Friday, September 19, 2014

Test block and DIY Flying Geese ruler/ template (picture heavy)

Making test blocks when designing quilts can be very important.  Sometimes an idea looks good on paper but doesn't work well in real life.  I made this simple test block yesterday from leftovers of my challenge quilt.  Making the flying geese units were the hardest part.  I used the 4 at a time method and oversized them just a tad so they could be squared up for perfection.  Here's quick tutorial(not over-sized) I made for a small quilt class I taught a couple of years ago.  Keep in mind I wrote the tutorial when the only people visiting my blog were family and members of the quilt class.   For this class I had made each of the girls a flying geese square up ruler/template from plexiglass.  They are simple to make if you know the dimensions of the unfinished FG(flying geese) unit.  The block above calls for a 
2.5 x 4.5 FG unit. 
 Here's how I made the template.

When purchasing your plexiglass from your home improvement store of choice make sure the plexiglass is about the same thickness as your standard quilt ruler which is usually between 1/16" to 1/8" thick.  At Home Depot the Score and Snap plexiglass is sometimes called Acrylic or polymethyl methacrylate it sometimes has a blue removable coating and comes in a variety of sizes.  Of course not all Score and Snap has this blue coating.  But I've found if it's Score and Snap it'll have some type of removable coating.  It usually states somewhere on it that it can be scored and snapped.   You can buy a special scoring tool but really it's not needed.  A box cutter works just fine.
 My piece of plexi is leftover from another project and is small.  If your working with a larger piece the steps are almost the same you'll just have bigger pieces leftover for more FG templates!  
So the first thing we need to do is place the plexi with the blue removable side up, measure over 4 1/2 inches.  Using the box knife, just like you would a rotary cutter, score a line, keeping your lefthand(not shown it's holding the camera, I forgot I own tripod) on the ruler. Score the same line 5 to 10 times.  I always make 10 scores pressing firmly but not hard.

 Line up the scored mark with the edge the table.  Hold firmly with the left hand, make a fist and whap the overhanging piece hard and fast.  With a the bigger sheets there's no need for the hard and fast.  Just press down firmly with the left and push down on the over hanging piece, it'll snap clean if you scored properly.
 Place the plexi coating side up and score a line 10 times at 2 1/2"
 Again if you've a large overhang just apply firm pressure on the left and the overhanging piece.  For my small piece I've found they don't break so cleanly with firm slow pressure.  So I'll be using the backside of my box cutter to whap it fast and hard.
 Peel off the protective coating. Look at those edges!  Just as clean and crisp as a store bought template!
 Using a sharpie and ruler on the long edge of the template draw a line 1/4" away from the edge.
 Now turn your template and make a dot on the previous drawn line in the center position 2 1/4" (2.25) 
 From the dot, draw a diagonal line to the corner
 repeat on the other side
 The completed FG ruler/template
 Remember to write the size of the FG on the template.  You could even write the measurements for the squares needed to make the 4 fast geese.  
 Now I've got one heck of a mess to clean.

~ Lea Anne ~

Oh my star's freebie from Thought and Found

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  1. Is there anything you can't do? I want to see the block finished. I can't figure out how the points will stay "pointy" after the seam is added. I know they will because you are so smart-I just can't figure it.You are my inspiration and next time I need a template made, I will call on you...hahaha

  2. Just to clarify about the material, polymethyl methacrylate, also called PMMA or acrylic is the material. Plexiglass is a brand of this material. Over here it's about twice as expensive as standard acrylic as you're paying for the brand name.

  3. good tutorial, must look out for this template plastic whether mine will be a success is a different matter, now off to see your flying goose tutorial

  4. Wow! you are so industrious. Great tutorial and lovely block too.

  5. Great idea, I like the score and snap- I could do that myself instead of waiting for dh to get around to it with his saw. Do the sharpie marks stay? mine have rubbed off and I had to put a bit of clear contact paper on top. Doesn't look as nice, but does the job!

  6. I love this. Thanks for sharing. Please put it in your tutorials tab so it doesn't get lost. I will be sending DH to Lowe's today.

  7. Lea Anne that is great! Does that acrylic stuff really snap clean and smooth every time? You don't need to sand anything? I probably would use some clear packing tape over those lines drawn with the Sharpie pen because I know lines drawn with a Sharpie on plastic or glass will wear off with time and use. Covering the lines with clear tape will keep the lines visible for a very long time. Thanks for this tutorial and for linking this to my Weekend Link Party too. I hope lots of people come over to see this.


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