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I need help! I've never used templates before and I signed up for a block of the month at my local quilt shop and the blocks are using templates. They said it's super easy and very accurate.
I bought the block fabric and the accent fabric and went home. I was very excited to be involved and get started. I read the directions and layed everything out to make sure I would be cutting the fabric correctly. Check twice cut once. I checked and cut very carefully. These templates cut the dog ears off as you're cutting, so they are to match up perfectly.
Well I can well imagine you know where I'm going with this. I put the block together and there was a small hole right in the middle of the block. I checked my seam allowance and it was accurate. hum? So I took it apart and tried again. Same thing! Ugh! So I did it a third time with a 1/2" seam allowance and it closed the hole, but now my points are messed up. Honestly! I don't have this much trouble when I rotary cut. What am I doing wrong?
No one at the shop could tell me and one lady told me the templates were so easy she could teach a ten year old. Well wasn't that a nice thing to say? I already feel like an idiot for not being able to do this very simple pinwheel. I've done pinwheels in the past with rotary so I know I'm capable, but I'm obviously doing something wrong.
Any help?

I plan on taking it all apart and starting over to see if I can see where I might have gone wrong.


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Comment by Beverly Hicks Burch on April 12, 2009 at 11:34am
Mel, templates are just tedious.

Here's the concept: When you used a template normally you have to add the 1/4 inch seam allowance before cutting the fabric...unless of course you're told the seam allowance is already included. The template is usually of the finished piece.

For example, if you have a 3 in. square template included in the pattern, if you haven't been told otherwise you need to add 1/4 in on each side...resulting in a piece 3-1/2 x 3-1/2.

Usually what quilter did when using templates was to cut out 2 templates for each piece...one of the finished size and another template with the seam allowance included.

Using the templates, you cut out the piece with seam allowance included, the place the finished size template on the piece that has been cut out and trace around it. Viola, the seam allowance with sewing lines appear. Of course if you have a patchwork foot, you can omit the 2nd step and just start sewing...

Whew! hope that helps in some way.
Comment by Trevi in Texas on February 8, 2009 at 8:44am
Mel, suggestion....try the whole block with paper first. Cut off the seam allowance on each piece and lay the paper pieces out as you would sew them. This should show you where the "mis-match" occurred. Try using light colored paper and place the pieces on a dark background surface. You will better see where the "fit" is off. Hope this helps! PTL

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