Monday, July 13, 2015

DIY - Tumbler quilt pattern template

Last week, I mentioned about being struck with Bonnie's latest Leader-Ender challenge -- Tumblers, and I showed how I made up my own 2" tumbler template.

Per request, here is a simple how-to of making a Tumbler template ANY size you want :)
(the specific pictures are for a 4" (finished) tumbler).

Using some light-weight cardboard or template plastic, measure out a square of your desired size.
For a 4" finished Tumbler (long-side), pictured here is a 4.5" square.

Using VERY little math -- determine the size you wish to have for the short side of your tumbler.
Note:  After a little bit of research, I've determined the following:
there is NO magic ratio that is required in order to have a true tumbler 
(heaven knows some quilt-police do exist)
If you happen to know different rules, please share.  Truly.  
I couldn't find any steadfast ratio requirement.
The size of your finished short-size is personal preference!
For this template, I decided to mimic the ratio of my smaller template -- the FINISHED short and long size with be in a 1:2 ratio (2" to 4" for this larger template).
If you wish to change the ratio, the math is SUPER SIMPLE!  Actually---there IS no math;  just measurements.

If you observe closely in the square picture from step #1, I measured in 1" from each side of the top corners, markings made with a pencil.
(For those math minds:  4.5" - 1" from each corner = 2.5" top length -- UNFINSHED;  therefore, 2" finished).

This is where measurements are the ONLY skill needed in making your template.  If this short side is too long or too short for you -- simply make a DIFFERENT measurement from each of the upper corners.
As long as the measurements are identical from both corners, YOUR TEMPLATE WILL WORK!  

Template ready for action!

Since I used light-weight cardboard for my template, I used one of my acrylic rulers as my cutting edge with my rotary cutter.  
Q: So, why don't you just buy the tumbler template then, Amy, since you have other rulers?
A: Well -- because I don't need to spend the money on it.  This is the first time I've made a Tumbler quilt and I don't plan on making a lot of them in the future.  Now, the Easy Angle pictured..... oh boy!  LOVE that ruler!  Use it all the time!

Placing the acrylic ruler on top of the template TRULY adds only a second or two;  hardly a nuisance for me.

4.5" squares can be stacked and cut...

4.5" strips can be stacked and cut...

For ANY size tumbler, whether cut with a purchased acrylic ruler or your DIY homemade template, when piecing, the corners need a slight overlap in order for the edges to end up in a straight edge.

Finished sample :D

2" x 4" tumbler


scraphappy said...

Thanks for the math lesson teach! It is nice to be reminded that we don't all have to rush out for a new template for each new shape.

Jane said...

Thank you!

Sottwell said...

Having some parts of several flannel fat quarters left from a failed attempt at something else, I thought of a simpler design, and a tumbler came to mind. Like you, I am not interested in buying a tumbler template, especially since I'm saving to get a small longarm (mid-arm?) quilting machine. So your tutorial will help keep me from just trashing the flannel in a fit of frustration, as well as help add to my quilting machine fund. A penny saved is a longarm machine earned!

Unknown said...

I have been obsessing over tumblers and if there is an "official" ratio between the top and bottom lengths. Yours is the first web page that I found that discusses this. Thank you for this. BTW, I have a degree in Math and am not afraid of numbers.

gloria g. said...

Now I can even do one without spending any money.....something I enjoy..........thanks for the lesson........I already spend enough. Thank