Friday, January 25, 2008

Freeeezing Paper Piecing (with freezer paper)

Okay. As you can see on the gauge on my car, it is about 10 degrees out this morning!So, I am going to stay inside for a while and make my first leap into the world of tutorials.

My friend, Blogless Deb, showed me how to use freezer paper for paper piecing and so the pattern is not sewn on with the fabric and can be used over and over again. No more picking off minute pieces of pattern from the seams of your paper pieced block!!!

Angela asked me some questions about paper piecing with freezer paper and I tried to explain it. But I think it is easier to show it. So here goes....

First of all, I purchased some 8 1/2 x 11 inch freezer paper to feed into my inkjet printer at home. Make sure that you print on the NON shiny side of the paper!!!!

I used a pattern by Melly and Me. This is what I have made so far.
A few of my scraps lined up and ready to go. I trimmed the pattern.



Then, I folded each line on the pattern. First on this side,

then I flipped the pattern over to fold the same line the other way.
I have my handy dandy teflon pressing sheet ready on my ironing board (please excuse the old stained board cover!!). You will need this sheet to avoid having the freezer paper stick to your cover when you press.
Next, I take my 2" x 2" center square, which I have cut larger- at least 1/4 inch all around to make it about 2 1/2" x 2 1/2". I try to center the square over the shiny side of the pattern so that the extra 1/4" goes beyond the center square.
I gently press the center of the square being careful not to touch the shiny stuff on the freezer paper with my iron.
Then I turn the square over and press more thoroughly on the pattern which is on the pressing sheet.
Starting with strip #1 on the pattern, I take the pattern and gently fold it down to reveal the edge of the center square and carefully peel away about 1/4" to that fold between #1 and the center.



Take my strip which I have cut about 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" and longer than the actual #1 on the pattern.
Put the right sides together (ie. lay the center square on top of the strip)
and machine sew the two pieces together. This is where Angela was confused. You actually sew very close to the edge of the folded freezer paper but not right on it.
Not sure which photo was better so here is another....

It will look like this with some finger pressing.
I gently touch the iron to the fabric and then
turn it over to press the pattern side up (fabric underneath) on the pressing sheet. Does this make sense yet???


Peel the pattern and fabric gently away from the pressing sheet.
And voila! Your first strip is sewn onto the center.
Now on to strip #2. Gently fold down to the line between the center and strip #2 on the pattern.

Gently peel down the fabric so it is not attached to that part of strip #2.
When the pattern is folded back at that line between the center and strip #2, you can trim the excess from your first strip. Like this...
This is strip #2 in fabric.
You will take this strip and put it right sides together with the center and sew along the folded edge of the freezer paper like this (it appears that I may have not downloaded the photo in between- sorry!)

When you take this out of the machine and turn it over, this is what it should look like.



Gently finger press and/or iron press the strip #2 and then flip it over to press on the pattern which is on the pressing sheet.
Gently peel away the pattern and fabric from the pressing sheet.
And strip #2 has been sewn!



Flip the pattern so strip #3 is at the top. Gently peel away the center square and part of strip #2 so that the pattern is folded between the center and #3 on the pattern.
Rotate the pattern and with the edge folded back, you can trim the excess from #2.
Strip #3 is ready!

Place the right side of the center against the right side of strip #3.
Sew the two strips along the folded edge of the pattern.
It will then look like this.


Finger press and/or carefully iron press strip #3 on the fabric side and then flip over onto the pattern for a more thorough press on the pressing sheet.
Peel the pattern and fabric away from the pressing sheet.
Three strips are now in place.


Fold down the line between center and strip #4 on the pattern.
Gently peel the 1/4" or so of center and excess of strip #3 off the freezer paper.
Rotate the pattern and then trim any excess from the already sewn strips.


Strip #4 revealed!
Place the center right side on top of strip #4's right side. Sew the two together close to the folded edge of the freezer paper.

You should now have this....


Finger press and/or iron press the strip #4 gently and then flip over onto the pattern side on top of the pressing sheet to press more thoroughly.
Gently peel away the pattern and fabric from the pressing sheet.
You are here!



Rotate the pattern so strip #5 is at the top. Gently peel away strip#4 and strip #1 (and maybe strip #2) to the edge of the line between strip#1 and #5 on the pattern. Lots of strips!!!
Trim the excess.
Strip #5!

As before, strip #5 is laid right side up with strip #1's right side facing it. They are sewn together along the folded edge of the freezer paper. When done, it will look like this....

Finger press and/or gently iron press. Flip the pattern over to thoroughly press the fabric.
And our log cabin is beginning to take shape.
With the basics under your belt now, you can continue around in numerical order until you have finished all 12 strips. Remember to have your last 4 strips wide enough (ie. 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" wide) to account for the seam allowance you will need when piecing your blocks together.


With all the strips sewn, you should have some excess hanging out around all four sides. Trim the edges 1/4 inch beyond the edge of the pattern to use as a 1/4" seam allowance.

Gently peel away the fabric block from the freezer paper pattern.

Yes, your freezer paper will have some 'lint' (hey your a sewer! when do you NOT have threads??!!) But the pattern is reusable. No itty bitty pieces of paper to pull out like in regular paper piecing.
Here is my finished block!!!
While I have tried to provide the best instruction possible, this is my first attempt and I warn you that I am far from perfect :-)! Please let me know how I can do better next time!