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UPDATE – I am sorry about the messy appearance of the announcement that went to subscribers this time. I think I know what happened and I can fix it next time.

 

The Case of the Diamond Necklace Mystery Quilt

COTDN Clue # 6 (6 pages, PDF to download)

This time, you just need to print two sheets of fabric to set yourself up to make six of these heart-shaped gems with some elaborate “continuous stitching.” I think you will love the way these go together!

 

Print triangles on fabric with your Inkjet

Print the shapes on fabric, cut rows (single layer), and then stack the rows to cut several layers at a time.

You can re-use the freezer paper over and over and over again.

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Introduction to Inklingo

Just in case you would like a refresher, there is a video on the Welcome to Inklingo page on the website.

Please tell your friends about the COTDN mystery quilt. It is great for beginners AND experienced Inklingo quilters.

The clues for the Case of the Secret Garden (COTSG) and the Case of the Stranger in Margaritaville (COTSIM) are still on the blog.

ARE YOU SUBSCRIBED?

Detectives should subscribe to the blog and follow the Inklingo Facebook page. Some beautiful photos and videos were posted this week.

I also shared a new article about fussy cutting yesterday. I hope we will all be “continuously stitching” this week!

Linda & Monkey

[]

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Main Beginner’s Page  There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

$10 Coupon! 10 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook

Inklingo on Facebook

How to make Quilt templates

This time, let’s look at the second method of fussy cutting with Inklingo—templates!

Template Rule # 1 

Use templates without seam allowances.

It’s a beautiful rule. It applies all the time:

  • whether or not you are fussy cutting
  • whether you are using scissors or a rotary cutter
  • whether you are sewing by hand or by machine
  • whether or not you will mark a sewing line, crosshairs, matches, etc.
  • whether the shapes are curved or straight
  • with any shape, including new ones you dream up on your own
  • even if you are using English Paper Piecing

My first choice is always to print on fabric with Inklingo but there are situations when templates make sense.

This article focuses on fussy cutting but the info is helpful any time you need templates. I do not recommend EPP for any design but the tips below will help you with that too.

 

Use templates without seam allowances

Use templates without seam allowances!

If you have been using metal, acrylic, or plastic templates with seam allowances for Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses (or any design), you will love how much simpler and more accurate it is to work with templates without seam allowances!

I love anything that is simpler and faster with precise results!
(Especially when it costs less—almost nothing!)

 

Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses

In the POTC book, I recommend freezer paper (FP) templates whenever you are not printing the shapes on fabric with Inklingo.

Once you learn how to use freezer paper to make templates, you will never need to buy acrylic/plastic/metal shapes againwhether you use Inklingo or not.

If freezer paper (FP) is new to you, there is an article about it (what it is, etc.) under the Top Ten Tutes tab (above).

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Swiss cheese fussy cutting

TRADITIONAL TEMPLATE METHOD – SWISS CHEESE

The fabric above has holes all over it!

“Swiss cheese fussy cutting” can require a lot more fabric and it takes longer than printing identical sheets of fabric with Inklingo but it works beautifully in the right circumstances.

My first choice is Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting (see Part 2) but Inklingo is the very best method for traditional Swiss cheese fussy cutting with templates too.

 

Fussy Cut POTC with Inklingo

For example, templates are ideal for fussy cutting when:

  • you only need a few shapes from a particular fabric
  • you need ten or more identical shapes from several fabrics
    (e.g. Millefiori Quilts Passacaglia rosettes)
  • you don’t have enough fabric for Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting
  • you don’t have a suitable fabric for Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting

 

Yes to freezer paper!

FREEZER PAPER TEMPLATES
WITHOUT SEAM ALLOWANCES
ARE
 ALWAYS BETTER THAN ANY SHAPE
WITH SEAM ALLOWANCES

I have never liked using acrylic or plastic templates. They slide . . .  but the main problem is that they include the seam allowances.

If templates with seam allowances were ever a good idea (doubtful), it stopped being smart when quilters started using freezer paper more than twenty years ago.

