Printing Templates Using Your Home Printer

With the Lucy Boston and Millefiori craze, I have been pleased that so many people are finding the joys of hand piecing, and are exploring more complex designs.

Cosmos redMany designs can be cut using rotary cutting techniques but others such as my 2016 BOM, Cosmos, are template based. We usually make our templates by placing semi-transparent template plastic over a pattern and tracing using a permanent marker. It’s a quick process if you are making only a couple of templates. I demonstrate the process at the beginning of my video Magical Effects with Border Prints.  This is a free video to watch.

Sampler quilts are another story — they might incorporate dozens of templates. Furthermore, some template plastics are very hard to write on. They are usually smooth, so they slip on the fabric and it is hard to get a good mark with pen or pencil. It is also easy to lose a little accuracy as you trace the templates onto the plastic. I wanted to find a faster, easier, more accurate way to make the templates.

After much searching we found the perfect product and have packaged it as Jinny Beyer Template Film. This all-purpose template material is matte on both sides, making it very easy to write on and adheres to the fabric without slipping.  Best of all it is heat resistant and can be run through your home laser printer or copier. If you don’t have a laser printer, most office supply stores have copying facilities and can run it through their machines.

Please note that it will not work on an inkjet printer or copier. The ink will not be dry and will smudge and give uneven lines.

For printing on a laser printer or copier follow these steps:

  1. Print a sample template page on paper and make sure that the size is 100%. If it is not the correct size, adjust your printer until you get it to print at 100%.
  2. Feed the template film into the printer one page at a time. Since both sides have a matte finish it does not matter which side you print on.

Template1Many of my patterns have pieces that are enhanced by “fussy cutting” border prints or other fabrics with mirror image motifs. For instance, a border print square is made by cutting four identical triangles. In order to insure that the triangles are cut exactly the same, I recommend marking some portion of the design onto the template. These registration marks will serve as a guide for cutting the additional pieces. BP1It is amazing to see how many different squares you can get from the same border print.

BP2If you are trying to make all of your squares just a little different, very soon it will be easy to get confused by all the different marks on the template. The nice thing about the Jinny Beyer Template Film is that the marks can be erased. Remove pencil or pen with a standard eraser. Remove permanent pen with rubbing alcohol.

**Tip: Put the registration marks on the side of the template that has not been printed. That way you will not inadvertently erase some of the template information.

Many of my patterns are template based and, in the future, we will be offering pre-printed templates that can be purchased separately from the pattern. We already have these available for the six pages of templates required for the 2016 Block of the Month.