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Thread: Template Question

  1. #1
    Super Member Lneal's Avatar
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    I am currently piecing together a quilt that I had to use templates (Big Dipper) for. This is my first experience with templates and I have a big problem. My question: After you cut them out of material is there a right and left side to your pieces? Some of mine fit and some dont fit right. I dont understand what happened. Maybe Im spreading my wings too soon on this project. Could anyone give me an insight on how templates work? Hope this makes sense.

  2. #2
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I had to look that pattern up online and it seems to be just a basic triangle. So no, it would not matter which side you lay down to cut your fabric. It is symmetrical.
    You may get in trouble because two of the triangular sides are now on the bias and are relatively easy to stretch/distort.

    I read somewhere that starching the fabric helps maintain the shape of template pieces - particularly the bias cuts.

    It would help to have a picture to see where you are not matching up.

    Maybe this helps:
    http://emilierichards.com/uploads/BigDipperQuilt.pdf

  3. #3
    Super Member Lneal's Avatar
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    This is the pattern I am doing and my last pieces of putting the blocks together is where I am having the problem. My pieces are not matching because they are not laying right. I think it does have something to do with the bias. I just dont know how to fix it now. I have never used templates before.
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  4. #4
    Super Member burnsk's Avatar
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    Yes, starch the day-lights out of the fabric. After all, it is the big dipper. LOL

    It will help hold the shape much better.

  5. #5
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    You need to starch before cutting the fabric for best results. If you starch heavily first, your cuts will be accurate and the fabric will not stretch while you are handling it.

    There are some patterns for which the templates do have a right side and a wrong side. I don't think yours is one of them, though. Is the not-fitting problem just with size being a little off rather than the shape being completely wrong? If so, it is a problem of accuracy rather than right side/wrong side of the template.

    Edit: On taking a closer look at your pictures, I do think that some of those templates must have a right side and wrong side. Try turning the fabric pieces over (wrong side up) to see if they fit that way. If they do, it means the template has a right side and wrong side. In those cases, it's important to mark the right side of the template (the side that will be facing you when you cut) before cutting.

  6. #6
    Super Member Lneal's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for all the help. I will definitely try starch (sizing?) but some of the pieces do fit wrong side up. I still dont understand how to mark the template and cut. The pieces I had the most trouble with fit good on one side and was way off on the other. I closed my eyes( LOL) when sewing these blocks, but this is highly unacceptable to me. I almost put the project away and called it quits.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lneal
    Thanks so much for all the help. I will definitely try starch (sizing?) but some of the pieces do fit wrong side up. I still dont understand how to mark the template and cut. The pieces I had the most trouble with fit good on one side and was way off on the other. I closed my eyes( LOL) when sewing these blocks, but this is highly unacceptable to me. I almost put the project away and called it quits.
    Oh no, do NOT call it quits, because your quilt so far looks absolutely wonderful! I'm glad you asked this question since I'm about to start a sampler quilt where some of the blocks use templates. I, too, have NO experience with the use of templates. I bought this pattern from quiltcampus.com and the only gudance they give is instruction on sewing "Y" seams. No mention about starch. I'm going to keep that starching hint in mind ... will starch the daylights out of my fabric before cutting. Be sure to show us your finished quilt. Nita

  8. #8
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    I use templates all the time... and they really are simple.
    I cut mine out of clear "plastic" template material. After cutting the templates I mark how many of that shape I need to cut for each block, the size of the block and the name of the block. If the shape is to be reversed, I will write cut 8 and cut 8R on the template. and to answer the other question.. Yes, there are a number of shapes in that block that should be cut "both ways"
    they are definately directional..If you need more help shoot me a pm.. it's really quite simple and I'd be very happy to help you.

  9. #9
    Super Member Lneal's Avatar
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    I used freezer paper and traced from a pattern could that be some of my problem. Also thanks for the helpful info!

  10. #10
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    in blocks like this, the two sides mirror each other. although the sides look exactly the same, they are actually exact opposites.

    the problem is that the templates for both sides also look exactly the same. as you have discovered, they are not.

    you have somehow ended up with the wrong number of lefts and rights. the good news is that all you have to do is figure out how many you need of each and cut some more.

    if you need all of the new ones to face in the same direction, then stack all of your fabrics right side up, make sure you have the template facing correctly, and then cut.

    you can use the same template to cut both sides at once if you stack your fabric in pairs that are wrong sides together.

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