Freezer Paper For Embellishing Your Quilts

By Sherri McConnell

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freezer paper templates

Freezer paper is widely available at most grocery stores.

Everyday freezer paper is great for transferring patterns when quilting or sewing. Freezer paper's waxy shiny side, when ironed to paper, cardboard, or fabric will adhere temporarily, making it possible to transfer shapes accurately and easily. Just be careful not to touch the shiny side of the paper with your iron, or you'll have a waxy mess on your iron surface! Let's delve into how to use freezer paper.

Because of its width and length, freezer paper is great for tracing patterns for clothing construction and crafts (Reynolds freezer paper is 33 feet long!). Plus, if you end up needing a wider piece than what you have, simply iron the shiny side of one length of paper to the dull side of another length, overlapping the edges about 1 1/2' for stability. Because freezer paper will also stick to fabric when ironed, it makes it easy to accurately cut shapes and pieces.

For sewing and crafts, use freezer paper to make pattern templates so that your original patterns stay intact. This trick is especially helpful when you're sewing only one size from a pattern which contains several sizes all on the same piece of tissue. With a freezer paper template a smaller size can be made while leaving the original unharmed for later use.

Freezer paper is also commonly used by quilters to make templates for appliqué. Appliqué templates are best when created from double layers of freezer paper. To create your template, first you'll trace your pattern onto a piece of freezer paper. Cut around the shape leaving about 3/8" on all sides. Then iron your freezer paper cut-out to another piece of freezer paper (iron the shiny side of the first piece to the dull side of the second piece). After that, cut out the double layer of freezer paper on the drawn lines resulting in a sturdy perfect template. Now iron the freezer paper template on your project fabric; press the fabric around the edges of the template using spray starch and an iron to create a perfect shape. Remove the freezer paper before hand or machine stitching the appliqué piece to the background fabric; freezer paper templates will simply peel off of the fabric.

applique block made using freezer paper

Appliqué block created using freezer paper templates.

Freezer paper can also be used to create labels for quilts. Simply cut a piece of freezer paper and a piece of muslin to measure 8 1/2" x 11". Fuse the freezer paper to the wrong side of the muslin. Then run the muslin through a home ink-jet printer to print a label. Simply use an iron to set the ink after the label has printed, remove the freezer paper, finish the edges of the muslin as desired, and stitch to the back of your quilt.

Have you used freezer paper in your quilting or sewing?

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