Working with Templates

Templates really aren't as bad as they seem, I promise! There are a few pointers that I want to share that'll probably make your experience a bit more enjoyable...and accurate!


  • When printing your templates, make sure your printer is set to "Actual Size" or "100% to scale". Some printers default to "Scale to fit" which will make your templates slightly off. Once you have them printed, double check your measurements with a ruler. All edges of the templates should equal what the template says they should equal, or if there are not any measurements within the template, there should be a 1" test square.


    Once you make sure your templates are printed correctly, you'll need to transfer them onto a more sturdy surface. I like using these clear, gridded template pages. However, if you want to use something around the house, I'm all about recycling! Use the back of a cereal box or a piece of sturdy card stock. Whatever you use, remember not to use your fabric sheers to cut your paper/templates. We want to keep those guys nice and sharp!
  • Trace your templates onto your fabric using a temporary marker. I like this one.
  • For efficiency, when you have straight edges on a template, cut those edges with a rotary cutter. For example, with the templates for Mountain Horizon, I have you cut a larger piece with your rotary cutter, then with your template, you trace the curve onto the fabric. Then, all you have to hand-cut is a curve. Some people are more adventurous than I am use rotary cutters around curves, but I seem to get better precision with hand-cutting.
  • Trace your templates so that you are cutting along the length and width of your fabric. Cutting along the diagonal, or bias edge, will make your fabric prone to stretch. Sometimes this is inevitable, like with my Shades of Citrus Pattern. In this case, starch is a good idea!
  • Pay attention to directional fabrics and whether or not you'll need to flip your templates.



Bottom line: templates are a great way to easily create unique shapes within a quilt design. 


I hope you found this helpful! 

Happy quilting!