Fussy Cutting with Inklingo – Part 4

Passacaglia rosette fussy cut with Inklingo

In Part 3, I showed you how to use Inklingo for traditional “Swiss cheese fussy cutting” and I explained Template Rule # 1:

Always use templates without seam allowances.

 

Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein

In Part 3, the example was Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses.

This time it is Passacaglia rosettes and I am sharing bonus tips for using freezer paper templates. (Passacaglia is the quilt on the cover of Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein.)

This is another very long article. I considered breaking it into several parts but I hope you will find it helpful to have everything in one place.

 

Use templates without seam allowances

If you have been using metal, acrylic, or plastic templates with seam allowances for Passacaglia rosettes (or any design), you will love how much simpler and more accurate it is to work with templates without seam allowances!

This article focuses on fussy cutting shapes for Passacaglia rosettes but the info is helpful any time you need templates, whether you are sewing by hand or by machine.

Freezer paper templates are a wonderful method for fussy cutting in situations where Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting (see Part 2) is not an option.

If you haven’t used freezer paper (FP) before, I think you will be amazed by the advantages!

FP is the best template material and it costs almost nothing compared to the alternatives. There is an article about it (what it is, etc.) under the Top Ten Tutes tab (above).

 

How to make templates

You probably have everything already!

  • freezer paper
  • scissors or a rotary cutter and mat
  • an acrylic ruler (for rotary cutting)
  • a thin ruler and mechanical pencil (for marking seam lines, if required)
  • 1/2 inch strip of paper (useful for spacing templates to allow for two 0.25 inch seam allowances)
  • optional: highlighter marker

You do NOT need acrylic, plastic or metal templates, so this method is inexpensive and better!

 

Window template and template without seam allowances

STEP 1

Make window templates and templates without seam allowances. Both are made with freezer paper.

As I explained in Part 3, I print the shapes on freezer paper with Inklingo to make both of these templates. However, you can trace the shapes from the Millefiori Quilts book. Tracing is free. Printing is precise and fast.

(You don’t need the window template if you aren’t fussy cutting.)

 

Freezer paper templates

There are two choices:

(1) Print the shapes with seam allowances on freezer paper (above). Chop the freezer paper into individual pentagons (above). When you cut out the center, each can be used for a window template and a template without seam allowances, so you get both from the same page.
(2) Print the window template and the template without seam allowances separately on two pieces of freezer paper (below).

CUT THE WINDOW  Rotary cut on the stitching lines to accurately cut the template without seam allowances AND get a window template. It is okay to cut a little beyond the seam ending as long as the window template still holds together. Try to work in good light so the ruler does not cast a shadow. (Cut with scissors, if you prefer.)

REPAIR TIP  If you cut too far (or if a freezer paper template rips), you can repair it with another layer of FP. Iron the plastic side of the damaged template to the paper side of an FP patch. (Trim to size, if necessary.) Freezer paper templates never wear out.

CUTTING TIP  We use the same method for cutting paper as we use for cutting fabric. Plant the blade on the line first and then nudge the ruler into position. It improves accuracy and is safer. (See the free Diamond Triangle Square shape collection, page H28-H29 for more rotary cutting tips.)

You can cut with scissors if you prefer but if the lighting is good, rotary cutting is fast and accurate.

TIP  Make enough. In this case, I have 10 window templates and 10 templates without seam allowances because I will be fussy cutting 10 pentagons. You can work with fewer but you don’t have to.

 

FP templates without seam allowances

If you prefer, you can print two sheets of freezer paper, one with seam allowances (first photo) and one without seam allowances (this photo).

There are two reasons you might want to print the two templates separately.

  • You might find it easier to rotary the shapes without seam allowances than to carefully carve out the window template.
  • When you cut the layout without seam allowances, the matching marks are included along the seams.

CUTTING TIP  This layout of pentagons (no seam allowances) can be rotary cut but it might not be obvious at first glance. Sometimes you have to examine a layout for a moment to understand where to start. For this layout, rotary cut horizontal rows first to make it easier to rotary cut the shapes apart. As usual, plant the blade on the line first and then nudge the ruler into position.

SPEED TIP  You can print one sheet of freezer paper (no seam allowances), layer it with 3 or 4 unprinted sheets and rotary cut several layers at a time. It is helpful to strategically staple the sheets together, so nothing shifts while you are cutting.

Layouts of shapes without seam allowances are always included in Inklingo shape collections for the special times when you need templates.

 

Use a hi-liter to mark the edges

SAVE-YOUR-EYES TIP  Use a highlighter to make it easier to see the edges of the freezer paper against white background fabric. Just run the highlighter around the edges of each shape. Work on a piece of scrap paper, so you can get all the way to the edge of the template.

That is Step 1. It is all about preparing the two templates. They never wear out and they are easy to store in an envelope between uses.

Template Rule # 1 – Always use templates without seam allowances.

 

Window template on the wrong side of the fabric

STEP 2 – FIND A DESIGN YOU WANT TO FUSSY CUT

The design might be an individual flower or other motif. The window template makes it easy to see what will show when the shape is sewn because it does not include the seam allowances. (One of many reasons to use templates without seam allowances!)

Check to see if the design shows clearly on the wrong side of the fabric (above). This is the case with many fabrics.

If possible, I always work on the wrong side of the fabric when I expect to mark sewing lines (below) because it saves an extra step .

 

Window template for pentagon

STEP 3 – PRESS THE WINDOW TEMPLATES IN POSITION

On the ironing surface, press the window templates in position over identical designs until you have enough. Use a hot, dry iron. (No steam.)

It is better when you can position templates on straight grain but you can usually ignore it to get the design you want. Pentagons are always going to have some bias edges anyway.

