Templates are often made from rigid materials like cardboard or plastic Quilters have not always had the fancy cutting and measuring tools that are available to them these days
Templates are shapes, usually made out of plastic, that are traced onto fabric
Freezer paper, which has a shiny side that sticks to a fabric when pressed, is a popular template material for many types of applique. Flexible template plastic - Coming in various sizes, this plastic is available at Stitch in the Ditch.com. Excellent for making quilt templates. Edges will not fray or curl like cardboard and can be used over and over. Translucent for ease in placing on fabric. Cuts easily with scissors or craft knife.
Tips Use a light box or a glass table with a lamp underneath to help you see a pattern piece more clearly when you trace onto opaque materials.