September 22, 2007

Upon graduation from my beginning quilting class (think 1992), I took off like a rocket on my own. I made a big sampler quilt, hand-pieced and hand-quilted, and loved every minute of it.

An early heartHere’s one of the blocks I made using a freezer paper template on the back. This is a good method for a beginner, and lots of appliquérs prefer to appliqué this way.

Step 1For this method, trace the shape on the paper side of the freezer paper.

If the design is asymmetrical, you’ll need to reverse the pattern first.

Step 2Cut out the template on the drawn line and iron it to the wrong side of the appliqué fabric.

Tip: Ironing on top of a piece of cardboard creates a better bond.
Step 3Cut out the fabric, leaving about ¼” beyond the template.
Step 4Turn the fabric over the template, basting the margin to the freezer paper as you go. Clip any notches almost to the template, and sparingly clip any inside curves. (This heart doesn’t have any inside curves.)

Here it is, partially basted.

Step 5All basted-ed.

This is a method of prepared-edge appliqué, as the edge is turned before you start to stitch. However, it’s only roughly turned, and there will be bumps (aka “pokies”) along the edge that you will need to work out as you go.

Step 6
Back view.

Step 7
Baste the motif in place on the background fabric.

Now there are two rows of basting.

Step 8Appliqué the motif, using the needle to smooth and refine the turned edge as you go.

Here it is, all stitched.

Step 9There are three ways of removing the freezer paper. As seen here, you can completely stitch the motif, remove all basting stitches, slit the background fabric, and pull out the template. Here the template has already been pulled out.

Step 10Instead of just slitting the background fabric, you can cut it away, leaving about ¼” inside the stitching.

Or, to preserve the back, you can remove the basting and pull out the template before you have quite finished stitching the block, finishing up the stitching with no template inside.

All doneAll done!

• Edge is turned for you
• Easier to place motif accurately, since edge is turned
• Freezer paper template provides a crisp, well-defined sewing line
• Accurate results

• More prep time (double basting)
• Freezer paper feels stiff and crackles while working
• Sometimes you sew through the paper
• Extraordinary measures must be used to remove template

Every quilter weighs the benefits and tradeoffs of any particular method, and it is up to you to decide which way the balance swings. The “right” method is the one that’s right for you.

Making this heart was a nice trip down memory lane for me. Since I made the sampler quilt I’ve learned a few other appliqué methods. And, let’s just say I’ve also learned the benefits of more quilting in a quilt!

Let’s hear from you appliqué fans about this method. Is this your favorite? Any tips? Did I leave something out? Chime in!

Until next time,


2 Responses to “An early heart”

  1. Matching Pegs » Blog Archive » Flutterby on March 10th, 2008 10:13 pm

    […] some freezer paper to see if it would improve my needle turn accuracy. It is neither the “Freezer Paper down” or the “Freezer paper Up*” method (both of these methods involve sewing the […]

  2. MVPs : All About Applique on November 15th, 2015 6:30 pm

    […] go back to An Early Heart to see what Freezer Paper On The Back is all […]