Monday, November 12, 2012

Tips about making pattern templates

Patti @ P. S. I Want To Quilt Too!!! is having a super Giveaway! So follow the link and sign up!

I am using the template pieces from Anna Maria Horner's pattern feather bed quilt which is available as a free .pdf at her website. I have loved this quilt since I saw it! But I scared myself into believing I had to be an advanced quilter before I attempted to make a feather. Not anymore, thanks to Scrappy? Sew bee it! Flickr group! It is really getting me to try new sewing projects.

A lot of patterns today come with templates that are digital. The pieces must be printed and put together to be used for the pattern.

I use the following to make templates:

Scissors that will cut cardboard - mine are cheap kitchen scissors
Glue stick
Paper template pieces
Cardboard - clean boxes work really well

First cut out the paper template pieces (sometimes you may have 3 or 4) that you need to attach together to make into one piece. When making templates try to find a cardboard piece big enough to fit the whole template. Glue the paper pieces together on the cardboard. Read the pattern carefully: some will tell you to glue under one, some just say line up. If you have a template that does not have a 1/4 seam allowance, using a ruler you can add it now. Cut out the template following as close to the outside lines as possible, do not cut into the line, follow the outside line like I have done here.

There are times you will find you have to flip the template over to cut out the mirror image or a left/right side. Mark on your template which is the left side and which is the right side. This saves you trouble later. I also mark all my background pieces.

See the directional lines on the template above those are used to line up the template on the sewn lines of your fabric. If you are using the template to produce a mirror image, you need to transfer those lines onto the back of the template opposite to the way on the front to line it up!

If you don't you could end up with your feather cut like the second feather below. Unusable!

When you want your feathers to all line up! Like the ones below.

I use my rotary cutter with my templates (faster for me) but you can also a use pencil or the Pilot Frixon ball pen, I would not use this pen to make quilting lines (read about testing here). but it is great for drawing template lines on the fabric (less chance of cutting your fabric wrong). Then using a pair of fabric scissors (nice & sharp) to cut the fabric pieces out.

I hope my tips can help you! Thanks for stopping by "In The Boon Docks", please come back again. Lisa

The pattern is also in Fons & Porter Quilty Magazine, Winter 2012. I just bought the digital issue yesterday! All kinds of articles and quilts with modern looks.


  1. Yeah for feathers, yeah for Lucy and yeah for finding out you are an advanced quilter!

  2. Love the tips, thanks for sharing.

  3. Even your 'unusable' feather is lovely! These feathers are fun to make, aren't they?! I'm thinking of making it my next quilt!

  4. Thank you so very much for these tips - they sure are going to come in useful.

  5. Hi Lisa. I just found you through Lucy. I guess I'm still getting to know people in our Scrappy bee group. Hello!


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