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Freezer paper + acrylic edge! It works for ANY SHAPE—triangles, hexagons, anything you can draw or print!

  • Have as many as you want!
  • They’re free! (Spend the money on fabric instead!)
  • If you lose one, you can make another one!
  • No waiting to start a project!

In Part 1, we showed you the advantages of freezer paper templates with an acrylic ruler. You don’t need acrylic templates if you have a ruler and freezer paper.

In Part 2, we showed you why I prefer freezer paper templates for fussy cutting.

Part 3 – SIX COOL TEMPLATE TIPS!

 

Masking tape to mark ruler

TIP # 1 A few quilters asked about the ruler I used in Part 1.

It is an ordinary acrylic ruler but I positioned a strip of colored masking tape on the underside along the 0.25 inch line. Then I turned it over and trimmed off the excess masking tape. You can add additional layers if you prefer.

Hexagons for Patchwork of the Crosses

TIP # 2 So far, just like shapes you would cut with acrylic hexagons, there are no sewing lines marked, but you can add the sewing lines with a thin ruler and a mechanical pencil if you wish.

Whenever you use templates, use ones without seam allowances so you don’t have to sew dot-to-dot.

I position the fabric wrong side up on the ironing board when the designs show well enough for fussy cutting, as shown in Part 2. However, if it is necessary to position the templates on the right side for fussy cutting, you will need to peel them off, re-position on the wrong side and re-press, so you can mark the sewing lines with a mechanical pencil.

That is a little extra work but it is still faster and easier than basting and whip-stitching for English Paper Piecing.

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Patchwork of the Crosses

Any shape you cut with FP templates can be used with shapes you print with Inklingo.

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Hand piece Patchwork of the Crosses

Sew by hand or by machine.

Quilted Diamonds 2 book and DVD
TIP # 3 Another variation is to use clear labels with an acrylic ruler instead of freezer paper with an acrylic ruler for templates!

This is one of the template tips I shared in the two hour video in Quilted Diamonds 2. The book is $29.95 (including the DVD) but it will save you from buying acrylic templates ever again! Sew by hand or by machine!

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Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses

TIP # 4 Don’t fuss too much about fussy cutting the designs with mechanical precision!

These examples of Lucy Boston’s blocks are also in the book. They will help you relax.

The charm of some of Lucy Boston’s fussy cutting (above and below) is that there are variations.

Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses (POTC)

If you look at the close-up detail of her hexagons and squares in the book, you will notice the differences. All of the examples in the book have little variations like the ones above.

 

The Patchworks of Lucy Boston by Diana Boston

Lucy Boston was an artist who created exquisite quilt tops with a very limited choice of fabric. She pioneered fussy cutting for the rest of us.

You can see all of her quilts, including ones with fussy cutting, in this wonderful book by her daughter-in-law, Diana Boston.

TIP # 5 I like to store window templates in plastic page protectors, so I can audition fabric in the quilt shop to see if the scale of the design is suitable for the shape and how much waste there will be.

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Print hexagons on fabric with your Inkjet!

Of course, it is easier and more precise when you print the shapes on fabric (or paper) with Inklingo and rotary cut several layers at a time.

Main Lucy Boston Page

There is also a video for POTC on the Main Lucy Boston Page on the website. (You are on the blog now.)

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Introduction to Inklingo

TIP # 6  Skip templates entirely!

There are step by step instructions and a new VIDEO on the Welcome to Inklingo page on the website.

ARE YOU SUBSCRIBED?

If you subscribe to the blog (top of right side-bar), you will be the first to see the next one.

Are you following the Inklingo Facebook page too? Please post photos of your POTC blocks there too.

When you can’t use Inklingo, use freezer paper!

Welcome to Inklingo!

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

25 Signs YOU are an Inklingo Quilter

Inklingo on Facebook

Make templates for any shape!

In Part 1, we showed you the advantages of freezer paper templates with an acrylic ruler.

