Tip O' the Day: "Template Tips"

Whilst I'm a bit inclined to keep all the tips I've got for the eZine, it's going to still be a bit before I'm ready to send it out, so ... I'll be posting a few handy tips now and then in the meantime. Some of these you more experienced quilters might roll your eyes at - but they might help the newbies out there. So if it's one you've heard before, be patient and I'm sure that a few'll slip on by that are new to you, too! :)

No-slip templates:
Plastic templates won't be as slippery when you mark or cut out your fabric if you dab just a tiny bit of rubber cement (a bottle costs about $2 at your local discount store) on the underside of your templates! Make sure they dry thoroughly before using them! Usually the "cure" time is about two hours ...

Smooth template cutting:
An old graphics tip ... when you're cutting out the plastic or paper templates with scissors, always move the substrate (paper or plastic that you're cutting), NEVER move the scissors. You have much more dexterity in moving the substrate ...

Error proof straight lines:
Invest in a cheap $4 Xacto knife for cutting out straight line templates ... they work perfectly on the average quilter's cutting mat (in fact, where do you think they got the idea for the cutting mat from? From graphic design!).

Taming tricky curves:
If you're feeling even more adventurous, and would like to cut out simple curves, invest in a designer's "flexible curve." They cost about $5 for a good quality 16 inch "flexible curve." Because it's flexible, you can mold it to fit the shape of the curve you'd like to cut and then move it to the plastic (or whatever medium you choose for your templates) and then cut! Whilst it's not the sturdiest tool, if you don't approach the task like the "Incredible Hulk," it should suit you just fine n' dandy.

You can also use the flexible curve for marking quilting designs on your top. Scrolls, gentle curves and loops, and the "base" for feathers ... with a flexible curve it's a snap!

Tomorrow's tips: Organizing and storing your fabric!