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2 great template sets you need for impressive free motion quilting

by Robin Bogaert

All week I’ve discussed free motion designs that quilters need to draw out, and yesterday, we learned how to plan out and free motion quilt 3 nature-inspired designs. The good news with today’s post, is we can use templates and freezer paper to assist with the drawing process using the Sew Easy Jelly Monster Template and the Sew Easy 9pc Circle Template Set, along with Sew Easy Freezer Paper. These tools will make your sewing quilting projects so much easier.

A package of the Sew Easy 9pc Circle Template Set next to a white piece of pater with a square drawn on it.

The Sew Easy 9pc Circle Template Set

9 pink plastic circles in different sizes laid out on top of a white piece of paper with a square drawn on it; Sew Easy 9pc Circle Template Set

In the Sew Easy 9pc Circle Template Set, templates range in size from 1” to 5”.

I’ll start with the circle templates. I used the 2½” circle from the 9 templates (a great value) to design the ‘Orange Peel’ quilting pattern. I drew a 2” grid within a 10” square as shown. I then made sure the edge of the template met the intersections of the grid, and used the template to mark my orange peel sections. These templates are great because they’re made in such a bright color that are easy to see, they’re see-through, and have vertical, horizontal and 45-degree lines marked on them making them great for centering. The number of sizes available also makes them great for applique.

A drawing of the orange peel design using a circle template for free motion quilting on white paper; Sew Easy 9pc Circle Template Set

Using the 2½” circle template to make an orange peel design for free motion quilting

Quilting the orange peel quilt design on light gray fabric with dark thread; Fabric Creations, Fabric Palette

Quilting the orange peel design using a serpentine direction to make the design continuous

An orange peel free motion quilting design on light gray fabric with a spool of burgundy thread on top; Gütermann Sew-all Thread, Fabric Creations, Fabric Palette

The finished orange peel design completed with Gütermann Sew-all Thread in Burgundy

These circle templates ranging in size from 1” to 5” are also useful for drawing out appliques and background quilting designs…the possibilities are endless.

A finished quilt with fabric circles and free motion quilted circles using the Sew Easy 9 piece Circle Template set.

Another idea for using the Sew Easy 9 piece Circle Template Set – Applique and Quilting Designs

The Sew Easy Jelly Monster Template is useful to draw out shapes and cut from strips of fabric folded in half, or 2½” jelly roll strips sewn together. Again it’s made in the pink clear durable acrylic with clear markings for 2 sizes of circles, 2 sizes of hexagons, a diamond, a square and 2 sizes of triangles. See the package instructions below.

A package of the Jelly Monster Template

Jelly Monster Template – a very useful template to draw shapes for free motion quilting as well as for cutting fabric applications

The back of the Jelly Monster Template package that shows the instructions on how to use it.

Back of package and instructions for the Jelly Monster Template – great for cutting jelly rolls and for use as a drawing tool for free motion quilting

I used the Jelly Monster Template today to draw triangle, square and hexagon shapes. A template like this has so many uses and limitless possibilities. I drew out a square with it, as shown.

Drawing squares on white paper with the Jelly Monster Template.

Drawing the top of the square with the Jelly Monster Template

Drawing squares with the Jelly Monster Template on white paper.

Drawing the bottom of the square with the Jelly Monster Template

Drawing a a feather shape within a square on white paper.

Designing a feather shape within a square

Drawing a feather shape within a square on white paper.

Designing a feather shape within a square

Drawing Free Motion Quilting Designs within a square on white paper

Designing a feather shape within a square – top is complete

Drawing Free Motion Quilting Designs within a square.

Designing a feather shape within a square – bottom is complete

Quilting a feather shape within a square using Güterman Metallic Thread.

Square shape is quilted with Gütermann Metallic Thread

Drawing a triangle on light gray fabric with the Sew Easy Jelly Roll Monster Template

Drawing a triangle shape with the Sew Easy Jelly Monster Template

Using the UNIQUE Sewing Wash-out marker on light gray fabric.

Place ½” and 1” marks with a UNIQUE Sewing Blue Wash-out Marker to use as guidelines for quilting

Sew Easy Jelly Monster Template, SCHMETZ Quilting Needles, Gütermann Thread and UNIQUE Sewing Wash-out marker all laid out on a square piece of light gray quilted fabric.

