Tips & Lessons

Making Templates

Jinny marking fabric around a templateTo make templates, place semi-transparent template plastic directly over the pattern and trace the pieces onto the plastic, drawing any identification marks and grain lines. JINNY BEYER STUDIO patterns include seam allowances and typically show the sewing line as well. In the photo (right), Jinny is marking around a template for the Border Play quilt.

Hand Sewing

Eventually you can learn to "eyeball" the quarter-inch seam allowance, but if you need a guide for sewing, trace the sewing line from the pattern piece onto the template. Put small holes in the template (a 1/16" hole punch works great) where the seam allowances cross at the corners, then in as many times along the seam line as you think are necessary to give a proper sewing guide.

After lining up the edges of the pieces and pinning them together, place the corresponding template on top of the piece facing you and mark small pencil dots directly through the holes. You can then sew "dot to dot". This method will save a lot of time as you do not have to mark the seam line on each piece, but only on the piece facing you as you sew.

Machine Sewing

If you have a quarter-inch sewing foot, it's easy to sew an accurate quarter-inch seam. Using the template or Jinny's Perfect Piecer to mark the corners helps ensure your accuracy and makes sewing inset seams or miters much easier.