It works for ANY SHAPE—triangles, hexagons, anything you can draw or print!

  • Have as many as you want!
  • They’re free! (Spend the money on fabric instead!)
  • If you lose one, you can make another one!
  • No waiting to start a project!

The advantages for FUSSY CUTTING POTC!

I find fussy cutting hexagons for Patchwork of the Crosses (POTC) difficult with acrylic templates because they slide around.

Freezer paper (plus acrylic edge) gives me more control and makes everything go faster. Once you try it, I don’t think you will bother with acrylic hexagons again!

(NOTE This article describes traditional fussy cutting, which makes Swiss cheese of the fabric. Inklingo is also perfect for No Waste Fussy Cutting when you have the right fabric!)

Once you have turned freezer paper templates into acrylic templates with your rulers, I don’t think you will need acrylic shapes for any design.

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Hexagon template for Patchwork of the Crosses

1. Print or draw the shapes on freezer paper or plain paper to make individual window templates (above).

It is an advantage to have several window templates instead of one acrylic hexagon. You will usually need 4 or 8 for POTC and 5 or 10 for Passacaglia and Ballet from Millefiori Quilts and Millefiori Quilts 2.

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Print templates for POTC

2. Prepare as many FP templates as you need.
(No seam allowances, see Part 1.)

You can use the shape from the window template or you can print the Inklingo shapes without seam allowances and rotary cut precision shapes.

ANYTHING you can draw on freezer paper can be used this way!

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Fussy Cutting identical hexagons

3. Position the window template over the first design, with the fabric draped over your ironing board. Find identical designs in the fabric and mark with additional window templates.

If the window templates are freezer paper, press with a hot, dry iron to hold in position. (Use a small piece of tape to hold the paper templates in position temporarily, if necessary.)

When you see several of them positioned on the fabric, you will get a good idea of the number of repeats available and what will be left for additional sets of identical shapes.

Depending on the design you want to fussy cut, it may not always be possible to have straight grain on two sides. As usual, handle bias gently and never use steam to press.

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Fussy Cutting identical hexagons

With this fabric, I could see the designs just as clearly from the wrong side, so I placed the fabric on the ironing board wrong side up.

You won’t always be able to do this but it is nice if you can if you are planning to use a mechanical pencil to mark the sewing lines.

I find the window more helpful than covering the design with acrylic because I can see exactly where the points and corners fall on each flower in the design.

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Fussy Cutting POTC hexagons

4. Drop the FP templates into the opening in the windows template and touch with a hot, dry iron to hold in position. Then you can remove the window templates. They can be used over and over again.

 

Rotary cut hexagons

5. Slide a cutting mat under the fabric on the ironing board and cut.
Add the seam allowance, as described in Part 1.

Hooray! You have the results you would get with an acrylic template but you did not have to pay for acrylic or wait for an acrylic template to arrive in the mail!

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Rotary cut hexagons

This has many advantages over acrylic templates:

  • You have as many templates as you need, not just one hexagon.
  • The templates don’t slip the way acrylic does, so you can be sure every hexagon is perfect.
  • You choose how wide or narrow to make the seam allowances.
  • Optional: Add the sewing lines if you wish. (Part 1)

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Print hexagons on fabric

Of course, it is easier and more precise when you print the shapes on fabric with Inklingo and rotary cut several layers at a time.

My first choice is always to print the shapes on fabric. It is faster, easier and more accurate than using any kind of template and you can sew by hand or by machine.

If you can find a fabric suitable for No Waste Fussy Cutting, you won’t need templates, but when you do need templates, I recommend freezer paper with an acrylic ruler instead of acrylic templates.

There is also a video for POTC on the Main Lucy Boston Page on the website. (You are on the blog now.)

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Introduction to Inklingo

Just in case you would like to skip templates entirely and print the shapes on fabric instead, there are step by step instructions and a new VIDEO on the Welcome to Inklingo page on the website.

