My Quilted Diamonds books teach how to use freezer paper templates.
QD WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR INKLINGO
Inklingo allowed me take the freezer paper method to the next level with efficient layouts. It also eliminated the need to mark lines manually.
There are other surprising benefits—but it all started with QD almost 20 years ago.
Quilted Diamonds taught me that anything I can draw or print on freezer paper, I can cut apart and sew together.
Some of you have heard this message from me many, many times in the past 20 years but I keep explaining over and over again because so many new quilters are being discouraged by expensive, unnecessary tools. Inklingo is all about making quilting more accessible.
Anything you can draw on freezer paper. . . anything!
No expensive tools, no weird instructions, no limits! Sew fabric, not paper.
You can use this method for clothes, tote bags, soft furnishings—anything at all—not just quilting.
My preference is always to print on fabric with Inklingo but sometimes templates make sense.
IF NOT INKLINGO, then freezer paper.
Whenever a shape is not Inklingo-able (yet), I recommend freezer paper templates.
If freezer paper (FP) is new to you, please see a detailed article about it under the Top Ten Tutes tab, above.
FP templates—without seam allowances—are better than any other templates anytime you need templates!
- for rotary cutting
- for using with scissors
- for fussy cutting (or not)
- for preparing shapes to sew by machine
- for preparing shapes to sew by hand
- when you need to mark a sewing line, crosshairs, matches, etc
- when you don’t need to mark anything
- for shapes with curves and for shapes with straight sides
- for ANY shape, including ones you dream up on your own
- even if you are using English Paper Piecing
I have nothing to sell here. I’m just telling you what I have learned. (Why I don’t sell acrylic templates.)
The pieces in the diamonds in my QD books are small, so both books focus on hand piecing but that is not the whole story. FP templates are perfect for machine piecing too—just like Inklingo!
The Magic of Templates WITHOUT Seam Allowances!
The reason freezer paper templates are so liberating is that they do NOT include seam allowances.
Add the seam allowances when you cut the fabric (above). This has huge advantages over any templates that include seam allowances!
If you have been using metal, acrylic, or plastic templates that include seam allowances for Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses or any other design, you will love how much simpler and more accurate it is to work with templates without seam allowances!
Simple, fast, precise and it costs less—almost nothing!
Acrylic/plastic/metal shapes are NOT an advantage, whether you use Inklingo or not!
A major problem with acrylic templates is that they include the seam allowances.
Templates with seam allowances seemed like a good idea when the rotary cutter was introduced in the early 1980s but once freezer paper became commonly available, they make no sense at all. (Of course, that will not prevent some people from selling them.)
Acrylic templates actually make the preparation and sewing more difficult because they cover the sewing line, making it impossible to mark, when required. (Sewing “dot to dot” is a poor workaround.)
All you need is freezer paper and an acrylic ruler to make a template for ANY shape.
YOU CAN DESIGN AND SEW ANYTHING
Draw or print your idea on freezer paper—one shape or a complete block. (By the way, shapes without seam allowances are always included in Inklingo shape collections, just in case you need to print templates.)
To stay organized, you can mark matches, preferred straight grain, and numbers on each piece, as described in the books. Freezer paper is paper, so it is easy to write on. No “special” markers required.
For example, if you number the pieces on the master and on the FP copy, it is easy to stay organized.
Cut the FP pieces apart. That gives you templates in the actual size.
Iron the FP shapes to the wrong side of strips of fabric. The plastic coating sticks temporarily to the fabric when it is pressed with a hot, dry iron.
Leave space between the pieces to allow for two 0.25 inch seam allowances. (I use a strip cut from an old greeting card that is exactly 0.5 inches wide, above.)
Rotary cut, adding seam allowances when you cut the fabric.
This is soooo much easier than cutting with an acrylic template AND more accurate because the freezer paper doesn’t move.
If you are hand piecing, mark sewing lines manually with a mechanical pencil and a ruler. (The lines are optional for machine piecing.) This is sooooo much faster than poking a marker through several holes and better than trying to sew dot-to-dot!
It is that simple, but there are wonderful tips and refinements in the two-hour DVD lesson that is included with the Quilted Diamonds 2 book.
FOUR BONUS TIPS
1. If you have Electric Quilt software, you an print instead of tracing.
2. You can simplify any design by leaving some lines un-cut (above). . .
. . . so you have a bigger space for fussy cutting . . .or you can add extra lines to make something completely new.
3. If you are machine piecing and don’t need to mark the lines, you can cut several layers at a time!
4. If you want wider or narrower seam allowances, that’s fine.
WOULD YOU LIKE A DIAMOND OF THE WEEK?
Recently, a few quilters have asked about reviving the Diamond of the Week (DOW), which was started in 2002 by Sandy Arbuthnot based on my Quilted Diamonds books.
I cannot find all of the original photos and files but I have some, and I am thinking about re-posting some of the oldies here.
What do you think? Would you be interested?
If you prefer pieced hexagons, there are hundreds of possibilities in the 300 Pieced Hexagons PDF.
Freezer paper templates are wonderful but my first choice is Inklingo, of course.
Inklingo eliminates several steps and has other advantages, like precision corners and easy-to-see fabric requirements. If you are new to Inklingo, I have made it easy to get started with the FREE Diamond Triangle Square shape collection.
The best way to learn is to go ahead and print something! The first chapter of The Inklingo Handbook is included in the free shape collection to make it easy.
DE-CLUTTER YOUR SEWING ROOM!
If you have freezer paper and at least one acrylic ruler, you have everything you need for any shape, any block.
This info sets you free. All the other templates, template racks, and “special tools” can go. Simple tools also make it easier and less expensive for new quilters to get started by machine or by hand. (Acrylic rulers are good, acrylic templates are not.)
REMINDER. . . .BIG PRICE DROP ON ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS!
If you follow me on Facebook, you already know that this wonderful book is now only $25.95 for a limited time. The Patchworks of Lucy Boston by Diana Boston is in stock.
If only Lucy Boston had had freezer paper!!! How many more designs would she have been able to complete! You and I have no excuse. Let’s sew!
Thank you for visiting.
Linda & Monkey