 

FP template plus acrylic ruler

THE “AH HA MOMENT”
Freezer paper templates without seam allowances can be matched with any of your acrylic rulers, so you can rotary cut more accurately!

People who make templates don’t tell you this, of course. They don’t want you to know our little secret.

Buying acrylic shapes makes no sense if you have freezer paper and an acrylic ruler.

The photo shows how I add seam allowances around a hexagon template when I cut (one seam allowance left to trim), but it is the same for diamonds, hexagons, triangles, kites, Cleopatra’s Fan, Double Wedding Ring—ANY shape for ANY design.

FP + an acrylic ruler can be used for ANY shape!

 

Sew along a line

Which one would you rather sew? Dot to dot or along a line?

This is my main problem with templates with seam allowances—they add extra work and make it more difficult to sew.

The sewing line is more important than the cutting line, so it makes no sense to use templates with seam allowances. They are not designed to let you mark sewing lines on the fabric.

Sewing “Dot to Dot” is a heart-breaker. (No wonder hand piecing gets a bad rap!)

 

How to make templates

MAKE TEMPLATES WITH FREEZER PAPER

You probably have everything you need to make templates without seam allowances, so you won’t need to buy anything. (If you feel like shopping, buy fabric. You can never have too much fabric!)

  • freezer paper
  • scissors or a rotary cutter and mat
  • an acrylic ruler (for rotary cutting) (mark the desired seam allowance with masking tape underneath)
  • a thin ruler and mechanical pencil (for marking seam lines, if required)
  • 1/2 inch strip of paper (useful for spacing templates to allow for two 0.25 inch seam allowances)

Even in countries where freezer paper is not available in grocery stores (the way it is in North America), freezer paper costs less than other templates.

That’s it! Do you have everything?

 

Window template and no seam allowance template

For Swiss cheese fussy cutting, I use a window template AND a template without seam allowances.

FP templates are great when I am fussy cutting because they make it easier to ensure that I am cutting identical shapes but I love them even when I am not fussy cutting.

In this example, I printed POTC hexagons on FP with Inklingo. You could just draw or trace the shape from the book to make these two FP shapes.

 

Window templates for fussy cutting

STEP 1 – PRINT WINDOW TEMPLATES! 

First, I print the Inklingo shapes WITH seam allowances on FP and cut it into separate windows, as many as I need.

I cut on the stitching lines with a rotary cutter (or scissors), so I get a window template AND a template without seam allowances—two for one. (I’ll share my best cutting tips in a future article.)

 

Iron FP window templates in position.

STEP 2 – FIND A DESIGN YOU WANT TO FUSSY CUT

Check to see if the design shows clearly on the wrong side of the fabric. This is the case with many fabrics and it is helpful because we prefer to iron FP templates on the WRONG side of the fabric, so we can mark the seam lines. Working on the wrong side saves an extra step when we want to mark lines on the fabric.

 

Iron FP window template

STEP 3 – PRESS THE WINDOW TEMPLATES IN POSITION

On the ironing surface, press the window templates in position over identical designs with a hot, dry iron. Repeat until you have found enough identical designs. (It is usually okay to ignore straight grain to get the right design.)

In this example, I need 4 POTC hexagons, so I have 4 window templates. That’s another advantage over acrylic shapes. I can have as many as I want on the fabric at the same time!

I have some cool template tips to share in a future article, like marking “FP” on the paper side, so you don’t mistakenly touch the plastic side of the template with a hot iron.

 

Drop FP template in opening

STEP 4 – PRESS THE TEMPLATE INSIDE THE WINDOW

Still on the ironing surface, place the FP shape WITHOUT seam allowances into the window opening and press it into position.

Each identical design is now marked with two pieces of FP, the window and the center.

 

Inklingo fussy cutting

STEP 5 – PEEL OFF THE WINDOW TEMPLATE

Still at the ironing surface, peel off the window template leaving the template without seam allowances in position. Check the points/corners to make sure they are all identical. Re-press if necessary.

This template won’t move while I cut! Love it!

 

Rotary cut around template

STEP 6 – ADD THE SEAM ALLOWANCE WHEN YOU CUT

Slide a cutting mat underneath and cut around the FP, adding the seam allowances.

