Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Making the templates for Lazy Punk and another 81 quilt (but it isn't a giant monstrosity)

Have you drafted your Lazy Punk pattern? Lazy Punk is my simplified version of Jen Kingwell's Steam Punk quilt. My version involves no piecing and no precision cutting! The "wedges" are appliqued to a background; the block is equally suited to hand or machine applique.

Pattern for Lazy Punk block

Once you have drafted your pattern according to yesterday's post the next step is to create homemade tools to make the block construction fast and easy. You will need a scrap of clear plastic, some lightweight cardboard (a cereal box or tissue box works just fine), a permanent marker (for marking on the clear plastic) and sharp scissors or a rotary cutter and mat. For the hub cap (circle) in the centre of the block I will use a small piece of heat resistant Mylar but you could use freezer paper if you prefer. We'll deal with the hub cap in an upcoming post.

I like to make my own tools. My two favourites are clear templates and window templates that I use for making beautiful hexagons. You can read about them here. I will use similar templates for my Lazy Punk quilt.

For this project we will need four templates namely:
  • clear template
  • window template (cardboard)
  • lower wedge with seam allowance (cardboard)
  • arc without seam allowance (cardboard)
The first template we will make is the clear template. The clear template will be used to make all of the other templates, to line up the arc and the inner wedge and to prepare the entire wedge with arc for applique. To make the template place your clear plastic over one of the wedges in the block that we drafted and trace around the wedge and the inner edge of the arc with a permanent marker. There is no seam allowance except for at the point of the wedge where I've added a generous seam allowance (at least 3/8"). I don't need to trace right to the point of the wedge because that area will be covered with the hub cap.

Once you have traced the template cut it out. Your clear template should look like this.

Clear template with seam allowance at inner point

Now we will make a window template. Take a piece of cardboard and trace around the clear template. Make small registration marks at the inner curve of the arc  and at the inner edge of the wedge as in the following photograph. For this window template we do not want any seam allowance so the one that was added to the clear template will not be used.

Shift the clear template down lining up the registration marks for the inner edge of the arc and draw the inner arc. You can draw the line at the narrow part of the wedge freehand.

Your cardboard will look like this.

Cut out the lower portion of the wedge but not the arc. This is the window template.

Window template

I use the window template for identifying interesting parts of my fabric for fussy cutting. I will demonstrate this when we get to cutting the fabric. If you do not plan on fussy cutting then you needn't bother making a window template but it is such an inexpensive tool that I encourage you to make at least one fussy cut block!

To make the lower wedge with seam allowances, on another piece of cardboard trace around the clear template.

Add a generous seam allowance of about 3/8" all around the lower wedge as indicated by the pink dashed line. Just eyeball it - no need for a ruler! Cut out the template on the pink dash and label it "wedge with seam allowance".

Lower wedge with seam allowances

The last template is the arc without seam allowance. Once again you will trace around the top portion of your clear template on cardboard. Make the registration marks for the inner edge of the arc.

Slide down the clear template lining it up with the registration marks and draw the inner edge of the arc.

Cut out the arc and label it "arc - no seam allowance".

 So there you have it - the tools you will need to make a Lazy Punk block.

Tomorrow I'll show you how to cut the fabric quickly and easily and then just as quickly prepare the fabrics for applique! You won't have to worry about precise seam allowances or the grain! For tomorrow you will need a glue stick (make sure it is fabric safe glue), your favourite marking tools and sharp scissors. And of course beautiful fabrics! And I'll show you my first finished block!

Hilda of the blog Every Stitch is a terrific quilter with a very wonderful sense of colour. She told me she had made a quilt like my 81 (the giant monstrosity) but that hers was smaller. I asked if she had blogged about it and she very kindly sent me the link. I encourage you to visit her blog and take a look at her basket and hexagon quilt. You can see it here.

I leave you with a picture of one of the baskets in "81 The Giant Monstrosity".

Until I post again, happy template making!

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