Monday, April 27, 2020

Freezer Paper Foundation Piecing

Ready for one more paper piecing technique? I've saved the best for last!

Freezer Paper Foundation Piecing tutorial by QuiltFabrication

I recently covered foundation paper piecing and freezer paper template piecing in making the Chocolate Dipped Strawberries. A third berry to complete the runner was made with my favorite technique, freezer paper foundation piecing.

white chocolate dipped strawberry by QuiltFabrication

This method is almost identical to foundation paper piecing, but instead of a thin paper, it uses freezer paper and there is no sewing through the paper.

First, a few notes:
If the final block contains units that get assembled into a block, make marks on seam lines on the dull side of the freezer paper for matching and alignment. 

The print on the dull side of freezer paper is the reverse of the final block. The freezer paper is always ironed to the wrong side of the fabric. 

Freezer Paper Foundation Piecing

Fabric pieces for freezer paper foundation piecing can be cut to size with templates, adding a 1/4" seam allowance,

fabric templates with added seam allowances for paper piecing

OR use over-sized shapes that will be trimmed. Just make sure that the shape area is covered. 

over-sized fabric pieces with added seam allowances for paper piecing

With freezer paper foundation piecing, all fabrics get pressed to the freezer paper. In the above picture, I've ironed my first piece, the white, to the freezer paper, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance extending past the drawn stitching line.

That seam allowance is released from the freezer paper, and with the help of the firm edge of a postcard, the freezer paper is folded back along the drawn seam.

freezer paper folded back along drawn seam

If necessary, use an Add-a-Quarter ruler (affiliate link) to trim the seam allowance to 1/4".  Position the next fabric piece, right sides together, lining up seam allowance cut edges, and flipping onto the freezer paper to check coverage. 

At the sewing machine, stitch next to the fold, starting and stopping in the adjacent seam allowances.

stitch next to the freezer paper fold for freezer paper foundation piecing

Press the seam and the second fabric piece to the freezer paper.

second fabric piece pressed to freezer paper

As before, use the postcard to create a fold on the next seam line. Trim the seam to 1/4" with an Add-a-Quarter ruler.

trim seam to 1/4" with an add-a-quarter ruler

Add the next piece, same as before. When all fabric pieces are added, trim the unit/block with 1/4" seam allowances on the edges. If there are several units for a block, keep the freezer paper attached to match up the units. When the joining seam, either stitch through the paper, fold back the paper, or cut off that seam allowance of the units. Only after the entire block is assemble is the freezer paper removed.

removing freezer paper after full block assembly

Freezer Paper Foundation Piecing Pros and Cons

  • accurate
  • easy to do
  • freezer paper printouts can be used 2-4 times
  • no messy, tedious paper removal - freezer paper peels off

  • presser foot may not glide easily over shiny freezer paper
  • difficulty running freezer paper through the printer (hint: tape a regular piece of paper to the shiny freezer paper side, along the printer feeder edge - this gives the printer something to grab)
  • no control over seam pressing direction
  • pattern printed in reverse which may cause fabric placement confusion
For me, the Pros far outweigh the Cons. Freezer paper foundation piecing is my go-to method for paper piecing - it's accurate, with no messy paper removal. My kind of quilting!

White Chocolate Dipped Strawberry by QuiltFabrication

This concludes the 3- part series of paper piecing tutorials:
Freezer Paper Foundation Piecing.

Try them all and choose your favorite!
Happy Quilting!

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  1. Hi Susan! No messy paper removal is the BIGgest pro for me. Since I shy away from PP, removing the paper isn't that bad. However, I do love the accuracy from PP so if I decide to do it more often this is the route I'd take. Thanks for the tutorials and for linking up this week. ~smile~ Roseanne

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