Many quilters choose to use freezer paper for appliqué. Available in grocery stores and some quilt shops, freezer paper has a shiny coating on one side that temporarily adheres to fabric when pressed with a warm iron. This technique may be used to prepare pieces for hand or machine appliqué. Learn how to use freezer paper to prepare appliqué shapes, below.
freezer paper

Basic Materials

  • Freezer paper
  • Applique pattern
  • Pen or pencil
  • Fabric
  • Water-soluble glue stick
  • Scissors with a sharp tip
  • Iron

Basic Instructions

1. Lay freezer paper, shiny side down, over patterns. Use a pen or pencil to trace each pattern the number of times indicated in cutting instructions.

freezer paper

2. Cut out freezer-paper shapes on drawn lines.

freezer paper

3. Use glue stick to apply a small amount of glue to center of dull side of freezer-paper shapes.

4. Position each shape shiny side up on wrong side of designated fabric, leaving 1/2" between shapes.

freezer paper

5. Cut out each shape, adding 3/16" seam allowance to all edges.

freezer paper

6. On each shape, beginning on a gently curved edge, use tip of a hot dry iron to press seam allowance onto shiny side of freezer paper; let cool. If desired, add a dab of water-soluble glue under the seam allowances of any points to hold fabric in place.

Note: If you're working with a shape that has inner points, clip the seam allowance of each inner point, stopping a thread or two away from freezer-paper shape to help the fabric stretch across the point.

freezer paper

Once your shapes are prepared, you can appliqué them to a foundation using either machine- or hand-appliqué. You can remove the freezer paper before or after you sew. Use water-soluble liquid glue to hold shapes to the foundation if needed. (If you left the freezer paper in while appliquéing, carefully trim away excess foundation fabric from behind stitched appliqués, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance. With your fingertip, gently loosen and peel away freezer paper to make an appliquéd block.)