How To Make Your Own Quilting Templates

Great article on quilting templates – 

As noted in previous posts, quilting templates are 

premade

shapes used to mark and cut fabric units for quilt blocks.  They can also be placed on the top of the 3 layers of fabric and be used to do the actual quilting of the 3 layers together.

Quilting templates can be made out of a variety of materials – paper, cardboard, plastic, etc

.  The best and most durable quilting templates are made out of clear acrylic which is often available at quilt shops, craft stores or online.  To make a template from clear plastic, place the plastic over the template pattern.  Then trace the pattern on to the clear plastic using a fine marker.  Be sure to trace seam line markings and grain line arrows on to your template.  Then cut out the traced pattern and voila – you have your template.  If you’re making a template from any material that you cannot see through to trace, you’ll need to cut out the pattern, lay it on top of your paper or cardboard and trace around it – again using the finest marker you can find.  Remember, precision is crucial when preparing these templates!  You don’t want your templates to be even 1/4″ off – that could mess up your entire quilt block when the units don’t fit together properly.

To make quilting templates to be used in doing the actual quilting of the three layers together, freezer paper that is available at your supermarket works very well because it can be ironed on to the fabric which will deter it from moving around as you quilt.  You may also be able to find sheets of this paper at quilt shops which you can run through your printer to actually print out the patterns on to the paper.  Or, you can simply trace the desired pattern on to the freezer paper and cut out the templates.  To use these templates, place them shiny side down on the top of the 3 layers of fabric and iron until they stick.  Then quilt around the outer edge of the quilting template, being careful not to stitch on to the template.  These templates can then be lifted up and reused again several times until they no longer stick to the fabric.  Be careful to only iron on the templates in the immediate area you are working to avoid having the templates lift and shift in other areas, e.g., don’t iron templates on to large areas of the quilt as they may lift off and all your effort will be wasted.

You can also, of course, purchase templates online or at quilt or craft shops.  But making your own templates can save you money.  So why not try making your own quilting templates for your next project.  Just remember to use fine markers and be as precise as possible!

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Quilting Templates – How to Use Them to Cut Perfect Quilt Block Pieces and Avoid Frustration

Quilting Templates are used to mark and cut fabric into units to be pieced together into quilt blocks.  These blocks are then sewn together to make up the quilt top.  It is essential to use only quilting templates which are 100% precise to ensure that the units will line up correctly when pieced together.  Nothing is more frustrating than cutting all the units for a quilt block and when pinning or basting them together discovering that they do not line up properly!  Imagine how nearly impossible it would be to measure out several hundred 12 inch by 12 inch squares with a ruler onto your fabric and have every one of those squares come out to be exactly 12 inches by 12 inches when cut.  Even more impossible would be to measure several hundred 12 inch curved patterns free hand.  As you can see, the use of quilting templates is absolutely essential!

You can make your own quilting templates from paper, cardboard, poster board or flexible plastic, which is sold in many quilt and craft shops specifically for use in making templates.  To make the template you must first choose the quilt block pattern you are going to use.  There are many free patterns available online or you may choose to buy a quilting book which will many times have not only different quilt patterns but instructions on what shape and size templates will be needed to make up the quilt blocks along with guidelines on how much fabric to purchase.   These books often have drawings of the quilting templates in various shapes and sizes that you can trace to make your templates.

Once you have selected your quilt block pattern and located the quilting templates needed, place the template material over the diagram of the template and trace the outline using the thinnest possible drawing pen.  If you are not using clear template material, it is helpful to place the diagram and the template material over a lightbox so that you can see the outline of the diagram.  If you do not have a lightbox, you can tape the diagram with the template material placed on top of it onto a sunny window so that the light behind it will enable you to accurately trace the diagram of the template.

If you have used flexible plastic to make your quilting template, it should hold up for multiple uses.  However, if you have used paper or cardboard or any such material whose edges will wear out quickly, be sure to replace these templates very frequently.  Paper templates are good for one use only whereas cardboard or posterboard templates can be used several times before becoming worn out and unusable.  Remember, precision when marking and cutting your units is crucial to the successful piecing together of the quilt block.  It is best not to try to save time and money by reusing slightly worn templates – they will only result in inaccuracy which will produce disappointing results.

You can also purchase premade templates.  When purchasing ready-made quilting templates it is best to select those made of sturdy acrylic that have been laser cut which ensures precision.   These premade templates are available in many shapes and sizes both online and in quilt and craft shops.  They will save you a great deal of time over using homemade quilting templates, will be 100% accurate and will last for a very long time.