Inklingo quilters spend more time sewing and less time getting ready to sew—and get better results!
Why templates?

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Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses (POTC)

ARE YOU SUBSCRIBED?

If you subscribe to the blog (top of right side-bar), you will be the first to see Part 3 of this article.

 

Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses (POTC)

IN PART 3 —FIVE BONUS TEMPLATE TIPS!

Quilting doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think! You’ll get better value when you spend on fabric or a wonderful class experience!

I don’t think you will want to bother with acrylic templates once you have used freezer paper.

I would love to see photos of what you are making with Inklingo. You can browse the albums on the Inklingo Facebook page to see what other Inklingo quilters are sharing too.

 

FREE Cleopatra's Fan Design Book

REMINDER ABOUT FREE CLEO

If you haven’t ordered and downloaded the Cleopatra’s Fan Design Book (138 pages, PDF), you can still get it while it’s free!

When you can’t use Inklingo, use freezer paper!

Welcome to Inklingo! See you soon for Part 3.

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

25 Signs YOU are an Inklingo Quilter

Inklingo on Facebook

Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses (POTC)

Only one template is required for POTC blocks. It is a 90° Hexagon. All 6 sides are 1 inch. (Three other sizes are available from Inklingo.)

Since I wrote the book, several quilters have asked if I sell an acrylic template for the hexagon.

 

template for hexagons

I don’t sell acrylic templates!

However, this article explains how to make an acrylic template for ANY shape!

These templates are free because you already have everything you need in your sewing room!

Even if you need to buy freezer paper or a ruler, these are cheap acrylic templates!

*For the POTC hexagon, I prefer to use a 1 x 12 inch ruler, but you can use any other acrylic ruler. (A very big one will  be awkward.)

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Trace the hexagon on freezer paper

Trace the template onto FP (or print with Inklingo, or draw it) and cut it out.

I normally use a rotary cutter but scissors make it portable.

 

Freezer paper templates

Position the FP template on the fabric, plastic coated side down. You can make sure it stays in position by pressing it with a hot, dry iron.

The freezer paper will bond temporarily, peel off, and be ready to use over and over and over again!

(If you don’t want to use an iron, use a small dab of glue-stick on the plastic coated side to hold it in position temporarily. Once there is glue on the plastic coated side, don’t use that template with a hot iron again.)

So far this is just a freezer paper template but . . .

Rotary cut with acrylic template

. . . it it just needs the ruler to give you the acrylic edges!

Align the acrylic ruler so when you rotary cut you are adding seam allowance all the way around.

From here on, all of the tips you know for using an ordinary acrylic template are the same—except that you have more to hold onto and the templates don’t slip!

More accurate! You aren’t sacrificing any benefits and you save money.

That’s it! Isn’t this cool?

FP + acrylic ruler = acrylic template

  • Any shape!
  • Have as many as you want!
  • They’re free! (Spend the money on fabric instead!)
  • If you lose it, just make another one!
  • No waiting to start a project!
  • Never out of stock!

 

Rotary cut with acrylic template

TIP Position masking tape on the underside of the ruler to make it easy add the same seam allowance every time.

I add 0.25 inch for hand piecing (above) but you can make the seam allowance as wide or as narrow as you like. It is your choice, not the choice of whoever cut the acrylic.

I find cutting the fabric easier and more precise than with an acrylic hexagon, which can slip out of position.

 

Cut several layers at a time

You can cut several layers at a time this way, just the way you can with an ordinary acrylic template. Move the freezer paper to another 4 or 5 layers of fabric and repeat.

There are tips for using templates in another article in the Top Ten Tutes on the blog too. You will be amazed by how fast it goes!
For example:

  • use pre-cut strips
  • use a strip of paper to space the templates

PREFER SEWING LINES?

This method of making your own templates works the same way as an ordinary acrylic template that you pay for—so you don’t have sewing lines.

