The Case of the Diamonds Necklace – Clue # 3


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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.



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)


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!


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.


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.


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.

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


14 thoughts on “The Case of the Diamonds Necklace – Clue # 3”

    • Thanks Linda, you are such an angel about helping us solve our problems. The print head is on the cartridges with my printer, and I can only figure that I may have damaged them when I cleaned them. There is some kind of ribbon with circuitry in it surrounding the printhead.

      I popped in two new cartridges, ran the alignment check, and printed my kite shapes onto FP yesterday before life drew me away.
      My goal for today is to get all the fabric sheets stabilized and printed. Rainy afternoon on tap, errands are done, and I am feeling low energy, so it might be a good time for hand piecing.

  1. Grrr, my printheads seem to be clogged. Printer says ink levels are fine. I’m getting blank pages. Cross your fingers. My time is kind of limited today, and I’d like to get my shapes printed.

  2. My flower stars for COTDN look so nice on your blog. Thank you, Linda, for let more people see them. Fussy cutting brings out the best, for sure. Looking forward to seeing how the rest of this mystery case work itself out.

  3. Hi Barb! Thank you for letting me feature your stars on Facebook too. They are stunning. It is fascinating to see how different designs work for No Waste Fussy Cutting! I hope you have a great time at the retreat this week!

  4. How fun to have my stars featured on your blog, Linda! Thank you so much! I can hardly wait to get started printing on this clue. I’ll be stitching away on this at my Bee retreat this week. Yahoo!

  5. Hi Marcia, That is interesting. I did not know palette paper was plastic-coated. If you ever have to use FP on a roll again, the fastest, easiest way to get rid of the curl is to iron it to your ironing board. It removes the curl instantly and doesn’t “use it up.”

  6. I’ve had pretty good luck using inexpensive pads of “palette paper” sold in arts and crafts stores. The paper is thin and wax coated, around 40 sheets to the pad, and usually 9×11 – easily trimmed and it’s FLAT! It’s essentially sheets of flat waxed paper. No curling to deal with! Pads of artist paper often go on sale, and there’s almost always a coupon available for the chain stores, so the pads can be very inexpensive. Learned about these in an appliqué class years ago.

  7. I am so grateful that one of the first books I bought when I started hand piecing was Quilted Diamonds because that was my introduction to freezer paper templates – so I never contemplated any other method of making templates. Of course, since Inklingo came out I’m totally spoiled and don’t even think about FP templates except in rare circumstances – like this clue!
    This will be such fun! Although I am second-guessing my gold fabric choice – I may have to go to rose gold with a pale pink batik. Hmmm …


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