Sketchbook work is great for quilting ideas. You can work out blocks, motifs, collage, save templates and all sorts of things in a sketchbook.
The templates and a leaf from my autumn quilt were sitting on my sewing table. Actually I had removed my tool box from the sewing machine because the extension table is attached. Templates and the leaf were in the toolbox tray so as not to lose them.
Then I thought, I should create a little sketchbook to keep these safe and record the quilt. Now, it is best to do this before you make the quilt, not afterwards! However, I had designed it on odd bits of scrap paper and as I went along. I wanted a record of it.
I looked for a spare sketchbook, but alas no. You’ve already seen what I was doing with junk mail envelopes a little while ago – the C5 long ones. I also had quite a few large envelopes, I think they are D-something, anyway slightly larger than A5 paper size. This size would be perfect.
My main aim was to gather together key elements of the design and to save the templates. The centre of the quilt is log-cabin based, a leaf motif and hand stitched hexagons. So these were the elements I wished to record in my sketchbook.
I glued together envelopes for sturdiness and taped them together with washi tape. That wide one with the foxes kept tearing. Hexagons and log cabin designs were created in pencil crayon. Magazine images were cut up as hexagons – this was great fun and gave me an idea for another quilt. On these pages I also created pockets for the templates. I might add more in future – fabric scraps etc from the quilt. I found some thick card to make a cover and bind it all together.
I am now starting another sketchbook for my next new quilt.
In this tutorial, I will teach you how to cut your own diamond templates for quilting. Many templates are too difficult to make yourself, but diamonds are a breeze. This is an easy free tutorial to enable you to make templates quickly and without too much expense.
For this tutorial you will need
1. Paper, card or mylar (these are in order of how long they last. If you want throw away templates, you can use paper, thin card can be used several times, mylar is long-lasting
2. Either a quilting ruler that has a 60° angle or a cutting mat that has a 60° angle
3. A rotary cutter or failing that scissors
For accuracy I use a cutting mat and a rotary cutter, with a solid steel ruler. My ruler is non-slip and perfect for the job. I usually use thin card.
1. Place your card on the cutting mat, lining it up so that it is straight.
2. Place your ruler along the 60° angle line.
3. Cut the width of the ruler. This ruler is 5cm (2″) wide. It produces a 9-patch diamond that is 15cm (6″) across when stitched together with the quarter inch seams added. You can use a narrower ruler for a smaller diamond.
4. Take your card strip and place the ruler aligned with the straight edge. Cut the width of your ruler. You have one diamond. Repeat to make more, using as much of the card as you can.
5. Place the card face down on the reverse of the fabric.
6. Allowing a quarter inch seam, cut around the card.
7. Although your card template needs to be accurate, when cutting fabric, you can cheat a little, as long as there is enough fabric to fold over and you can secure your seam.
8. Whip stitch diamonds together with right sides facing.
Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt. This tutorial is for your own personal use ONLY and is not to be copied nor distributed by any means without written permission from the author.