 

10 Window Templates for Passacaglia

In this example, I need 10 pentagons, so I have 10 window templates pressed on the wrong side of the fabric.

This is going to make Swiss cheese of a lot of fabric. This is one of the reasons Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting is always my first choice!

 

Add template to window

STEP 4 – PRESS THE TEMPLATE INSIDE THE WINDOW

Still on the ironing surface, place the FP shape WITHOUT seam allowances into the window opening and press it into position.

Each identical design is now marked with two pieces of FP, the window and the center (above).

 

Peel off the window template

STEP 5 – PEEL OFF THE WINDOW TEMPLATE

Still at the ironing surface, peel off the window template leaving the template without seam allowances in position. Check the points/corners to make sure they are all identical. Re-press if necessary.

This template won’t move while I cut! Perfect!

You can use the window template over and over and over again, so put it in a safe place.

 

Add the seam allowance when you cut

STEP 6 – ADD THE SEAM ALLOWANCE WHEN YOU CUT

Slide a cutting mat underneath and cut around the FP, adding the seam allowances.

The highlighted edges are great when the fabric is a light color.

RULER TIP  Use masking tape on the under-side of the ruler to mark the seam allowance. Position the edge of the masking tape (full width) along the appropriate line and rotary cut to trim the excess. (This is easier than fiddling with pre-cut, narrow strips of masking tape.)

SCISSORS TIP  You can cut with scissors, if it is easier. With a small amount of practice, you might be surprised how easy it is to “eye-ball” an accurate seam allowance. If you are going to mark the sewing line, matches, and crosshairs (below), the seam allowances don’t have to be perfectly uniform. Otherwise, you can rough-cut a generous seam allowance and trim with a rotary cutter.

 

Passacaglia with a running stitch

SEAM ALLOWANCE TIP  If you will be sewing with a running stitch (recommended), 0.25 inch is perfect for most shapes. If you will be using English Paper Piecing, you might want to use a wider seam allowance. When you use templates without seam allowances, the width of the seam allowances is your choice.

 

Use a mechanical pencil and a thin ruler

STEP 7 – MARK THE SEWING LINES (IF REQUIRED)

Still on the cutting mat, mark the stitching lines, crosshairs and matching marks to imitate the results you get when you print the shapes on fabric with Inklingo (below)–fine, accurate lines.

Use a thin, flexible ruler, so you can extend the lines beyond the edge of the FP to create crosshairs. A thin ruler doesn’t cast a shadow. An ordinary mechanical pencil is fine in most cases but there are other colors available.

In this example for pentagons for Passacaglia rosettes, I want sewing lines but sometimes the lines are not necessary. If you are machine piecing a design that doesn’t have inset seams, you do not have to mark any lines on the fabric..

If the fabric design does not show clearly on the wrong side:
If you need to mark the sewing lines the way I do for Passacaglia pentagons and you have to work on the front to choose the designs, it takes a little more time because you have to move the template from the front of the fabric to the back and iron it into position again. It is an extra step but the results can be stunning with the right fabric.

 

Print on fabric with your Inkjet

In this example, the yellow diamonds are not fussy cut, so I just print those on fabric with Inklingo, rotary cut rows, stack the rows and cut several layers at a time. Ready.

 

Sew with a running stitch

The stitching lines are a huge advantage over acrylic, where the best you can do is mark dots through holes and then sew “Dot to Dot.”

This is the template method I teach in my Quilted Diamonds books (pre-Inklingo). Those books are an excellent introduction to hand piecing and the template technique applies to machine piecing too.

 

Passacaglia rosette (Millefiori Quilts)

TEMPLATES FOR FUSSY CUTTING

I think now you can see why I use FP templates WITHOUT seam allowances for fussy cutting—NOT shapes with seam allowances.

  • They can be ironed securely into position for greater accuracy.
  • I can have as many as I want.
  • I can have any shape, any size—anything I can draw on freezer paper!
  • I can choose a wider or narrower seam allowance.
  • They make it easy to mark the sewing lines, if I need them.

 

Passacaglia rosette fussy cut with Inklingo

Someone might try to tell you “You can’t fussy cut with Inklingo.” That is wrong!

There are TWO great methods:

  1. Traditional Swiss Cheese Fussy Cutting (above and Part 3 for POTC)
  2. Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting (print identical sheets of fabric, similar to Stack n Whack™, etc. Part 2)

Once you know how to use freezer paper, you will never need to buy acrylic/plastic/metal shapes again—whether you use Inklingo or not.

Freezer paper is inexpensive and does more than any other template material.

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Introduction to Inklingo

This VIDEO on the Welcome to Inklingo page on the website explains how Inklingo works with your ordinary Inkjet printer.

SUMMARY
USE FREEZER PAPER TEMPLATES WITHOUT SEAM ALLOWANCES:

  • whether or not you are fussy cutting
  • whether you are using scissors or a rotary cutter
  • whether you are sewing by hand or by machine
  • whether or not you will mark sewing lines, crosshairs, matches, etc.
  • whether the shapes are curved or straight
  • with any shape, including new ones you dream up on your own
  • even if you are using English Paper Piecing

 

Inklingo Headquarters

Spring is my favorite time of year.

I have been sharing photos almost every day on the Inklingo Facebook page.

ARE YOU SUBSCRIBED?

Please subscribe to the blog and follow the Inklingo Facebook page for more.

This is an extremely long article but I think it is worth it. Freezer paper is one of the most important quilting tools available to quilters, and now you know even more about it!

Just in case you are wondering, I do not have any affiliation with freezer paper companies and I don’t sell it myself. It is a fabulous product. I love using it and I recommend all the time.

