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Template question

Template question

Old 07-07-2020, 04:57 AM
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Default Template question

When a designer gives you an outline to trace a template off of, do you add a 1/4" to it?

I'm having trouble understanding how, if you don't add a 1/4", the block doesn't become smaller. As an example, the block is supposed to be 8" and has 3 pieces. If I don't add the seam allowance to those three pieces, won't I have lost enough that the block is no longer going to be 8"?
And, if you have another block that has 5 pieces, it is going to come out smaller than the block with only 3 pieces, unless you add your seam allowances. Right? Or am I making this too difficult?

The author doesn't mention this anywhere in the book.

I am having templates cut out of acrylic for this project and I want to get them right.

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Old 07-07-2020, 04:59 AM
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Can you make a quick test block with a paper template?
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Old 07-07-2020, 05:00 AM
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Test it out. Make paper templates - one set with seam allowances added and one without. Use scraps and scissors and see which set works.
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Old 07-07-2020, 05:10 AM
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I always test first. Many authors will actually make that design with the 1/4" added and you can see it clearly marked. Many older patterns from back in the 30-50's did not add the 1/4". You can always try to contact the author for advise on the template too. Making the test piece may be the quickest and easiest way to check things out though.
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Old 07-07-2020, 07:38 AM
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When I question myself about the size of the finished block, I just make a test block out of scrap muslin that I have. Good luck to you
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Old 07-07-2020, 09:16 AM
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Thus is when I get out construction paper and cut the shapes.
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Old 07-07-2020, 09:24 AM
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What's the size of the finished block? Total up the dimensions of the template as printed in the pattern/book and see if they equal the size of the block.

Fir a very simple example, look at a 9-patch that finishes at 9 inches.

1. The template in the book measures 3 inches. 3 + 3 + 3 = 9. You will need to add seam allowances.

2. The template in the book is 3.5 inches. 3.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 = 10.5 inches, therefore there are seam allowances added.

I think older books, and perhaps older teachers, assume that you will be piecing by hand, drawing out your stitching line onto the back of the fabric and cutting with scissors. Maybe even eyeballing that 1/4" allowance as "close enough." (I do that "close enough" now with techniques like folded corners.) Like my grandmother, they may feel it isn't a "real quilt" unless every stitch is sewn by hand the way they do it, so obviously the knowledgeable reader will want to do that too.

Me? Rotary cutting and machine piecing all the way! If I had to hand-piece, I'd make 1 lap quilt a year instead of several. My daughters would still be waiting for their wedding quilts 20+ years later.

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Old 07-07-2020, 09:39 AM
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The author should tell you whether the seam allowances are included or not. Which book is it? Does the author have an errata page on their website with this information?
I agree with the others - make a test block from scrap.
I have used templates, but what I do is trace the templates on the fabric, then cut out 1/4" away from those lines, thereby adding my seam allowance.
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Old 07-07-2020, 09:51 AM
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If/When I hand sew/piece blocks - as while when traveling -

I make two templates - one to cut around - and one to trace around.

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