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Hexagons with sewing lines

Quilters who print the shapes on fabric with Inklingo know how wonderful it is to have the sewing lines, crosshairs and matching marks printed on every hexagon. It makes it faster and easier to get precise results whether you sew by hand or by machine.

However, if the shapes are not available from Inklingo (yet), or if the particular fabric is too dark on the wrong side to print, or if you are fussy cutting (Part 2, coming soon), you can mark the sewing lines manually.

  • Press the FP on the wrong side of the fabric.
  • Cut one layer at a time.
  • Use a thin, flexible ruler (not an acrylic ruler) and a mechanical pencil to mark the sewing lines.
  • Extend the lines beyond the corners, so you have crosshairs to mark the seam endings.

(I never had much luck peering at tiny dots marked through holes in an acrylic template!)

Draw the sewing lines manually

I have been using and teaching this method for fifteen years.

Marking seam lines manually is also easier than basting fabric to a template for English Paper Piecing. I do not recommend EPP for any design, including POTC. The results don’t justify the extra work.

.Print POTC hexagons on fabric

Of course, it is easier and more precise when you print the shapes on fabric with Inklingo and rotary cut several layers at a time.

Then you can sew by hand or by machine.

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How to Sew Passacaglia by Hand

This video shows how to sew Passacaglia from Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein but the same technique applies to POTC.

You don’t need to buy acrylic for Passacaglia either. Make your own acrylic templates!

There is also a video for POTC on the Main Lucy Boston Page on the website. (You are on the blog now.)

 

Make templates for any shape!

Monkey says, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that this method works for any shape like these equilateral triangles.

Anything you can draw on freezer paper can be an “acrylic” template when you use FP and an ordinary acrylic ruler—even ones with curved sides!

Using templates without seam allowances allows you to draw the complete sewing line. No more dot-to-dot!

Whether you use Inklingo or not, you don’t need to find and buy and store acrylic templates anymore. No more waiting to start a project when you use freezer paper!

Inklingo is all about making quilting more accessible. Acrylic templates never need to cost you anything.

 

Quilted Diamonds books and DVD

QUILTED DIAMONDS

My Quilted Diamonds books teach everything you need to know about hand piecing with freezer paper templates. I wrote those books and produced the two-hour lesson on DVD in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Quilted Diamonds 2 was re-printed last year and is still available.

QD books are about hand piecing but freezer paper templates are better than acrylic when you are sewing by machine too.

If it had not been for the popularity of Quilted Diamonds, I probably never would have invented Inklingo.

Once you have turned freezer paper templates into acrylic templates, I don’t think you will want to buy acrylic shapes for any design.

That’s great for everyone (except the big companies that manufacture acrylic sheets) because it leaves you more money to spend in shops on patterns, classes and fabric!

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Introduction to Inklingo

Just in case you would like to skip templates entirely and print the shapes on fabric instead, there are step by step instructions and a new VIDEO on the Welcome to Inklingo page on the website.

 

Patchwork of the Crosses

ARE YOU SUBSCRIBED?

If you subscribe to the blog (top of right side-bar), you will be the first to see Part 2 of this article: Fussy Cutting!

I would love to see photos of what you are making with Inklingo. You can browse the albums on the Inklingo Facebook page to see what other Inklingo quilters are sharing too.

REMINDER ABOUT FREE CLEO

If you haven’t ordered and downloaded the Cleopatra’s Fan Design Book (138 pages, PDF), what are you waiting for? Get it while it’s still free! Once you have it, it never expires!

In Part 2 of this article, I will show you why I prefer free templates for fussy cutting too!

Inklingo IS the quilting tool we’ve always wanted but when you can’t use Inklingo, use freezer paper!

Welcome to Inklingo!

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

25 Signs YOU are an Inklingo Quilter

Inklingo on Facebook

Cleopatra's Fan Quilt

I hope you are enjoying the new Inklingo Cleopatra’s Fan Design Book!