I hope you will also tell your friends about the new Inklingo mystery quilt, The Case of the Diamond Necklace (COTDN). There are seven clues so far.

Thank you for leaving comments and encouraging me to write more very long articles like this one.

Happy May!

Linda & Monkey

[]

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Main Beginner’s Page  There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

$10 Coupon! 10 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook

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Fussy Cutting with Inklingo – Part 3

How to make Quilt templates

This time, let’s look at the second method of fussy cutting with Inklingo—templates!

Template Rule # 1 

Use templates without seam allowances.

It’s a beautiful rule. It applies all the time:

  • whether or not you are fussy cutting
  • whether you are using scissors or a rotary cutter
  • whether you are sewing by hand or by machine
  • whether or not you will mark a sewing line, crosshairs, matches, etc.
  • whether the shapes are curved or straight
  • with any shape, including new ones you dream up on your own
  • even if you are using English Paper Piecing

My first choice is always to print on fabric with Inklingo but there are situations when templates make sense.

This article focuses on fussy cutting but the info is helpful any time you need templates. I do not recommend EPP for any design but the tips below will help you with that too.

 

Use templates without seam allowances

Use templates without seam allowances!

If you have been using metal, acrylic, or plastic templates with seam allowances for Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses (or any design), you will love how much simpler and more accurate it is to work with templates without seam allowances!

I love anything that is simpler and faster with precise results!
(Especially when it costs less—almost nothing!)

 

Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses

In the POTC book, I recommend freezer paper (FP) templates whenever you are not printing the shapes on fabric with Inklingo.

Once you learn how to use freezer paper to make templates, you will never need to buy acrylic/plastic/metal shapes againwhether you use Inklingo or not.

If freezer paper (FP) is new to you, there is an article about it (what it is, etc.) under the Top Ten Tutes tab (above).

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Swiss cheese fussy cutting

TRADITIONAL TEMPLATE METHOD – SWISS CHEESE

The fabric above has holes all over it!

“Swiss cheese fussy cutting” can require a lot more fabric and it takes longer than printing identical sheets of fabric with Inklingo but it works beautifully in the right circumstances.

My first choice is Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting (see Part 2) but Inklingo is the very best method for traditional Swiss cheese fussy cutting with templates too.

 

Fussy Cut POTC with Inklingo

For example, templates are ideal for fussy cutting when:

  • you only need a few shapes from a particular fabric
  • you need ten or more identical shapes from several fabrics
    (e.g. Millefiori Quilts Passacaglia rosettes)
  • you don’t have enough fabric for Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting
  • you don’t have a suitable fabric for Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting

 

Yes to freezer paper!

FREEZER PAPER TEMPLATES
WITHOUT SEAM ALLOWANCES
ARE
 ALWAYS BETTER THAN ANY SHAPE
WITH SEAM ALLOWANCES

I have never liked using acrylic or plastic templates. They slide . . .  but the main problem is that they include the seam allowances.

If templates with seam allowances were ever a good idea (doubtful), it stopped being smart when quilters started using freezer paper more than twenty years ago.

 

FP template plus acrylic ruler

THE “AH HA MOMENT”
Freezer paper templates without seam allowances can be matched with any of your acrylic rulers, so you can rotary cut more accurately!

People who make templates don’t tell you this, of course. They don’t want you to know our little secret.

Buying acrylic shapes makes no sense if you have freezer paper and an acrylic ruler.

The photo shows how I add seam allowances around a hexagon template when I cut (one seam allowance left to trim), but it is the same for diamonds, hexagons, triangles, kites, Cleopatra’s Fan, Double Wedding Ring—ANY shape for ANY design.

FP + an acrylic ruler can be used for ANY shape!

 

Sew along a line

Which one would you rather sew? Dot to dot or along a line?

This is my main problem with templates with seam allowances—they add extra work and make it more difficult to sew.

The sewing line is more important than the cutting line, so it makes no sense to use templates with seam allowances. They are not designed to let you mark sewing lines on the fabric.

Sewing “Dot to Dot” is a heart-breaker. (No wonder hand piecing gets a bad rap!)

 

How to make templates

MAKE TEMPLATES WITH FREEZER PAPER

You probably have everything you need to make templates without seam allowances, so you won’t need to buy anything. (If you feel like shopping, buy fabric. You can never have too much fabric!)

  • freezer paper
  • scissors or a rotary cutter and mat
  • an acrylic ruler (for rotary cutting) (mark the desired seam allowance with masking tape underneath)
  • a thin ruler and mechanical pencil (for marking seam lines, if required)
  • 1/2 inch strip of paper (useful for spacing templates to allow for two 0.25 inch seam allowances)

Even in countries where freezer paper is not available in grocery stores (the way it is in North America), freezer paper costs less than other templates.

That’s it! Do you have everything?

 

Window template and no seam allowance template

For Swiss cheese fussy cutting, I use a window template AND a template without seam allowances.

FP templates are great when I am fussy cutting because they make it easier to ensure that I am cutting identical shapes but I love them even when I am not fussy cutting.

In this example, I printed POTC hexagons on FP with Inklingo. You could just draw or trace the shape from the book to make these two FP shapes.

 

Window templates for fussy cutting

STEP 1 – PRINT WINDOW TEMPLATES! 

First, I print the Inklingo shapes WITH seam allowances on FP and cut it into separate windows, as many as I need.

I cut on the stitching lines with a rotary cutter (or scissors), so I get a window template AND a template without seam allowances—two for one. (I’ll share my best cutting tips in a future article.)

 

Iron FP window templates in position.

