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Video 13: Freezer-Paper Appliqué Prep

Learn how to use freezer paper to prepare appliqué shapes.

There are dozens of ways to prepare applique pieces, but now I'm going to show you one way that utilizes a very common quilter's tool -- freezer paper.  And this method uses freezer paper on the wrong side of your appliques. The first step in preparing them is to trace your applique patterns as I've done here onto the dull side of freezer paper. I used a Sharpie marker.  You use the pencil or pen. The important thing is you're tracing on the dull side, not the shiny side because your markings won't stay on the shiny side and it's important to have that unmarked later. Once you trace your pattern pieces, then you cut them out exactly on the line, so you're making really freezer paper templates. On my templates I've written a number of where the piece goes on my pattern, so I'll be able to keep that straight since my leaf shapes are all similar. Once I cut it out exactly on the drawn line I'm going to place my template onto the fabric that I want to use to make my leaf. Now if this was a big pattern I might pin this piece on, but since it's a small one. I think I can hold it with my thumb and simply cut around the shape, leaving about a 3/16" seam allowance. And that's not important to be super precise. You don't have too much left, but about 3/16". Don't cut too close, because you're going to turn this seam allowance under. I just place it on and turn it around. Now I'll use a different piece. You'll see when you have your pattern and you have a shape that matches it identically. And I'm going to take that pattern off the top (it's not adhered on, I was just holding on) and move it around to the wrong side of my fabric. So what I have is this shiny side at the freezer paper up. The side that I printed on is going to be down against the wrong side of my fabric. The important step here is that the shiny side is up. Then I'm going to finger press first that seam allowance over the edge of the paper. And I'm just sort of getting it started before I pick up my iron. And going to press that fabric down. So I'll use just the tip of the iron. And this is a place where you might consider using a stylus or a bamboo skewer or something with a point so you don't get your fingers to close to the iron. What you'll see you I move the iron away it is that because I got the shiny side of the template up, the fabric actually sticks to the template itself. I would continue going around this template and I got one started here that I'll show. You can see I started to press that fabric to the freezer paper. It's not pressed here, so you're just finger pressing him first, then using the tip of iron. Don't run your tip of iron over the center because you don't want to get the wax from the freezer paper on the iron tip. But if you just glide it along the edge, it will press and adhere to their freezer paper with just a hot iron. Now when you get to the point, you might want to take the point of your piece and fold it over and stick it to the freezer paper first with your iron and then come back and fold that edge of fabric right along next to it, finger press it first and, and then use your iron to press it in place. What you'll end up with is it template that looks much like this. You'll see that fabric has adhered all the way around. The front piece, you have a nice little smooth curve and a sharp edge. And these appliques prepared with the freezer paper on the wrong side method can be used for either hand or machine applique. With either one, you will at some point want to take away the freezer paper template and remove it. But if you have several pieces to prepare and you like the nice sharp edge that freezer paper templates create for you, you can create all your shapes ahead of time, and then when you get ready to sit down and stitch they're ready to just pick up and go out. And often you can just pull that freezer paper template out. And because you've had it pressed and it's cooled, that edge will stay well enough for you to put your applique piece in place and adhere it with the method of your choice. Give it a try.