Monday, May 25, 2015

Paper Templates, yes they are usable part 1

Do you have a quilt you want to make but it requires unusual shapes? Shapes that are not part of acrylic template sets or can be cut using a die cutting system? A shape that will need to me made out of "paper"-say it is not so! Well yes a paper template can be used!

Let me give a bit of ancient history.  Years ago in a far away land I was very interested in making a quilt. This was before the internet, before local quilt shops lined the streets and before rotary cutters. This was during the prehistoric time of double knit! I searched the book shelves at our local bookstore and only found one book that provided instructions for quilting. (I'm sure there were more in print at the time but I am from a smallish town and there were not many books in our local bookstore.)

The book I found was "Polly Prindles book of American Patchwork"

The designs were very traditional as were the methods of piecing them.  All the templates were drawn out for both pieced work and applique. The beginning of my love of quilting started with paper pieces from Polly Prindle's book. This was a very short moment in time because I was in my early teens and there were other adventures waiting! No I did not make a quilt from my first book-but a little interest had been born. 

 Example of a template from Polly's book

Fast forward so many years and once again I decided quilting would be a fun thing to learn, but this time we had "local quilt shops", "real quilt fabric" books, rotary cutters and mats, but  my Polly Prindle's book was long gone. I had not forgotten about my first quilt book because of a windmill pattern that was in it, I love windmills. (Sorry a bit of an Oh Wow moment!)

 Guess what? While I was scouring the shelves of Half Priced Books I found it, a copy of my first quilt book! And in the book were little paper templates the original owner had made. Paper I tell you, not card stock, not cereal box patterns, but paper! 

 I'll need to fast forward again to the present time. These days I draw my patterns using a Cad program, I print them on paper, I cut them out and use them and  sometimes I have them made into acrylic templates, or have an Accuquilt die custom made for them. But what about the designs that remain in their paper state?  Well I use them but with a few adaptations.  Here is how I do it:

Part 1 Supplies

With a ruler like this
or this 
and with a little bit of this 
the templates and fabric are easy to cut out if you use one of these 
and one of these (not necessary but nice) 
Now next time I'll show you how I use my paper templates to cut my fabric for those wonderful odd shaped pieces. 
Talk to you soon! 

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