STEP 2 – FIND A DESIGN YOU WANT TO FUSSY CUT

Check to see if the design shows clearly on the wrong side of the fabric. This is the case with many fabrics and it is helpful because we prefer to iron FP templates on the WRONG side of the fabric, so we can mark the seam lines. Working on the wrong side saves an extra step when we want to mark lines on the fabric.

 

Iron FP window template

STEP 3 – PRESS THE WINDOW TEMPLATES IN POSITION

On the ironing surface, press the window templates in position over identical designs with a hot, dry iron. Repeat until you have found enough identical designs. (It is usually okay to ignore straight grain to get the right design.)

In this example, I need 4 POTC hexagons, so I have 4 window templates. That’s another advantage over acrylic shapes. I can have as many as I want on the fabric at the same time!

I have some cool template tips to share in a future article, like marking “FP” on the paper side, so you don’t mistakenly touch the plastic side of the template with a hot iron.

 

Drop FP template in opening

STEP 4 – PRESS THE TEMPLATE INSIDE THE WINDOW

Still on the ironing surface, place the FP shape WITHOUT seam allowances into the window opening and press it into position.

Each identical design is now marked with two pieces of FP, the window and the center.

 

Inklingo fussy cutting

STEP 5 – PEEL OFF THE WINDOW TEMPLATE

Still at the ironing surface, peel off the window template leaving the template without seam allowances in position. Check the points/corners to make sure they are all identical. Re-press if necessary.

This template won’t move while I cut! Love it!

 

Rotary cut around template

STEP 6 – ADD THE SEAM ALLOWANCE WHEN YOU CUT

Slide a cutting mat underneath and cut around the FP, adding the seam allowances.

I have a few cool tips to share in a future article for rotary cutting and scissors cutting, so please stay tuned!

 

Mark sewing lines.

STEP 7 – MARK THE SEWING LINES (IF REQUIRED)

Still on the cutting mat, use a mechanical pencil and a thin, flexible ruler to mark the stitching lines, crosshairs and matching marks to imitate the results you get when you print the shapes on fabric with Inklingo (below)–fine, accurate lines.

This is the method I teach in my Quilted Diamonds books (pre-Inklingo). Those books are an excellent introduction to hand piecing but the template technique applies to machine piecing too.

 

Print on fabric with Inklingo

In this example for hexagons for Patchwork of the Crosses, I want sewing lines but sometimes the lines are not necessary.

For example, if you are machine piecing and there are no inset seams, you do not have to mark any lines on the fabric.

If the design does not show clearly on the wrong side of the fabric:
If you need to mark the sewing lines the way I do for POTC and you have to work on the front to choose the designs, it takes a little more time.

After cutting the shapes, remove the template from the front of the fabric and go back to the ironing surface to press it on the wrong side of the fabric (centered), so you can mark the sewing lines. It is an extra step but totally worth it for the right fabric!

 

Sew POTC with a running stitch

Marking the seam lines is a huge advantage over acrylic, where the best you can do is mark dots through holes and then sew “Dot to Dot.” I’m an experienced piecer but D to D is doomed to disappoint!

 

plastic and punch

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL QUILT SHOP

Quilt shops like selling stuff—templates, sheets of plastic, punches, special markers, etc. but when you learn about freezer paper, you won’t need those things.

Spend money on fabric and skip the stuff you don’t need—especially anything that adds extra work.

You will be a better customer if you finish your quilt faster and buy fabric for the next one sooner.

 

Passacaglia rosette fussy cut with Inklingo

Imagine how well this works for designs like Passacaglia, where you sometimes need TEN identical shapes for fussy cutting. You can have enough FP templates for each one, not just one or two acrylic shapes to slide around.

I cut several Passacaglia photos from this looooong article but I have more to show you about fussy cutting the shapes for it in another article.

 

The best quilt templates!

TEMPLATES FOR FUSSY CUTTING

I think now you can see why I use FP templates WITHOUT seam allowances for fussy cutting—NOT shapes with seam allowances.

  • They can be ironed securely into position for greater accuracy.
  • I can have as many as I want.
  • I can have any shape, any size.
  • I can choose a wider or narrower seam allowance.
  • They make it easy to mark the sewing lines, if I need them.

 

Fussy cut POTC with Inklingo

Please don’t listen when anyone tries to tell you “You can’t fussy cut with Inklingo.”

I hear it all the time but it is NOT true. There are TWO great methods:

  1. Traditional Swiss Cheese Fussy Cutting (above)
  2. Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting (print identical sheets of fabric, similar to Stack n Whack™, etc.)

Once you know how to use freezer paper, you will never need to buy acrylic/plastic/metal shapes again—whether you use Inklingo or not.

Monkey says, “You’re welcome.”

By the way, I do not have any affiliation with freezer paper companies and I don’t sell it myself. It is just a fabulous product. I love using it and I recommend to everyone.

Freezer paper is less expensive and does more than any other template material.

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Introduction to Inklingo

This VIDEO on the Welcome to Inklingo page on the website explains how printing on fabric with Inklingo works with your ordinary Inkjet printer.

MORE FREEZER PAPER TIPS

This article got soooo long that I cut out several good tips for using freezer paper. I will share them in other articles. If you subscribe to the blog (top of right side-bar) you won’t miss anything.

ARE YOU SUBSCRIBED?

Please subscribe to the blog and follow the Inklingo Facebook page for more.

Before you go, review the list under Template Rule # 1—and then  tell your friends about freezer paper. I put that info at the top because it is so important.

I hope you will also tell your friends about the new Inklingo mystery quilt, The Case of the Diamond Necklace (COTDN). New clue coming soon!

