Thursday Tip #17

{Thursday Tip: A regular weekly feature sharing my quilting tips. There are no rules in quilting, these are just the things that work for me and might help you. There are no quilt police, so use them as a guide; no ones watching :) There is no wrong way to do anything......just relax, experiment, learn, create and have fun. }
Sometimes is necessary to use templates as part of the construction of a block, as we saw in yesterdays block. With some simple preparation, its an easy process and quite fun to do. Here are a few of my tips for preparing and using templates:

  • Your pattern should include a template sheet, so after printing, roughly cut out each template about 1/4" from the solid outside seam line.
  • Using a glue stick, adhere the templates to a piece of thick cardboard or template plastic. Australian ladies, the cardboard from Spotlights fat quarters is perfect, plus I keep the clear display plastic that they use on most items we buy in boxes, these days.
  • Once the template is dry, using a paper cutter or Stanley knife and a ruler, cut around each of the templates, ensuring you have lovely straight edges.
  • I keep all of my templates together in a zip lock bag, until I'm ready to use each one. They tend to get lost in fabric etc. when I'm busy cutting, so I find I know where they are if I keep them stored together :)
  • I find its a lot easier to cut around the templates, if I'm using my 360 degree cutting mat. This alleviates the need to lift the fabric and template as I'm cutting around the shape. Its not a necessary tool, but its a handy one.
  • To prevent the template from slipping or moving as you cut, put a piece of double sided tape on the back of the templates. This will temporarily adhere the template to the fabric, so there is no movement.
  • When your ready to cut, ensure your cutting square is lined up with the very edge of the template so you cut the fabric, not the template.
  • If you do accidentally cut the template, its best to remake a new template to maintain accurately cut pieces, every cut.
  • Pay particular attention to any notches or markings on the templates, these assist in matching pieces and achieving an accurate finish, when you piece them together.
I hope these tips help you to prepare and use your templates more efficiently. They really are easy to work with and they allow you to sew some very beautiful patchwork :)

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