I have a few cool tips to share in a future article for rotary cutting and scissors cutting, so please stay tuned!

 

Mark sewing lines.

STEP 7 – MARK THE SEWING LINES (IF REQUIRED)

Still on the cutting mat, use a mechanical pencil and a thin, flexible ruler to mark the stitching lines, crosshairs and matching marks to imitate the results you get when you print the shapes on fabric with Inklingo (below)–fine, accurate lines.

This is the method I teach in my Quilted Diamonds books (pre-Inklingo). Those books are an excellent introduction to hand piecing but the template technique applies to machine piecing too.

 

Print on fabric with Inklingo

In this example for hexagons for Patchwork of the Crosses, I want sewing lines but sometimes the lines are not necessary.

For example, if you are machine piecing and there are no inset seams, you do not have to mark any lines on the fabric.

If the design does not show clearly on the wrong side of the fabric:
If you need to mark the sewing lines the way I do for POTC and you have to work on the front to choose the designs, it takes a little more time.

After cutting the shapes, remove the template from the front of the fabric and go back to the ironing surface to press it on the wrong side of the fabric (centered), so you can mark the sewing lines. It is an extra step but totally worth it for the right fabric!

 

Sew POTC with a running stitch

Marking the seam lines is a huge advantage over acrylic, where the best you can do is mark dots through holes and then sew “Dot to Dot.” I’m an experienced piecer but D to D is doomed to disappoint!

 

plastic and punch

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL QUILT SHOP

Quilt shops like selling stuff—templates, sheets of plastic, punches, special markers, etc. but when you learn about freezer paper, you won’t need those things.

Spend money on fabric and skip the stuff you don’t need—especially anything that adds extra work.

You will be a better customer if you finish your quilt faster and buy fabric for the next one sooner.

 

Passacaglia rosette fussy cut with Inklingo

Imagine how well this works for designs like Passacaglia, where you sometimes need TEN identical shapes for fussy cutting. You can have enough FP templates for each one, not just one or two acrylic shapes to slide around.

I cut several Passacaglia photos from this looooong article but I have more to show you about fussy cutting the shapes for it in another article.

 

The best quilt templates!

TEMPLATES FOR FUSSY CUTTING

I think now you can see why I use FP templates WITHOUT seam allowances for fussy cutting—NOT shapes with seam allowances.

  • They can be ironed securely into position for greater accuracy.
  • I can have as many as I want.
  • I can have any shape, any size.
  • I can choose a wider or narrower seam allowance.
  • They make it easy to mark the sewing lines, if I need them.

 

Fussy cut POTC with Inklingo

Please don’t listen when anyone tries to tell you “You can’t fussy cut with Inklingo.”

I hear it all the time but it is NOT true. There are TWO great methods:

  1. Traditional Swiss Cheese Fussy Cutting (above)
  2. Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting (print identical sheets of fabric, similar to Stack n Whack™, etc.)

Once you know how to use freezer paper, you will never need to buy acrylic/plastic/metal shapes again—whether you use Inklingo or not.

Monkey says, “You’re welcome.”

By the way, I do not have any affiliation with freezer paper companies and I don’t sell it myself. It is just a fabulous product. I love using it and I recommend to everyone.

Freezer paper is less expensive and does more than any other template material.

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Introduction to Inklingo

This VIDEO on the Welcome to Inklingo page on the website explains how printing on fabric with Inklingo works with your ordinary Inkjet printer.

MORE FREEZER PAPER TIPS

This article got soooo long that I cut out several good tips for using freezer paper. I will share them in other articles. If you subscribe to the blog (top of right side-bar) you won’t miss anything.

ARE YOU SUBSCRIBED?

Please subscribe to the blog and follow the Inklingo Facebook page for more.

Before you go, review the list under Template Rule # 1—and then  tell your friends about freezer paper. I put that info at the top because it is so important.

I hope you will also tell your friends about the new Inklingo mystery quilt, The Case of the Diamond Necklace (COTDN). New clue coming soon!