Linda & Monkey

[]

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Main Beginner’s Page  There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

$10 Coupon! 10 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook

Inklingo on Facebook

Portable Hexagons – Part 3

Portable Sewing Kit

Everyone loves the idea of a portable project but the amount of prep can be intimidating.

There are at least 3 methods of preparing shapes for hand piecing.

A CHOICE OF 3 METHODS

  • All three methods of preparation work for traditional fussy cutting.
  • All three methods work for scrap quilts.
  • All three methods allow you to do some of the prep on the go.
  • The first two options allow you to combine hand and machine piecing in a “hybrid”, so you can have the best of both worlds. (Portable Pink Pieced Hexagons – Part 2)

We can always be ready to sew on the go! We love portable!

 

Print hexagons on fabric with your Inkjet

METHOD 1 – FASTEST and MOST ACCURATE

  1. Print the shapes on fabric with Inklingo (above).
  2. Rotary cut several layers at a time or cut with scissors.

Ready to sew!

If you run out of time, you can finish cutting the shapes apart with scissors on the go because the cutting lines are printed on the fabric.

Sew along the stitching lines with a running stitch.

Printing on fabric, best tips is one of the Top Ten Tutes (tab above).

Main Beginner’s Page (free shapes)

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Use freezer paper templates

METHOD 2 

  1. Prepare freezer paper templates (print or trace).
  2. Iron the templates to strips of fabric and rotary cut, adding seam allowances on all sides (above).
  3. Draw the stitching lines manually using a mechanical pencil to create crosshairs at the seam endings.

Ready to sew!

If you run out of time, you can finish drawing the stitching lines on the go.

Sew along the pencil lines with a running stitch.

This is the method taught in my Quilted Diamonds books and on the QD2 DVD. (Available again!)

This method is slower than printing the shapes on fabric but drawing the lines is still faster than basting to templates (and removing templates later).

See the many advantages of freezer paper over any other type of template material in this article on QuiltingHub.

BONUS TIP
Fabric pieces prepared with freezer paper templates can be used with fabric pieces printed with Inklingo. This is ideal in situations when you cannot print on fabric for some reason or because a shape is not available from Inklingo (yet).
Index of Shapes

 

Baste fabric to templates with glue or thread

METHOD 3 

  1. Use an acrylic template (seam allowances included) and rotary cut the fabric, several layers at a time.
  2. Baste onto templates (homemade or purchased) using thread or glue (above).

This is the most time-consuming method of prep because you are “sewing” each shape twice but if you run out of time, you can finish basting on the go.

When all of the shapes are basted, sew with a whip-stitch and remove the templates when all sides of a shape are joined.

 

8 Good Ways to Use Inklingo for EPP

8 GOOD WAYS TO USE INKLINGO FOR EPP

I do not recommend traditional English Paper Piecing for any design, but there are at least 8 Good Ways to Use Inklingo for EPP, if that is the method you prefer.

That means Inklingo is for everyone—whether you print on fabric or not! That includes:

  • quilters who prefer whip-stitching over templates (EPP)
  • quilters who prefer a running stitch
  • quilters who use scraps
  • quilters who fussy cut
  • quilters who want to print templates
  • quilters who want to combine hand and machine piecing

Isn’t it nice that we have choices? It is up to each of us to be familiar with the options and make the best decision for ourselves.

 

Maggie Smith sewing Patchwork of the Crosses

PATCHWORK OF THE CROSSES (POTC)

There was only one option in the 1950s and 1960s.

Lucy Boston did not have the advantages of freezer paper, acrylic templates, a rotary cutter, Inklingo, central heating, or microwave popcorn and she had to make do with a very limited selection of cotton fabric in post-war England.

She created 20 amazing quilts but it makes me sad to think that there could have been many more if she had had our advantages. Imagine what this artist could have accomplished with the tools and fabric we have today!

 

Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses (POTC)

POTC IS NOT JUST FOR QUILTERS WHO ENJOY EPP

Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses is not a book about English Paper Piecing.

It is about an incredible artist whose creativity flourished despite significant disadvantages.

The popularity of POTC is that it includes everyone!

When you take a hand piecing class, it is okay to ask the teacher if she is familiar with all of the options and to ask why she chose the method(s) she is teaching.

 

Portable Patchwork of the Crosses

LOVING WHAT WE DO

No matter which method you prefer, it is good to remember that quilters who piece by hand have more in common than they have differences.

Hand piecers are a tiny corner in the quilting universe but they love what they do just as much as machine piecers, appliquéers, and long-arm machine quilters love what they do.

 

No Waste Fussy Cutting with Inklingo

By the way, some quilters think you cannot fussy cut with Inklingo but there are two methods!

  1. Print shapes without seam allowances on freezer paper for traditional “Swiss cheese” fussy cutting.
  2. Print shapes with seam allowances on identical sheets of fabric for “No Waste Fussy Cutting” (example above). It is similar to Stack n Whack™—but without the stacking.

TWO methods of fussy cutting

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Patchwork of the Crosses by Fern in Singapore

If you missed seeing Fern’s POTC in Houston or Tokyo, you can see it on the Main Lucy Boston Page.

 

Print shapes on fabric with Inklingo

I’m going to print three or four more sheets of fabric for a few more of the 300 Pieced Hexagons and load up my kit again.

Don’t you love sewing on the go!

FACEBOOK VS THE BLOG—ARE YOU SUBSCRIBED? 

I post a photo or two almost every day on Facebook.
https://www.facebook.com/inklingo

Please have a look at the photos I have posted in the past week but the best way to stay up to date is to subscribe to the blog (top of right sidebar).

I hope you will feel inspired to choose 4 Pieced Hexagons from 300 Pieced Hexagons and prepare a Cheat Sheet (Part 1) and load up a portable kit because there is more to come . . .

