How to Use Freezer Paper to Paper Piece Quilts


Many quilters enjoy making quilt blocks with intricate pieces and odd angles. Accuracy in measurements and seam allowances is very important when making quilt blocks of this nature. One method of ensuring accuracy is using the method of foundation paper piecing. This method involves creating a template out of paper and attaching the paper to the wrong side of the quilting fabrics. Then, after adding a seam allowance, the quilter simply sews the pieces together using the paper templates as guides. Freezer paper is ideal for use in foundation paper piecing because the quilter can trace the patterns on the dull side of the paper, and then iron the shiny side to the fabric and it will adhere temporarily.

Things You'll Need

  • Freezer paper
  • Pencil
  • Quilting ruler
  • Cutting mat
  • Rotary cutter
  • Quilt pattern
  • Cotton quilting fabric
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Make the templates by tracing the pieces of the quilt block onto the dull side of the freezer paper. Do not include the seam allowance in the templates. Label each piece so you can easily identify them.

  • Cut the paper template pieces out with scissors or a rotary cutter. Cut each piece carefully to ensure they are accurate.

  • Place the fabric you are using for the first template onto the cutting mat with the wrong side facing up. Place the template piece on top of the fabric with the dull side facing up, making sure that there is approximately 1 inch of extra fabric on all sides of the paper template.

  • Set the iron to a medium-high setting without steam and iron the template piece to the fabric.

  • Position the quilting ruler along the template so that the edge of the ruler is 1/4 inch outside of the edge of the paper template. Use the rotary cutter to cut away the excess fabric so that there is 1/4 inch of excess fabric on all sides of the template. This will create the proper seam allowance for sewing. Do this to create the same seam allowance for every edge.

  • Repeat Steps 3 through 5 with all of the template pieces and fabrics so that you have all of the prepared pieces necessary to make a quilt block.

  • Place two prepared fabric pieces together with right sides facing each other to stitch them together. Match up the corners of the freezer paper and insert pins at the corners to ensure stitching accuracy.

  • Stitch the fabric pieces together along the edge of the freezer paper. Stitching along the edge of the freezer paper will ensure seam allowance accuracy. Remove the pins.

  • Continue constructing the block, stitching one section together at a time. Match up the corners of the freezer paper each time and place pins at the corners to ensure stitching accuracy. Do not remove the freezer paper from the back of the fabric pieces until the entire block is finished.

  • Set the iron to medium-high with steam and press the finished block well when you are finished sewing it together. Carefully tear off the freezer paper templates and reuse them to make additional blocks.


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