Search This Blog

Saturday, February 9, 2019





I just love quilters! What makes life so interesting is that everyone has different tastes in fabrics and colors and we are all so versatile. Seeing block 1 come to life with all the wonderful variations is so fun! Also some quilters put their blocks together differently (I don't think on purpose) but the end results are fantastic! Need the instructions you can click on BLOCK 1 and the link will take you there. If you haven't signed up for it yet, please do so you don't miss any of the instructions!

What I want to demonstrate today is how I paper piece with freezer paper. (Can't find freezer paper, I have it on my website: Freezer paper.) I have heard many comments that there is so much waste in paper piecing that quilters don't like to do it but when I show you how I use the templates to cut out my pieces you will see that there is very little waste.

If you have not done the block yet, you need to downloaded the updated corrected block 1 templates and foundation sections. If you have already made it, then you don't need to bother doing that. You can find the file under Links on the Facebook page or get it here.

First make your templates out of heavy weight plastic. It just lasts longer than the thin stuff and you can purchase it at JoAnn's or Michaels. You can also use heavy cardboard. If you use cardboard I suggest you line up your ruler along the edges so you don't cut into them. To make the templates, just cut slightly around the outside edges of them and tape them to your template material. Then cut out along the outside edge exactly making sure you trim all the little corners.

Lay your fabrics wrong sides together. I have in the instructions which fabric should be on top when cutting out so that you have the correct A or Ar (B or Br and C or Cr). The r just stands for the reverse of the original. Since I have batiks there is no really visible right or wrong sides so I can cut them with the same fabric on top. If you are not using batiks be SURE to put the correct fabric on top before cutting out. I left some space between each of the templates so I can add a 1/4" all the way around them.

Now I take my Add-a-quarter ruler and add 1/4" around the entire template as I cut the pieces out. You end up with a piece that is 1/2" bigger than the original. That gives you plenty of "play" room to cover the area that you are paper piecing. (If you want to cut the sections even larger than that, go ahead. Do what you feel comfortable doing to get it to work for you.)

Now you are ready to start sewing. I have a little mantra (a phrase that I repeat over and over) when I am paper piecing. It goes like this (this is also in the pattern): PRESS, FOLD, TRIM, SEW. It helps me get into a rhythm when I am paper piecing.

My first printing of the freezer paper did not include the shading so I made sure I wrote dark or light on my sections so I would not get confused. Instructions for printing on the freezer paper are in the pattern. (Be sure to check your printout with the 1" box on the page so that your scale is correct.) Cut out the left and right sections close to the outside line. I do not cut right on the line. 

Following the color placement (dark or light):

1. PRESS the WRONG side of the fabric (template A) to the SHINY side of the freezer paper. Your iron needs to be hot enough to slightly melt the wax but not too hot to make it difficult to remove. Test your iron to get the right setting. You should only need to leave it on the paper for a few seconds. Just press to the line between 1 and 2.

You should be able to see the fabric all the way around the outside edges and your inside edge is overlapping the seam line (solid line) by more than 1/4". The outside edges will be trimmed at the end. Be sure to always start with #1 on each section as #1 is on the bottom on one section and on the top on the other so that the seams are pressed in opposite directions.

2. I usually use a business card, but these are long stitching lines so I just use one of the templates and line it up along the line between 1 and 2. I want to see the line. The section with the fabric should be on your left (well for right handed people it is) and FOLD back the paper along that line. Make sure that it is folded exactly on that line.

3. TRIM your seam to 1/4" using the Add-a-quarter or a small ruler with a 1/4" line. The Add-a-quarter ruler has a little ledge on it and it stops at the fold of the paper so you can get an accurate cut. Can't find one in your area, you can purchase one on my website. I also carry Add-an-Eighth. Add-a-Quarter. Don't worry that the pointed edge does not go all the way down. It will be covered by the next fabric. 

4. Place your next fabric (template B) right sides together, first checking to make sure that you have the template B section in the right direction. You can see through the freezer paper and can see the direction of the point of the triangle. 

5. Line up the edge of B with the cut edge of A. Make sure that you can see your B fabric sticking out from the top and bottom of the paper. Now you are ready to SEW. I like to use an open toe foot and move my needle all the way to the right. That way the inside edge of my foot lines up with the fold of the paper. You do not have to change the length of your stitch because you are not sewing on the paper. You will sew as close to the paper as you can, starting at the top edge of the paper and sewing all the way to the bottom edge. If you accidentally sew a little on the paper don't worry. It comes out.

6. Finger press your seam then PRESS section B to the freezer paper only to the line between 2 and 3 with the iron. I always press on the paper side. Now repeat the process. You just pressed, so FOLD the paper along the line between 2 and 3 with your template edge. TRIM your seam to 1/4". Line up the edges of B and C right sides together, making sure you have fabric sticking out on the top and bottom and that it is facing in the correct direction and SEW along the fold.

Here is a little tip. If you have light and dark fabrics and don't want the dark to show through your seam on the front, place the light fabric slightly beyond the dark edge. This way the dark is hiding behind the light and won't show through the front of your block.

I give it one last press to the freezer paper and then trim my section. I don't use the outside lines. I line up the 1/4" line of my ruler on the seam line on the freezer paper. That way if the outside line is off just a little I know I will have an exact 1/4" seam. (Here are both sections done. You can see that the fabric sticks out all the way around the paper.)

Now you can remove the freezer paper. Be careful and slowly peel it off in the direction the seams are going in so you don't pull on the seams. If it is a little difficult to get off, use your iron to warm it up just a little. Now you can reuse the freezer paper. Since you have already folded it along the lines you do not need to use the template to line it up on the lines anymore. I have found that I can reuse my freezer paper up to 6 to 8 times if my fabric isn't too linty or my iron wasn't too hot. Now they are ready to sew together.

I particularly like this method because I do not like to tear paper off at the end, especially when it is a large quilt. I know some quilters have told me that they find it relaxing to tear off the paper. To each his own!!!


If you know me, you know I love to fussy cut so I had to play with this block and some of my new Paula Nadelstern fabrics I carry in my store. This one is called Rabbit Hole from her More is More collection and the pink and blue are her blenders. You see I laid out the fabrics a little different. Not on purpose, but I like the way it came out (and I didn't want to recut anything! To do this I had to use the templates and not paper piece it. You can see Paula's fabrics on my website here: Nadelstern fabrics. If you purchase any of her fabrics and mention you saw it on my blog in the comment section when checking out I will give you 10% off your fabric purchase (on the Nadelstern fabrics)!


Well I know the NQC quilters are anxious to read my blog so I will get this posted. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Leave a comment and I will put your name in a drawing for some of the Timeless Treasures batiks I am using for this quilt! Be sure to give me some way to contact you if you won.

Remember: Always do what you love and love what you do.