in the applique piece, not the background when starting. Of course I don't really know anything about applique, so the video was full of information for me.

  100. I watched the video on EPP and learned the glue-method of prepping the pieces, had just planned a grandmother's flower garden quilt, so really good timing.

  101. I had heard the term "fussycut" before, bud never knew what it meant. Now I have a clear explanation and so much more information on how to use it. Thank you!

  102. I learned about different templates and making sure you allow for the 1/4" seam.
    Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips.

  103. I loved the videos with Jen Kingwell.
    I have been wanting to know how to applique and the video is inspiring me to just do it. Love EPP and have recently begun to work on a project. Jen Kingwell's quilt are so beautiful and amazing! Thanks for an opportunity to win her patterns.

  104. In hand applique, I didn't know it made a difference in which type of applique you were doing as to where you would put the knot when starting. Great tips.

  105. I love the idea of making your own template, coloring in the seam allowance and then making the registration marks so you can cut the same portion every time.

  106. I have always heard of needle turn applique, but I wasn't sure exactly what it was. Watching Jen do it made it look really easy! And now I know how it works!!

  107. I lIked learning about starting on the appliqué piece in stead of the back of the background piece. Also thank you for showing to cut the thread off the spool.

  108. I love the idea to use a template for fussy cutting fabric. I have been eyeballing it and tend to be off on a few pieces. Thanks, Jen!

  109. I learned SO much from watching these videos, from the nap of the thread, to sewing an inner and outer point properly when needle turning, to looking at fabric in a new way to do fuss cutting. I am really looking forward to using these new technical skills in a new series of quilts. Thanks so much to both Fat Quarter Shop and Jen Kingwell for sharing these videos. P.S. I love that quilt that is the backdrop in these videos.

  110. I did not know that the thread had a nap to it. I learned to thread the needle before cutting the thread so that I can be sure that I have the correct end threaded through the needle . Thank you for all the wonderful information. I learned a lot and it would be wonderful to win the gracious give away of your patterns.

  111. I learned so many tips from her videos. One thing I must beat into my head is to put the knotted side between the background fabric and the applique piece when beginning. I have a bad habit of going from behind the background fabric. I will re-watch these videos several times as they will be a great reminder. Thanks for the great videos!

  112. I learned not to pull the fabric too tightly around the template when using glue. Love the idea of cutting out the middle of template to help with fussy cutting. Loved it
    tracinecharest at Gmail dot

  113. Thank you for the inspiration. Love Fat Quarter Shop and Jen Kingwell. Thank you, thank you for all the YouTube videos – especially Kingwell's! I learned that pink or aqua are go to colors for tracing templates, and that I should look for some angled scissors. Learned a lot more… but the tools were a place for me to start. Have to go through stash and look for fabric in the way that is in Jen's quilts – something to cut and repeat. Intriguing! Love chubby dresdens. Really want to be Jen's friend… lol. Thanks!

  114. I love Jens work and learning about adding a double stitch to inner points while appliqueing will come in very useful! Thanks for the videos ,I love them! ????????

  115. I love how she make hand appliqué look so simple. I learned a great deal but the best was which way to thread my needle – according to the twist of the thread.

  116. I learned to cut away the inside of my template so you can see the exact placement is spot on! What a great idea. Thread nap was new to me too. I'd LOVE to win the books…such creativity!

  117. i loved these videos – really helpful. I didn't know that when you start applique you shouldn't bring your needle up through the background fabric.

  118. I have been a fan of Jen Kingwell for about a year now. I loved all of her videos and feel like I have taken a class. I was most surprised to learn that she used basting glue in her hexies. I tried it and I love it.

  119. What nice tutorials and the camera work (including the up close shots) was great. I knew about how to applique the curved part of a heart but didn't know to clip the little bit of extra fabric in the back on the point of the heart. Thanks!

  120. I learned thread has a nap, that was so awesome. I really learned a lot. Thank you so much for all the videos. Jen Kingwell is so talented.

  121. I learned how to make my own templete. I learned so much more, too, and have just started to put together an idea to try applique!

  122. In the hand applique video, Jen said, "Not everything has to be centered." Wow, what a concept! I like things to be very organized so hearing her say that was liberating for me. (Silly, isn't it??) Thanks for the videos.

  123. Registration marks on your plastic templates when fussy cutting and also blacking out your seam allowance on your templates are great ideas. I haven't tried applique yet but after watching these tutorials I am definitely going to give it a go. I will also be getting some flatter spray.

  124. I love the tip to use clips to hold the pieces together for epp! And I never knew how to do applique before. Anxious to try it now ????

  125. I'm going to have to watch this a few times–there is so much for me to learn from Jen! Starting with how to thread a needle. I had no idea that I didn't know how to do that, but now i do: start with the end that is coming off the spool, then tie it off where you cut it off. Thanks for so much information.

  126. I'd never heard about the thread not twisting based on the end of the thread that is knotted for applique. Thanks!

  127. I am currently working on learning to do needleturn applique and I learned so many tips from the video. The thread being knotted at the end that comes off the spool was new to me I have never heard that before and explains why I always have trouble with the thread knotting. Just being able to see the tiny stitches and also that you do come in from the underside unless you edges are already turned under was another great tip as that explains why I had some problems with stitching. Thanks so much for the great tutorials.

  128. Inking in the seam allowance on the template is such a great idea! With that tip and the registrations marks, the fussy cutting will be perfectly consistent. Thanks Jen!

  129. Thanks for the tip regarding thread twist… I had no idea!
    At least now I'll be able to avoid the horrible twisted bird's nest mess that I've always faced when trying to hand sew.

  130. My applique threads often end up in a tangled mess, but I have always threaded the opposite way. Looking forward to trying this way to see if it helps.

  131. Thanks for inviting Jen for these videos, they have been so informative. I have never used a template, so learnt much for future projects.

  132. I really enjoyed watching the videos on EPP and hand applique. I haven't attempted EPP but after watching both videos I am ready to give it a try! I never knew you could keep your thread from tangling by threading the needle from the cut end of the spool of thread. Great tip!

  133. I am very new to quilting and have never done fussy cutting before, it's great to see it explained so carefully, and I realised how much nicer the patterns can look repeated in bigger quilts.