If you have a notion

I was working on a post which I saved as a draft about my mini quilt project but as luck would have it, Mike stopped me short of publishing it. He said, “you cant put that up there until the swap is finished.” I questioned him about it to be sure because I wasn’t posting my pics of the quilt to my Flickr, where all the participants from the group converge. So today, I’m going to  gonna delve into something  entirely different.

When was the first quilting template invented and who invented it?

This was my question put to Answers.com this morning, having been thinking heavily about notions and how many things comprise a “notions section” of a fabric/craft store. Notions for a quilter is a never ending list of “wassits & pantookers” (that’s trinkets and gadgets for those who don’t speak Whoville talk) which includes but not limited to Rotary Cutters, Omni Grids, Bias tape makers, foundation paper for applique, tracing paper, sewing gauges, needles, thimbles and the list goes on.  If you really think about it, everything you put in a sewing box aside from scissors and thread would be considered a notion. I have three measuring tapes, marking pencils of every color, pens that roll on die but disappear when ironed, two boxes of multicolored pins, enough needles and embroidery thread to outfit a guild and other stuff admittedly could be anywhere else other than my sewing box.

Lately I’ve been digging the whole applique thing. It allows you to really stretch yourself creatively and the possibilities of what you can make are endless but unless your dead set against patchwork, quilters always make their way back to it. This is where having templates come in handy. Plastic templates of all shapes and sizes can get pretty pricey to buy and if your smart you wait until they go on sale and use a coupon to boot if you can since they normally run anywhere from $4 to $9 or more a piece.

Today I am making my own templates for quick flying geese, hexagons for flowers and a few other simple shapes to use as quilting designs. Below are some pictures of the engraving, cutting and drill press process (say that three times real fast.) I am using an IS7000 Gravograph New-Hermes engraver, VA-10 Safety Saw and a Ryobi Drill press to make my templates. The material is various type scrap vinyl, ranging in thickness of 1/16″ to 1/8″.

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Joann’s Fabric sells the hexagons in varied sizes from 1.5″ to 5.5″ and of course any type triangle you ever wished you had. Incidentally they’re online sale has all quilting notions at 50% off at the moment, so now would be a great time to buy.

I’m always in the market for a good story and would love to know what lengths other people have resorted to when they have needed a template and what material’s were used in the process to make it?

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