How to Make the Best Use of Acrylic Quilting Templates

Do you ever wonder how the complex designs in the quilts are so perfect? Also, you may notice some shapes which are also identical. So, what’s the trick behind that?

Yes, of course, the quilters’ creativity makes the change. But the most critical and essential tool a quilter uses are acrylic templates. Yes, these templates are the same as those you must have used on school days. You used templates to draw refined geometrical shapes. Here in quilting, you cut out more pleasing shapes using these templates. 

These templates are very easy to use and can also be made at home. Let’s see how you can use the acrylic templates. 

Check out the link below to have a look at the variety of acrylic templates available:

List of Things you need To Make Acrylic Quilting Templates

Below is the list of what you need to make your own acrylic quilting templates and explanation, without a professional.

Read on!

I. Templates of different shapes and sizes

The templates of different shapes and sizes are used in quilting to cut out the pattern. For example, if you want to cut out a circle, the template will help you make it exactly round. Templates can also be used for rectangles or squares.

When using these templates, they are generally made of an acrylic board or hard plastic. There are also unique templates made with fabric as well. These are usually called fusible appliqué shapes. You can find them in various colours at a sewing store or online.

The facility that gives your piece a perfect look is just at hand when you use the right tool to make your work easier and better.

ii. The Rotary Cutter is of Standard Size

The rotary cutter of standard size, e.g., 45, is one of the valuable tools that quilters generally use. A rotary cutter is used to cut the fabric along the sides of the template.

iii. Tiny Rotary Cutter

If you use a minimal template or have an intense curve, a standard size rotary will not help you there. Here tiny rotary cutter with its small blade will help you do your job efficiently. 

iv. A Mechanical Pencil

You find it difficult to cut the fabric while placing the template at times. In that case, it will be easy for you to draw a lion along the template.

Then you will easily cut out the shape using scissors. To draw lines or make any mark, you need a mechanical pencil.

v. Scissors

Scissors are just like any other essential tool in the kit. As mentioned in the point above, it helps you cut the fabric.

vi. Piece of Fabric

There is nothing to mention in a particular category. Take your favourite piece of fabric, and start doing your job. 

Tips on How to Use Acrylic Quilting Templates

In this section are tips on how you can use the acrylic quilting templates even if you are just getting started.

i. Place the desired template on the fabric

Choose the template you prefer and place it on the fabric you want to cut out.

ii. Run the rotary cutter around the template

Be very cautious while handling the cutter. Though it’s just a matter of practice, if you are a newbie, be careful. Carefully run the rotary cutter along the sides of the template. Try to keep your hands firm while doing this. Because if your hands shake a bit, you will damage your fabric. 

iii. Have a firm grip on the template 

It is essential to have a firm grip over the template. Make sure the template does not move. Otherwise, the outcome will not be perfect.

In case you are using a template having a strong curvy edge:

  • Place the template over the fabric. 
  • Use a mechanical pencil to outline the template.
  • Cut the fabric accordingly using scissors. 

There are several complex designs that you may observe on a quilt. Do the quilters do it using their hands? Traditionally every work on a quilt is done manually, but after machines come in, quilters get some relief. These complex designs are done using acrylic templates on a sewing machine.

Free motion quilting is a process you can use to create beautiful but complex stitches on your quilt. 

  • Place the stencil over the fabric and under the sewing machine.
  • Then bring up the bobbin thread.
  • Hold on to the template and start sewing.
  • Sew around the template according to the design.

Some other ways of using acrylic quilting templates:

  • Draw a line on the acrylic template with a ruler.
  • Cut out the shape using a regular size rotary cutter.
  • Place the template on top of a piece of fabric. Use a pen or pencil to trace the shape outlined by the template.
  • Cut out the shape with scissors by following that drawn black line.
  • Use foam or batting to make a layer for backing. Place it over the quilt block in which you have cut out shapes from the templates so that it sticks on the fabric. 
  • Stitch along a drawn line with needle and thread.

Step-by-Step Guide on How To Make Acrylic Templates at Home

It is not necessary that you have to buy templates online or from the market. You can also make these templates at home. 

Following are some steps you must follow to make these templates at home:

Materials you need:

  • Acrylic Sheet (Acrylic sheets are readily available in any stationary shop. These come in spiral bindings. Make sure you buy the thickest one. Approx. 2 mm)
  • Standard cutter (You need a cutter to cut the acrylic sheet. Make sure your cutter is sharp enough to properly cut out the acrylic sheet)
  • Permanent pen(You will need a permanent pen to do the necessary markings. Make sure you buy the thinnest pen to make accurate markings)
  • Sticky tape
  • Metallic ruler(User rulers have rubber feet. This restricts the ruler from moving while you cut the acrylic sheet)
  • You must have a template in mind. Make sure you print the template on paper.

How to make :

  • Firstly, stick the paper having template design on the acrylic sheet. Stick the paper using sticky tape. Make sure that the design faces the sheet.
  • Now, draw the lines on the acrylic sheet as drawn on the paper.
  • Cut out the acrylic sheet according to the marking you have made.

And your template is ready. Easy, Isn’t it? 

Final words

Quilting is not just sewing different fabrics together. There are many factors associated with this art. Quilters need to keep many things in mind while creating the final product. They need to ensure whether the design looks perfect. Also, the shapes used in the quilt are identical or not. And tools like templates prove to be the ultimate saviour here. 

The best thing about these templates is that they are effortless to use. Even a newbie will also use the templates with little guidance.

Also, you have seen how you can make templates at your home.

So, don’t delay. Choose your favourite template and start quilting. 

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