Saturday, January 21, 2012

Designing Templates

I have a tendency to want to do things myself: partly a desire to understand all parts of the creative process and partly being cheap.  If I can easily draw it, I won’t buy it.

On Flickr, a contact, who is part of a swap we are currently both in, posted pictures of a really cool bordered star.  I asked her where she got the pattern, but she had drafted it herself, based on something similar she had seen and did not have it electronically.  She thought I could probably make one.  Not sure if it was a compliment or a challenge, but I bit.

Another Flickr participant is Bad-Skirt Amy.  From her I had the idea of my last entry regarding drunkard path log cabins.  She has done other stuff and tends to use WORD to create the templates.  While I have and know how to use AutoCad, a computer drafting program, I was intrigued.
WORD includes the ability to draw a variety of shapes, including squares, rectangles, a variety of triangles and lines.  Since much of quilting uses no more than these shapes, you can draw most anything.  Since most patterns are repeats of mirror images, you can then flip and rotate the image.  That ensures that everything matches at the seams.   It is also easy to control size and create templates for several sizes of blocks.  When you are done, you can save it as a PDF, which keeps things from changing.

My first star came out okay, BUT, it wasn’t right.  I thought the inner border too narrow and then I realized that where the star fins met vertically and horizontally the angle was different from the where they met at the diagonal. However, anything symmetrical that is repeated often looks just fine, so if you want this template, it can be found here.

I fixed both problems and made a second block.  Much better.  The inner border wasn’t quite equal both ways, but that was a quick fix.  If you want the pattern, here’s the link.  It will create a 12”block when finished.

With templates, I always recommend that the outer edges be more than the normal ¼” seam allowance – it gives you something to trim in case something went a bit wonky.  So I have drawn in the extra on this second block. With paper piecing, fabric biases are largely ignored and the likelihood of some things stretching is higher. 

Also, refer to my tutorial on printing out PDF files - Adobe Reader usually want to shrink to fit, when scaling is not really wanted.


Baking Soda said...

Lovely one! I am just a beginner and I love paperpiecing. Thanks for the pattern.
(In Word? really? Hmmm that's something for the bucketlist ;-))

LeslieUnfinished said...

Fantastic! Thanks for doing all the math!

Cindy said...

I love your star. In fact I love it so much I just made one. I hope you don't mind that I'm sending my BEE group over to see it and print the template.

Monica said...

Sounds good to me - have fun with it! You should post your bee's results somwhere - would love to see them.

Patti said...

Thank you so much for drawing this wonderful star for us/me. I just love it and can't wait to use it. I have decided that for me paper piecing is the way to go - I have MS. And I need to quilt.
Patti xxx

Susan said...

Thanks for sharing with us....I am a star lover! Another pattern to add to my ever growing list! How I wish there were more hours in a day!

CaliQuilter said...

Moni, I have loved this star since it started appearing in Flickr last summer. I might use it for my starter in the International Bee :)

Viveka said...

Love your star. Thank You very much.

Farm Quilter said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful star pattern!! I am just learning PP and love it!!! Now I'm going to give this one a try :)