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Making a Template

Making a Template

Old 07-12-2019, 01:06 PM
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Hi fellow quilters! Iím about to start my first quilt using diamond pinwheels. The pattern says to make a see through template to trace the patterns. I bought some plastic sheets the gal at the store thought would work. Whatís the best way of doing this?

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 07-12-2019 at 01:48 PM. Reason: remove copyright materials
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Old 07-12-2019, 01:24 PM
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When I have made templates like this I make a couple of paper copies. I cut it out, place it on the fabric as indicated for folds and straight of grain then lay my regular ruler over it so it is lined up with the edge of the paper template and cut with the rotary cutter. It works well but sometimes you end up shaving a sliver off of the paper so that is why I make a couple of copies. I have also done this with template plastic but once I realized the paper works just as well I use paper.
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Old 07-12-2019, 01:42 PM
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I prefer plastic with grid lines which help. still, not necessary. use a thin permanent pen to mark. then when ready to cut fabric, lay template down and the ruler next to side you are to cut. (do not cut plastic) or paper if you use that. have fun!!
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Old 07-12-2019, 01:47 PM
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I have used template plastic, laid over the pattern, I use a fine tip micron pigma pen and trace all the lines- using my ruler. Then cut out, and I have actually glued the pattern to my template plastic and cut out and used that way.sometimes it is best to be able to see through it, sometimes it doesn’t really matter.
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:13 PM
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I have sometimes used cheap plastic kitchen chopping boards for a longer lasting template. Trace the shape onto the plastic board with a sharpie and cut out slightly oversize and then smooth to shape with sandpaper. To be 'see through' the centre could be removed with a craft knife.

This can be drawn around or if using with a rotary cutter I protect the edge with a ruler.
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Old 07-13-2019, 03:17 AM
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I always keep template plastic here for making a template in a heartbeat. The sturdy plastic makes it easier to draw around. Especially if using it for a single quilt. For patterns I know I will make repeatedly I have purchased hard plastic templates. I find they work best for me. There is little chance of error from bending softer plastic or from worn out paper. I use all 3 for different quilts.
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Old 07-13-2019, 04:21 AM
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As said by NativeTexan, when using templates made of plastic keep in mind they are not rulers! Position your ruler to your template or draw around like Ckcowl suggests.

I buy the large sheets of gridded plastic on a regular basis, it's a good thing to use Joann coupons for. Be warned that they are not heat proof and will melt, distort or do other bad things even if you are just trying to iron them smooth on warm... I understand there are heat resistant products but I'm cheap and haven't found them yet.

But speaking of cheap, I often use the pieces of cardboard that often come inside commercial fat quarters for templates and keep a couple in my sewing kit to have them handy. Usually it's a good size and the cardboard comes in different weights, sometimes stiff enough to trust cutting against. But be warned, with the template plastic or cardboard sooner or later you will cut into the template ruining both it and the fabric underneath. With my vision issues I have problems with rulers, I make a lot of templates or what I call "snubs" which are shapes to trim with.

Edit: As for the markings, I will either draw it out on the grid lines or trace over it for a shape. When using cardboard I draw out/copy the shape on graph paper and tape it down to the cardboard. As I trim the shape, I cover each cut edge with clear tape folded over the paper from front to the cardboard on the back, it seals everything nicely and gives a nice edge to work with. One of my cutters is designated for craft use including cutting paper and batting.

Edit 2: When drawing on the plastic make sure you are using something that works enough. Sharpies are usually good but sometimes smear a bit, especially at first. Some pens will smear and get on your fabric! If your vision is better than mine you can kind of scratch in the line with a ball point pen even if the ink doesn't come through. I'm going to be doing a OBW/Stack and Whack and in that case I will draw lines on my template on where I am placing my template, pencil can be erased or you can carefully work with ink that will wash off.

Among other odds and ends in my sewing kit is a roll of 1/4" tape. One use for that is marking off the seam allowances in templates while leaving the center clear. Also use on rulers and a bunch of other ways along with my blue tape.

Last edited by Iceblossom; 07-13-2019 at 04:31 AM.
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Old 07-14-2019, 02:54 AM
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In the "olden" days, the templates were used for drawing around rather than cutting around with the rotary cutter. Pieces were cut out out with scissors. This preserved the edge of the template. If the one you are wanting to use is worth the investment, a glass cutting shop can make an acrylic template for you that will be more like the rulers we use nowadays.
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Old 07-14-2019, 06:25 AM
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I used template plastic when I first began quilting (early days of rotary cutters), but now I use the worn out cutting boards from my kitchen. Opaque but see-thru-able.
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:11 AM
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I just made templates for a project using 4 layers of freezer paper ironed together. I could then iron the template to the fabric, mark it if I wanted, and cut it out. Worked nicely.
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