Hi friends! Phew, it's busy-busy here today, but I couldn't wait any longer to share this little DIY project I put together last week. I've been hard at work on my latest quilt, and it is hard work: each block is made of 39(!) different pieces. This is the first quilt I've made using templates instead of rotary-cut shapes, and I quickly found myself challenged by the prospect of all that tracing. The fabric moved around under the template, the marker bled, ugh. [caption id="attachment_99" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Tracing a template onto fabric can be frustrating."] [/caption] I was telling my tale of woe to Tina (you'll remember her as the quilter/organizer extraordinaire from last week's organization Q+A post) and she suggested a solution that I liked the sounds of. With a little bit of foam core, some spray adhesive, a sheet of sandpaper and a bit of non-slip drawer liner, she said, I could solve all my tracing woes. She was right! I stopped to pick up my supplies on my way home from work. A quick search for foam core was fruitless, so I decided to use a clipboard instead. I subbed heavy-duty glue for spray adhesive (it was raining; I couldn't do the spraying outside and didn't want to have a sticky kitchen table). The total cost of my supplies: less than $10. [caption id="attachment_98" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Clipboard with garnet sandpaper."] [/caption] First, trimmed the sides of the sandpaper to fit the width of the clipboard. Then I spread a thin layer of glue on both the clipboard and the paper, making sure that the glue went right to the edges. (Obviously, I was working over newsprint, not quilt blocks as above!) I used clothespins to hold the edges of the sandpaper down while the glue dried. [caption id="attachment_100" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Non-slip drawer liner keeps the board from skating away while I work."] [/caption] Next, I cut two bands of non-slip drawer liner roughly the length of the clipboard, and attached them to the back of the clipboard with more of glue. It was a challenge to make sure that not too much glue seeped through the liner, and I made sure to leave it to dry upside down, lest I come back and find it securely stuck to the table! [caption id="attachment_101" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Let's get to work."] [/caption] Ta da! Once the glue was dry, I was ready to get to work. The non-slip liner keeps the clipboard from moving while I'm tracing; the garnet sandpaper is rough enough to grip the fabric but not so rough as to pick or tear at it. I use a sharp HB pencil to mark lines and dots for cutting lines and seam allowances - the pencil will wash out and I don't have to put up with a stinky marker. (Always test a scrap of fabric before you mark it, though, just to be safe.) And look at that – quilt ring #1, done and done. Thanks, Tina, for the great advice! Do you have and tracing hints and tips for me? PS Don't forget to enter this week's giveaway for your chance to win a copy of Stitch ‘n Bitch, a knitting book with attitude, AND six balls of beautiful angora/bamboo yarn from Patons. Leave a comment on Monday's post telling me what your favourite craft resource is. Comment by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 5; I’ll post a winner next Monday, June 8. Good luck!