Quilting has been one of the great American pastimes since the country’s founding. It’s a hobby passed down from generation to generation. Luckily, the craft has gotten easier in recent years now that companies mass produce the tools needed to make perfect pieces to stitch together. Templates and rulers eliminate the guesswork when it comes to tracing and cutting out your pattern. It can also be a pain to measure your intricate shapes and cut them to be the right size. That’s why it’s never a bad idea to have a collection of quilt templates and rulers in your craft closet. Because some of you might just be starting your journey into the world of quilting, we’ve taken the time to write down a guide to templates and rulers–whether you’re determined to make your own or just want to know what to look for when buying some.
What is a Quilting Template and Do You Need One
Templates play a necessary part in making a patchwork blanket–especially for beginners. Buying, or making, your own templates is the most effective way to get the right templates for your project. Homemade templates are useful when your blanket’s design requires irregular shapes or different square sizes. They ensure consistency when tracing your pattern onto your fabric, which will save you a headache down to the line.
Making Your Own Rulers and Templates
Making your own rulers and templates for your blanket’s design will always be the most cost effective method. All you need to make a high-quality template is some plexiglass and a sharpie. Just cut, or have someone else, cut the plexiglass into the shapes and sizes you want or need for the project.
If cutting plexiglass isn’t an option for you, don’t stress. You can still make templates and rulers with cheaper, easier to manipulate materials. You can’t use practically any material for your templates, however, you may want to avoid just regular paper. Regular paper is going to be too flimsy when you are trying to trace the pattern onto the fabric and it can also tear easily. The best and most inexpensive materials you can use are cardstock and cardboard.
How to Find the Best Template for Your Needs
It’s difficult to tell you what the best rulers and templates would be because it will depend on your project. Before rushing to your local craft store, make sure you know the dimensions of your finished project as well as the assortment of shapes you will need in order to complete it.
The templates also rely on the type of quilt you want to make. Do you want to make a decorative wall quilt or one that you can use on the couch while watching TV? Many popular designs will already have templates made with those specifications, and if you buy a quilting kit you will likely already get the squares pre-cut. If you just bought the pattern, then the directions will tell you the proper sizes and shapes you will need to go out to purchase.
When it’s time to make the purchase, you want to be sure you’re buying one that’s of a high quality–you’ll never know when you may need to use them again. It will be harder to determine the quality if you’re buying online. If this is the case then it’s important to pay attention to user reviews and reading the experience others had with the templates you’re considering buying.
The first step for any patchwork blanket is deciding the size and shape of the squares you plan to use. Having these on hand will ensure your blanket will have squares that are all the same size so that your completed blanket looks the same as it does in the picture of the pattern. Before buying your template, make sure you know exactly what sizes and shapes you will need so you don’t end up spending money on something you don’t actually need. When you’re at your craft store and still don’t have a good idea of what to buy, don’t be afraid to ask the employees for help. Quilting is meant to be a relaxing hobby to take your mind off the stresses of the real world–don’t make it stressful by purchasing the wrong templates or trying to eyeball it.