Saturday, April 10, 2010

tools of the trade

For what its worth, here is my opinion on a few things tool wise.
templastic: we have a few templastics on offer and I prefer to use them to freezer paper to make my templates.
 There is a nice lightweight one we have at the shop which is what I use for 99% of my templates.

Advantages: its easy to cut out , therefore the templates are accurate, and I dont get sore hands trying to cut it out. It can be marked with a pencil, which means I can use a compass on it, and when making templates for paper piecing, I can easily cut it using an old rotary cutter blade, which means nice accurate templates. I place it over grid paper and mark dots on the corners with a fine lead pencil and then rotary cut.
 Disadvantages: it only comes in a A4 sheet.

The other templastic I use is a 1/4" grid templastic, which is difficult to cut but great for something you might be using 100's of times. because it is difficult to cut I dont use it unless I really need to. With small shapes, the scissors can easily go slightly off the marked line, which can mount up to a lot of inaccuracy in your quilt.

when neither of these templastics will do the task, I use freezer paper. I dont recommend any other paper than Reynolds.

threads: I have tried just about all threads over the years, and for the past 5 or so years I have only used Aurifil thread. It is silky and leaves very little lint in the sewing machine. Nice long pieces can be used for hand sewing, and the no 50wt is wonderful for applique. It does not knot up on itself, and blends into the applique fabric, making the stitches barely visible.
I think you should test your threads for colorfastness, washability, and wear and tear.

Today I needed some bias that was interesting for a small project. These new fabrics that have come into the shop were just what I wanted. I loved the cream/black ticking for a background fabric, but it has made great bias. The black stripe has me thinking about "antique stems".


  1. I wholeheartedly agree with you, templastic is what I will only use and Aurifil cotton is absolutely divine, I would never use any other cotton now. You are correct that it does not knot and for applique enhances your work! I also love using the Matilda's Own templates for my quilts.

  2. hello,
    I found you through Sue at I Sew Quilts. You mention that you are making a version of the lovely quilt on Sue's blog by Karen Cunningham. How can I get hold of the pattern. I think it is fantastic. Would be very grateful for any info you have.

  3. Hi Shirley,
    send me an email at
    and I will get you in touch with Karen. Karen teaches beautiful quilts. We have a summer school each year and she comes down and teaches something gorgeous. The quilt I have referred to Irish Circles, and it is her quilt by correspondence this year. It is really beautiful. I just received my third mailout yesterday.
    Susan x

  4. I love that shirting fabric can you tell me who manufactured it?

  5. Is the templastic heat resistant?