Thursday, January 13, 2011

Recycle That X-Ray Film---->Pattern Templates!<----


For those of you who guessed that I use the X-Ray film for my pattern templates, you’re right!

I learned about using plastic for my templates looong ago while taking a quilting class at my local quilt shop.

The bad thing about those large sheets of quilting template plastic is that they become expensive if you need to use a lot of it.  Which I do.

About 4 years ago, I was about ready to throw out a large envelope of Rachel’s x-rays of her thumb. It then occurred to me that the film was almost the same as that expensive quilting template plastic sheets that I buy at Joanns for something like $3 a sheet.

That’s how it started. 

I use it for the background scallop shapes for the penny rugs and for any of my pattern pieces that require multiple numbers of the same shape to be cut. 

Here’s an example:


This is one of the hearts from my newest pattern “Love for Ewes”

You can see, I need to cut 12 of these hearts (6 for the front and 6 to be used for the backing)

If it were just a few hearts to be cut, I wouldn’t bother to make a template for it.  I just place a piece of freezer paper over the shape and trace it to get the required number.

Since I need 12, that’s a lot of tracing …and it’s important that these shapes are all exactly the same.  When tracing that many, it’s difficult to get them all exact.

So, I trace the heart one time onto a piece of freezer paper …


I rough cut around this traced shape.  Using a glue stick, I glue the shape onto my sheet of x-ray film….


I just need to cut this out.   I always label it with the name of the pattern that it comes from….


Now my template is all ready to use!  Simply lay it on your freezer paper and trace around it as many times as needed.


It saves so much time and the shapes are all exact.

If you don’t have old x-rays laying around, start asking around ..your relatives or friends, someone probably has some …or you could try using other things for your templates.  The plastic lids from throw away containers like Cool Whip bowls work well for small templates.

The bad thing about using x-ray films is that sometimes you might see something on them that you don’t want to see…..

Which is why I have really great anxiety about opening up the envelopes of x-rays of my brother-in-law’s body parts. 

Using Rachel’s injured thumb x-rays wasn’t a problem because it’s just her thumb. 

But Mark’s x-rays? 

There are some things that I just. don’t. want. to. see.

Then to make it worse, when he brought them over, he had that “glint” in his eye … you have to know Mark to know that Irish “glint”.   It means that he is looking forward to seeing just how embarrassed I get when I see what those  x-ray body parts are.

He warned me though … telling me to watch for the sheets that are “folded over” implying that extra large film sheets were needed for some…thing.  Ok?  Well, I still haven’t looked at those films but I will have to soon because I’ve used all of Rachel’s thumb x-rays. 

I think perhaps I can spray paint these x-ray films so that I won’t have to see any … thing. 

Or ….. and this evil thought just occurred to me ….

if there is some …"thing” in those x-rays, I’m going to tape the film to a sunny window, take a good picture and ….



Happy Day everyone!


Michelle~Sugar House Creations said...

Ha ha! Great post. Thanks for the laugh...and the tip!

Denise * KKL Primitives said...

LOL too funny about your BIL's Xray.........

What a great idea though using the film for templates!

Lindi said...

Good Morning! ....So, I guess the 'bones' idea for Holloween is out of the question?!? L

lilraggedyangie said...

Great idea ...would have never even considered it Thanks. And it sounds to me as if your BIL just might deserve a good old fashioned payback blog post for all his good gestures!
This is only my second day blogging , i really enjoyed your blog.
Happy New Year

Lil Raggedy Angie

Anonymous said...

Mark will be so tickled that you are hanging pictures of his body parts in your window for all to see. Hope it is a sunny day!

Casserole Carol

Sandy said...

OMGosh, that is so funny!!! Guys, they are all alike!!

Trudi Sparkly Apps said...

another place to get x-rays from is the vets They will give them to you for free

Jade Graham said...

a good outfit for Sundays and not a whole lot else; my parents wardrobes were similarly lean. Colored plastic sheet