You might think that because I teach how to use templates that I think templates are great.
Templates are not great, but they are useful. I think it is useful to know how to make and use templates, especially for weirdly shaped pieces where adding a quarter inch seam allowance isn’t as straightforward as plopping down a ruler in the right position and drawing a line. BUT give me a plastic rotary ruler or template and my rotary cutter any time.
I recently talked about Richard and his mini-business making templates for the Russian Rubix pattern. I still don’t have my pattern (long story, but it should be here soon), but I was able to try out the templates over the weekend.
Cutting roundish shapes, e.g. the octagon means that you have to carefully cut one side depending on whether you are right or left handed (I am right-handed and needed to take care cutting over my left hand and arm, which were holding the template in place, when I went to cut the left 3 cuts of the template).
These templates are a smidge thinner than a Creative Grids ruler, but it was an unfamiliar enough feeling to make me notice. These templates are not so thin as to be dangerous.
There is a lot of trimming of pieces in the pattern and the house shape is used for part of the trimming, which is a really nice option. Also, in the pattern, you cut a bunch of squares and then you trim them using the octagon template. Having a rotary template means that you can skip the 1) template making; 2) square cutting; and 3) trimming down to an octagon. Using the rotary template, you can go straight to the cutting of the octagons.
Cutting squares and trimming is not terrible and might make for a good rote sewing task. There might even be an Accuquilt die for the right size of the square that would make the cutting go very fast. Still, I like the rotary template idea and think that it will be useful for cutting from scraps. Again, I am thinking of using all different blues, though not too dark, with a grey background.