Sew Easy Jelly Monster Template, SCHMETZ Quilting Needles, Gütermann Thread and UNIQUE Sewing Wash-out marker make great free motion quilting possible

Ready for an extreme challenge? Try drawing a hexagon shape with the Jelly Monster Template to create a paradox design by marking ¼” all around the hexagon with a UNIQUE Sewing Wash-out Marker, as shown. Then sew from ¼” mark to ¼” mark with a controlled, slow and straight free motion quilting line, as shown.

Jelly Monster Template used on light gray fabric to draw hexagons.

Drawing out a hexagon with the Jelly Monster Template

A hexagon shape is drawn on light gray fabric with an Omnigrip square ruler and UNIQUE Sewing Wash-out Marker on top.

Adding ¼” increments to sew a line from ¼” to ¼” on the hexagon

Quilting a paradox design in a hexagon on light gray fabric

Quilting the paradiox design

A Paradox design quilted on light gray fabric with teal thread. Gütermann Sew-all Thread

The Paradox, Challenge Design quilted with Gütermann Sew-all Thread in Teal

a package or Sew Easy Freezer paper.

Sew Easy Freezer Paper, great for appliques and marking for free motion quilting

Freezer paper can assist with all kinds of quilting projects including applique, for tracing designs and shapes. I use it frequently to draw out a quilting design on the matte side ahead of time, and place it directly on a quilt. I then iron it to the quilt (wax side) to the fabric for temporary adhesion, and then sew right on top of the design. It eliminates the step of transferring the design to fabric, saving time. These steps are shown below.

Sew Easy Freezer Paper used to mark a quilting design for free motion quilting.

Design marked onto freezer paper and ironed to the right side of fabric

Design quilted onto the freezer paper; Sew Easy Freezer Paper

Design quilted onto the freezer paper

Peeling off the freezer paper from the quilt; Sew Easy Freezer Paper

Peeling off the freezer paper

Close-up of the quilted design after the freezer paper is removed; Sew Easy Freezer Paper

Freezer paper design completed

How to make potholders from free motion quilting practice samples

  1. Square your practice sample down to 10” x 10”.
  2. Fold the pre-cut 10” x 10” fabric in half, wrong sides together.
  3. Place a piece of Velcro hook towards the folded side centered by measuring 4½” up from the raw left side and bottom, as shown. Pin the Velcro in place and sew.

A quilting ruler measures the placement of the Velcro on a blue piece of fabric.

Measuring the pocket for the Velcro

4. Measure up the same way on the backside of the quilted sample, and place the loop of the Velcro. Pin and sew, as shown.

A quilting ruler measures the placement of the Velcro on a light gray quilted piece of fabric.

Measuring the Velcro for the quilt practice sample

5. Matching Velcro and raw edges, sew the pocket piece to the back of the quilted practice sample with a ⅛” seam allowance along the sides and bottom.

Lining up the Velcro and raw edges of the blue backing fabric and the light gray quilted fabric for the front of the potholder in preparation for basting.

Lining up the Velcro and raw edges ready for basting

6. Bind as desired. For help with binding, check out this free quilt binding tutorial.

7. To add a hanging tab, cut a 2” x 6” piece of corresponding fabric and fold it in half lengthwise wrong sides together. Sew along the length, turn it to the right side, then press and sew it to the left corner back side of the pot holder.

A completed quilted potholder gray with blue binding and a blue loop tab in the top left corner.

Loop tab added to the back of the potholder

8. Add a recipe or candy to the back pocket (optional).

A completed gray and blue quilted potholder with candy and a recipe in the back pocket.

Adding a recipe and candy to the potholder pocket

The front of 12 quilted potholders arranged in a circle; Fabric Creations Cotton

Front of potholders

The back of 12 quilted potholders arranged in a circle showing seasonal fabrics used for pockets; Fabric Creations, Fabric Palette

Back of potholder shows off the seasonally beautiful Fabric Creations and Fabric Palette Fabric

I hope you enjoyed this week’s tutorial on free motion quilting and that you learned and can use these tips and ideas as a pathway to successful free motion quilting! Have a wonderful weekend, Happy Holidays.

This is part 5 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 4: Boost your free motion quilting skills with these 3 nature-inspired designs

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