It is available at the nearest grocery store. It comes 18 inches wide on a roll 33 1/2 YARDS long for about $6.00. Template plastic at Joann's is $1.49 for one sheet 18" x 12", so 33 1/2 yards of that would cost over $150. Did that wake you up?
|Pattern pieces ironed onto fabric.|
You can use it as a stencil. Cut out the design, place on fabric, and paint in the cutout spots.
|Homemade stencil (freezer paper was colored in my printer and|
ironed onto a second piece of freezer paper to strengthen the stencil).
It was used to paint the dots on the orange fabric.
You can use freezer paper to do paper piecing especially if you have wonky shapes with bias to deal with. You place your fabrics together in the usual way and iron the pattern to the first piece, but instead of sewing through the paper, you fold it back at the seam line, trim the fabric to 1/4 inch for seam allowance, and sew right beside the fold of the paper. Press the seam, and then open the paper and iron it down to the newly stitched piece before folding on the next seam line and adding the next piece of fabric. (There is no space for a full explanation of this method. Let me know if you would like me to do a post explaining it in more detail.)
|Sewing beside the folded freezer paper.|
|Finished piece - freezer paper has been lifted off of the top.|
Freezer paper is an integral part of paperless paper piecing. It is used as the critical guide for placing pieces, and as patterns for individual pieces. See Christy Fincher's website for detailed directions on how to accomplish this fabulous, precise method of piecing.
TIP: Using freezer paper for paper piecing doesn't work as well for teeny, tiny pieces. If your design has very small pieces you are better off using a lighter weight paper such as Solvy Water Soluble Stabilizer and the traditional method.
You can use the paper for designing. I have done some Rhapsody quilts as taught by Ricky Tims. As he suggests, I used freezer paper for designing these quilts. You can draw with pencil and eraser on the dull side, then turn and fold the paper so the dull sides are together. Using a spoon, or some sort of hard utensil you can scrape over your pencil lines and they will reproduce in reverse on the other side of the folded paper. Remember doing that as kids? Magic! This will produce symmetrical, kaleidoscope-like designs.
You can trace. If you draw with dark pencil lines or go over your lines with black pen you can trace the design onto another piece of freezer paper. It is opaque-ish, but darkened lines can still be seen. I like to use my plexiglass sewing machine table with a light under it as a light box to make it easier to see. You can also tape the original to a big window and copy it that way.
You can use freezer paper as fabric backing for printing in your household printer. Cut a letter sized piece of freezer paper, and iron it to the back of fabric. You can then run it through your printer. I use this to print the labels that I design for my quilts. You can also create fabric from photos or your own graphic designs and print them in this manner.
TIP: Cut your fabric slightly smaller than the freezer paper, iron it down well, and get rid of any loose threads. You don't want any fabric or threads hanging off the edges of the paper.
Is your freezer paper too small for your project? Lay one piece of freezer paper shiny side down on the ironing board. Cut a 1 inch strip of freezer paper and lay it shiny side up under the edge of the large paper leaving 1/2 inch sticking out. Iron the big piece of paper to the hidden part of the strip. The shiny sides will be together. Take a second large piece of freezer paper and butt the edge to the edge of the first piece on top of the remainder of the narrow strip. Iron. That narrow strip will hold the pieces together as well as any tape on the market and it won't make a mess if you iron over it. Have you ever ironed over a piece of Scotch tape? Gulp!
TIP: Freezer paper shrinks!! It shrinks slightly in one direction, but it is enough to affect your pattern pieces and mess up the size of your finished product. Before cutting patterns iron the freezer paper to your ironing board with a dry iron. Take it up and then iron it once more. Then mark and cut your pattern. That is all it takes to preserve pattern precision.
Now go have fun playing with freezer paper, and let me know if you use it in other creative ways.
Stitch some happy seams this week.