DIY or Acrylic Templates?

I didn’t realize how many specialty rulers and plastic/acrylic templates I’d accumulated until I had to pack up my entire sewing room for painting. Quite an investment sitting in that drawer! Reorganizing the template stash has been like going through old high school yearbooks. It tells of my quilting journey as many of those templates were purchased during my days as a beginning quilter. My advice to my younger quilty self would be: “Girl, save your money!”

Many patterns call for the use of a template to make the design. Designers include a paper/printable template with the pattern, but they may also offer a template that is sold separately from the pattern. Do you automatically buy the plastic/acrylic template that goes along with the pattern, if it is available?

My answer? Not necessarily. It depends on the project and/or how likely I’ll use the template again.

Most of the time, I’ve found tracing the paper template with a super fine point Sharpie marker onto heavy duty template plastic provides satisfactory results.

I did buy the Perfect 5 and Perfect 10 rulers after attempting to make a project in one of the books with a regular 5″ square ruler. Those rulers get used for so many other projects.

Inspired by something on Pinterest? Follow the link to an often free tutorial and printable template. Need more? Start with Quilter’s Cache for basic block instructions and then Google it.

Acrylic templates, dies for die cutting systems and SVG files (Cricut) make a lot of sense for shapes you are going to cut repeatedly.

Splurging on a laser cut kit can be totally worth if for the right project, especially if you love the designer’s color way and time is at a premium.