Freezer Paper Shapes for English Paper Piecing
I do a little English paper piecing, usually in modest doses. I tend to make small projects like a table runner or pillow.
One of the perks of this patchwork style is the way you can place fussy cut prints for a big impact. I hardly ever take advantage of that, perhaps because I don't have acrylic templates to help with fussy cutting hexagons. Or maybe it's because my motifs tend to shift off-center while I'm basting. How disappointing.
Guess what? I've found the solution: freezer paper shapes for English paper piecing! One of my long arm quilting customers has a shop called Faraway Road. When Jessie told me about her freezer paper pieces, I was immediately intrigued. Just like working with freezer paper for applique, these precisely shaped paper pieces will temporarily adhere to your fabric when pressed with a hot iron.
Here's how it works for fussy cutting. Place the fabric wrong side up on a pressing surface. Strategically place the paper pieces shiny side down on the fabric. Press and voila - no shifting while you baste! The hexagon shape makes it easy to place the pieces with the correct orientation, much like using an acrylic template. Plus, I can visualize seam allowances too. After pressing, cut around the shapes leaving margins for seams.
I usually baste with thread, but decided to give this Sewline pen another try. Basting is pretty quick with a little dab of Sewline glue at the corners where the fabrics overlap. After glue basting I feel like I need to press the shape to ensure it will remain securely basted. If I'm already at the pressing table for the freezer paper, it's easy enough to use the iron to set the basting too.
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One drawback of freezer paper shapes for English paper piecing is that it removes portability from the basting stage. Of course, the joining-shapes stage is MUCH longer, so you'll still have miles of a portable project to go.
I'm pretty smitten by these fussy cut hexie flowers. Liam's playing soccer this season. A little English paper piecing is a nice way to make time on the field a little more enjoyable for mom.
Do you have any 1" hexagon flowers that never quite made their way to a finish? I have a stitch-along up my sleeve, so stay-tuned!