Templates…It’s All So Overwhelming!

You have your machine, fabric and the essential required to begin creating a beautiful quilt.  Now you want to select a template..Ugh!  Where do you begin?  There are SO many to choose from, and the last thing you want is to feel overwhelmed and frustrated using a template for the first time.  Let me provide a few tips that might just ease the stress of being a newbie with templates a little bit.


  Take a Beginner Class!  We all had to take baby steps before learning to run, so don’t head out the template gates expecting to start sprinting.  Check out instructors that offer beginner classes on templates and enroll in one.  Participating in a class where the teacher provides you with rulers.  This is a perfect opportunity to play around with that template and get a sample of whether you want to invest in that product prior to handing over your hard-earned money.  Departing with your cash on a product that you end up disliking is the worse!  Starting your project with confidence and knowledge will make you experience positive.

  But the ruler choices I suggest are the straight edge, circles and arcs.  A straight edge can be implemented on a domestic or longarm machine.  Imagine not having to turn your quilt to  stitch in the ditch!  Circles and arcs are extremely versatile and you can create hundreds if not thousands of designs with them.

  Gripping the Ruler, once you have selected your templates,  you will need to maintain a balanced grip.  A death grip won’t work and neither will a grip that is loosey goosey.  A nice firm grip is what you are looking to achieve; this will take a little bit of practice and patience.  Don’t over think it, and before you realize it you will be designing away!

 Those Shoulders Aren’t Earrings!  I’ve said this umpteen times and I will forever be heard telling everyone that your shoulders weren’t designed to be worn as earrings.  Relaxing your shoulders has a two benefits.  First it will release tension that may be affecting the grip you have on your ruler, and secondly (and most important) the toll it will reduce on your body will be significant! Trust me the chiropractor is constantly reducing the pain I have created due to wearing those damn earrings!

 Bring on Success.   That is  how you should feel after purchasing your template(s).  Don’t feel compelled to invest in a ruler, or rulers, that you aren’t fairly certain will bring you success. There is nothing wrong with taking a couple classes to discover which templates you feel the most comfortable using.  It’s your future design, your time, AND your money.   Success will appear on your design when you begin with a ruler, or rulers,  that are sure to bring enjoyment to your quilting time.

If you are ready to jump in, I have developed a Ruler for Rookie Kit.  This gives you 5 different rulers, handigrip for the back of your templates, a booklet and panel as well as videos on YouTube that you can follow to learn how to use rulers.  (Both domestic and longarm)


Do you have any helpful hints to those new quilters looking for their first template?







3 thoughts on “Templates…It’s All So Overwhelming!

  1. HI Lisa: For first time template users, definitely get a straight ruler, then a curved one. Relax, but be safety conscious and enjoy the learning process, because it is really fun!

  2. Great advice! When using rulers with either a domestic machine or longarm, you need a flat surface to stabilize the ruler. With rulers, bigger isn’t better because the stable area you want the hopping foot to glide against is the spread between your thumb and fingers…once you get past your fingers the odds that the ruler is going to slip are huge!

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