Linda & Monkey

[]

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Main Beginner’s Page  There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

$10 Coupon! 10 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook

Inklingo on Facebook

The Case of the Diamond Necklace Mystery Quilt

COTDN Clue # 5 (4 pages, PDF to download)

This time, the is a little more printing and some lovely “continuous stitching” to make these half hexagons.

 

The Case of the Diamond Necklace Mystery Quilt

Print the shapes on fabric, cut rows (single layer), and then stack the rows to cut several layers at a time.

You can re-use the freezer paper for more diamonds too.

.

Introduction to Inklingo

You might want to review the video on the Welcome to Inklingo page on the website if you are new to Inklingo.

Please tell your friends about the COTDN mystery quilt. It is great for beginners AND experienced Inklingo quilters.

The clues for the Case of the Secret Garden (COTSG) and the Case of the Stranger in Margaritaville (COTSIM) are still on the blog.

ARE YOU SUBSCRIBED?

Detectives should subscribe to the blog and follow the Inklingo Facebook page for more hints.

It has been another busy week on Facebook. I hope you have seen the photos and videos posted on the Inklingo Facebook page.

Please stay tuned for a new article about fussy cutting with Inklingo too.

Linda & Monkey

[]

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Main Beginner’s Page  There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

$10 Coupon! 10 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook

Inklingo on Facebook

A Fish Called Wanda (1988) Diamond Heist

Inklingo makes this clue so easy, it almost feels like a classic diamond heist—well planned, quickly executed, clever and fun.

COTDN Clue # 4 (5 pages, PDF to download)

In fact, this clue is just like A Fish Called Wanda but with a slightly simpler plot, fewer fish, and a G rating.

 

Print diamonds on fabric

Print the shapes on fabric, cut rows (single layer), and then stack the rows to cut several layers at a time.

 

The Case of the Diamond Necklace Mystery Quilt

The sewing goes fast (hand or machine), so you will have time to watch . . .

 

Two movies

. . . A Fish Called Wanda and the Quilted Diamonds 2 hand piecing lesson!

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Introduction to Inklingo

When you finish A Fish Called Wanda, you might want to review the video on the Welcome to Inklingo page on the website too.

If you know anyone who is interested in learning about Inklingo, please let them know about the COTDN mystery quilt. It is great for beginners AND experienced Inklingo quilters.

 

Cathi is ready for Clue # 4. Are you?

HAND OR MACHINE

This mystery is NOT just for hand piecers. There are instructions for machine piecing too.

The clues for the Case of the Secret Garden (COTSG) and the Case of the Stranger in Margaritaville (COTSIM) are still on the blog.

ARE YOU SUBSCRIBED?

Detectives should subscribe to the blog and follow the Inklingo Facebook page for more hints.

I would love to see and share photos of your Clue # 4. linda@lindafranz.com

Please tell your friends about the Case of the Diamond Necklace. The next clues are fun too.

Linda & Monkey

[]

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Main Beginner’s Page  There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

$10 Coupon! 10 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook

Inklingo on Facebook

NEVER BUY ACRYLIC SHAPES AGAIN ? 

This is a long article but if you read it, I don’t think you will ever buy acrylic templates and shapes again. Ever!

This info makes quilting more fun, more creative, and sets you free from expensive acrylic.

Almost anything you can draw, you can turn into templates that are better than acrylic!

Spend your money on precious gems (or fabric) instead.

 

The Case of the Diamond Necklace Mystery Quilt

COTDN Clue # 3 (10 pages, PDF to download)

This is not the clue I originally planned.

 

Print quilt shapes on fabric with Inklingo

TWO OPTIONS

I re-wrote the whole clue when I decided to give you a second option.

Now you can

(1) print all of the shapes on fabric with Inklingo

OR

(2) print most of the shapes and prepare the rest with freezer paper templates.

MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH FREEZER PAPER

My friend Mary taught me how to use freezer paper templates almost 20 years ago and I still prefer FP to any other template material, including acrylic shapes.

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Freezer Paper Templates

Freezer paper (FP) templates are the BEST templates in the history of quiliting AND the least expensive!

Businesses that sell acrylic shapes or plastic sheets don’t want you to know how fantastic freezer paper is!

