At my first quilt retreat years ago, I picked a small project which included log cabin blocks and applique. The log cabin would go together quickly and then I could ask some of my more experienced guild members for help with the applique part. I had never really done any applique before, so I was open to all their suggestions. Or so I thought. One of the first responses I received when I asked for recommendations was to use the freezer paper technique. Upon giving the answer, the woman walked away as if that said it all. I had NO CLUE what she meant. Fast forward to today, I not only know what it means, but really like it!
Rather than leave you in the dark, I will give a bit more detail!
Let’s start with when to use freezer paper templates. I use them for quilts that have unusual or odd sized block pieces or appliques. They are much less expensive that rulers or dies for cutters. Some people may choose to use card stock or thin plastic sheets, because they are thicker. But the advantage of freezer paper is the “stick” and there are ways to make them “thicker”.
Step 1 – Make Paper Template
If your template is larger than a piece of paper, you will need to start with paper templates. If they are smaller than a sheet of paper and you have a printer, you can use alternate method.
Print template pages. (see previous post for tips on printing) Tape template pages together, matching registration marks. Cut template just inside outer line.
Step 2 – Make Freezer Paper Sandwich.
You can use freezer paper bought in the grocery store or online. To make freezer paper templates, cut three pieces of freezer paper larger than the template to be made. Layer the three pages shiny side down. Using hot, dry iron, press three pages together to make freezer paper sandwich.
Use a pressing sheet or non-stick mat when making sandwiches to prevent it from sticking to other materials.
Step 3 – Make Freezer Paper Template
Trace paper onto template onto sandwich and cut freezer paper template on the drawn line. Compare the template to the original pattern to ensure it is the correct size. This is important as the tracing process can sometimes make the templates a little larger than the original.
Use this alternate method for smaller templates. Copy or print the template directly onto a sheet of freezer paper that is precut for the printer. Print on the dull side only. Then, add two layers of freezer paper under the printed page. Fuse the three pages together with a hot, dry iron. Then, cut the template from the sandwich.
Using Freezer Paper Templates
To use freezer paper templates, set template shiny side down on right side of fabric. Using hot, dry iron, fuse template to fabric. Let template cool.
Cut fabric around template. If you are fusing or making pieces, you will cut to the edge of the template.
If you are making finished edge applique or playing with curves, you can leave fabric around the edges for the seam allowance. Paint starch on the seam allowance. Then, carefully fold the seam allowance over the template and press a crease along the edge of the template.
Peel template from fabric once it is cool. Fabric can be reused multiple times.
I used this technique for Snowflake Whimsy! Next time, I am making template, I will add a video to this blog.