Anyone else old enough to remember that old television show? I thought I would show how I did the border on the quilt in the previous post because Vivian - You asked for it!
I rarely use commercial stencils because I like drawing my own designs. That is what I did in the border of Mary's quilt. I used the length of the block as my guide for the size of the design; that way I can mark the border while the quilt is on the machine, as I go. I measured the length and width of the area and then doodled around until I had a design I liked.
Since this design was fairly complicated I used template plastic and then cut it out with scissors. It probably took less than an hour to end up with this- which is half of the total design. I just flip it over and trace out the other half. I actually try not to mark quilts for customers because it is time consuming, but sometimes it just seems like that's what the quilt needs! Besides, if I have the time, I think it's fun.
Sometimes if the design isn't too complex, I will draw it on freezer paper; I make a double thickness by ironing two pieces together. (shiny sides together - I learned to do that in a workshop with Kim Diehl) This works well but doesn't hold up as well as the template plastic so I only use it on simpler designs. This one I tried first with freezer paper and then decided to use template plastic.
I have also used manila folders.
It really helps to use a good marking tool - I love this Bohin marker that I bought at MQS this spring. It has a small point which makes it possible to mark very accurately. So far it has come out easily with a slightly damp microfiber cloth.
I keep the templates I make and reuse them on other quilts. Hope that answered your question and wasn't TMI!