 

It is worth learning about freezer paper for hand piecing AND machine piecing—any shape, any size, straight lines or curves..

 

Freezer paper templates with acrylic edge

THE ULTIMATE IN FLEXIBILITY

ANY freezer paper shape can have an acrylic edge.

An ordinary acrylic ruler with a piece of masking tape marking the seam allowance turns any FP shape into a better “acrylic template!”

 

I have always included layouts of shapes without seam allowances in Inklingo shape collections, so you can print on freezer paper if you need templates.

If you are making templates, it is silly to include the seam allowances!

Anything you can draw, trace, or print on freezer paper works better than an expensive acrylic template because FP does not slide around before you finish cutting.

The plastic coating on freezer paper sticks to the fabric when pressed with a hot, dry iron, and it stays in position until you peel it off to use it again.

Draw, trace or print any block or shape on FP and cut the shapes apart.

Quilted Diamonds 2 page 55

Adding acrylic edges to FP templates is a huge concept but it is not new! 

I have been teaching how to use FP templates since my Quilted Diamonds books in 2002 and 2004.

In those books, I taught drawing the sewing lines on the wrong side of the fabric for hand piecing because the shapes are very small. However, the same method works for machine piecing and you don’t usually need to add the sewing lines!

Turn every edge of the FP into an acrylic edge that you can rotary cut—with the rulers you already have.

 

Inklingo shapes with and without seam allowances

INKLINGO OR FREEZER PAPER?

Printing the shapes on fabric with Inklingo is always my first choice, of course!

When a shape is not available from Inklingo, FP templates are the perfect choice!

Inklingo has  more advantages, of course, but FP templates work very well–BETTER than acrylic or plastic templates—whether you are using scissors or a rotary cutter.

I feel so strongly about the benefits of using FP templates that I re-wrote Clue # 3 this week to add a shape in the Case of the Diamond Necklace mystery quilt—one that you cannot print with Inklingo.

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Freezer paper has every advantage and is very inexpensive.

You can

  • draw on it
  • trace through it
  • print on it
  • cut it accurately with a rotary cutter or scissors, even several layers at a time!
  • write on it
  • make as many templates as you want without additional expense
  • re-use them
  • replace them
  • store them easily

Freezer paper is perfect for window templates too.

Acrylic templates only work with a rotary cutter. With FP templates, you can choose to use scissors if you need it to be portable. Acrylic does not have even one advantage over freezer paper for quilters. Acrylic templates cannot do what FP templates do.

(By the way, in case you are wondering, I do not sell freezer paper. No affiliation. FP is a just an amazing product.)

There is more about FP in the Top Ten Tutes on the blog.

That’s all you need to know before you download and start Clue # 3.

COTDN Clue # 3 (10 pages, PDF to download)

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Introduction to Inklingo

This VIDEO on the Welcome to Inklingo page on the website is a good intro to printing on fabric with Inklingo.

If you know anyone who is interested in learning about Inklingo, please let them know about the COTDN mystery. It is great for beginners AND experienced Inklingo quilters.

 

COTDN stars by Delores J

Delores made these fabulous stars for her COTDN mystery quilt with Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting.

I love seeing what everyone is doing with the COTDN mystery quilt clues!

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Barb Clark's COTDN Stars

Driveway Barb has been fussy cutting with Inklingo for years. (Just Sayin’ Sew blog.)

There are more beautiful stars for COTDN on Facebook too.

HAND OR MACHINE

This mystery is NOT just for hand piecers. There are instructions for machine piecing too.

This is the 3rd Inklingo mystery quilt. The clues for the Case of the Secret Garden (COTSG) and the Case of the Stranger in Margaritaville (COTSIM) are still on the blog.

ARE YOU SUBSCRIBED?

Detectives should subscribe to the blog and follow the Inklingo Facebook page for more hints.

I would love to see and share photos of your Clue # 3. linda@lindafranz.com

Please tell your friends about the mystery. There is more to come!

Linda & Monkey

[]

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Main Beginner’s Page  There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

$10 Coupon! 10 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook

Inklingo on Facebook

 

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