Tools of the Trade
Many ladies had the most important tools they needed to create a quilt constantly on hand - a needle, thread and patience. Even marking a quilting design could be accomplished with a pencil and such common household items as tumblers or saucers. Specialized quilting templates were used to mark more complex patterns such as cables, leaves and swirls. Quilting templates were made of tin, wood or even cardboard with cording sewn on to create the design. The templates could be pressed into powdered "lead" (graphite) or chalk to transfer the design to the quilt top.