I have bought several templates over the years and when looking at my drawer I realized that maybe half are used frequently and the rest have never been used. Sort of like stash busting. Do you use them? What are your feelings, just a rotary cutter and ruler? I use the tumbler template most frequently and must admit saw a video today with a new one that has me ready to reach for the credit card, but it only makes two blocks that I know of at this time. How about os differing points of view.

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Al, 

I agree with you.  I've purchased two sets of templates for a quilt workshop/retreat.  The first was for Storm at Sea.  There is absolutely no need for templates to make that quilt.  Not only that, it required 3 different sets, which were very expensive; well over $35.  The worst part of all of it, is that none of my pieces went together well and wouldn't lay flat despite how careful I was when cutting.  The quilt pieces are in the great Zip-loc graveyard and the templates are in my drawer gathering dust.

The second purchase was for a log cabin template.  Totally unnecessary.  Just measure the strips and start sewing.  Wasn't as expensive, but anything not used is a waste.

The one exception is the Dresden Plate template.  I do believe it would make it so much easier making the plates.  Haven't made it yet, but can't imagine how to cut the blades without that template.

Lots of lessons for what was then a newbie quilter.  There will be no more templates for me.

Maybe we should have a discussion group on "how to make a log cabin".  I have my way which I have only seen one quilt video use.  (sew the cabin to the long strip then cut - never measured a log cabin piece in my life.)  You are right about the log cabin template. I must correct myself - I bought a 2.5" wide ruler to cut strips and since so many of the strips wind up on log cabins maybe it was a template.

I would question the integrity of the person hosting the retreat, I mean forcing you to buy a template is just wrong, should have been a choice - imho.

It was a quilt shop hosting the retreat.  We knew ahead of time what we were making.  Not knowing anything about templates, I was willing to give it a try.  Won't make that mistake again.

When making log cabins, I just cut my strips the width I want and then start putting them together.  I do square up as I go though.

This is my autumn leaf log cabin.  The pattern is by Pam Buda, called Scattered Leaves.

This log cabin is all homespun plaids.  Hoping to have a log cabin someday to use it prominently.

this log cabin leaves is lovely!

Love the autumn leaf log cabin,Karen.

And finally, this is a floral log cabin with tone on tone whites for the lighter half of each cabin. Log cabins are one of my favorite patterns.  Each one looks so different depending on how you put it together.  (layout)

What a beauty!
al ..are you including specialty rulers in w your templates question? i have many many many rulers. mostly from yard sales. much cheaper :)) ..triangles of diferent sizes, squares from 2 1/2" up to 12 1/2" ..long ones 2" to 10" wide in carious lengths.
..and i lied --unintentionally --but karen reminded me i did buy a dresden template several years ago. it was a multi size for 2" up 10" fans. i have't used it yet, but i will ..it was on closeout @ 75% off :)) ..
i've also seen your method of making log cabin blocks. that's the way it was done when i learned to quilt. i am a exact freak ..i measure every single patch i use. precisely. i don't overcut and square/trim down to size i need. i don't like the waste.

CORRECTION: rulers are NOT templates, not even speciality ones. They several more than one purpose and are more often than not reasonably priced.

i make my own. i have never ever bought patch templates. and haven't bought quilting templates for many years. they were never used because they didn't fit the quilts i made. so ..i make my own quilting templates and patch templates. design my own quilts for the most part, or redesign commercial patterns i like sorta but think i have a better idea :))
that said ..i don't think they are a waste of money. for instance marty michell patterns are wonderful ..and are easier to do if You use her templates. eleanor burns has templates for blocks like the star in storm at sea. commercial templates have a use and a place in any quilter's pile of tools IMHO.

Marti Michell templates are the ones that didn't work for me.  I'll never buy another.  

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