It is still free and you can use it on any Windows or Mac computer!

There are many, many new quilters using Inklingo lately but there have been very few requests for “tech support” and that worries me sometimes. (I’m a worrier.)

Of course, almost all quilters follow the Download Instructions and open the PDF right away. They don’t need me.

The quilters I worry about are the ones who have questions but who don’t contact me.

One of the quilters who wrote recently obviously did not expect anyone to care or to help. She had been working for hours(!) already, trying to open an Inklingo PDF with something other than Adobe Reader and she needed to vent. (And she did.)

It is sad that she assumed that no one would care or bother to reply. She obviously did not expect a quilter to write back but I always reply.

I am a quilter too and I am happy to help, so you can enjoy using this amazing tool.

If you don’t hear from me, please check your spam or junk folder, just in case your anti-spam software filters my email, okay?

I never go to bed leaving a Tech Support request unanswered and it is the first thing I look for when I turn the computer on in the morning, so if you have not received a reply, please let me know. linda@lindafranz.com

Adobe Reader

The only software that will open Inklingo PDFs is Adobe Reader.

The bad news is that if you don’t have Adobe Reader on your computer, you cannot use Inklingo.

The good news is that it is free and you can download and install it in a couple of minutes. (See the Download Instructions.)

Almost all Tech Support requests are solved with one email because everything works when you use Adobe Reader.

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Introduction to Inklingo

Just in case you would like a refresher, there are step by step instructions and a new VIDEO on the Welcome to Inklingo page on the website.

 

Cleopatra's Fan templates to print on fabric

Inklingo IS the quilting tool we’ve always wanted!

ARE YOU SUBSCRIBED?

If you subscribe to the blog (top of right side-bar), you will be the first to see what’s next!

I would love to see photos of what you are making with Inklingo. You can browse the albums on the Inklingo Facebook page to see what other Inklingo quilters are sharing too.

If you have questions about downloading, opening, or using Inklingo, please ask.

If you haven’t ordered and downloaded the Cleopatra’s Fan Design Book yet, what are you waiting for? Get it while it’s still free! (Once you have it, it never expires! That’s in the Download Instructions too, okay?)

Any time I receive a request for help, I stop what I am doing and reply—unless I am asleep, of course. (Approx 11 pm – 8 am Eastern Time)

Welcome to Inklingo!

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

25 Signs YOU are an Inklingo Quilter

Inklingo on Facebook

P1090910-red-triangle

Quilters in the Inklingo Yahoo Group have been discussing making a scrappy Pyramid Quilt with equilateral triangles and it is perfect with Inklingo, so this seems like a good time to review how to find what’s available in the Inklingo Index of Shapes.

 

Inklingo Triangles FINISHED Size

Inklingo triangles are named with the length of a side—finished—to make it easy to find what you want.

The triangles are 60° equilateral triangles and there are MANY sizes available.

However, if you look at the Main 60° Shapes Page (under the Shop tab on the website, not the blog), you will only see one 60° Triangle shape collection. It has 2 and 4 inch triangles and the half too (above).

 

Pyramid Quilt

It is perfect for designs like this.

But wait! There’s more!

 

Triangle Templates 1.5 inch

Other 60° equilateral triangles are “hidden” in 60° Diamond shape collections because this triangle is . . . half of a 60° diamond!

To make sure you find all of the sizes, look at the Triangle page in the Index of Shapes (under the Support tab on the website, not the blog).

There are TEN sizes available from 0.5 inch to 4 inch.

 

Inklingo Triangle Quilt

In 2012, when quilters requested a shape collection with 2 and 4 inch 60° triangles, I was able to make the shapes available quickly. The recent shape collections for Cleopatra’s Fan were the result of requests from quilters like you too.

