"Fussy cut" is the term applied to cutting out, for quilting, only the part of the fabric pattern you want specifically. This method is used to isolate figures, like the parachuting duckling blocked out on the fabric here: I'm going to use the template method to fussy cut the 3.5 inch squares.
If you haven't got clear vinyl for templates, I have used vellum paper successfully for small projects. The main point is to be able to see through your shape, it's so much easier to get the right part of the fabric that way. Notice how I've marked the quarter inch seam allowance, and marked the center of the square? When I lay the template over the fabric that will ensure that I get my medallion motif centered every time.
Like that. (In case you couldn't see the inked cutting lines where I traced around the template, I've highlighted the corners on the photo.) I could have picked a different fabric and not worried about a fussy cut... actually, I probably didn't really need to fussy cut this fabric, I just thought it might be fun.