Linda & Monkey

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New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Main Beginner’s Page There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

$10 Coupon! 9 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook

25 Signs YOU are an Inklingo Quilter

Inklingo on Facebook

Hand Piece Miss Elizabeth’s Star

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One of my favorite star designs is named for Miss Elizabeth Bennet, probably the best loved of all of Jane Austen’s heroines.

This 5-pointed star has some brilliant advantages for hand piecers.

 

Quilted Diamonds 2 with DVD

It is diamond # 1 in Quilted Diamonds 2.

I chose it to be one of the diamonds demonstrated in the two-hour QD2 DVD lesson.

 

Quilted Diamonds 2 by Linda Franz

This diamond has inset seams, and the entire diamond can be stitched continuously by turning a corner at the end of every seam!

(Hand piecers LOVE inset seams. Machine piecers, not so much.)

 

Quilted Diamonds 2 by Linda Franz

“Continuous stitching” is one of the delights of hand piecing with a running stitch.

Sewing with a running stitching is reassuringly repetitive and the method is the same for straight seams, curves, insets, and pieces of any shape and size.

(By the way, there is a video showing how to hand piece inset seams on the Main Hexagon Page on the website, so you can start now even if you don’t have QD2 yet.)

 

Quilted Diamonds 2 by Linda Franz

The method in Quilted Diamonds 2 uses freezer paper templates in the FINISHED size.

It is much better than using acrylic or plastic templates that include the seam allowance!

With freezer paper templates, you can draw the seam lines with crosshairs at the seam endings and matching marks along the seam.

It removes all the stress of sewing “dot to dot” or English Paper Piecing.

 

Quilted Diamonds 2 by Linda Franz

Quilted Diamonds 2 is the book that inspired me to invent Inklingo!

I prefer to print the shapes on fabric when I can, but when the shapes are not “inklingoable” yet, freezer paper templates are the next best thing!

 

Quilted Diamonds 2 by Linda Franz

Jane Austen referred to Miss Elizabeth Bennet as “the most delightful creature ever to appear in print.” The slightly off-kilter lines represent Elizabeth’s independent spirit and her willingness to think for herself.

 

Five-pointed star in Passacaglia

This 5-pointed star is similar to the one in Willyne Hammerstein’s Passacaglia quilt.

 

Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein

Passacaglia is the quilt on the cover of Millefiori Quilts, published by Quiltmania.

 

Quilted Diamonds 2 by Linda Franz

I show pressing suggestions for every diamond in the QD2 book and demonstrate this pressing technique in the DVD lesson, so if you haven’t watched the DVD for a while, this is a good time for a review.

 

Quilted Diamonds 2 DVD lesson

Quilted Diamonds 2 with DVD was reprinted this year, so you can learn to pleasures of hand piecing whenever you are ready.

 

Print shapes on fabric with your ordinary Inkjet

This is one of the images I posted on Facebook last week. Hand Piecing with a running stitch is the same for curves!

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Inklingo on Facebook

This is one of my favorite Facebook images, posted a few days ago.

Facebook only shows my photos to about 20% of the quilters who have “liked” the Inklingo Facebook Page, so the best way to stay up to date is to subscribe to the blog (top of right sidebar).

If you are on Facebook, please  post photos of your Inklingo and QD blocks on my page and please “like” and “comment” and “share” my photos. When we interact, it makes it more likely that Facebook will show you my next photos too.

EQ7 Seasons Row-A-Long

Are you following the EQ7 Seasons Row-A-Long? Please click on the logo for all the details—the schedule and especially the fabulous prizes! You will want to see what the other talented designers have prepared for you.

Thank you for visiting!

Linda & Monkey

[]

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Quick Start (Always FREE.) There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

$10 Coupon! 9 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook

Inklingo for Beginners

25 Signs YOU are an Inklingo Quilter

Inklingo on Facebook

Quilted Diamonds FAQ

Quilted Diamonds and Quilted Diamonds 2 by Linda Franz

Q. Are the diamonds in Quilted Diamonds 2 (QD2) the same as the diamonds in Quilted Diamonds (QD1)?

A. No! They are all different!

The diamonds in both books are the same size, so you can mix and match but the designs are all different.

 

Quilted Diamonds 2 by Linda Franz

I sewed three versions of each of the diamonds in QD2 and I photographed them from the back too! What other publisher would require an author to provide photos of the back of her work! (Tough boss, eh?)

 

Print shapes on fabric with Inklingo

Q. Can I print all of the shapes for Quilted Diamonds with Inklingo?

A. NO!

A few setting shapes for QD diamonds are inklingo-able, but both QD1 and QD2 were published years before Inklingo was invented.

The diamonds in QD1 and QD2 are NOT inklingo-able and probably never will be.

There are hundreds of diamonds in the two books with hundreds of odd shapes, and sometimes a particular shape is only used one time in one diamond. This works perfectly with the freezer paper template method taught in the books—complete design freedom!

However, most Inklingo shape collections have 5 or 6 shapes (some exceptions). A QD shape collection would require HUNDREDS of different shapes. It could not be a $15 or $20 Inklingo shape collection!

 

Inklingo for Quilted Diamonds

The new Inklingo for QD shape collection (INKQD) is a small, inexpensive shape collection with a few setting pieces, so if you piece some diamonds from QD1 or QD2, Inklingo will make it easier to assemble a quilt top. You can turn your hand pieced diamonds into squares by machine too!

I think this new shape collection is a nice way to ease into Inklingo if you haven’t tried it yet. (Where have you been since 2006?) The intro price is only $15 for a limited time.

