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Thread: How to make plastic templates

  1. #1
    AbbyQuilts's Avatar
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    Welcome to the template tutorial.

    I am going to show you how to make a basic template out of plastic. There are many wonderful ways to make templates including out of paper and freezer paper.
    I choose to do it this way because you never know when you are going to need that size template again.

    Materials
    Template plastic= This can be quilters template plastic, I have heard unused x-rays can work if you have a source for them. I use for right now plastic dividers. In back to school season you can pick up an 8 pack for around $3.50. The main thing is that they are clear

    Marker= I like sharpie brand ultra fine point. It must be a fine point or your lines can be to big and cause your template to be the wrong size.

    Printed templates on printer paper

    Tape= I like Painter's tape that way you can re use it for each page of templates but Scotch or masking will work.

    Scissors= Any scissors that you can cut plastic with (Not your fabric scissors)

    1/16 hole punch= These are found at Micheal's and Joann’s for around 5$ they make life so much easier.
    If you are unable to get them you can punch holes VERY carefully with and awl (found in hubby's tool box) or a streak knife.

    This is my first Tutoial so sorry if its confusing :D



    1.The Materials
    Print out your template pattern on regular copy paper.
    2. Tape to a table so it does not slide. Tape the plastic over the template in the right spot. I try to minimize waste so I place the plastic on an edge.
    3. Start out by drawing around the outside line

    Step 1 Materials
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    Step 2 Tape to a table
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    Step 3 drawing around the outside
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  2. #2
    AbbyQuilts's Avatar
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    4. Once that is completed draw the inside line

    5.When you are done with the first shape move your plastic to the next shape. Retape the plastic down and follow steps 1-5 for as many shapes as you have.
    If you have a shape that is not the same on both sides and you have to do one reverse simply write an R on the back of the plastic shape so you know to reverse it when the time comes.

    6. when all your shapes are drawn on the plastic Cut them out. (remember not a good idea to use fabric scissors)

    Step 4 Inside Line
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    Step 5 Next shape
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    Step 6 Cutting
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  3. #3
    AbbyQuilts's Avatar
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    7.On a shape that has been cut out. Using your hole punch, punch a hole on the corners of the inside line.
    If you are making holes without the hole punch Place the plastic on a Cork board or Styrofoam or something that will absorb the punch. Your cutting mat would work in a pinch.
    Place the template down and steady and awl or steak knife on on the corner of the line and tap with a hammer.
    If you do it this way PLEASE PLEASE be careful. It is easy to hurt yourself.

    8. Now your templates are cut out and ready!

    Next up how to get them on the fabric
    Once you have your fabric chosen lay it out on the table the back side facing you. Right side down.

    9. Please your plastic template on the fabric. When doing this think about what way the pattern is going and if the template is straight on the grain.

    Step 7 Hole punch
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    Step 8 Ready templates
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    Step 9 Template on Fabric
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  4. #4
    AbbyQuilts's Avatar
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    10.With one hand hold the template. With the other trace around it. (Note if you have trouble with the template moving you can back it with find grit sand paper. Also I found sometimes it is hard to trace and I trace it with a pen and it is easier. you are just cutting that part away anyways)

    11. When you have traced around the whole shape place your pencil or pen in the middle of the dots you made and make a mark. Take care to make sure the template is still lined up on the drawn outline. I find it is easier to mark it by twisting the pencil to make the mark.

    Now you should have a shape with 3-4 dots on it (or more) depending on your shape.
    Some people can sew dot to dot and not have to make a sewing line. I can not because my vision is poor. If you can skip to step 14

    12. With a ruler place on edge on one dot and line it up with another dot. Once you have it straight and on the dots mark a pencil line ( I like pencil at this step more then pen)

    Step 10 Tracing around the template
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    Step 11 Making dots
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    Step 12 Marking sewing lines
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  5. #5
    AbbyQuilts's Avatar
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    13. Once your inside lines are drawn you can cut out the shape. Cutting on the outside line.

    14.. And you are done

    If you are hand sewing you sew from the inside line corner to corner.
    If you are machine sewing I think you sew all the way to the edge I have not done it yet so someone here who has may be able to correct me on machine sewing them

    Step 13 Cutting
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    Step 14 Done!
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  6. #6
    Super Member quilterguy27's Avatar
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    Great tute! Thanks for sharing. here's a helpful hint: maybe use a ruler so your lines are more accurate? Maybe use a rotary cutter so your cut lines are more accurate? It would have to be new and sharp and of course BE CAREFUL. What do you think? Just a suggestion, hope it helps. Not trying to infringe on your tute, but I thought It might help a bit.

  7. #7
    Super Member dglvr's Avatar
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    Great tute. Thanks for sharing. :thumbup:

  8. #8
    AbbyQuilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilterguy27
    Great tute! Thanks for sharing. here's a helpful hint: maybe use a ruler so your lines are more accurate? Maybe use a rotary cutter so your cut lines are more accurate? It would have to be new and sharp and of course BE CAREFUL. What do you think? Just a suggestion, hope it helps. Not trying to infringe on your tute, but I thought It might help a bit.
    Hi thanks for your helpful hints.
    I use a ruler on the only line that needs to be accurate and thats the sewing line. Also I use scissors instead of rotary cutter because you need something to cut against at least I do.

    This is just a different way of cutting out fabric and I have tested it and it is very accurate. Thanks again


    Also Donnajean I PM you about the fabric

  9. #9
    Pati- in Phx's Avatar
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    Wonderful tutorial, but may I make a suggestion?
    If you make your templates the finished size of the piece, you can just draw around that, then add the quarter inch seam allowance by eye, or by using a ruler and rotary cutter for the fabric.
    When hand piecing the exact seam allowance doesn't really matter since you are "sewing on the line", not lining up the cut edges really.

    Thanks for the tute.

    Pati, in Phx

  10. #10
    Super Member brookemarie19's Avatar
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    Thanks abby. This is just what I needed to start the project. I really appreciate your help.

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