20 February 2014

Machine Piecing with Freezer Paper Templates

The Poppie block on the GTSB quilt has several sharp skinny points; normally I would hand piece a block like this, but as I am trying new things with this quilt, I decided to machine piece it using Freezer Paper Templates.

The first step is to photocopy the pattern onto a sheet of Freezer Paper. I like the Jenkins brand as it is heavier and feeds through my printer easily.
Double check the block is the correct size, before carefully cutting out the pieces; I like to mark the pieces that will be cut from my focus fabrics with a coloured dot, the others will be cut from my background fabric.

Iron the FP templates to the wrong side of your chosen fabrics
Cut out the pieces, adding a 1/4" seam allowance to each side of your shape as you cut; I also trim the long skinny points to 1/4"
Lay out all the pieces wrong side up in the correct order, I promise they will fit together!
Leaving the FP in place, use it to help you match points and line up your pieces
Using the edge of the FP as a guide, stitch the pieces together. I shortened my stitch length a little (1.8 on my machine) Make sure you don't stitch through the FP! Press the seams open.
Leave all the FP in place until you have completed the block, it will help to stabilise all the bias edges.
Remove all the FP and press again from the front
I decided to machine appliqué the flower head in place, I cut a donut shape out of some fusible web and then buttonhole stitched around the edge on my machine

EDITED: Thanks Margaret for reminding me that using this method produces a block which will be a mirror image of the original; it does not matter in this case as the block is symmetrical, but if you are trying it on a different block, then remember to make a mirror image of the pattern before you start.


  1. that is a cute pattern - I have used freezer paper templates like this but for hand piecing - does the job!

  2. Wow! Very nice! I'll have to try that technique sometime. Thanks for explaining!

  3. Oh, I have one question. Doesn't everything come out mirror image? Does this not matter??

  4. Beautiful! You made your block perfectly and it looks beautiful. I have used FP but for cutting out felt pieces. Haven't thought to do that for cotton fabrics. Thanks for sharing.
    love Annette

  5. What a great idea to keep the FP on like that, must try it, many thanks for the clear explanation and heads up!

  6. What a fantastic process. You should be a teacher, Elaine! I would love to try quilting but don't know why I find it all so intimidating!

  7. Thanks for the great explanation Elaine on the freezer paper technique. Your block has a great accurate finish.

  8. I love to see a new piecing method - and so well explained. Thanks so much - and it worked out beautifully!