 

Hand piecing with a running stitch

Q. What technique is taught in the books?

A. Hand piecing with a running stitch. (NOT English Paper Piecing)

The pre-Inklingo hand piecing technique taught in the books is WONDERFUL and it is still the technique I prefer to use when I print the shapes on fabric with Inklingo.

The QD method uses freezer paper templates and a running stitch. It is faster, simpler, more precise, and more portable than English Paper Piecing. It is my favorite technique although I also enjoy machine piecing and appliqué with Inklingo.

 

Linda Franz on Simply Quilts 2002

A LITTLE HISTORY

In 2002—when I was young—I was on Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson with Quilted Diamonds, so I was quite well known for hand piecing when I invented Inklingo.

In the early years, I felt that Quilted Diamonds limited Inklingo—that QD made it hard to spread the word because as soon as anyone heard my name, they thought “hand piecing,” “dinky little pieces,” and “fussy miniature work.” To my surprise, some designers did not see the potential for machine piecing and appliqué at all! Imagine!

I resisted re-printing Quilted Diamonds 2 for years because I thought it might hurt Inklingo. I think the fact that Inklingo is fabulous for machine piecing and appliqué is established now, so I don’t worry much about that anymore.

There is one more reason for re-printing QD2 now too. Almost every day I hear from quilters who are looking for an alternative to EPP (all the rage in some places), so I thought it could help many quilters if I brought back QD2 with the hand piecing lesson.

 

Quilted Diamonds

Q. What can I do with the CDs for Quilted Diamonds?

A. If you have Electric Quilt software (EQ4 or newer), you can print the diamond designs instead of tracing onto freezer paper to make templates.

At the time the books were published, EQ4 was the latest thing from Electric Quilt.  Now we use EQ7! In 2002, I was the first author or publisher to offer an optional CD, so quilters could print instead of trace. It was revolutionary.

The QD CDs are $10 extra. The CDs do NOT allow you to print on fabric in the way we do for Inklingo. It would be a mess of black ink everywhere because EQ does not print the outlines in anything but black ink—the worst!

 

Quilted Diamonds 2 DVD lesson

Q. Should I buy Quilted Diamonds (QD1) first?

A. Not necessarily.

The hand piecing technique is the same in QD1 and QD2, but if you are just buying one book, I recommend QD2 because it includes the 2 hour lesson on DVD for the same price—great value!

It is like taking a private lesson with me.

The hand piecing method in my Quilted Diamonds books is the one I recommend to quilters who write to me almost every day looking for an alternative to English Paper Piecing—what we call “English Paper Piecing Rescue.

When Inklingo shapes are available, it simplifies and speeds up the preparation compared to using freezer paper templates, but even if you have to make all of the freezer paper templates yourself à la QD, it is still much faster and more precise for most quilters compared to any of the methods taught for EPP.

 

Love & Friendship from QD1

In QD1, in addition to hand piecing instructions, there are comprehensive, illustrated chapters on appliqué, the setting for Love & Friendship (above), quilting designs, and my famous instructions for a scalloped binding, which are not in QD2.

Q. Where can I order?

A. There are descriptions of the books and “add to cart” buttons on these pages:

Main Quilted Diamonds Page

QD1 (Quilted Diamonds, the first book, with or without CD)

QD2 (Quilted Diamonds 2, with or without CD)

INKQD (shape collection, only $15 for a limited time)

Postage

A NOTE ABOUT POSTAGE – USA

I can fit 2 books in one Priority or Global Priority envelope!

However, f you want 3 books, two envelopes are required. (5.75 Priority in USA, 24.75 Global Priority) I cannot fit QD1, QD2, Millefiori Quilts or Millefiori Quilts 2 in one flat rate envelope.

A NOTE ABOUT POSTAGE – CANADA

Unfortunately, Canada Post restricts the thickness of flat rate Xpresspost envelopes, so if you order two books, postage from the USA to Canada usually costs less. I look at every order individually and provide the least expensive option.

There is never a “handling fee” and I refund the difference if there is an option which costs less than the postage added by the website.

UPDATING THE WEBSITE

I received the reprint of Quilted Diamonds 2 from the printer two weeks ago, but I had not finished the shape collection and I was not quite ready to make an announcement. I was bursting with news!

However, I knew that many quilters would want both Millefiori Quilts 2 and Quilted Diamonds 2 and if they were announced at the same time, quilters could order both and save on postage.

I could not control the timing of Millefiori 2, so it all happened fast. I did not have time to polish the pages for Quilted Diamonds on the website the way I wanted to. I will be doing that work when the first rush of orders is looked after. In the meantime, I hope these FAQ will help.

If you have any other questions, please ask!

Inklingo on Facebook

ARE YOU SUBSCRIBED?

I will be sharing more photos on the Inklingo Facebook page too, but Facebook only shows my photos to about 20% of the quilters who have “liked” the page, so the best way to stay up to date is to subscribe to the blog (top of right sidebar).

Thank you for visiting!

Linda & Monkey

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Quick Start (Always FREE.) There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

$10 Coupon!  8 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook

Inklingo for Beginners

25 Signs YOU are an Inklingo Quilter

Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein

We are very lucky to be quilters in the twenty-first century! We are inspired by quilters all over the world. There are no boundaries.

 

Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein

Willyne Hammerstein, who was born and lives in The Netherlands, named her book Millefiori which is Italian for a thousand flowers. She was inspired by the tiling designs of an English mathematician and the book was published by Quiltmania in France, in English and French. Then it was shipped across the Atlantic, so I can mail it from the United States of America (Niagara Falls NY) to you­—wherever you are in the world.

Not only that, but soon you will be able to order and download Inklingo shapes for the cover quilt from my site in Canada. Exciting!

