Thursday, November 1, 2012

Making My Own Quilting Template

I finally got the entire center of my Monkey Wrench quilted.  Then.., no compass, no motivation and a queasy feeling about drawing my own cable pattern pretty much stalled me out for longer than I'd care to admit to.  After nagging my husband about finding his compass, begging my kids to borrow one from school (yeah right, mom) and then combing Walmart and coming up zero, I almost gave up entirely on quilting a cable pattern for the borders of this quilt.
The left border is completely quilted.
Hey, I'm a just quitter at heart.*wink  Anyway, something I said one night apparently challenged my husband to look through Walmart for a compass on the way home from work.  He was gloating when he walked through the door with two of them.  I hate gloaters.  And why do men always think that if we need something, two will be better? (Ahem, it's always okay to buy two if it's chocolate or Pepsi.  Just saying.)

So, because I was really, REALLY busy, I put it off for another day and a half before I grudgingly pulled out my Gwen Marston & Joe Cunningham book. This is so not my forte.*whine....  I carefully followed directions and came up with one or two really small football cable things.  Great.  But how to make them big enough for the border?  And that's where I simply couldn't do the follow through.  Math was a grind for me at school.  A's and B's 'cuz I did all my homework, but no real spark of genius or intelligent life here.
The incredible homemade quilting aids.
I was so NOT asking the husband for help at this point. lol  I started folding paper and cutting out freestyle footballs (using up way too much freezer paper) until I had something that looked about right.  With a few little tweaks and measurement checks, I was able to finally come up with a tolerable template.  I used a file folder for the cardboard and my exacto knife to cut the slits.  (Nobody needs to know that the first two slits were terribly difficult because I was using my exacto knife upside down against the blade. hehe)

I decided to make myself a detailed visual aid so that when I was stitching I could have a clear reference point in the event I became confused.  Who, me?  This also seemed like the perfect time to try out my new 'Miracle Marker' my mother bought for me last year.  This quilt is fairly dark and so I need a light colored marker.  Yes--I did test it out previous to marking the entire border and it irons out in literally seconds! Thank goodness for that as I had already marked into my third cable before I realized that the footballs were not supposed to be joined at the ends, but linked together....  Duh!  Very prescient of me to make that visual aid, don't you think?:)
Trying out 'Miracle Marker'.
So, now I have one entire border stitched and I've started on a second one.  Things are moving along very well and I haven't had to remove very many stitches so far.  Apparently the template is a success!  Would I recommend this method to other quilters?  hahahahahahaha  Not if you're anything like me.  On the flip side though, I feel very accomplished and smart now.*wink
(I think) It's a completed quilt top!
On a different note, I added one more border to this particular quilt and now it's being crossed off of the list. I'm totally ready to call it a completed quilt top and stick it away in the drawer.  For now.  I may decide to add another border one day in the future.  Or not.


  1. I loved this post. :) For one thing I love the Churn Dash...for another, I am sooooo NOT a 'math' person so I felt like I met a kindred spirit...and this post just tickled my funny bone. :D Thank you for such an entertaining post. :)

  2. How clever of you to design your own template. I am still just quilting straight lines as I failed at math!
    I too had a laugh reading your post...especially the bit " I was so NOT asking the husband" and using your knife upside down. Thanks for sharing the real life struggles of solving quilting problems.
    Your flying geese quilt looks wonderful, I love it's quirky design. (hope you don't mind me calling it quirky)

  3. You are so entertaining! Your Churn Dash quilt is beautiful. Can't wait to see it finished!

  4. I love your quilts!! The last one of this post - the colors, the design, just everything is just beautiful!! I love it!!


  5. Your dilemma made me chuckle. I took a remedial math class to graduate high school, ugh. So, I have used "paper-chain" cut outs to trace a few quilt borders. Churn Dash is my favorite, so I love your quilt ;-) very much


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