Foundation paper piecing with freezer paper – tutorial

I am making some triangle/hexagon blocks with no simple measurement. That means I need to do foundation paper piecing. Until now I tried various way of doing it people suggested and still hated the slow process. But I think this method could be the best and I started liking it.
I am using a sheet of freezer paper for templates. There are some instructions online about this method and I read one or two. When I read it, I thought using freezer paper could be a bit expensive and didn’t see the benefit of it but I am totally converted now. I love this method!
The reason one I love this way is, I don’t have to cut a lot of paper, ten or twenty times for making templates because I can reuse freezer paper( right now one paper has gone through for piecing six blocks and easily few more). And I won’t be filling a bin with torn paper when I finished. The reason two, I don’t have to spend a day removing paper because it just peels off! No small piece of paper stuck or pulling thread as I remove them. The reason three, because fabric sticks to the freezer paper, it’s much more easy to handle. All those nightmare of paper piecing is gone!
block twoIn case you don’t know what a freezer paper is, it’s an American thing for cooking, bit like grease proof paper but one side is silicone coated and can stick to fabric when ironed and easily removed without residue. You can get them at craft shops but I do recommend to ask friends or family over there to send it to you. Mine was brought by my sister in low. (actually I can get a supply as a proper shop if you wish)
Anyway here is how.
Step one; make freezer paper templates. I cut freezer paper A4 size and printed through my printer on the dull side. Of course you can draw lines by hand too.
Step two; cut the fabric as you need. I normally cut them with 3/8″ seam allowance for paper piecing and this doesn’t need to be very precise.
Step three; Iron a first fabric onto the freezer paper. Do Iron from the dull side of freezer paper in order to avoid accidental ironing on the silicone layer and melting and ruing it. That means, you put your fabric right side down and put a freezer paper on it shiny side down then iron. Yes, opposite of photo below.

01 one

Do iron from the other side.

Step four; fold freezer paper slightly off the stitch line. You should be able to see a bit of gap between a stitch line and a fold, like the second photo. That faint black line is the stitch line.
02 two022 two dash
Step five; place the second piece of fabric. Since you folded the freezer paper which has stitch lines printed, you can see where your second piece should be. Those blue lines making a triangle are showing where the second piece should be and you can position it using those lines as guide. No more guessing.
03 three

Please do not mind my dirty finger nail. I do garden a lot.

Step six; stitch just off the fold of paper. Do not stitch on the paper.
04 four 05 fiveStep seven; fold over the fabric and check just in case, and cut off excess fabric.
06 six

Yes, I marked “2” in a wrong place.

07 seven

Seam allowance should be 1/4″ as usual.

Step eight; fold and iron the second fabric towards the freezer paper and repeat the process until you finish a whole block.
08 eightStep nine; trim excess fabric all way around of freezer paper with 1/4″ seam allowance and peel off paper. It takes only a second not five minutes of battling with a tiny piece stuck under the corner.
This method may not suitable for complicated shapes, I don’t know yet. And if making a block for just once, I might just do with a ordinal paper.
Happy sewing!





Julie Fukuda
July 4, 2015 12:41 pm

I have only done paper piecing once and that was in a class my friend taught. I think if you use a machine anyway, it is a good way to have blocks that are uniform. I have seen patterns for animals and all kinds of things in quilt magazines. Your block is really nice.

July 4, 2015 7:51 pm

I just must try this method next time I am epp . I do use freezer paper for hexies but I forget I can iron them on and usually tack them

July 9, 2015 5:15 pm

Very clear explanation of this technique – thanks a million!