 

Fussy Cut Triangle Quilt

Two sizes of equilateral triangles for a fabulous fussy cut kaleidoscope effect!
(Russ loves this one.)

Print the triangles on fabric for No Waste Fussy Cutting. (It all depends on finding the right fabric!)

WHAT IF THE SHAPES ARE NOT AVAILABLE?

If you’ve looked in the Index of Shapes for the finished size and you don’t see it:

  1. Ask! New shapes (and new combinations of existing shapes) can move up the list quickly when something is hot!
  2. If you cannot wait for a new shape collection or if you would have to buy several shape collections to get what you need, use freezer paper templates!

 

Freezer Paper Templates

FREEZER PAPER INSTEAD OF ACRYLIC

Freezer paper is the little secret that the manufacturers of acrylic templates do NOT want you to know about!!

Freezer paper templates are less expensive and BETTER than other templates. (Article about Freezer Paper Templates)

 

Quilted Diamonds 2 with DVD

How to use freezer paper templates is taught in my Quilted Diamonds books (2002, 2004).

Instead of printing the lines on fabric with Inklingo, when you use FP, if you want lines it is necessary to draw them manually with a mechanical pencil. It is not as fast and precise as printing—but it is still better than using acrylic or paper piecing!

 

Inklingo Triangle Templates

We prefer to print the shapes on fabric but all Inklingo shape collections include the shapes without seam allowances too, so you can print the shapes on freezer paper if you need templates (e.g. traditional Swiss cheese fussy cutting, fabric too dark to print). You can make your own FP templates when the shape is not available.

Shapes with printed lines and shapes with manually drawn lines can be used together, of course, for machine piecing OR hand piecing.

 

Antique Pyramid Quilt

This antique quilt is owned by Linda Collins, who named it Panama Pyramids. She has started a Sew-Along on Facebook for quilters making pyramid blocks. There are also photos on Instagram and Pinterest.

This layout requires about 2700 small triangles but only about 200 of the medium and large triangles.

For example, if you have the small triangles (1.5 inch) and the medium triangles (3 inch) from Inklingo already, but your design also uses “relatively few” 6 inch triangles (not available), you can use freezer paper to make a template!

OR. . .

You can print the small triangles on scraps from your stash and use FP for the medium and large triangles! That way, you only need one Inklingo shape collection.

This may sound like a strange recommendation from someone whose livelihood depends on selling shapes to print on fabric but Inkingo is all about making quilting more accessible. You need to know your options!

I am forever grateful to Mary in Wisconsin who taught me how to make freezer paper templates in 1998. It has saved me time and a lot of money—and eventually it inspired me to invent Inklingo.

 

Quilted Diamonds 2 DVD lesson

Quilted Diamonds 2 (book & DVD) goes into every detail about freezer paper templates for hand piecing. The same method works if you are machine piecing, of course. (Haven’t we always preferred to sew along a line?)

When you need a template, if you always use one WITHOUT SEAM ALLOWANCES, you can do anything!  You just need one acrylic ruler to add the 0.25 inch seam allowances around ANY shape. (Companies selling templates WITH seam allowances don’t want you to know this!)

Freezer paper templates and Inklingo are all about making quilting more accessible.

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Inklingo Zig Zag Quilt

No matter what shape you need, the Index of Shapes is the first place to look and there are other good resources too.

Welcome to Inklingo

Inklingo is all about making quilting more accessible!

ARE YOU SUBSCRIBED?

If you subscribe to the blog (top of right side-bar), you will be the first to see what’s next!
.

Introduction to Inklingo

If printing on fabric is new to you, you might want to see this video Introduction to Inklingo. It explains the three key ideas that make it possible to print templates on fabric.

Please share my videos on your blogs and Facebook and please tell your friends about Inklingo!

I would love to see photos of what you are making with Inklingo too.

What shapes are YOU looking for?

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

25 Signs YOU are an Inklingo Quilter

Inklingo on Facebook

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