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Making Templates For Applique Blocks posted: 4/20/2003
by Dori Hawks Printable Page
Category: Applique Method: All
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Whether you are doing hand appliqué or some sort of machine appliqué, usually you want to make a template of all the shapes (pieces) for the appliqué block. Templates are best made out of a plastic that is clear or opaque. This template plastic is available at your local quilt shop.

From the line drawing of the appliqué block, or from the printed shapes in the pattern or book, trace the design for each appliqué piece onto the plastic. Do this with a permanent pen. (Sharpie® makes black pens that can be used for this. Choose the fine tip one.) Do not include seams allowances at this point. Label the template with the piece number or letter and/or name. The straight of grain line may also be written on the pattern. Mark on the template without seam allowances (w/out s.a.) Cut out the template on the drawn line.

For some methods of appliqué, the template should include the seam allowance. When making a template with seam allowances, draw the seam (or fold line) and then draw a second line 1/8" to ¼" beyond the first line. The width of the seam allowance is determined by the method of appliqué you are using. Mark on the template that this is with seam allowances. (w/ s.a.) Cut out the template on the outer most line.

There are other materials for making templates (with or without seam allowances):

  • Freezer paper (in the grocery store or sheets in the quilt shop
  • )
  • Freezer paper with grid lines marked on them (in the quilt shops)
  • Old xray film (sometimes too dark to mark, but add a sticky label)
  • Cardboard or card stock (fine for a onetime use, but with each use the edges get pushed in and the template gets smaller)
  • Fusibles don't need a template because you mark directly onto the fusible. (If you have several of one shape, it still might be easier to make a template from plastic and then trace onto the fusible.)

©2003 Dori Hawks

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