Monday, September 14, 2020

Freezer Paper Piecing The Great Outdoors Tent

I love the tent so much in The Great Outdoors quilt, that I'd thought I'd put together a video showing how I put the tent together using freezer paper.

orange freezer paper pieced tent on an aqua background by QuiltFabrication

The tent in the Great Outdoors quilt was Foundation Paper Pieced the traditional way. All the seams were stitched through the paper, which was fine. 

Note: the pattern has been updated since making the video, switching the labeling of the E and F units. The multi-fabric unit F in the video is now unit E, and the new F is old background E. Though the order doesn't really matter, it just makes for a better looking unfinished block. This is the before, and the after.

orange tents on an aqua background

Anyway, what I found was that for the large size fabric pieces in the F unit (now E), I had to use too many pins to hold it to the paper, which resulted in not only paper warping, but the fabric flopped all over the place.

Determined to continue using the traditional paper piecing method, I folded up a couple of pieces of tape and held the fabric to the paper that way. Certainly not the best idea, but it worked. 

And I kicked myself for not printing out the tent pattern onto freezer paper, my favorite way of paper piecing.

Why do I love freezer paper for paper piecing projects? Because it holds the fabric pieces firmly in place, the seams can be pressed open if needed, and there is no paper to rip off the back of the block when finished. Three big wins in my world!

In the Great Outdoors pattern, the tent can be made using either method, though I recommend freezer paper. And that recommendation brought about the idea for making a video to see how it's done, as a reference for those who have the  pattern. Of course, it can also be viewed to learn how to paper piece using freezer paper. 

The video starts out using the freezer paper foundation piecing method, where pieces of fabric are added to a unit that contains three fabrics (unit now labeled E in the pattern). The sewing takes place next to the folder freezer paper seam line, not through the paper. (Also see the written tutorial, Freezer Paper Foundation Piecing)

freezer paper foundation pieced tent unit F

And as the video goes along, the freezer paper seam allowances tend to get a bit in the way, and a switch to Freezer Paper Template Piecing would have worked better. In that method, the freezer paper seam allowances are removed before any fabric pieces are sewn, as seen in this example from another project.

green and pink fabrics with freezer paper templates ironed on

In re-watching this video, I will say I need to shift the piece against the machine bed more to the left, as I caught the paper underneath several times. That's ok in this block, as it's not crucial in getting things lined up, but if I had a more precise block I was working on, it would be an issue. 

Given that and all the folding back of paper seam allowances, the pieces go together to make a realistic tent. And as usual, there are tips and tricks along the way!

Enjoy watching the tent being created, and think about trying paper piecing with freezer paper, both as a foundation and as templates, on your next paper pieced project.

Happy Quilting!

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  1. Interesting way to use freezer paper which I use a lot of for EPP. Thanks for the video...Kudos for doing that and I've now subscribed to your channel.

  2. Great tutorial again! It is such a useful technique.

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