To mark and cut your fabric into units lay the well-ironed fabric on a flat surface wrong side up and place the template on top of the fabric being sure that the template grain line lies parallel to either the lengthwise or crosswise grain of the fabric.  If using a scissors, trace the outline of the template onto the fabric, using a pencil or fabric marker that makes a very thin line.  Then cut out the units, being sure to use very sharp scissors that you  have reserved for use only with fabric.

To save time and eliminate the need for tracing the template over and over, use a rotary cutter and mat.  Rotary cutters come in various sizes.  The small ones are good to use when cutting curved patterns whereas the large ones are excellent for cutting large, straight lines and for cutting through several layers of fabric simultaneously.  Once again, lay your well-ironed fabric wrong side up on a flat surface on top of a rotary mat to protect the surface, place the template on top of the fabric, and proceed to cut using the rotary cutter.  No need to trace around the template.  All you need do is cut around the edges of the template with the cutter.

Once you have all your units cut you are ready to begin sewing.  If you have used precisequilting templates and have carefully marked and cut your fabric, you should have no trouble piecing together units and having them line up 100% accurately to produce beautiful quilt blocks.

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Quilting Templates – How to Use Them to Cut Perfect Quilt Block Pieces and Avoid Frustration

Quilting Templates are used to mark and cut fabric into units to be pieced together into quilt blocks.  These blocks are then sewn together to make up the quilt top.  It is essential to use only quilting templates which are 100% precise to ensure that the units will line up correctly when pieced together.  Nothing is more frustrating than cutting all the units for a quilt block and when pinning or basting them together discovering that they do not line up properly!  Imagine how nearly impossible it would be to measure out several hundred 12 inch by 12 inch squares with a ruler onto your fabric and have every one of those squares come out to be exactly 12 inches by 12 inches when cut.  Even more impossible would be to measure several hundred 12 inch curved patterns free hand.  As you can see, the use of quilting templates is absolutely essential!

You can make your own quilting templates from paper, cardboard, poster board or flexible plastic, which is sold in many quilt and craft shops specifically for use in making templates.  To make the template you must first choose the quilt block pattern you are going to use.  There are many free patterns available online or you may choose to buy a quilting book which will many times have not only different quilt patterns but instructions on what shape and size templates will be needed to make up the quilt blocks along with guidelines on how much fabric to purchase.   These books often have drawings of the quilting templates in various shapes and sizes that you can trace to make your templates.

Once you have selected your quilt block pattern and located the quilting templates needed, place the template material over the diagram of the template and trace the outline using the thinnest possible drawing pen.  If you are not using clear template material, it is helpful to place the diagram and the template material over a lightbox so that you can see the outline of the diagram.  If you do not have a lightbox, you can tape the diagram with the template material placed on top of it onto a sunny window so that the light behind it will enable you to accurately trace the diagram of the template.

If you have used flexible plastic to make your quilting template, it should hold up for multiple uses.  However, if you have used paper or cardboard or any such material whose edges will wear out quickly, be sure to replace these templates very frequently.  Paper templates are good for one use only whereas cardboard or posterboard templates can be used several times before becoming worn out and unusable.  Remember, precision when marking and cutting your units is crucial to the successful piecing together of the quilt block.  It is best not to try to save time and money by reusing slightly worn templates – they will only result in inaccuracy which will produce disappointing results.

You can also purchase premade templates.  When purchasing ready-made quilting templates it is best to select those made of sturdy acrylic that have been laser cut which ensures precision.   These premade templates are available in many shapes and sizes both online and in quilt and craft shops.  They will save you a great deal of time over using homemade quilting templates, will be 100% accurate and will last for a very long time.

To mark and cut your fabric into units lay the well-ironed fabric on a flat surface wrong side up and place the template on top of the fabric being sure that the template grain line lies parallel to either the lengthwise or crosswise grain of the fabric.  If using a scissors, trace the outline of the template onto the fabric, using a pencil or fabric marker that makes a very thin line.  Then cut out the units, being sure to use very sharp scissors that you  have reserved for use only with fabric.

