(Originally published June 23, 2012)
Some time ago, I posted my method of large-scale Celtic knot applique. Simply put, I traced the shapes to paper-backed fusible web, fused the web to my fabric, and cut out the individual shapes.
It was tedious and time-consuming. I wondered if there was a better way . . .
I had a set of acrylic templates made of the three shapes I commonly use for Celtic knots.
These templates are clear; they arrived with paper on one side to prevent scratching in transit. The paper peels off.
What I especially like is that they’re reversible. When I was tracing individual shapes on the paper-backed fusible web, I traced adhesive side up, otherwise the resulting shapes were reversed.
Here’s how I use them:
1. Fuse the paper-backed fusible web to the wrong side of your fabric, and do not remove the paper.
2. Cut fabric into strips wide enough to accommodate the template.
3. Stack multiple strips, paper side up.
4. For the straight pieces, trim away the excess on all four sides.
5. For the curved pieces, first trim away the straight edges.
6. Then trim away the outer curve.
7. Now here’s where it gets tricky . . . for some reason, rotary blades simply will not bend when it comes to the inner curve (believe me, I tried). I can cut the straight section of the inner curve, but not the curvy section. I found the best method is to hold the template in place, and run a pen or pencil along the inner curve of the template. Then, remove the template, and cut the inner curve freehand.
8. For the corner pieces, first trim away the straight edges.
9. Then, trim away the outer curves.
10. And again with the tricky part . . . Cut the straight section of the inner curve, hold the template in place, and run a pen or pencil along the inner curve of the template. Then, remove the template and cut the inner curve freehand.
May I suggest using a bit of scrap to try your hand at cutting curves freehand? You honestly get better with practice. Take a close look: not all of my cuts are perfect.
Another suggestion is to “nest” corner and curved pieces on a strip as shown below, to conserve fabric.
With this tool, I can cut multiple Celtic knot shapes at one time, and cut shapes of either handedness!!
You can order a set of these from Linda Laney at Baycreek Quilting Products. Just tell her Raymond sent you!! A set of five templates costs $25 (there are two shapes not shown for woven Celtic borders).