 

Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein

Quilters requested Inklingo shapes to print on fabric for The Passacaglia and I am very grateful that Willyne Hammerstein and Carol Veillon at Quiltmania agreed. (They may have been influenced by a quilter in Singapore.) The shape collections will be ready soon.

 

Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein

This beautiful book includes patterns for 20 stunning designs and notes about Willyne’s life story. Every quilt is a work of art. Willyne’s designs with hexagons and pentagons are brilliant.

The flip-book of the quilts on the Quiltmania site shows more of the quilts.

 

Passacaglia shapes to print on fabric or paper

Inklingo makes quilting more accessible and more affordable for quilters whether they enjoy English Paper Piecing or not. The Inklingo Passacaglia shape collections will include more quilters.

When you print with Inklingo, there are more options:

Sewing the shapes in The Passacaglia is similar to sewing hexagons for Grandmother’s Flower Garden and other designs, but there is added complexity because the rosettes interlock and overlap each other.

I think Roger Penrose would be impressed with Willyne’s interpretation of his work on Penrose tilings.

 

Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein

The new Inklingo shape collections will NOT include instructions for assembling the quilt but if you order the book now, you will have Willyne’s instructions when you buy the Inklingo Passacaglia shape collection and we’ll mail it to you wherever you are! (Priority Postage USA $5.75, Canada & Mexico $20.55, other Global Priority $24.75)

 

Passacaglia shapes to print on fabric

The whole world loves Willyne’s designs and I am thrilled to be testing the Inklingo shape collections now.

I love my “work.” It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it. 

 

Passacaglia shapes to print on fabric

I can hardly wait to see what you do with Willyne’s wonderful designs and Inklingo!

ARE YOU SUBSCRIBED?

You can subscribe to the blog (top of right sidebar) and follow Inklingo on Facebook to stay up to date with progress and be one of the first to order the Passacaglia shapes to print on fabric—soon!

Of course, we think you will want to order the book now.

Thank you for visiting. If you have any questions, please ask. I always answer as quickly as possible and I am happy to help.

Linda & Monkey

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Quick Start (Always FREE.) There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

$10 Coupon!  8 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook

Inklingo for Beginners

25 Signs YOU are an Inklingo Quilter

Inklingo on Facebook

Are you following Inklingo on Facebook?

You don’t have to have a Facebook account to see what I post there, but if you do, please check “Get Notificatons” and like and share my photos.

Summer Sewing Kit for Inklingo

It’s our long weekend in Canada, the traditional start of summer. That makes us think about sewing outside on the porch and on-the-go.

We sew by machine with Inklingo too, of course, but it’s nice to get outside.

 

We got our Smartlap from the Container Store for about $20 several years ago (no affiliation). Do you have one?

We decorated the lid of ours with Quilted Diamonds wrapping paper (limited edition, long ago).

 

We can carry it like a briefcase, neatly folded up.

 

It has legs too!

We lined the big compartment with a piece of batting wrapped in yellow Minky. It feels sooooo good to touch and it keeps everything from sliding around.

 

First we add the basic tools: reading glasses, scissors, thread, and a finger pincushion with 2 needles.

We usually only carry 2 needles to use interchangeably as needles and pins. We don’t need any more than that, and it is safer. We don’t want to drop or lose pins where they might hurt someone.

We made the How to Make Finger Pincushions Movie (ready for the Oscars), so you can make them for all of your sewing kits and for all of your friends.

 

We use a finger pincushion at the sewing machine too. They’re not just for hand piecing.

 

Karan Flanscha’s sent me this photo of finger pincushions made by the quilters in Jo’s Little Women Club in Iowa. Don’t you love them? (Thank you, Karan!)

 

You might want to carry Preparation H too. We told you about this in Quilted Diamonds. Preparation H cream (not ointment) is great for sore fingers.

I first heard about this new packaging—3 very cute little tubes—from Parson Jack, who is hand piecing Quilted Diamonds in California. (Thank you, Jack!)

 

One tube should be enough for your sewing kit, okay?

You can keep the others in your sewing studio, or be prepared to explain. LOL

 

Of course, we also need some Inklingo shapes to sew.

These are 2 inch 60° diamonds for our Kaleidoscope Stars, which we have shown you before, with a movie showing how to hand piece them. We “fussy cut” (“fussy print”) these diamonds.

 

We prefer to rotary cut the diamonds several layers at a time, but if you are in a rush you can take them with you un-cut, and use scissors on-the-go.

 

This looks like everything we need. Is there something missing?

 

If you are lucky, you can add a Dairy Queen Gift Card and some Wet-Naps to your sewing kit.

The Wet-Naps are important if you want to keep on sewing after you eat ice cream slowly, savoring every lick.

 

Be careful when you close the Smartlap, okay?

 

Inklingo Smartlap Sewing Kit

Always give your Monkey time to climb out.

 

We love our Smartlap, but if you need something smaller, we have another beautiful little sewing kit too.

Monkey says you can never have too many sewing kits or . . .

 

. . . too many finger pincushions.

 

However, it may be possible to have too much ice cream, so it’s a good idea to keep your hands busy with a little sewing, don’t you think?

Just as I was writing this, “I’ll Have Another” won the second leg of the Triple Crown. (Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont).

I should have known.

I’ll have another sewing kit, another pincushion, and another DQ, please.

You can subscribe to the blog (right sidebar), so you don’t miss anything good. We’ll be back, and we hope you will be too.

Aren’t we lucky to be quilters?

Linda & Monkey

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Quick Start (Always FREE.) There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

Inklingo for Beginners

Inklingo Quiz – Just for Fun!