To save time and eliminate the need for tracing the template over and over, use a rotary cutter and mat.  Rotary cutters come in various sizes.  The small ones are good to use when cutting curved patterns whereas the large ones are excellent for cutting large, straight lines and for cutting through several layers of fabric simultaneously.  Once again, lay your well-ironed fabric wrong side up on a flat surface on top of a rotary mat to protect the surface, place the template on top of the fabric, and proceed to cut using the rotary cutter.  No need to trace around the template.  All you need do is cut around the edges of the template with the cutter.

Once you have all your units cut you are ready to begin sewing.  If you have used precisequilting templates and have carefully marked and cut your fabric, you should have no trouble piecing together units and having them line up 100% accurately to produce beautiful quilt blocks.

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August 31, 2010

Summer Star Sampler Quilt Along 2010 – Week Nine The End!!

Filed under: Summer Quilt Along 2010,Summer Star Sampler,Tutorial Tuesday — quiltcetera @ 5:00 am 
Super cool – Quilting Templates

Welcome back everyone! Here you will find instructions for Week Nine of Summer Star Sampler Quilt Along 2010.

Both versions of the Summer Star Sampler have the same 12 basic blocks. For the first six weeks, everyone will have the same instructions for making blocks.

Here are the fabric requirements in case you missed it.

Download Advanced Fabric Requirements (Advanced w/large center block) Download Advanced Fabric Requirements
Here’s another look at the finished Advanced Summer Sampler

Download Beginner Fabric Requirements (Beginner without center block) Download Beginner Fabric Requirements
Here’s another look at the finished Beginner Summer Sampler

Week One – blocks one and two.
Week Two – blocks three and four.
Week Three – blocks five and six.
Week Four – blocks seven and eight.
Week Five – blocks nine and ten.
Week Six – blocks eleven and twelve.
Week Seven… The center of the center block.
Week eight…Finish piecing the center. Square blocks.
Week nine… will be the borders.

Please use this pattern only for your very own personal use. :)
If you own a quilt shop or would like to use these patterns in some other way, they will be available for sale very soon. Contact me if you are interested.

Feel free to join the Summer Star Sampler Quilt Along 2010 Flickr group and share your fabrics and progress! I would LOVE to see what you have created!! You can find the Flickr group here.

Back to Week One – Blocks 1 and 2

Assembling the rows.

The first set of instructions is for the advanced quilt layout. Lay out your blocks in a way you like. I moved mine around a couple of times before deciding on the final arrangement. :) Stitch the top four blocks together in a row. Stitch the bottom four blocks together in a row. 
The two blocks to the right and left of the center block will be joined in pairs, one above the other. See picture.

Border for Center Block

Rose Tone on tone
Cut THREE strips (2 1/2) X WOF. 
Cut ONE strip into TWO pieces (20 1/2) inches long.
Cut the other TWO strips (24 1/2) inches long.
Stitch a (20 1/2) inch strip to each side of the center star. Press seams towards the rose border.
Stitch the (24 1/2) inches to the remaining two sides of the center block. Again press towards the border.

Putting together the Quilt Body

Stitch the two left blocks to the center. Then stitch the right pair of blocks to the center as well.
Then attach the top and bottom rows. Press these seams towards center block.

Inner Border

Custard Tone on tone – Cut SIX strips of fabric (2 1/2) inches X WOF. Sew three strips together and cut TWO strips (48) inches long. Sew the remaining three strips together and cut TWO strips (52 1/2) inches long.

 

Stitch the (48 1/2) inches strips to the sides of the quilt. Finish the inner border by stitching the (52 1/2) inch strips to the top and bottom of the quilt.

Outer Border

Brown Suede Large Floral – Cut SEVEN strips of fabric (6 1/2) inches X WOF. Sew three strips together and cut TWO strips (52 1/2) inches long. Sew the remaining four strips into pairs of two and cut TWO strips (64 1/2) inches long.

 

Stitch the (52 1/2) inches strips to the sides of the quilt. Finish the outer border by stitching the (64 1/2) inch strips to the top and bottom of the quilt.

I must tell you all how happy I am that so many people have participated! I am so excited to see all your photos in the flickr group, and I can not wait to see all the completed quilts! Please continue to send pictures of your Summer Star Sampler Quilts. :)

Please send me any questions you may have regarding this quilt along. I would love to hear your comments and suggestions!

A very special and HUGE thank you goes out to FatQuarterShop.Com for their enthusiasm and support of this project!

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Yeah!!  My first post about quilting templates!

I Can’t wait to ad more stuff in here!  Stay tuned:)

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