Monday Morning Sunday Status

Yesterday, I was able to sew together all sixteen blocks for the Intel Underneath quilt.

Then I laid out a grouping of four.  This is how I'm going to orient them.  Of course, there will be three more groups of four like this.  I kind of like having the smallest squares meet in the middle.

And since I've been working on these for several days now, I was ready to set them aside and do something else for a while.  Time to start making the blocks for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt.  


The quilt I'm making uses templates.  I've always just copied off enough paper ones to make the blocks I wanted, but in this case, that would require printing nearly 100 sheets.  I decided to try making plastic templates this time so that I can use them again and again.  I've never used plastic before.  Have you?  This is what I did:  

I got this template plastic at JoAnn, and it was surprisingly difficult to find.

Then I simply placed my paper templates underneath and used my ruler and a fine point Sharpie to draw them out.

I fit them as closely together as possible.  There is no grain to the plastic, and so you can turn them any way you like.

By this time, the troops were starting to arrive to help me out.  You can see Gracie in the upper right-hand corner of the image above.  She's always up for helping when the work moves to my cutting table.  Oh, and by the way...do you have any catnip?

Smitty did his part by helping rearrange my storage closet.  Thanks, Big Guy!

I have a rotary cutter that I don't like from an ergonomic standpoint.  Also, I don't like it because you have to manually retract the blade...more accurately, you move a shield into place.  I prefer the Olfa ones that close up automatically.  Anyway, I use this Gingher cutter for cutting non-fabric items like paper...and yesterday I used it to cut out my plastic templates.  It worked great, although I imagine I've also created an opportunity for me to try out my new blade sharpener.  More about that later.

And presto!  Templates!

I started cutting the background pieces for my Little Rainbow Dresses yesterday, and I'll start sewing them together today or tomorrow. 

After wearing himself out helping in the sewing room, Smitty scoped out the coziest quilt in the family room.

And Gracie scoped out the coziest lap.

And a few minutes later . . . . snzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

A cat's organizational skills are only surpassed by its napping skills.

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

Angel and Kirby said...

I have used template plastic before. It is good if you are making lots of blocks. It I just have one or two, I will use paper, too. I used 404 spray (I think) or a template hold product to keep them from slipping when I cut.

Junebug613 said...

I have used the plastic templates for making multiple applique pieces and they do save some paper and are sturdier. Can't wait to see the blade sharpener post. I'm always wondering about those things - if they are worth the money or not. LOVE LOVE LOVE those kitties!

Mrs.Pickles said...

lovely work!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I used to use the plastic all the time. Just be careful not to slice the plastic along with your fabric. I like that I can 'label' the plastic with things like 'up' and 'left' or 'right', etc. to help me not mess up. It also makes fussy cutting much easier.

Lynne said...

Making your own templates seems like a sensible and practical solution!

Cath said...

I like the way you have set out the top quilt to have the small blocks grouped together. Can't get enough of your cats.....love to see photos of them.
Cath @ Bits 'n Bobs

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

I am really liking that quilt top Barb!!

Kate said...

Intel Underneath is looking really cool.

Looking forward to seeing your scrappy blocks. I have a love/hate relationship with template projects, I really love to hate them. Good luck with yours.

Holli said...

I love using template plastic - the thicker sheets are better. Sometimes I buy it at my LQS, but I've also used other plastic that I've acquired in one form or another. Your Intel Underneath quilt is looking quite stunning. I'm looking forward to your review of the blade sharpener - I have not been impressed with any (including a pricey one) I've purchased. Your cats are adorable (you probably knew that already . . . )

Snoodles said...

Add to those their awesome cuddling and cutesy skills and you have the perfect quilting companions! Haha! Can't wait to hear what you think about your sharpener....never have had enough spare dough to get one! :)

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Love the quilt! I use plastic with template making, but don't do a lot of it. Ah, helpers - I almost fired mine yesterday.

Denise :) said...

All of a cat's skills are surpassed by its napping skills. Good job on your templates...how thick/heavy duty is the plastic? It's hard to tell from the pics. I love your fabric combo for the Intel Underneath quilt. What fun that is! :)

quiltzyx said...

Way back in the dark ages when I first took a quilting class (thru' the local Adult Ed), we used templates. Someone supplied us with old xrays to use. They worked just fine & were, even better, free!

The Intel Underneath is looking grand. I like the cluster of small squares in the middle too.